Saturday, March 26, 2016

Blogging Smarter by Narrowing Your Scope

by Jennifer Slattery @JenSlattery

Edie here. Today I'm excited to welcome back Jennifer Slattery. She has a new book, Breaking Free, and I'm sure you'll want to download the free sample and give it a test run. Jennifer is an expert blogger and has some valuable advice for authors.

Blogging Smarter by Narrowing Your Scope
It’s quite possible to wear oneself out writing numerous articles and blog posts with little to show for it. Though I was hitting my target readership, I didn’t realize my scope was too broad. My topics: Christian living, because, well, I guess I figured all women between the ages of 35-70 need daily encouragement. And that worked—for fiction. The problem is, I eventually want to break into the nonfiction arena as well.

I figured my fiction platform would bleed into a nonfiction one.

Not likely. At least, not unless I’m intentional to make this happen. The only problem was I’m already all over the Internet promoting my novels. How could I possibly add an entirely new genre to the mix? Did this mean maybe I should only stick with stories?

Nope. It meant I needed to blog smarter, doing what I can to use my efforts to promote my fiction to also build my nonfiction credibility. It wasn’t about writing more but rather about being intentional when I write.

I paused to consider the topics I want to cover and I realized, they largely fall into two categories: marriage and parenting. Therefore, this was what I needed to concentrate on.

For example, if I’m scheduled to guest on a friend’s blog, rather than simply writing about whatever Christian living topic that comes to mind, I narrow my theme to parenting or marriage. This way I’m accomplishing two things in one post—I’m promoting my latest release and I building a nonfiction readership.

This also means I’m limiting myself, but in a good way. Remember when I said my book ideas “largely” fell into two categories? That means some of my ideas reach beyond those categories, and though I love all my potential topics, I’ve realized I have to set some aside for later.

I need to focus on building a readership for one topic before I try to focus on another. Otherwise my efforts will be divided and defused. Right now, that means writing to moms and wives. In a year, maybe two, perhaps I’ll start writing to wounded women.

But for today, I’m narrowing my scope to broaden my reach.

What about you? What do you write? Do you know your target audience? Are you intentionally reaching them with every blog post and article you write, or are you running with whatever idea comes your way? How might narrowing your scope expand your efforts, and what can you do today to make that happen?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from each other.


Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New ope Publishers, Christian living articles for, and devotions for Internet CafĂ© Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Breaking Free

Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters.

Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?

Read a free, 33-page excerpt here:

Buy it:
See scene location pictures for Breaking Free on Pinterest


  1. Great insight. It reinforces my recent realization that I need to do the same. In my case, focus on blogging about new and exciting archaeological discoveries that shed light on the period of my historical novel...ancient Canaan. The non-fiction blogs will compliment and feed into my fiction blogs.

  2. Great idea, Maritha, and I love your name!

    That topic sounds intriguing! Have you discovered anything surprising? And tell me more about your novel.

  3. Thanks for your post, Jennifer. I've been dealing with a similar issue, only I'm going from non-fiction to fiction. :) Thank you for some valuable tips.


    MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA
    Truth through Fiction ®
    The Madonna of Pisano
    Surrender to Love
    A Christmas Homecoming

    When I write, I feel God’s pleasure.

    1. Hi, MaryAnn,

      I'm so glad you found today's post helpful. What genre of fiction are you trying to break in to? It's awesome that you already have a platform from your nonfiction work--a springboard to jump from. :) Best of luck!

  4. Great post, and something I've been thinking about a lot this year.

    I've attempted to narrow the focus of my blog, but it hasn't worked the way I wanted. It's still too broad. How did you narrow your scope? What questions did you ask yourself (or someone else ask you)?

    1. Hi, Ginger. Great question. Well, for me it was pretty clear as I have specific topics I'd like to write nonfiction books on. When I looked at my topics as a whole, I realized they fell into one of two categories--marriage and parenting. I also had a helpful conversation with my agent; her questions as we talked help me recognize my primary focus. I would suggest pick one or two topics you're most passionate about or knowledgeable in and focus on those.

    2. Thanks. I'm not particularly interested in nonfiction, so... I guess I'll just have to have a good talk with God and make some tough decisions.

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  6. I enjoyed your post, Jennifer! I write historical fiction and feel overwhelmed with blogging and perhaps this is why - I think I've limited my subject matter, but not really :o) I am thinking of switching to a weekly or bi-monthly newsletter instead, and guest blogging on historical fiction focused blogs. Do you think a newsletter is ever a good replacement for a fiction writer who struggles to keep up her blog?

    1. Hi, Rebecca,

      Edie miggt want to weigh in on this, but I would suggest to focus on what you can do with quality (as our writing in any form is like a resume or sales pitch to our readers and potential readers). :) You can also have guest bloggers, which would reduce your work load greatly. I would suggest you keep a designated site up, however, so people can find you online.

    2. Sorry, I'm on my phone on a plane. "Might."

  7. Wow. This hit home for me because I've been blogging "encouragement for Christian living" I, too, tend to focus more on parenting and family life. I plan to stay tuned into those topics more consistently. My most popular posts are on Christian wedding planning and preparing for marriage. But I really want to blog more about raising strong and courageous children so I'll have to figure how all that will work. Thanks for a great article!