Over the past few months, I have been hearing a lot from other authors about the need for a blog. Some believe that it’s just not worth it; that they are better off staying with social networks like Facebook, or that it takes too much time and effort, which would be better put towards writing. I understand their reasoning as I’ve been there before. I’ve been blogging on and off now for eight years and I’ve often wondered why I even bother. However, over that same length of time I have been reading popular blogs within the writing community and books on the subject. Recently I also attended some social media courses, including one on blogging.
Here are five reasons why I believe new writers should seriously consider blogging:-
1. Blogging Helps Create Your Own Community
A blog helps you to break out of your comfort zone and puts your writing ‘out there’. Readers of your blog, whether they are other writers, bloggers or future book readers become a part of your community. As a solitary pursuit, it’s comforting to know that you are communicating with others and forming friendships. Years ago, I joined a blog hop community that has since folded, but I have remained friends with people I met back then (some of whom have become my beta readers). More recently I have joined the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, another blog hop, and have made some new friends. Because you’ve created a community, when you are ready to publish your books, you’ll already have their support to cheer you on and help spread the word (and word of mouth sells books more than anything else).
2. A Blog Secures Your Place on the Internet
Don’t rely too much on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter when trying to secure your place on the internet. They have a tendency to change things and may even become obsolete in years to come. Having your own space on the internet is safer. Just like having your own website, you control your blog’s content, how it looks, etc. Claim your piece of internet real estate by buying your domain name. Not only does it help you get your name out there, it also proves you are serious when it comes to your writing future.
3. Blogging Allows You to Focus on Your Genre/Niche
I have found that as a fiction writer, blogging helps me to focus on my writing genre and can write blog posts accordingly. Blogging about your genre/niche helps to ‘test the waters’. Is your genre popular? Are your readers interested in your research? By focusing on your genre/niche, you are also focusing on your target audience and what appeals to them.
4. Blogging Helps You Get Used to Working to Deadlines
Whether you plan to publish traditionally or self-publish, you need to get used to working to deadlines. When you blog, you need to set yourself to a schedule and preferably it needs to be one which suits you (even once a week is acceptable). When you have subscribers, your readers rely on you to be consistent, so you need to be someone they can trust. Getting used to deadlines now will help you when the time comes to publish your first book. Google counts attendance, so the more you blog, the more your name gets out there.
5. Blogging Gets You Writing
My husband once told me blogging is not writing. I scratched my head on that one until I realised that what he meant to say was I always wanted to be a fiction writer, not a blogger. That’s true, however, blogging is still writing and it helps to test out our writing skills. Experimenting and trying different writing styles helps to make you a better writer. It may even lead to a different career path!
As you can see, creating a blog makes a lot of sense. The trouble I think some writers have is that they don’t know what to write about. I’ve had this problem too, but when you really stop to think about it, there are plenty of things to blog about (Anne R Allen has a helpful post to get you started). And when this happens, blogging becomes less of a chore and can be a lot of fun. And isn’t this what writing is all about? 🙂
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While we’re on the subject of blogging, I have been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award. It took me completely by surprise, so many thanks goes to Ronel the Mythmaker for thinking that my blog is worthy enough! It’s been a long time since I’ve had a blog award, so I appreciate the recognition.
“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates, it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.
I have also been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award. To receive two awards in a matter of weeks comes as another pleasant surprise. It’s a recognition of all the work that goes into blogging (and yes, at times it can become consuming), so many thanks to Adam! It’s good to know that our blogging efforts are appreciated.
The Vesatile Blogger Award was created to feature and recognise blogs that have unique content, high quality writing and fantastic photos. The webpage about the Versatile Blogger Award says:
Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.
Receiving these two awards goes to show that blogging is not always a complete waste of time. Others recognise our efforts and appreciate what we do. Blogging may not be for everyone and we don’t know until we try. But if we are consistent, make it fun and make friendships along the way, then blogging can be an enormous benefit to us as writers in the long run.
Do you blog and if so, what has been the best part of blogging for you? Do you dislike blogging and what don’t you like about it? Do you think blogging takes too much time away from our ‘real’ writing? How do you balance writing with blogging?
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14 thoughts on “Why New Writers Should Consider Blogging.”
I think the thing I most enjoy about blogging is a subset of your larger point about community. I love the conversations. I often crave really in depth conversations, but struggle to find people who have the interest and familiarity with a specific subject to share such a conversation.
In many ways I think of blog posts like the first part of a conversation between myself and someone else who clearly has something to say. Through posts and comments I’m able to share in a dialogue with someone that I might not otherwise be able to converse with, and I think that’s pretty remarkable.
I think your point about securing your place on the internet is well made, and while places like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit offer a larger audience, they also offer a lot of competition. On your site, you control what content is posted, and for the most part all the “related material” is more of your content, whereas those communal sites feature links and adds to a variety of user generated content.
I also can’t help but remember how often writers at panels and in interviews recommended that writers starting out create lots of shorter pieces, proponing that creating several short stories would teach a writer more than writing one novel.
And I agree that it’s a good way to practice working within a schedule and meeting deadlines, not to mention it provides audiences with another way to continue enjoying your writing. The time between book publications can be long, but in the interim audiences can entertain themselves with blog posts.
Even more than self-publishing, I feel that blogging represents an incredibly open opportunity for anyone to put their words in front of an audience. It can be a slow road, but it’s one that grants the author a great deal of leeway.
Hi Adam. I agree what you say about conversations on blogs. It’s good to get other people’s opinions, see different points of view and they can sometimes be very helpful. I’m one of those writers that enjoy writing the short story form (just finished my longest short at around 8,000) words. Like a blog post, they’re quicker to write, you can experiment, the writing is tighter and you don’t have to wait so long on feedback. Both book publication and blogging can take time, but at least while you’re waiting on publication, with blogging you’re creating and entertaining a ready made audience. Thanks for commenting! 🙂
That’s often the name of the game. You have one being submitted, a draft in the works, and an idea growing in your mind. I often feel an odd disconnect, since I’m often receiving feedback on a project long after my mind has moved on to the next.
That’s true. At least by working on other projects, it gives us a chance to see our submissions in a whole new light. 🙂
I also like to rationalize that if my piece gets rejected “Well, that’s not my best work anymore. I’ve grown…in the days since I sent in that story.”
I SO agree with that.
Thanks corsscountrylifeblog and thanks for stopping by! 🙂
No problem, I enjoyed your blog and I will definitely be back soon!
Nice to meet and reading your blog. This help me more. You write topic that open my mind about blog function. 🙂 Thank you for sharing, sister. I like it so much.
Hi My Surya. I’m glad you liked it and found the post helpful. Thanks for stopping by – it’s good to meet you. 🙂
Nice day to meet you, Debbie. Happy blogging, dear sister. 🙂
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