I had the opportunity to attend BEA (Book Expo America) this afternoon for a few hours–I was so lucky to be able to go, as the event takes place every year in NYC and it’s not easy for many people to make it here. It’s held in a GIANT exhibit hall, where nearly all the major presses, bookstores, and distributors comes out from all over the world. There are signings with authors (a friend saw Stephen King yesterday and Joe got to meet Ian McEwan today), giveaways, and tons of free swag. There are also panels. While I didn’t have too much time to explore (I only had access to a badge for a couple of hours), I did attend a panel on social media…which Joe happened to be speaking on. All bias aside, it was a really great panel! While I don’t do much with social media for my job right now, I know I will use it in the future, and it definitely applies to my blog.
One of the things that Joe said that really resonated with me is that analytics and stats can only show you what you’ve done that already works–they can’t show you how to go beyond that. I think that’s a trap that I get caught in all the time–I get discouraged by the numbers and I get caught in a rut of not believing it’s worth the time or effort to expand the blog. But as long as I still enjoy creating the content, why not go the extra mile and try new things, find new readers, engage the audience more?
A crucial part of that, according to the panel, is scheduling posts and keeping track of ideas for content. I am really bad at doing that. I tend to post on the fly, whenever I can squeeze in a little bit of time, usually about any random topic that occurs to me that day. The blog could be so much more substantial if I took the time to keep track of ideas and implement them in advance! My friend Raquel sent me a link to printable blog planning pages–I can’t wait to print them out and get brainstorming! It’s such a great idea!
Do any of you blog or work on other creative projects where you feel stalled or get in self-destructive ruts? Do you use any kind of scheduling or other methods to combat that? What are your secrets?