Ask the Publisher: To Blog or Not To Blog
To Blog or Not to Blog? For most authors, the answer is “Yes.” As we discussed in my previous post, it’s a place on the internet where people can easily find you and regularly engage with you and your writing. It can be a part of the Content component of your author platform and lead people to your books. Here are a few benefits of blogging we didn’t consider in my previous post.
The Blog as Writing Exercise
A blog can also help you to develop a voice and practice writing. Blog posts need to follow a logical train of thought to express your ideas clearly. They are a helpful tool for learning about structure and finding ideas that resonate with you audience. They are a place to articulate your own feelings and emotions about a subject. And they are a good way to get faster feedback that you do with a book.
Because it (usually) takes a very long time to build a significant blog following (and there are definitely times when you will feel like a lone voice howling in the wilderness), it is an idea place to experiment with different writing styles and voices until you settle on the one that fits you like the proverbial glove.
The Blog as Content Marketing
Blogs are considered content marketing—wait! What on earth is content marketing?
Based on this definition, you blog could be a useful tool to promote and even sell your books⎯if you’re savvy enough to have a button on your blog posts linking to your book’s sales page!
The Blog as a Networking Tool
Blogging opens up a whole new world of networking. It is a way to connect with publishers, literary agents, other authors who blog and to create a world-wide community of like-minded people. A blog is a great way to set up two-way communication with your readers. A comments section allows people to communicate with you directly and fosters a group interaction as other readers weigh into the comments. It’s a lovely bit of human interaction for writers who frequently spend months writing a novel and in solitary splendor.
The Blog as Brand Management
Your blog is an extension of you and what you stand for. It gives your readers something to base their opinion of you on. You are able to manage their perception through your clear expression of your thoughts, ideas, and feelings and that’s a powerful start to building an enduring relationship. If you are willing to engage in a long game and write regular posts for years, it can be a significant asset to building your author platform.
The points above are a compelling argument for blogging but…
Blogging is not for Everyone
You might hate it.
And there are many legitimate reasons why blogging might give you the screaming horrors.
It requires a time commitment to post regularly and it might not seem worth it—especially during the ‘voice in the wilderness phase.'
Topics to blog about might not easily spring to mind (we will cover a number of ideas for blog content in my next post).
It’s not for every temperament.
It never hurts to try it because you might love it. And, if you really hate it, you have full permission to quit (I feel like I’m talking about eating your broccoli!) As we’ve discussed before, blogging is a nice-to-have page on your website. All you really need are the basic four pages we discussed previously. You get to choose.
To blog or not to blog, that is the question! Leave your thoughts on the subject in the comments below. I promise to answer every one.
Note; As of this week, Ask the Publisher will be moving to a Monday only schedule.