In addition to finalizing the new theme for my social media blog which will soon rejoin the world of the living, I launched a new site today. This is an author website for the pseudonym I’ll be using for writing mystery fiction.
The new pen name is Aria Klein. You can check out the new site / blog at AriaKlein.com if you have an interest in reading or writing mysteries or if you want to learn more about the Murder Script series I’m working on.
In other news, two related sites (which you’ll see linked on the new author site) will launch soon:
- MurderScripts.com — The site for the Murder Script novel series and murder mystery party games that I’ll release later this summer
- QuickMystery.com — A mystery blog featuring rougher short stories and works-in-progress that might later be expanded and more professionally published
Be sure to stop by and say hi. And if you’re interested in keeping in touch on these topics, feel free to follow me on Twitter @AriaKlein.Read More
Blogging is a large part of my business model. And that means I develop blogs on and off, pretty much all the time. Some pull their weight in the long run so I keep them. Some are sold or merged with other sites. Some just waste away. The one constant is new blog development. Finding new Web publishing markets is a big part of my business growth.
Now is one of those times when I’m more focused on development than pretty much anything else. I have several blogs being developed:
- A new author site and blog for one pen name (used for mystery writing)
- A new author site and blog for another pen name (used for writing in another genre)
- A new blog in a high income niche I’m working on with a partner
- A new blog / expert exchange / Q&A site for authors doing research for their books
- A new blog that will feature short mystery stories to help build that author platform
- A new fun blog that may later become the basis for a book
- A new blog for the mystery novel series I’m writing
- A new professional site and blog I’m helping someone else develop
In general I don’t mind blog development work. I can turn around a new blog in a few hours assuming no problems with the base design or add-on features. And it can be really exciting to launch a new site. But it can also be a bit monotonous when you’re developing several at once. And that’s the issue I’ve been facing lately — blog development overload.
It’s the little things that make me want to pull my hair out — doing the blog and theme installations, the plugin installations, customizing the WordPress settings, etc. It isn’t difficult by any means. It’s just booooooring. I keep on plugging away and I know I’ll get through it all over the next few weeks solely because I’m driven to get to the launch phase — the writing, the marketing, the fun stuff.
Do you ever experience something similar, where the administrative side of blog development (or anything in your business really) weighs you down a bit? What do you do to motivate yourself to get through it so you can get back to the aspects of your work you enjoy more?Read More
Sometimes I really suck as a blogger. My biggest fault is probably that I let projects sit by the wayside from time to time. Sure, there are blogs I let go because they aren’t working. Others are merged as a part of a larger marketing plan. And some are sold off when they have potential but I don’t have the time or ambition to deal with them personally any more.
Every now and then something else happens. A blog I enjoy writing for goes quiet. I intend to keep the blog. It still suits my business goals. But something happens that leads me to stop posting. It might be that I’m distracting writing a book or e-book. Or maybe a more important blog needed more attention. And no blog has taken a beating quite like my social media blog – SocialRealist.com (formerly NakedPR.com).
When the blog was still NakedPR there was good reason for rest. It was an emotionally draining site. And a later break also made sense. I quit PR consulting (although still do PR writing), and decided that the brand didn’t work anymore. I always talked about social media there, but then I only wanted to talk about social media. So until the rebrand was finished, it went dark again.
I don’t really have an excuse this time. I was trying to figure out the best direction for the blog. I prefer keeping it mostly to commentary. But I’ve toyed with increasing tutorials. And I’m still pretty torn. So the blog just sits there.
The plan is to revive it today based on some recent discussion in the comments there. But I don’t know if it will be enough to motivate me to keep it active. I’m going to try — aiming for one post per week for now. If that doesn’t work, maybe I’ll just make it an infrequent blog, with posts going up bi-weekly. But no matter how good my intentions are for this site, they don’t seem to work out. And I’m not sure why. Maybe I just don’t “feel” this branding the way I did under NakedPR. Or maybe I’m just sick of all the bullshit spewed by so-called “social media experts” who have been at this for the professional equivalent of two days. I don’t know. But I’m going to give it at least one more go and see what happens.
What do you do if one of your blogs goes without updates for a while? Are you likely to forget about it, or try to revive it? Do you struggle with a particular blog and motivation to keep it going? I know I’m not the only one. So share your thoughts and stories in the comments below if you’d like to.Read More
I’ve talked about challenges for indie authors using pen names before (namely DBA issues because you’re the business owner as opposed to the publisher playing that role). I’m about to face another one — developing a new author website.
I’m a big believer in having author websites, because author PR can be more important than book PR when it comes to long-term sustainable sales. That said, I’ll have both — an author site and a site for the first series. The series site is easy. The author site, not so much. Why? Because I can’t list any of my usual credentials under my pen name.
For nonfiction this isn’t an issue. I write under my real name. My platform is built. I have a decent-sized audience. I have educational and professional credentials to back up my books. That’s not the case for fiction. AK (what I’ll refer to my pen name as here for now) is like a brand new person. She doesn’t have my same credentials, and even if she did they wouldn’t help much when it comes to writing mystery novels.
I also don’t want to lie. When the author site is up, I won’t hide behind it. You’ll know the pen name. So I don’t want to lie and say AK has done x, y, and z, when really it was Jenn Mattern doing those things. You can’t verify it if you come to know me under the AK “brand.” And that makes building a credible author website just a little bit tougher.
I have a plan to get around it. I’ll have new products and sites launched to help AK build a following all her own. Then instead of saying I’ve been working as a writer since 1999, I can at least say that I run other mystery-related sites (like QuickMystery.com and eMurderMystery.com, both being developed under that pen name). On one hand I feel like I’m forced to start over. It’s tough, but I think it’s also good for me. I get to take all of the things I teach other new writers and put them to work for myself all over again. I get to do things a better way this time around. I get to avoid the mistakes I made the first time. And that all starts with this new author site.Read More
I’ve worked hard over the last few weeks on launch preparations for two new websites. While unrelated to each other, they both focus on topics I’m passionate about — indie publishing and genealogy. The blogs are live now pre-launch so check them out! Here’s a bit of background:
All Indie Publishing
AllIndiePublishing.com covers professional indie publishing. It will cover both print and e-publishing. It will emphasize a professional process with high editorial standards — not a “slap something on paper and send it to a POD publisher” approach.
It will feature a lot on the book marketing and PR side given my background in those areas for creative professionals, including authors. It will feature interviews with people involved in various aspects of indie publishing. We’ll talk about writing your book, hiring the right editors to help you improve your product, and how to handle the business of being an author — from production to promotion. It will also have a more personal element, covering my own adventures in indie publishing, from my biggest mistakes in my years as an e-publisher to my work in bringing my first print book — The Query-Free Freelancer — to market.
Climb Your Family Tree
Climb Your Family Tree is a genealogy blog. I’ve been an avid amateur genealogist for 15 years, and it’s probably my biggest passion outside of my work as a writer. This blog will share my own stories of the interesting things I’ve learned over the years (and the frustration that I sometimes felt when trying to break through the brick walls of government records).
The site will also serve as a resource for others with an interest in researching their family history. I’ll release free forms and templates that they can use. I’ll share research tips. I’ll review software options tailored to amateur genealogists like myself. And over time I hope to incorporate my own search tools into the site or possibly develop new simple software options for the niche.
Well, that’s what I’ve been working hard on the last few weeks. And I’m thrilled to announce their launch. It may still be a day early, but you can at least check out the introductions. New content begins going up tomorrow.Read More