When I started working with Decades Review this past summer, we didn’t even have a blog. We’ve just recently started taking awkward baby steps into the world of blogging and it made me wonder if readers ever ask the question, “Why does a literary magazine’s blog matter?”
What’s the purpose of our blog?
The staff of DR, myself included, think about this quite a bit. Setting up a blog isn’t difficult, it only takes about five minutes to do and you can post content anytime you want. Blog experts tell us that there are all sorts of rules regarding how a blog works. It must be full of great content. You should only publish once or twice a week, never daily! There are many experts and many rules. I’m sure all of them are right.
But it can get a little bit confusing.
One of the big advantages we have here at DR is the diversity of our staff. Each of our staffers have a unique background with unique views on publishing. We all contribute in a variety of ways you don’t see noted in our masthead descriptions.
So here’s what we’re trying to do:
Be Friendly We’re aiming for a “sweet tea on the front porch and no where we need to be” kind of atmosphere. We take our work seriously here at DR but we want our readers and contributors to feel like they’re part of the family. We want to keep in touch, answer your questions and do anything we can to help you along with your writing endeavors. We care.
Take Off the Mask More often than not, there’s a poor relationship between publishers and their audience. We don’t want to be cloaked in secrecy. We want our audience to understand what we do and why we do it. By being open about how things operate and what our goals are, we should be able to have a better relationship with our audience. It’s strange, given how much publishers and audience need each other, that things are often combative. But, hey, humans are nuts. We’re good with that.
Offer a Helping Hand Our resources and time may be limited but if a reader, present or potential contributor ever asks for feedback or advice we won’t turn them away. There’s a wide range of writers voices who are never heard and we strive to highlight voices that are often ignored. At DR we want to see you grow and succeed. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide you with a platform to do so.
Be Distinct This one’s a bit weird because there isn’t just one person who posts on the blog. Whether it’s me, Connor, Josh or (possibly in the near future) a guest blogger there isn’t one specific person who is The Voice of our magazine. We like to think that our contributing authors set the tone of our publication.
We want our blog to be fun. It doesn’t always have to be silly but as long as we aim to fill it with “the good stuff” I think it will always be fun. For this reason, I tend to make my blog posts conversational in style. Connor has a more serious, yet charming tone of voice when he writes; his style makes you want to believe everything he tells you.
When we post, we don’t edit dozens of times. We’re not trying to be overly professional. The hope is simply that these read like friendly notes. We’re reaching out in an attempt to start a conversation and make you feel like you’re a part of the magazine, because you are. If it weren’t for you guys we wouldn’t be here.