The Mesdames of Mayhem: How long has your blog been running?
Melodie: Ten years this month! Wow.
The Mesdames: Why did you start blogging?
Melodie: My first novel publisher was a big fan of social media, and put me on the right track. “Get out there,” she said. But it goes back farther than that.
I had a humour column in a newspaper and trade mag in the ’90s, and came out of it with at least 200 comedy publications. Starting a blog was a perfect place to republish those columns, and I did so for many years. Some of my following from the old comedy days (I wrote standup and did some performing) found me on Blogspot and passed the word around.
The Mesdames: What are the subjects you love to blog about?
Melodie: My books are comedies, so it makes sense that my blog would be humorous posts. My old newspaper columns were mainly general comedy, very much like Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry. These days, I write a lot of funny pieces on the writing life.
The Mesdames: How often do you post and why?
Melodie: Until last year, I posted once a week. Yes, once a week for 9 years! That’s a lot of posts. In late 2018, my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and I had to step back my weekly posting to monthly. It was a tough year after his death; I cannot tell you how long it took for me to find my voice again. But Bad Girl is back to writing comedy, and I will be posting some of my old stuff on there starting this month.
The Mesdames: What were your most satisfying posts?
Melodie: No question, my zanier posts get the biggest response. I love when readers appreciate my somewhat loopy sense of humour.
The Mesdames: Please share some stats with us.
I’m nearing 200,000 hits. These days, I get about 1,000 per post. Readers are from all over the world: North America, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Estonia, Russia, The Emirates, China, India… I have an international following because I started the Bad Girl blog when my first book, Rowena Through the Wall came out. That fantasy series did very well in Germany, and I picked up followers there.
The Mesdames: What feedback have you had from your blog readership?
Mainly, keep the comedy coming! But one thing I’d like to mention: I’m among the number of early bloggers who are unclear as to exactly how important our blogs are for our book sales. The theory is that people who read our blogs also buy our books. Or…people find their way to our books through the blog. Indeed, I know a lot of Bad Girl Blog readers also enjoy my Goddaughter comedy capers.
What we DON’T know is how sensitive blogging is to sales. For instance, blogging is a lot of work, we all admit. If I were to stop, would my book sales go down? I have no idea, and neither do my other early blogger friends, like Anne R. Allen. So, we’re kind of afraid to stop.
The Mesdames: What blog post over the years has had the most reads?
Melodie: Probably: I AM NOT A SEXY PORN GIRL (and other Twitter Mishaps)
Plus: NEVER MARRY A CRIME WRITER
Also can’t forget: Books I will Never Write: DINO PORN
Loopy, as I mentioned. I’ll be repeating those ones on the blog in June.
The Mesdames: What advice would you give authors starting a blog for the first time?
Melodie: I think you have to have an angle. You have to offer something that isn’t currently out there. My angle was comedy, and that fit with my books just fine. So the people who came to my blog were the sort who would appreciate the wacky humour in my Rowena and Goddaughter books.
The Mesdames: How long does it take you on average to craft a blog posting?
For me, I’m writing a column, just like I would for a newspaper. I’m a trained columnist. Opening, three subject points, twist ending, usually. In about 500-700 words. Comedy takes time. What reads easy doesn’t write easy. I go over and over it, playing with words, honing it to the sharpest. If I had to guess, I would say 8 hours in total per column.
The Mesdames: Do you believe that running a blog is time well spent?
For me, it has been. I am not so sure you can get this sort of following if you start now, however. Cyberspace is much more crowded now than it was ten years ago. It’s noisy out there!