In September, 2008, I began my first and primary blog, Catholic Writer’s Notebook, as a testing ground for some of the topics I planned to include in my manuscripts for publication. When, in January,2011, I actually published one of my manuscripts as an eBook on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and smashwords.com, the experience was so exhilarating that I decided to share it with fellow or aspiring eBook authors on the weblog which you now are reading.
Becoming a blogger, like becoming an author, is fraught with challenges. The blogosphere is a very crowded place. Even in my niche of Catholic life and spirituality, there are, at least, close to 2,400 active blogs; many of which posted by 194 Catholic dioceses and archdioceses, 126 of their Catholic newspapers, well-known Catholic authors, Catholic magazines and major publishers or retailers of Catholic books —all with a built-in following. How can some poor schlemiel with nothing but a penchant for writing religious books in the Roman Catholic tradition compete for their attention?
There are many competitive blogs, developed by pros who know the ins and outs of HTML, traffic-building search engine optimization (SEO), source code validation, Technorati ratings, etc. In order to compete with them, I have to concentrate on learning these things, too, if I want to make my blogs effective selling tools for my eBooks, and vice versa. After all, if I want the Holy Spirit to drive web traffic to my blogs and eBooks, it might be helpful if I gave Him something to work with. (Not that He needs it, but I’m sure that He expects me to do my part.)
Registering for placement in Catholic blog directories (e.g., CatholicBlog.com and StBlogsParish.com) is an important first step for spreading the word in my niche. For those who search for Catholic topics on these sites, they are a great opportunity to present my posts every time they search for a topic covered on one of my blogs. So, also, is registering for indexing on the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.).
Right now, I’m getting back into reading about blogging. I’ve dusted off the covers of such books in my library as Problogger by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett, Getting Noticed on Google by Ben Norman, Blogging for Dummies by Susannah Garner and Shane Birley and, of course, WordPress for Dummies by Lisa Sabin-Wilson, with a view to making my blogs better traffic builders to my ebook pages on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and smashwords.com.
I’ll update you with progress reports as I go along. In the meantime, keep watching on my two sites: