Meeting People, Making Friends


So now you have a blog (and if you don’t, then why not? See my previous column, “To Blog, Or Not To Blog”). What do you do now?

Your immediate instinct might be to start trumpeting the horns and shouting from the rooftops: I HAVE A BLOG! But I advise restraint. For one thing people coming to your little piece of cyberspace promotion or other fun stuff will find almost nothing there, and two, you should get comfortable running your blog before trying to get people to look it. Don’t worry about your cool stuff possibly vanishing into the archives, because when you get your audience they will explore all your nooks and crannies.

So a gearing-up period is recommended. How long naturally depends on you and your commitment, your dedication. After you’re comfortable with the style and maintenance of your blog, then it’s time to start telling folks about it. One of the easiest ways is to add a link to your site in the footer of your emails, the same with any forum posts you might do. Friends, of course, should be told when you have your blog up and running, plus any writer circles you might run in.

But one of the best ways to get the word out is to reach out to sites similar to yours. Offer a link exchange, which means you put a link to them on your site and they do the same to yours. You can do this easily by sending out emails with a link exchange offer—which is another reason why you should always put your email address on your site (as mentioned), so people can reach out to you, too. A nice gesture, by the way, is to publicly thank people who agree to reciprocal linking. Yes, that means thank them on your blog, and link to their site when you mention them.

That’s how you make friends, which is what this is all about. Being an erotica writer is all too often a lonely and thankless, if not brutal way of life: no money, little respect, not much recognition, lots of psychological bruising if not outright scarring—the least we can do is try to be nice to one another, to show a little support and kindness to fellow writers, and most of all yourself.

The huge swell of writers, the ongoing collapse—or at best, restructuring—of traditional publishing, and the general economic turmoil have made many people insecure, arrogant, and pointlessly competitive, making a difficult situation needlessly worse. So, writers and bloggers, please try and be part of a solution and not the problem. Be kinder and more courteous than the majority of self-absorbed publicity machines out there. Set an example.

Your blog, believe it or not, can help. Work to make it part of a community and not just a platform for self-aggrandizing. Reach out to people not just for links and traffic numbers but to make real connections: it’s not just a friendly thing to do but connections, especially these days, are tremendously important—no one can afford to let any opportunity pass them by.

And try to offer help to people who need it. My Frequently Felt blog is an example: I’ve opened it up to all kinds of people deserving of attention—artists, writers, you name it. While I do post my own stuff there, I usually reserve most of my promo stuff for my pro site at I’ve made some good connections through this site (and Meine Kleine Fabrik as well) but more importantly I’ve made friends, really good friends, that have made the hard life of being a writer much easier, and whom I sincerely hope I’ve helped in return.

You can also help make the blogosphere a better place by not doing something. Stop giving exposure to people who don’t need it. It’s very easy to try and curry favor by linking to ‘celebrity’ writers, hoping for some attention in return. I’m not immune: I used to do the same thing myself. But then I began to get really frustrated: why should I give attention to someone who ignores my friendly emails, who is clearly playing a much more aggressive game of giving attention to even bigger ‘names,’ and who never seems to do anything but rave about their own successes? What I guess I’m saying is reward kindness, support, and understanding—not just fame—when you’re working on your own community.

One of the simplest things you can do to build your blog is to be responsive: post comments on other people’s blog posts and email them when you mention them in your own. If someone writes you, for any reason (well, aside from spam), write them back, even if it’s just a simple “thanks but no thanks.” If someone comments on your blog, thank them with an email or another comment. It makes me angry to hear other writers talk about deleting emails when their inbox gets too full—or even, in weird cases, feeling an sense of superiority in not answering messages. As I just mentioned, opportunities are few and far between, and can come from very unusual directions: today’s friendly comment might be tomorrow’s friend, and then a publishing deal sometime down the road. The reverse is true: will you reach out to people with your new, big, book project who don’t answer your messages, who ignore everyone but themselves, or will you invite your friends, or at least people who treat you with simple respect?

Expect more on this topic next month but hopefully this will get you thinking about your blog, your site, and where you want to go with it. As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to write me at—and I promise to write back.

M. Christian
February 2009

“Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker” © 2009 M. Christian. All rights reserved.

Pin It on Pinterest