What have you done to me WordPress?

I've been working on some promotional posts for the release of Will O' the Wisp. On my first blog tour it was suggested to cover various topics like character profiles, a writing lesson, and a couple of excerpts. That way each post is different to a degree. I made notes so I could repeat the process one day.

I started this blog in the fall of 2013. Back then an average post was somewhere around 2000 words. One fellow, who used to follow me, indicated that shorter posts were more popular. I took his loss, and the lesson to heart.

Today, most of my posts are closer to 500 words, and a few have been much smaller. So now I'm trying to prepare my promotional posts. This is my bully pulpit to whip up interest in Will O' the Wisp. I'm having a hard time writing anything much beyond 800 words.

The excerpts are easy. I chose one where the wisp first appears, and one that involves a coming of age scene for my character. 1000 or so words, no problem. The rest of them are a struggle. I have trained myself to be concise. Is that really the best thing for a promotional post?

I'm asking, because I don't really know. My history in placing advertisements says to get to the point. In this endeavor, it isn't so obvious. A headline that says, “Buy My Book,” kind of does that. It just isn't sexy.

So my question today is where is the line? Blog readers are often skimmers, and the first paragraph should contain the message. Some readers will want a bit more. I'd like to hear from the readers out there, and some of the veteran writers. Where is the line?

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31 Comments

Filed under Writing

31 responses to “What have you done to me WordPress?

  1. I really think you kind of answered your own question there in the last paragraph. Try to have the most pertinent info in the first few paragraphs and more in depth details later. Otherwise, let me thank you for keeping posts concise, I appreciate that (seriously, I am a horrible skim reader). However, if you feel that a post deserves more words, go ahead and give it more words (that’s just my opinion).

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  2. I agree with Green Embers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, and a relevant question. You are right. The balance is difficult to achieve. But frankly, I agree with green embers in that you sorted it on your last paragraph. Important stuff and hooks first, but if you can keep to around 1000 words, so much the better. 🙂 fit the record, I’ve never found your posts unwieldy or overlong. 🙂

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  4. I think we’ve become an instant gratification world (sadly) and that often means getting your message across in short concise manner. A lot of people today don’t even want to read, they want video. I’m a hold out…I rarely watch vids and prefer reading to get my info.

    My experience with blog tours is that many hosting blogs will tell you how many words they want the post to be… usually between 500-800 in the case of a guest post (this doesn’t count your excerpt and blurb, bio, etc). The Q&A posts tend to go a lot longer.

    Here’s the thing…personally, I don’t care how long the post is as long as it holds my interest. Your posts are always great. You’ve got a knack for writing a post that makes people feel like they’ve been invited in for a comfy chat. I think you’ll be fine no matter what you do, but in the world of promotional posts (IMO) shorter is better.

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  5. As far as “Buy My Book” being a boring but too the point headline, I think there are a lot of exciting headlines that can also be brief and to the point. Focus on what the reader gets instead of what you want them to do. “You can finally buy Will O’ the Wisp!” “Will O’ the Wisp is here in time for your Spring Break (or Summer) Reading List!” Those are a bit longer, but they are promotional without being too sales-y (In My Opinion).

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  6. I keep my posts to the nuts and bolt however I see others ramble on and on and have a large following. I think short and sweet with all the buy links at the bottom is the way to do it.

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  7. I agree with Mae Clair on all counts. I try to keep posts at around 500 words, and I always look forward to your posts, Craig. Entertaining Stories is spot-on!

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  8. If you would like to participate, I have author interviews on my blog. Drop me a line.

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  9. I can’t stand “Buy my book”. It instantly makes me want to never read it, because I feel like I’m being ordered. Though you probably were kidding. I have to agree with the first comment, Green Embers. Sounds like you instinctively know what to do.

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  10. I have no idea where the line is. The line is where I lose interest…so it seems like it depends a lot on the content and the writer…

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  11. I tend to prefer shorter posts. The 500-800 word is ideal for me. Less and there is generally not enough substance, more and I might park it to read later and never get to it! Like many others, I follow so many blogs, too many really for the amount of time I have available for blog reading, so if I have a short time slot, I want to get several posts read in that time! Sometimes longer is definitely justified though.

    I don’t like promotional posts to seem like they are just there to sell. I know that’s obvious, but if I find the post entertaining, then that in itself is promoting the book without needing to throw the promotion aspect in my face! That’s why when I’ve interviewed authors on my blog, I’ve tried to make it funny and entertaining rather than just factual stuff about the book and the author.

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  12. I think you need to worry less about apologizing for selling your book, and just sell your book. You’re a writer… an author… a novelist. We all know that, and we love you anyway. If anyone unfollows you for promoting your work which you should be proud of, then they aren’t your target audience anyway. Keep up the awesome work! 😀 ❤

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