Vanity, thy name is blog

A recent forum post I made (Absolute Write) asking for reviews of my WordPress blog elicited the very valid response “Who do you see your regular reader as being, the sort of person who would bookmark or subscribe?”  I had no answer.  I’d not actually given any thought as to whom this blog was addressed.  I hadn’t given any thought to the blog in marketing terms, i.e. who the target audience would be, why they would want to read my blog in the first place, what would make them want to return to it, and so on.

If I’m honest I suppose my reason for starting this blog was essentially vanity.  I presumed that I would have interesting things to say.  I assumed that people would want to know what I think and would be interested in commenting back.  I considered that my natural wisdom(!) would make my posts compulsory reading for a swathe of people.  That’s pretty much the way of it for my writing as a whole, I guess.  When I started writing I think I probably assumed that, because I wrote fairly well in terms of use of English, grammar, structure and so forth, that my fiction would therefore automatically be seen as enjoyable, entertaining, engrossing, enthralling, and all sorts of other words beginning with ‘en’.  Who wouldn’t want to read my stuff?

Well, of course, that was pure vanity borne of naivety.  Now I merely hope that some people will want to read me, and my experience so far with literary agents suggests that such is a very small hope.  Nonetheless, I’ll keep scribbling (metaphorically, since my hand-writing is so bad even I can’t understand it – I do my writing 100% with a keyboard).  I’ll keep adding the post and drafting the odd story, but …

…but you see, I’m lazy.  To achieve success requires a committed audience and that demands that an audience is reached.  Although I understand the concept of marketing, and appreciate (I really do) the skills of the people who do it for a living I find myself yawning whenever I think about it.  Marketing’s an awful lot of hard work and the rewards come exceedingly slowly, in dribs and drabs.  I’m of the type that requires at least some instant gratification.  I’m also self-centred (just count the number of ‘Is and Mys’ in this post!) which means that my outpourings are, as a rule, solely about things that interest me or which directly affect me.  The former may be excusable but maybe not the latter.

But how unique am I?  I’m not suggesting for one minute that every other blogger (or Tweeter)  is vain or selfish but I wonder if, should they properly examine their motives, how many could honestly claim altruism as a genuine reason for what they do?  I mean, don’t we all want to claim that 15 minutes?  If we’re honest?  It may be that the more self-aggrandising you are the more determined you are to do the job properly, i.e. research your market, target your audience, focus your energies towards a specific group.  And is that such a bad thing anyway?

So let me come to terms with my vanity.  I want my 15 minutes – I just wish I wasn’t so damn lazy!


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Filed under General, My Writing

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