Monday, May 26, 2008

Why Blog?

© 2008
By C.L. Beck

Have you ever wondered why some people have two or three ... or ten ... blogs? I have. In fact, I've wondered if they were nuts. Or at least a sandwich shy of a picnic.

The other day, quite by accident, I discovered something about blogs. Search engines love them.

You don't need to be a computer scientist to know what that means. Well, maybe you do. So, just in case you're like me and you'd rather think about why the sun might explode in its last days as a dying star than to think about why search engines love blogs, I'll try to explain.

There is all this stuff about pings (no, not ping-pong) and spidering (no, not the bugs with eight legs) and technical fru-frau. But basically, search engines find blogs and if your name is in or on one, that goes into its memory. Then, when your name is put into a search box, the engine says, "Ah, ha!" goes to its files and pulls the name of your blogs, along with anything else connected to your name.

Now are you seeing the big picture? The more blogs you own and write, the more often your name can be flagged by a search engine. Free PR! It's something every author loves.

Would you like to know a slick trick? Think about your name and then open several blogs that are variations on that name. Why? Because it insures that others won't be using that name for their blogs. For example, variations on my name are ByTheBecks (my website name), C. Lynn Beck, and C.L. Beck. Here's how I set up a blog page for each variation.

ByTheBecks: Is titled, ByTheBecks: Write Up My Alley 2, and is at http://bythebecks.blogspot.com/.

C. Lynn Beck: Is titled, C. Lynn Beck, and is at http://clynnbeck.blogspot.com/

C.L. Beck: Is titled, C.L. Beck, and is at http://authorclbeck.blogspot.com/

Case in point about someone else having your name—you'll notice that the URL for C.L. Beck is authorclbeck. I didn't really want the word "author" in there, but someone had already taken the name C.L. Beck and so that was the best I could do.

At this point, you're probably thinking, "That's nice for you, but how am I going to have the time to blog at each of them, every day? I'll have a brain meltdown!" You don't have to—there's no law that says you have to blog in a specified way. You can decide to write once a week, once a month or whatever works for you. The only thing you need do is to tell your readers how often you plan to blog there, and then make sure you follow through.

There's also another alternative. You can use one to actually blog, and put a notice up at the others directing your readers to find your thoughts at the other link.

Before I started blogging, my name seldom showed up on a search engine. Now that I blog in several places, it appears all the time. I've had my own website for years, but never had great success at getting my name pulled up by the search engines until I started blogging.

Sites like blogspot.com have made it easy to set up your own blog page. And when I say easy, I mean your average person can do it without pulling out their hair or threatening to blow up their computer.

Blogging is a great way to gain an Internet presence. And that's something publishers look for in an author—so get your name out there!

4 comments:

C. L. Hanson said...

That's funny, I'd thought you'd switched to "C. Lynn" in order to differentiate yourself from "C. L. Pearson" and "C. L. Hanson". A move which would be a tad ironic... ;^)

Is your first name also Carol? If so, I think we should totally form a "Carol Lynn the Mormon author" club. ;^)

C.L. Beck said...

CL,
No, my first name isn't Carol. I think it's ironic, though, that there are so many CLs out there.

I guess there are only so many names in the world, so they're bound to be repeated ... unless parents start naming their kids things like, "TreeStump" and "BirdDroppings". :)

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I could not agree more! You've got to establish an Internet presence as early in your career as you can.

C.L. Beck said...

Tristi,
Yes, I agree--the internet is the big, FREE way for authors to gain exposure.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.