A week or so ago I wrote a post – To blog or not to blog about writing. I left off that post wondering if it really matters what we blog about. How effective are blogs?
DGLM posted: Is blogging worth it? In it they reference Livia Blackburne ‘s posts where she compliments John Locke on his system. That more of us should be reaching our readers like that. Truly, his methods are genius. (But I don’t think genius can be copied and have the same outcomes.) So…
I say yes. Blogging is effective.
And no. Blogging is not effective.
Because, well, we have to know why we started blogging in the first place. You can only judge the success and failure of something based on pre-set measurable goals.
Possible reasons to blog:
- We are extremely passionate about, let’s say, making snowmen out of marshmallows. Or about writing.
- We want to appear professional to the publishing industry when they Google us, maybe, possibly, at some point in our journey. Hopefully, right?
- All writers do it so we should too. (Okay, probably not the best reason.)
- We want to tap in and connect to the writing community.
- We want to support our fellow authors by promoting their books.
- We want to reach our potential readers and sell zillions of books.
Okay, blogging is much bigger and about a lot more than just reaching potential readers outside of the writing world. (Feel free to disagree.)
And I heard to be effective in reaching readers and making a real impact in sales, then thousands of people should be reading your blog. Or a blog post needs to go viral and reach thousands of people who then buy your book. But will an active blog help show an acquisitions editor that you have a platform? Yes. That you are willing to promote your book and put yourself out there? Yes. And that might make a difference – if they love your writing.
Have I ever bought a book based on someone’s blog? (Outside of friendship.)
Yes and no. In most cases I “knew” the blogger first or just loved the premise and cover of their book.
Have I bought a book based on buzz through the blogosphere but not necessarily because of the author’s blog or website?
Yes. Almost every book I purchase is from online buzz – usually through friends of the author. But it is almost always something I would want to read anyways.
Have non-writers bought books because of an author’s website or super-emotionally charged blog post?
Probably. But I’m going to say that’s more likely to happen in the world of adult literature.
So, what should you do? Should you even be blogging?
That’s totally up to you. I’ve connected to other writers. Found beta readers. Learned about agents and editors and the industry. Processed what I’m learning through blogging. Found encouragement and inspiration. And the list goes on. It has been an extremely beneficial experience for me.
Blogging is not a guarantee that you will connect with an agent or sell lots of books.
Blogging is not a guarantee that you will connect with zillions of readers – no matter what you blog about.
Writing a page-turning fantastic story full of depth and heart will sell lots of books. And that magic thing called word of mouth? We can’t control. And that, my friends, has nothing to do with blogging.
So all I can say for sure is that you should be spending the majority of your time writing and learning the craft of writing – not blogging or on Twitter.
Has blogging been effective for you? Any thoughts?
(I’m not an expert nor claim to be. The opinions in this blog post are based on my observations. I see writers hit the bestseller list because they got a huge promotional push from their publishers, because they had a great high concept idea that hit the market at the right time. And they knew how to write. And not all of them started with a butt-kicking blog first. You do the math.)