So what was the original plan, and how, if at all, has this blog in practice veered from its straight and narrow path?
The aim was simply to place the blog like a big smiley face on the landing-page of my website, so that visitors weren’t met by the same static monolith each and every time they chose to take a peek there. I’d done my research and had looked at a lot of sites. The basic Home-Page that never alters always struck me as uninviting. It certainly isn’t telling me 'if you enjoyed this post, come back some time and I’ll do my best to inform or entertain you again'.
And so there you have it - chicken and egg, or something along those lines: I created the website to market my books (then just one book) and created the blog to encourage people to keep coming back to my website. The book came first of course, but without the website and social media it would still remain my best kept secret.
I attempted to create the kind of blog I’d like to read myself. I’ve always found my limbs stiffening with a phenomenon mirroring the exact symptoms of rigor mortis when subjected to writers’ blogs that bleat on solely about different aspects of the ‘writing experience’. So, I try to make it constantly different: sometimes I’ll review a book, a film, or piece of theatre; occasionally I blog about a place I’ve visited; I might write about an artist I like; sometimes I tell a story. Of course now and again I do allow myself to plug my books Niedermayer & Hart and Roadrage - see, like that!
The stats suggest that I get around three to four thousand visitors a month, which is pretty amazing when you think my earliest goal back when I started at the end of 2011 was to get ten hits a day - for the first few months I did a post every ten days before committing to one a week. I also take a short blog holiday each summer.
Here are seven of my favourite posts (not in any specific order):
Aunty Dorothy and Squire Yorke
Do Not Go Gentle ...
To celebrate my hundredth birthday I thought I’d give away a signed copy of the trade paperbacks of Roadrage and Niedermayer & Hart. Simply get in touch through the contact form indicating which book you'd prefer, and I’ll put all the names in a hat, pick out the two winners and post them off to you. The offer is open to anyone wherever they may live.
So hope you have a go! Good luck! And here’s to the next hundred!
(winners names drawn in a week's time when new post appears!)