Yes, I’m wading into the great debate today, al la Hamlet.
TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG. THAT IS THE QUESTION.
I can hear the groans from here. But if you stick with me you might be surprised what you find out.
Here's the crux of the matter. You’re a writer and:
- You either want to be published or you’ve recently been published.
- You need an online presence, i.e. a platform.
- You need to connect with your readers.
I hate to tell you, but blogging is a really good way to accomplish these three goals—and it’s probably a lot simpler than you realize.
I know, a lot of you have tried it and are more than willing to tell me why it doesn’t work for you. I’ve heard every reason under the sun for not blogging.
Here are the top three excuses for not blogging:
- Nothing relevant to say.
- Can’t stand self-promotion.
- Not enough time.
Today I’m going to answer each one of these excuses.
Nothing relevant to say. I think you do have something relevant to say. A big part of the problem is you haven’t figured out who you’re talking to yet. By that I mean you haven’t correctly identified your audience.
A lot of writers haven’t realized that their target audience is readers—NOT writers.
Maybe you’ve figured that out, if so you’re ahead of the curve. But how do you find these elusive readers? I’m going to let you in on the secret and it’s going to blow your mind.
You find your blog’s audience of readers by BEING YOURSELF.
It’s that simple…and that difficult. Blog about what makes you weird, unique, and special. In other words, blog about what makes you, well, you.
Who you are as a person has already found its way into your books, whether you realize it or not. You know it by another name, VOICE.
Didn’t you give your characters quirks, jobs, and/or situations that are unique to you and your experiences and interests? Voice is much more than just the way you phrase things, it’s who you are on the printed page. It’s your fingerprint.
A successful blog is the same thing. It’s who you are in an online setting. It’s your digital fingerprint. Be yourself and you’ll collect online readers the same way you make friends in real life, by being yourself.
Can’t stand self promotion. Good. Because a blog isn’t a place to sell your books. At this point you may be shaking your head and wondering why you’d have a blog for any other reason than to sell your books.
You have a blog to build a community of readers who are interested in you and what you write. This community doesn’t come to your blog because they don’t get enough commercials in real life. They come because they feel a connection. And this connection DOES translate into books sold.
The one exception to not selling your books on your blog is an occasional book launch event. But even with that, make sure it has value to your audience and is relevant to what they find important.
Not enough time. Really? Does your day have less than 24 hours in it? If it doesn’t then this excuse doesn’t work.
I know that sounds harsh (and I know I’m going to get mail), but the truth is, you’ve chosen a harsh business.
To become a working writer (someone who publishes more than one book in a lifetime) you are going to need to make some choices about how you spend your time.
Here's all the time you need to have a blog.
A successful blog doesn’t have to have more than one post per week. A blog post should, on average, be no more than 500 words long. Truthfully I don’t know many people who can’t find one to two hours in a seven day period. Because that’s what it will take to write a reasonable blog post. And after you’ve written two or three, it should take less time.
Trust me when I say we all have too much to do and too little time. We just have to decide what we’re willing to sacrifice to reach the goal we've set.
All right, I’m through lecturing. Now, hit me with your best shot. What are your thoughts on blogging and whether or not it’s worthwhile. How have you made it work for you? Leave your comments below and I hope we can all remain friends when the smoke clears. LOL!
Don’t forget to join the conversation!