Build It and They Will Come, but Only if You keep Feeding Fresh Words to the Monster
November 30, 2012
I have always been hooked by the mystical message from Field of Dreams.
I love baseball. I love the past. I love the voice brought by the winds across the cornfield that said, Build it and they will come.
I believed. That’s all I have to do, I thought. Build it, and they will come.
I was wrong.
The voice from Field of Dreams lied.
You have to get up in the morning and build it again. Every day, you must build it again. And always from scratch.
Stephen Woodfin, my cohort in crime, and I began Caleb and Linda Pirtle under the assumption that we could create a beautiful site, write a couple of blogs now and then, send out a few Tweets each day, plaster our names on Facebook, and the world of book buyers would beat a path to our door.
The book buyers always take a long time finding the path. They take even longer to hike that considerable distance it to our door.
Rusty Shelton, Amber Gray, turned McGinty, and the design team at Shelton Interactive, did indeed build us a beautiful site, elegant to look at and easy to navigate.
You have to blog, Rusty said from day one.
How often, we asked.
Every day, he said.
Do you have any idea what makes a Website work, Rusty said.
Content, he said. New, fresh content.
New, fresh content.
So we began feeding the monster. And the monster grew.
Stephen and I were fortunate to find some talented indie writers from coast to coast to provide fresh new content, whether it is traditional blogs or the serialization of their novels.
We are blessed to regularly present the creative and imaginative thoughts of such fine writers as John Crawley, Jory Sherman, Bert Carson, Christina Carson, Jack Durish, Lana Lynne, Gay Ingram, Jo VonBargen, R. S. Guthrie, Jim Ainsworth, Julia Robb, Judith Gotwald, Frank C. Etier, Kathryn (Bob) Etier, Maryann Miller, Don Newbury, Linda Pirtle, Jenny McCutcheon, Mae Clair, Patty Wiseman, Maria Granovsky, Darlene Jones, Leslie Moon and David Atkinson. And that doesn’t count the dozen or more featured guest bloggers whose names and though-provoking words appear on a semi-regular basis, led by the Pulitzer Prize winning Robert B. Lowe, Steve Placente, Rayne Hall, Judith Walnoha, Grady Woodfin, and Sara Marie Hogg. After a while, our list of outstanding writers and authors begins to resemble a small town telephone book.
Stephen and I manage to each write somewhere between one to three blogs a day, and all we can hear, hour after hour, is the sound of the Website munching, crunching, and demanding more.
As Stephen wrote in a blog a week or so ago, one of our blogs got hot and knocked down the door at StumbleUpon and introduced Caleb and Linda Pirtle to a population that did not know we existed. Well, in reality, that’s a lie. One of Stephen’s blogs got hot and kicked the door open.
Suddenly, we were receiving thousands of visits day.
Build it and they will come.
But they come only because there are eight to ten new blogs running every day of the week, offering a variety of subjects: serials, short stories, tips for writers, ideas for marketing and promotions, the art of publishing, historical portraits of the past, inspirational stories that warm the heart and soul, columns that make you smile, doorways to travel throughout the world.
So today, we built it, and the thousands came. When midnight strikes, those thousands don’t count anymore. They are history. The analytical numbers are back to zero again.
Tomorrow we build again. Tomorrow we hope they find us again.
In the meantime, Stephen and I keep throwing the words – our word and everybody else’s words – into the bottomless pit of the monster, and the monster never sleeps.
Come to think of it, neither do we.