Should All Authors Blog?

typewriterA few years ago, the standard wisdom was that authors, both fiction and non-fiction, should have blogs in order to gather an audience and build relationships with readers. Now, not so much. As social media and online marketing have evolved, my thoughts on blogging have changed. I think each author needs to carefully consider whether blogging is an appropriate vehicle for them based on:

1. If they can do it well;

2. If they enjoy it; and

3. If their writing career can benefit from it.

If blogging doesn’t suit you, don’t spend too much time trying to make it work.

Why aren’t blogs the appropriate vehicle for all authors? 

  • The proliferation of blogs in the last five years has made it increasingly difficult to stand out in the crowd.
  • Many authors are blogging faithfully but it doesn’t seem to be increasing readership of their books. 
  • Many authors seem to be blogging to an audience that’s mainly other writers.
  • Many authors have a hard time figuring out what their blogs should be about (mostly fiction authors).

So, how do you decide if you should have a blog? Here are my thoughts:

Have a blog if:

1. You have something important to say and it seems people want to hear it.

2. You understand that blogging is about offering something of value, NOT about promoting yourself and your books.

3. You enjoy blogging (for the most part, anyway).

4. You find blogging contributes to your creativity and enthusiasm for writing your books, rather than sucking all the energy out of you.

5. You can find the time for blogging without it completely stressing you out.

6. Your books have a highly defined target audience, making it easy to target your blog.

7. Your books are topical (especially non-fiction), so that you have a clear and obvious theme for your blog.

Don’t have a blog if:

1. You keep asking yourself and others, “But what should I blog about?”

2. You only want to blog to promote your books and/or because you think you “have to.”

3. The whole idea stresses you out.

4. You honestly don’t have the time in your schedule to blog regularly.

5. You’ve been blogging for a year or more, and haven’t built up to a traffic level that seems worth it.

Nowadays there are numerous alternatives to blogging when it comes to online networking and promotion.

For example:

  • email newsletters
  • using Facebook effectively
  • leveraging all the various ways Goodreads offers for promoting books
  • learning how to attract a readership through Pinterest
  • having an effective LinkedIn profile page
  • connecting with readers on Google+

(See author Jody Hedlund’s post last week on this same topic.)

Do you think authors need blogs nowadays? Do YOU blog? If so, how’s it going? If not, why not?

 

Be Sociable, Share!
  • http://michaelseese.blogspot.com/ Michael Seese

    I *do* generally enjoy blogging. (I especially like posting funny photos.) But I have to say, your “don’t” #5 really hits home. I’ve been blogging for more than a year, and have 20 followers. It would be nice to see that number go up for (admittedly) ego reasons, but also to know that I’m providing something to a wider circle of folks.

    Sigh.

    • http://einefeistyberg.wordpress.com Cherry Odelberg

      What? You have 20 followers? No telling how many lurkers:)

      • http://www.lazybonesrunning.blogspot.com Christina

        When I “follow” a blog I use the subscription feature and don’t follow it. So chances are you have more people reading it than you know.

    • http://authorjillianholmes.blogspot.com Jillian Holmes

      I am a newer author and my blog started with a tiny following. In the last two weeks, however, I am averaging about 300 pageviews a day (and these don’t count my own), with a huge spike just yesterday at 560! If you have something to say, say it. To me, having a blog isn’t about how many people read what you’re writing, but rather how many people enjoy your writing. I write (books & my blog) for my readers, not for anyone else. :)

  • http://www.kimkasch.blogspot.com Kim Kasch

    True. All good advice. I, however, just love to talk…whether it’s on the phone, in person, or on my blog…I just can’t seem to shut up ;D

  • http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I enjoy blogging, though it took awhile to get to that point. It’s a positive experience in several ways, which seem to have arranged themselves in a cascade…

    1) I can give potential readers a sense of who I am, what values drive my writing

    2) To accomplish #1, I have to figure out just what my values really are…well, I’m not quite THAT flaky, but I have to identify core principles that are brought out in my book(s), and find a way to describe them.

    3) And to accomplish #2, I use the blog as a writing exercise, to state said values as clearly and concisely as I can within a limited word-count

    I’m not worried about low readership at the moment. It’ll rise if it’s meant to. In the meantime I’m developing consistency, and am learning something about myself.

    And I’ve made some friends.

    One thing I have learned is that blogging using a slow Internet connection isn’t much fun. Replying to others’ comments is a slow process, and I’ve sometimes put off this vital bit of communication.

    • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

      Andrew, I like your points #2 and #3. My experience has been similar.

      Writing has helped me to better define my beliefs on various topics, which helps me to better understand my own perspective.

      Blogging has helped me learn to communicate my perspective in a more concise manner.

    • http://pjcasselman.wordpress.com P. J. Casselman

      I can relate to the quest for core values in my writing. “My Faith” is too general and too specific at the same time. I don’t mean Christianity as a whole and I don’t mean my church’s stance on issues. Instead, my blog forces me to focus on what I really believe, even if it’s in dialectical form.

  • http://bethvogt.com Beth K. Vogt

    I started blogging when “writers must blog” was the hard and fast rule. My first blog was a bust. Despite being (what I thought) was a brilliant idea, it never got much attention. So I shut it down. Now I’m blogging because a) I needed too (or so I thought) but also b) because I’m enjoying myself. My blog isn’t really tied to my novels at all — it’s all about quotes — although I occasionally will host a contest related to my books. But blogging has helped me hone my voice, while helping me connect with other people, both writers and non-writers.
    So for now, I’m sticking with blogging because it’s working for me. I’m blogging because I want to — and I’m having fun.

    • http://www.candidkathryn.com Kathryn Elliott

      Beth:

      Love the “hone my voice” phrase. That’s exactly it!

    • http://pjcasselman.wordpress.com P. J. Casselman

      You’re one of the good bloggers. I enjoy reading yours. Those of you on Facebook make it easier, too, because I’m reminded of it when I scroll through a long column of “share if” garbage and see your blurb. “Yay,” I say, “Something worth not ignoring.”

      • http://bethvogt.com Beth K. Vogt

        PJ:
        You just put a smile on my face.
        :)
        See?

    • http://bethvogt.com Beth K. Vogt

      Ugh. Just now saw the typo in my first comment. The editor in me is stomping my foot. “To” not “too.”
      Sheesh.
      :(
      Okay. Editor-rant done.

    • http://lauralibricz.blogspot.com Laura Libricz

      ‘Hone my voice.’ I like to blog because it helps me keep my thoughts short and to the point. I omit needless words. I like to write flash fiction and my goal is to get a story, a beginning, middle and end, under 700 words. And I like to share my stories with my friends!

      • http://bethvogt.com Beth K. Vogt

        You have my respect. Flash fiction is tough to write well!

    • http://www.meghancarver.blogspot.com Meghan Carver

      Love the idea of the quotes, Beth, and they look great on the pretty pictures. I’m your newest e-mail subscriber. :)

      • http://bethvogt.com Beth K. Vogt

        Welcome, Meghan. Thanks for joining the conversation. Will get that list of my 20 Top Favorite Quotes to you soon!
        :)

  • http://www.melissaknorris.com Melissa K. Norris

    Blogging has introduced me to so many wonderful people. People I’ve truly come to know on line and count on their opinion and friendship.

    I firmly believe that if you know who your target audience is and write for them, your blog will grow.

    I do agree blogging isn’t for everyone. It can help you find your voice, see if you can stick to a schedule, and see what topics resonate with your audience. I’ve discovered a lot about myself and my readers through blogging.

    I’ve also had quite a few opportunities come from my blog that I don’t think would have happened otherwise.

    • http://www.heatherdaygilbert.blogspot.com Heather Day Gilbert

      I agree with Melissa–I’ve met all kinds of peeps I wouldn’t have met otherwise while blogging.

      Honestly, it cracks me up that many of the anti-blogging posts are made (and commented on) in BLOGS. Blogs that have a solid readership built up by regular blogging.

      But I agree w/you, Rachelle. If it stresses you out to the point where you can’t work on your book and blog simultaneously, it needs to go. If you don’t have an audience you’re blogging to, it has to go. And if you have no idea why you’d even want to blog in the first place, it needs to go.

      However, it’d be nice to hear from more agents/publishers about how many of them look for serious platform when considering debut authors. I know we’ve heard from a few, but there are always two sides to every coin…

  • http://www.athoughtgrows.blogspot.com Julie Luek

    I have pondered the benefits (or not) of writing a blog that is frequented mostly by other writers. It doesn’t seem effective as a platform. But for me, living in a very small town, talking shop with other writers is so edifying. You bring up great points that have been tickling my mind, however. Thanks for giving them voice.

  • http://www.rasavary.com R.A.Savary

    At first I was somewhat angry with the whole idea that this should even be a question. Then, as I read deeper into the post I couldn’t help but laugh. Even your questions designed to help us see if blogging is for us or not, didn’t really hit me with any degree of seriousness.

    When I started a blog, and also began following some, my perception was that blogging was almost being demanded of me and if I didn’t like it or didn’t do it well, I would just have to work at it harder.

    Where this is leading, basically, is that I don’t listen to others as much as I use to. My blog has no traffic at all and I haven’t followed any suggestions to get any. I kind of like doing it, now, and I think I will continue. For one thing, it’s a commitment I made to myself.

    I am about to start querying again for my novel, “Special” and maybe I will pick up some readers. My website was disabled due to financial difficulties, but I should be able to get it back up soon, and the blog is linked to it, so who knows? I tried to do too much, too soon, with too little.

    I did the best I could and since I didn’t get an agent and / or get published as quickly as I had hoped, there’s no hurry.

    I know that my response is perhaps not following a main thought, but I feel I needed to put these words out there, if only for me, and that’s exactly where I am with my writing.

    The ironic thing, was that I only got on the computer before going to bed to work on my blog, keeping my minimum commitment of one post per week.

    I have some advice to anybody, novice or veteran: Take it easy.

    • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

      “My blog has no traffic at all and I haven’t followed any suggestions to get any. I kind of like doing it, now, and I think I will continue. For one thing, it’s a commitment I made to myself.”

      Love this R.A.!

      I’m right there with you!

      • http://pjcasselman.wordpress.com P. J. Casselman

        I could build my following super fast, but then I’d have what I do on Twitter–thousands of followers who don’t care what I say.
        Blogging is becoming the in depth “see more” accompaniment to Facebook posts. Those who care and have time can read more “here.” (Click)

        • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

          That’s a cool way of looking at it P.J.!

          I’m always amazed, on FB, how a link to an in-depth thought-provoking post gets few responses, whereas a shallow but witty statement will draw numerous comments and likes.

          I’ve found the same to be true of blog posts. Fluffy feel-good posts draw more comments. However, the comments on deeper topics tend to be more heart-felt.

  • http://nowthinkaboutit.com EnnisP

    I came across a blog the authors were using to develop the content for their next book. The book happened to be non-fiction but I guess it could be done for fiction also. They were achieving two things at once: writing their book and drawing attention to it. I don’t how it worked out in the end but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    And, as several have already mention, blogging is a great way to develop one’s thinking/writing skills.

    • Nancy

      How about sharing that site. I’d like to see how someone is using their blog to develop their next book. Thanks

      • http://nowthinkaboutit.com EnnisP

        Unfortunately, I came across the site a good while back and don’t remember where I found it.

        As I recall, two people were co-developing the blog and book and the topic focused on parent/child issues (I believe). The authors were professionals – psychologists or something like that – so they might have had an audience already. I think the book was close to being published.

        I haven’t run across the blog sense or heard of the book so maybe it didn’t work out.

        • Nancy Petralia

          Thanks for the idea anyway.

  • http://www.ShariLopatin.com Shari Lopatin

    I’ve found blogging to be a great platform-builder for me, personally. I use the WordPress.com platform, and each time I publish a new post, I receive more followers.

    I’ve been blogging for a year and have about 300 email subscribers alone. With Twitter followers, RSS feed subscribers, and Facebook followers, I have more than 800 followers.

    What I’ve noticed works is if a) you remain true to your voice as a writer, and b) you offer solid tips to help other writers grow in their craft and online presence. I’m a fiction writer, and so far, this approach has worked!

    But I agree, blogging isn’t for everyone, and if I only had 20-30 followers, I’d probably re-evaluate whether I should keep going.

    Thanks for the great post!

    –Shari

    • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

      “I’ve been blogging for a year and have about 300 email subscribers alone. With Twitter followers, RSS feed subscribers, and Facebook followers, I have more than 800 followers.”

      Wow! That’s impressive!

      Go Shari!

      • http://www.ShariLopatin.com Shari Lopatin

        Haha! Thanks Joe! Although, I have to attribute much of my success to WordPress. They “Freshly Pressed” me twice, which promotes my blog on their homepage. It gave me tons of exposure, and consequently, the ability to obtain new subscribers. Without that boost, I DOUBT I would have ever reached this following. :-) But that’s why I recommend WordPress!

        • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

          Hmmm…

          I use WordPress, though I haven’t spent much time on their home page.

          I wonder how one goes about becoming “Freshly Pressed”?

          • http://www.ShariLopatin.com Shari Lopatin

            The WordPress editors handpick those they Freshly Press, so there’s really nothing the blog author can do. However, they look for certain things. Here is a post from the WordPress staff explaining what they look for:

            http://en.support.wordpress.com/freshly-pressed/

            I think they recently moved the Freshly Pressed posts to another page, though. I recently went to their homepage, and it’s all slick now. :-) Regardless, getting Freshly Pressed is great for exposure!

          • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

            Cool! Thanks for the tip and the link, Shari!

        • http://www.BethanyJett.com Bethany Jett

          I’ve tried to use WordPress but find it difficult and not as user-friendly as Blogger.

          Great job on the followers. Blogging is helping me with platform, as well.

  • http://poletosoul.me/ Christine Macdonald

    I’m in the process of writing my memoir about the 9 years I worked as a stripper in Waikiki. I also happened to be a drug addict living with an abusive man. Lots of self esteem issues!

    That was all 20 years ago.

    I blog about how I got where I am today (alive and clean), the self worth issues I used to have (and still have!), and it seems to resonate with my readers.

    Although I went to extremes, the common thread of my platform (blog, twitter, facebook)is that young girls don’t need the stripper pole to feel beautiful and validated. Also – the drug addiction is something I touch on, because it’s part of my story – and many people can relate to addiction (be it drugs, internet, social media, shopping, etc).

    As I am still in the process of writing my story, I feel it’s important to build a platform of loyal (but most importantly interested) followers.

    Blogging is a great marketing tool – and fantastic way to make great friends with people who share similar interests. Writers support one another, and I know I appreciate it when someone RE TWEETS my blogs. I try to RE TWEET them as much as possible.

    @thatgalkiki

    • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

      I love how you are using the pain of your own experiences to reach out to others, Christine!

      Very courageous!

  • http://www.dabneyland.com Dabney Hedegard

    Glory.

    That’s the first word that comes to mind after reading your post. Blogging is a chore when I feel pressure to churn material out. However, posting with raw emotions when life waivers–that’s my favorite time to share.

    • http://permissiontobereal.blogspot.com Shauna

      My thoughts exactly! : )

  • http://www.megansayer.com Megan Sayer

    This is interesting. I started a blog a few months ago with the understanding that as a wanna-be-published author I kind of HAD to, but I’ve been amazed and so blessed to find that it’s become one of the most rewarding things in my life at the moment.
    I’m loving the reader interaction, loving meeting new people and making new friends, and loving being able to share ideas and thoughts that would otherwise remain unsaid. Not only that, sometimes the response (and the encouragement) of these otherwise complete strangers has helped me grow into a deeper relationship with God and with people in my real world.
    Now that, I think, is noteworthy.

    • http://4broadminds.blogspot.com/ carol brill

      Hi Megan, you and I are on the same page–repeatedly heard I “had” to have a blog and started it under duress. Now, I enjoy the chance to stretch my non-fiction writing muscles.

  • http://www.megansayer.com Megan Sayer

    Oh and I forgot to ask…what kind of a traffic level does one consider “worth it”? Is this just a purely personal/subjective figure, or are there concrete stats?

    • Rachelle Gardner

      Megan, I meant it in a subjective sense. Is it enough to be worth it to YOU?

    • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

      Megan, I’ll second what Rachelle said.

      My blog traffic is still prety low, after a year of blogging. However, the people I have reached and the friends I have made are well worth the effort.

      Whether or not blogging ever makes sense as a book marketing strategy, for me, it is a worthwhile activity for me, personally.

  • http://secondchancesnovel.wordpress.com Alison Stanley

    I’ve really enjoyed connecting with other writers through my blog. It’s a good way to find like-minded people who encourage me to get through the times when I doubt myself as a writer. I don’t blog nearly as frequently as I ought, going on the principle that the best thing you can do to promote your books is to ‘write’ books – you can’t sell any if you ‘aint got any :)

  • http://claudenougat.blogspot.com Claude Nougat

    As always, Rachelle, you are absolutely right and you’ve set up the pros and cons in the clearest possible way. I’ve blogged now for nearly 3 years, get some 10,000 pageviews/month and climbing, so for a writer, I believe I’ve got a reasonably successful blog.

    And I can confirm what you say: there’s NO connection between the blog and book sales. And too often most people who read my blog are other writers. And that may well help explain the other!

    Fortunately I don’t care. I love to write and the blog is an excellent place to exercise my pen…and express what I think and feel about current issues in politics, economics, in short everything that ails the world around us! So yes, a blog is a really good place to let off steam and find other people who think likewise. Or perhaps do not, but it’s in any case a nice place to connect.

    May I ask you the same question? What is there in a blog that is useful to a literary agent? Why do YOU keep it up? I imagine you enjoy doing it too, don’t you?

  • http://solitruth.com Diana Harkness

    I don’t know who reads my blog. I blog about whatever comes to mind. When I heard that writers should blog, I set up a separate blog for that. However, I would have more readers if I had only one blog. Is it worth reading? I don’t know. Is it worth writing. Yes. Once I get those thoughts out of my mind, I can move on to something else.

    • http://www.josephjpote.com Joe Pote

      “Is it worth writing. Yes. Once I get those thoughts out of my mind, I can move on to something else.”

      Love this, Diana! I can relate!

    • http://pjcasselman.wordpress.com P. J. Casselman

      I agree with Joe, “Is it worth writing” is often enough of a reason to continue.

  • Roxanne Sherwood Gray

    I am so thankful for your wisdom on this topic! This is a great timing as I’ve been blogging with a group of other writers and I’m about to launch one of my own. (I do think I have something to say.) Thanks so much!

  • http://publishness.blogspot.com/ Angela Brown

    I have a blog and enjoy blogging. But I’d have to agree that not all authors should have a blog. As mentioned in your post, there are other means of reaching out and working to build a readership.

    I was encouraged to blog – and resisted at first – because I didn’t think I’d have anything to say. Well…that mindset has changed. Though the basis of my followers are writers, I find THAT to be the one reason I don’t stop having something to say. Blogging has been a way to share my journey, my experiences – the good and the sad – along the way, certain flash fiction pieces and more.

    I turned my focus of blogging to build a readership a while back and found a joy in blogging as another form of writing.

  • http://www.cgblake.wordpress.com CG Blake

    I truly enjoy blogging. It has helped me to find my voice, share insights on writing and connect with other writers. It is a time suck, though, and I am forcing myself to spend less time on social media and more time on writing fiction. The questions you pose are helpful. Thanks, Rachelle.

  • http://www.candidkathryn.com Kathryn Elliott

    All day I write in AP format, (blessed to be working), but the assignments are often dry or emotionally draining. Blogging is a creative escape, a happy place. :-) However, I do not believe all authors, or those aspiring to be, should blog, especially if your sole purpose is self-promotion. If you do not have something fun to say, something informative to share – why bother?

  • http://www.colindsmith.com/blog Colin Smith

    I tend to allow my own practice to inform what I do. For example, if I really enjoy a book, I’ll see if the author has a blog, and I’ll check it out, and perhaps even start following. This could be because I like his/her writing, or because I want to know when their next book’s coming out, or because I want to add my voice to the others supporting that writer, or I want to know more about the author–or all of the above. I’m sure I’m not the only one in the world that does this, so one of the reasons I have a blog is to be sure one day, when I’m published, people will have a place to visit to find out more about me, the book, when the next one’s coming out, and perhaps have opportunity to interact.

    I also enjoy blogging, and have things to say. Though I don’t always have time. :)

    There’s my 2-cents’ worth.

  • http://pjcasselman.wordpress.com P. J. Casselman

    Ever since your post about new fiction writers working on writing instead of social media, I’ve dropped social media as a priority. Instead of blogging regularly, I periodically post one of my cartoons, poems, or rants. Those who “Follow” me will see it in their readers or get an email, so it’s not done in a vacuum. Hopefully, less is more, since they’re probably as swamped as me.

    Will this help me sell books or get published? Nah, but I do it to interact with those who just enjoy a periodic hangout with me.

  • http://www.jackdunigan.com Jack

    Rachelle, really good post. I blog, have two of them, because:

    1. I am a non-fiction writer. I’ve published in major magazines but branching out into my own books with the TARGET of developing and marketing training programs.
    2. I use the blogs to create a skeleton for my books, produce posts to see how they look and feel on “paper,” and develop ideas I intend to include in the bigger work (the books).

    I concur that a blog for blog’s sake doesn’t make sense. The blog(s) need to serve a larger purpose other than pontification. Thanks for the post.

  • http://www.rj-anderson.com/ R.J. Anderson

    Before I got published, I used to have an active LiveJournal — at least three or four posts a week — and hundreds of subscribers. I talked about my family, posted bits of fanfiction and fan commentary, and occasionally gave updates on my original writing for those interested. But once I got published, I found I just didn’t have the mental energy to blog much anymore. I didn’t feel comfortable blogging randomly about my life and fannish interests because I was a Professional Author now and I knew readers of my books would be dropping by my blog for information. But I didn’t want to blog about My Books, All The Time, either. So my posts gradually petered out and now I update maybe once every three months, if that.

    Now my real activity is on Tumblr (where I can cheerfully reblog other people’s images and videos without having to put a lot of thought or effort into composing an original post) and on Twitter (where I can have short, manageable conversations about things that interest me without feeling obliged to go into lengthy discourse). Whether it “works” in any kind of promotional sense I’ve no idea, but I’m enjoying it and it’s genuine and I think that’s what counts.

  • http://thoughtsthatmove.blogspot.com/ Wendy Paine Miller

    I like the creativity it inspires–my posts + the comments.

    Sticking with it for now.

    ~ Wendy

  • http:/www.showknowgrow.com Melinda Viergever Inman

    Wow! This is a big switch! How liberating! I write fiction, which I’m marketing and attempting to get in the door. I also write inspirational material, which I’m selling, and bible studies that are gaining a market. With all those aims, blogging is a good fit for me. I only blog once a week, and I usually have something to say that I feel God has laid on my heart. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a challenge. The issue is time. I switched from my free WordPress site to my current site, losing my subscribed followers in the process. So, I’m rebuilding my readership. With so much content out there, it’s slow going, and I’m trying to determine if it’s worth the investment of my time. It’s nice to know this is no longer a requirement. Thanks for informing us!

  • http://annbracken.weebly.com Ann Bracken

    I don’t have to blog? Oh, praise be!

    I fall into the ‘I have nothing to blog about’ category, or so I thought. Someone gave me the idea a few weeks ago to post writing blurbs on my blog, so I started that last week. My plan is to write snippets of my characters lives before they meet. Hopefully it’ll be meaningful to my (future) readers.

    Because I rank blogging enjoyment with bamboo shoots under my fingernails, I worked on growing my platform in other ways. Forming actual friendships with people on facebook, twitter, and in my local RWA chapter should help, right?

  • http://www.maureenlang.com Maureen Lang

    I use my blog as a weekly writing deadline, a sort of exercise to keep me writing when life can draw me to many other pursuits, especially between deadlines. Most of the time I enjoy my blog; I get to talk about a variety of things that interest me, so it’s sort of a conversation in which no one interrupts (coming from a big family, that’s a bonus).

    But my overall goal in maintaining my blog is to let people who’ve read my books and have taken the time to visit my website have a glimpse into who I am, what I think. In that way it’s a marketing tool, but one that doesn’t necessarily bring in new readers as much as it answers a picture for those who already want to know me.

    So is it worth it? It is, as long as I enjoy it – that’s my other “rule”. I’m happy to do marketing that I enjoy.

    • Nancy Petralia

      I’m on the brink of deciding about blogging, so Rachelle’s post is especially helpful. I like the weekly writing deadline idea. My husband and I did that with our writing group as a means to finish our book.

      I also like the point about letting readers get to know you. We have plenty of material that never made it into the book, as well as comments about current goings on that relate to our topic. So maybe this is a way to use them.

      Thanks for the insights.

  • http://carol-mcclain.blogspot.com Carol McClain

    Thank you. The question I ask continually is: What do I write about? I don’t want to write about writing or marketing tips. Everyone I know writes about those and are more expert.

    Trying to keep up a three a week theme is draining–after three years, I’ve a whopping 75 followers.

    The next question is: Why is a webpage essential when you haven’t yet published?

  • http://www.jessicanelson.net Jessica Nelson

    I do blog and it’s mostly with other writers, but I love it and the networking/relationships it’s formed for me.
    Totally agree about the other medias too.

  • Jeanne

    I’ve thought about blogging for awhile now. The main reason I haven’t launched one is because I don’t have the time to post regularly. I would love to do it sometime, but until I can commit the required time, I think I’ll wait until I can take the necessary steps to make it worth reading for those who may visit.

    • http://pjcasselman.wordpress.com P. J. Casselman

      Good plan. Bloggin’ can be cloggin’ to your noggin. Not to mention a drain on your brain done in vain. It’s best done when it serves a purpose other than self-promotion.

      • Jeanne

        That got an early morning chuckle. Thanks, Jim. :)

  • http://www.meghancarver.blogspot.com Meghan Carver

    I have a homeschooling-mommy-themed blog, and once I figured out that theme, it’s been growing quite a bit this year. I find a lot of the benefits the others have mentioned, but I’m not published yet. Since I write women’s fiction and inspirational romance, I’m hoping that these followers will turn into book readers. Homeschoolers and SAHM’s tend to be avid readers. I’m thinking, once I get through NaNoWriMo, I might put on the blog a short story and see how it’s received.

    • http://pjcasselman.wordpress.com P. J. Casselman

      Such a blog serves a purpose and gives real value to those who read it. That’s the king of blog the right people will search for.

  • http://writing.cwbuecheler.com Christopher Buecheler

    I have to admit, I’ve been running my writing blog for a couple of years now and its traffic has never really increased. At this point I use it mostly to post updates and links to my various fiction / non-fiction endeavors. That said, I have a *very* active Facebook page with around 1400 likes. I post there three or four times a week, and get tons of comments and likes on my posts. I also tweet and run an email newsletter with 700 subscribers, and I keep my books up to date on Goodreads (and have connected my blog, Twitter, etc). So I think I’m reaching the portion of my fan base that wants to communicate with me.

    I do wish, though, that I had more time to blog. The issue isn’t ideas about what to write — I have plenty of those — it’s that there are only so many hours in the day, especially when I spend 40+ of them every week working as a web designer. My books are selling well, but not quite well enough to leave that gig and do this full-time. The blog, alas, has to suffer.

  • http://www.gerribowen.com Gerri Bowen

    I enjoy reading blogs, and I subscribe to many, but if they post more than once a week, I delete. No time to read them all.

  • http://robinpatchen.com Robin Patchen

    Rachelle, thank you! Because I thought I had to, I started a blog a year ago, and I hate it. I really, really hate it. And what I’ve noticed is that, on most writers’ blogs, I mostly see comments from other writers. That makes sense to me. I’m an avid reader, and I rarely go to authors’ blogs or websites. Exceptions are when I’m trying to figure out what the next book in a series is or when I want to see what else a great author has written. I get my information and I get out. I don’t want to read their daily thoughts, I want to read their great books.

    Thank you for saying what I already believed. I think I’ll focus my efforts on Facebook. That, at least, I enjoy!

  • http://www.BlueZooWriters.com Philip Martin

    I’ve long advocated blogging less often. Better to see a blog more as an inexpensive mini-website – more static, a place for real news or important thoughts – and less blog blather.

    The useful thing about a blog is that 1) it is more controlled and versatile than Facebook, which is quirky and has many limitations and not under your full control (did you know that only 12% of friends see the average FB post, as FB filters and selects what it passes on?), and 2) it is easy for an author to enter his/her own news, without needing a webmaster or knowledge of coding, etc.

    So I advise HAVING a blog, and maintaining it with a post (say, at least once a month?), but not blogging constantly just in hopes of attention.

  • Pingback: I’ve flatlined! | M.H. Lee

  • http://wwiinurseshumbleheroeshomefron-gerri.blogspot.com/ Gerri Wetta Hilger

    Wow! This is an awesome message—just took and elephant off my shoulders! Blogging for all the WRONG reasons, and unsuccessfully! It only takes away from my real writing and revising the book!
    Shutting down in 5—4—3—2 . . .

  • http://www.dennisbrooke.com Dennis Brooke

    As a story teller I use my blog just for that–to tell stories. It’s a great way to hone the craft and some posts make “appearances” in my work in progress. I agree that too many author blogs focus on other authors by teaching the craft. There are some great ones out there and I don’t to compete with them.
    I don’t want to focus on writers–I want to focus on readers. Telling stories entertains them and helps me to become an even better story teller in my writing and speaking. It makes my day to hear back from someone who ran across a post that sparked a fond memory or taught them something.
    http://www.dennisbrooke.wordpress.com

  • http://stephenswartz.blogspot.com/ Stephen Swartz

    Because I know fewer than 50 people ever even have the chance to read my blog, I only use it mostly to warm up for serious fictional writing. Anything more is just a kick in the pants and a substitute for one-sided conversation with my inner demons. Something like that. Hmm, this might make a decent blog post….

  • http://chancescoggins.com Chance Scoggins

    I started my blog in January, fearing that no one would read it. But it has been a great encouragement to me… My weekly posts are read by 3-4K readers.

    I don’t always love the process. In fact, I’ll admit that it’s difficult for me, especially when put in the context of the rest of my obligations. But there’s no denying it has been beneficial and important.

    The best thing about blogging for me is not that I’m discovering what I want to say, but that I’m discovering what people want to hear from me.

  • http://downwithsquirrels.blogspot.com Anna Hailey

    I’ve been struggling with blogging lately. I love doing it, but I’ve been stalked on it, which took a lot of the fun out of it. If I’m posting, and someone doesn’t like it so they steal credit card numbers and charge them, kinda makes me rethink the whole blogging thing.

    When all that happened, I stopped blogging. Never really got back into it. Of course, my readership is waaay down.

    I love blogging, but I don’t know if it’s worth resurrecting my blog.

  • http://www.JulieJWrites.Blogspot.com Julie Jarnagin

    I blog because I enjoy the community. My following is small, but I feel like I have authentic relationships with the people who visit my blog.

  • http://marcusdehart.com/site Marcus DeHart

    Refreshing piece of advice. Since writing (novels) is done after my day job, I have felt conflicted about spending time working on my next novel and spending time blogging. If there was a distinct gap in blogs that I thought I could fill, I might take up the mantle. But as you pointed out most authors are blogging to an audience of peers. That sounds better suited for a forum. I still find value in having a web presence, but I don’t feel the need to post frequently.

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com Cynthia Herron

    Rachelle, I love this post! We hear so much conflicting information today that I appreciated the savvy way you addressed the subject of blogging. (And yes, Jody’s post was spot on!)

    I began blogging five days a week and I approached burn-out within a few months. I now blog MWF and that works for me. I love connecting with like-minded folks and I blog about diverse subjects other than writing. It frees that creative part of my brain.

  • http://lindsayharrel.blogspot.com Lindsay Harrel

    I started a blog at first because I thought I should. Now I blog because I like it and because of all the relationships I’ve made from it. If I hadn’t had a blog, I would not have felt as comfortable at the ACFW conference, and I would not have had interest from a few agents/editors who saw my blog and liked my writing. For me, it’s worth the time I put into it.

  • http://suzannekuchynka.wordpress.com Suzane Kuchynka

    I absolutely love pintrest. I would love to see a post on how to use it for authors.

  • Janet Bettag

    I blog sporadically. I don’t need the stress of being tied to a blogging schedule that eats into my writing, editing, marketing, or living time. Sometimes I post short stories I’ve written, sometimes I post book reviews, sometimes I do an author interview, and at other times, I just blog about something that’s on my mind.

    Do you think it would be better for me not to blog at all if I’m not going to stick to a regular schedule?

  • Lori

    Do you think authors need blogs nowadays? Not really. I agree with your blog today. However, I think there are way too many useless blog by writers out there. I hope when I publish a book someday that I don’t become one of them.

    Do YOU blog? No but I do like to comment on blogs.

  • http://www.soberboots.com Heather Kopp at SoberBoots.com

    Rachelle,
    what a great post! As I read this, I found myself nodding. I agree with every word. I think for lots of writers, blogging is over-rated. For me, even though I love to blog and I think it is right for me, I have to continually reassess how much time and energy to put into it. I love my readers and I love writing posts, but I can easily start to stress too much or put too much time into what I say. Ironically, the more people respond positively, the more pressure you can feel to “perform,” and not let people down. Which is silly, of course. But it’s an issue for me. So I keep trying to find a balance. Unhooking from my blog for a month was probably ill-advised in terms of promotion, etc. But as soon as all that marketing stuff begins to take precedence in my heart over just feeling like I need to follow my gut and practice self-care and find balance again–I’m in trouble. It can sometimes be a weird tension between doing what will make a publisher happy–and doing what God seems to be telling you to do. For us all or nothing people, I think it’s about a never-ending willingness to wobble and correct and wobble some more. I love my blog, but as soon as I start to resent writing it–I need to look at what is going in my heart and life. How quickly over-estimate our importance! And also, if readers aren’t going to still be there if you take a break and come back–then they didn’t care that much to start with. It’s all a letting go. I’m just so glad that you took the time to write this post and let a bunch of folks off the hook! I kinda wish I was one of them, but I don’t think I am. I think I get to keep allowing my blog to teach me, humble me, and push me into gratitude.

    • http://www.marcusbrotherton.com Marcus Brotherton

      By the way, Heather’s blog is awesome, if you haven’t checked it out.

      Just real and raw.

  • http://myquirkycity.wordpress.com Heather

    Thanks for this post. I found I wasn’t sure if I had anything to offer for my blog. I’d rather focus on getting my fiction to a better calibre.

  • http://www.marcusbrotherton.com Marcus Brotherton

    A great question, Rachelle. Thanks.

    I’ve been blogging for just over a year and have 350 subscribers with 8,000-10,000 views monthly.

    Part of what has freed me up is that I purposely blog only once a week.

    This goes against conventional wisdom, but it allows me to truly live by the adage that content is king, and make my posts more well-crafted “essays” that provoke thought and hopefully enrich people’s lives.

    Once I tried blogging every day for a week, and I actually LOST subscribers. I asked a few readers why and they said “it was just too much.”

    Today, I think of a blog as a fishing boat. All other social media sources are the fishing lines into the sea.

    Some of the fishing poles work in the sense of producing results or generating influence, others don’t.

    For instance, I’m on Facebook and I have a mailing list, but I’m not on Twitter or Pinterest. Just wasn’t me.

    That’s a freeing concept.

    It allows you to do fewer things, and do them well.

  • http://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com Jill

    I’ve only been blogging for 6 weeks and I’m really enjoying it. I love connecting with other new writers to share our struggles, tips and good news. I became a little addicted at the beginning, wanting to post everyday. I’ve since cut back to make time for my other writing projects.

  • William Kendall

    I blog, and enjoy it. I think it adds to my creative levels, and I can work it into my schedule. Most of my posts lean towards my own twisted sense of humour, and that seems to draw attention…

  • http://www.olivianewport.com Olivia Newport

    After a year, I suppose my subscriber numbers are pitiful and by that measure I should close up shop. (I have recently cut back.) But I still think of the blog, the landing page of my website, as the place to welcome potential readers of my books, which is what I am more concerned about. I technically subscribe to dozens of blogs that I actually never read, so that measurement isn’t necessarily meaningful to me. I see steady growth in the number of unique visitors, and that tells me that somebody new heard about my books and was at least interested enough to see the site and the blog is doing its job of being a point of exposure.

  • Abigail Stokes Palsma

    Rachelle, thank you so much for this! I am in the process of building my website and currently have a “blog” link. I have been asking all of the questions you raised.

    Feeling a great sense of relief at the moment!

    I love the idea of having something meaningful to say. But since I make my money as a technical writer and am slowly building a platform in fiction while working on my first novel, I have struggled to imagine what that valuable message might be.

    Again, thank you!

  • http://blog.polenthblake.com/ Polenth

    I’ve found blogging is less about finding new people, and more keeping old ones. Any time I get a short story published, my subscribers go up. Next time I have a short published, they’re still around so I can tell them about it. I’m sure with novels, the number of new subscribers with each book would be a lot higher than it is with shorts.

  • Lanny

    Rachelle, great post! You just answered the $64,000-dollar question–why blog if you don’t really have anything to say? Or you don’t want to? I really like the alternatives you’ve offered to blogging! Thanks again for caring so much.

  • Stephanie M.

    I’ve noticed quite a few literary agents blog only sporadically or have stopped entirely (don’t even think about it, Rachelle :) I’ve been told I “should” blog, therefore I do, but no one has ever commented so I doubt anyone reads them. They’re just reviews of classic mysteries, nothing to change the world, but I like being able to gush over a writer who’s not a hot commodity. Take that, techmology.

  • http://www.BethanyJett.com Bethany Jett

    My blog actually helped me land a book deal!

    I used past posts and restructured them into a non-fiction proposal.

    I’m trying to blog on the same two days a week and I love when my readers ask for another post!

    Blogging helps me have one place where I can write posts to include in future proposals. It keeps me connected to my readers and it’s a therapeutic outlet.

  • http://www.caledonialass.blogspot.com Mel Chesley

    I do have a blog and while, admittedly, there are times I don’t have time or I don’t know what to blog about, I do enjoy it. My take on doing a blog (even though a lot of my followers are other authors) is mostly for when my book is out. I always look for a favorite author’s website or something where I can keep up to date on what’s coming next. This is why I have my blog. Granted, a website would do the same thing and I have one. But there is something a bit more personal about the blog. Letting the reader get a look at what life as an author is like. It isn’t always glamorous, is it?

  • http://enjoyingthewritingcraft.blogspot.com/ Casey

    I’m a die-hard blogger. I’ve been blogging since 2009 and haven’t really looked back since. For me, blogging is something I love. I’m a very social person, so as a writer, who has to find a lonely corner to pound out my stories, blogging gives me an outlet for conversation and interaction with “real” people. ;) I’ve found friends, supporters and cheerleaders that care where I’m going–and I them. I think it’s harder now to get started blogging, taking patience and willingness to really work hard at it for little turn around at least for the first little bit. For those of us doing it longer, we have to continue to keep our content up to par or we’ll lose readers. Blogging is cutthroat, yes, but massively fun!!

  • http://KlockKhronicles Tim Klock

    As always, this information is really helpful & thought-provoking. I especially appreciate not using a blog to promote me or my book, but to offer something helpful. I DO blog, but may not for long unless it grows. Many read it, very few stick with it. It may be an indication to change something drastically with my blog or to abandon ship.

  • http://morganshamy.blogspot.com/ Morgan Shamy

    I don’t know how any writer survives without the online writing blogging community. Everyone is so supportive and motivating… regardless of trad pub, small press, or Indie. It’s fantastic. I blog because it’s a way of communicating with other writers–to discuss, connect, and survive. Love the list here. Definitely questions we should be asking ourselves! :)

  • http://davidatodd.com David Todd

    I began blogging in December 2007. I did this based on the conventional wisdom of the time, that a writer needed an on-line presence, and since starting a website was beyond my reach at the time, I figured the blog was a poor author’s way to have an on-line presence. I finally have a website, with its own blog, but I maintain my first blog.

    How’s it going? Lousy, I guess. I’ve never had more than 15-18 followers, comments are almost non-existent, and it gets so few visitors (between 600-700 views per month) that I’ve quit looking at the stats. Why do I keep it up? The few friends and a cousin who read it seem to like it, and it gives me an outlet for things that don’t fit in a book.

    The blog at my author website is more specific, mainly posts about this work-in-progress or that published book. It’s more business than creative.

    I keep it up for the time in the future when hoards of adoring fans of my writing will want to know all about what I’m thinking, what I’m writing next, where I’m going, etc. At that time there will be a backlog of close to 1,000 posts, maybe more, for them to read and find a way to connect with me.

    At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  • http://www.peterdehaan.com/ Peter DeHaan

    The main problem with blogs is the number of bloggers and number of posts are growing faster than the number of readers. So a diminished audience per blog is the result.

    For the most part I enjoy blogging. I find it has side benefits to my writing career and feel it’s more effective than other social media opportunities. However, I’ve not yet built the audience I would like. (Has anyone?)

    I’m going to rework my blogs and give them another year. Then I’ll re-evaluate.

    But I’m not putting all my focus on blogging, I’m giving a lot of attention to my newsletter, which I think (hope) will have a better return.

    Thanks, Rachelle for another thought provoking-post.

  • http://kristinlaughtin.blogspot.com Kristin Laughtin

    I do blog, but I’m glad for this post because, to be honest, it’s been hard for me to retain any passion for it. There are just too many blogs out there, and they require more attention than most people (writers or readers) are willing or able to give. Not only are there newer ways to connect with more people without requiring multiple minutes of a person’s time, but they seem to be more effective, too!

    I keep my blog around because I’ve been rather negligent about pursuing those other methods, but also because I occasionally do have something to say that warrants more space than a tweet or status update. I just need to adjust my approach toward all of it. :-)

  • http://holessence.wordpress.com Laurie Buchanan

    My name is Laurie so a once a week blog — “Tuesdays with Laurie” — (aka Speaking from the Heart) is fun and easy for this non-fiction writer.

    I post in a short-and-sweet fashion with a supporting photograph that I’ve personally taken. This has proved an ongoing recipe for success at a consistent average of 5,000 views per week.

  • http://phoenixspirited.blogspot.ca/ Ursula Jordaan

    I do have a blog (listed above) but for me it’s about my spiritual journey in this Universe. It doesn’t pertain to my fiction writing.

    I don’t really care about the number of followers, it’s about saying what I feel is my truth and sharing it. Those who will read it, will, those who don’t…oh well.

    It’s fun.

  • http://www.roughwighting.net Pamela Wight

    So enjoyed your honest approach in this blog post. I must say, I blog for the ‘right’ reasons – I enjoy it; I love sharing my “I” pieces with friends and family AND meeting new writer friends along the way; I feel that blogging fine-tunes and helps my writing get better and better; I don’t resent the time it takes, I just need to take more time on my novel; I HATE marketing and never intended to do so with my blog. That said, I sure hope my followers will buy my book when I finally publish it. :+)

  • http://www.kristaphillips.com Krista Phillips

    I LOVE this post, Rachelle. I’ve seen so many unpublished writers stressing about this subject.

    I started blogging for fun just because, honestly, at the time I thought it was royally stupid. Then a few people started reading it, and that was cool.

    Then i found out it helped my chance to publication, so I started to get a little more serious about it.

    Then Annabelle was born, and my blog took a completely different direction, and gained a large non-writing audience, and that’s where my success has been. (granted, I’d take Annabelle’s health over a a successful blog ANY DAY obviously, but I’ve also decided to embrace every silver lining God allows to come forth, and use it for HIS glory)

    That said, I’m taking a break from it this week, which I rarely do, but it’s much needed!

  • http://rachelwilder.net Rachel Wilder

    This is very timely for me as I try to figure out what to do with mine, if anything. It’s not something I’m really into or really enjoy. I don’t like carving time out to build it up, when I’d rather be writing.

    I have been using it some to help other writers with historical fashion stuff, because I love 19th century clothing. I also use Pinterest for this and believe it or not, Pinterest is where my most of my followers are. And I don’t actively seek out followers there.

    I’m really more at home on Facebook, because I’m on there all the time. That’s where I do the bulk of my interacting with the things I watch and read. I’ll like a page on Facebook before I read a blog. Guess I have most of my answer…

  • Jerry Eckert

    Thanks so much Rachelle. I can now put blogging on the back burner without guilt. Like a weight has been taken off my shoulders.

  • nuku

    I’ve never blogged in my life, mainly ’cause I don’t have anything to say that would interest others. (And yet I still like to post my opinions. Go figure.)

    And as for that social media stuff like Facebook and whatnot, I honestly don’t see the point. Too much time and energy and stress goes into those things, taking away the time for doing something productive. Do you really need to Tweet about your breakfast? Or post on Facebook about going to a party you shouldn’t have been to?

    But enough of my ranting. Any knowledge I have of these things is more based on what they say on the news.

    Though, I just want to say, most of the people I know aren’t even on these things, and just can’t be bothered. So what I want to ask is, is it really a good idea for an author to follow the social media trend? Or should they do something else to promote their work? (what, though, I have no clue….)

    Well, anyway, thank you for reading.

    • HG Ferguson

      Hear, hear. Writers should focus their attention and effort and above all AVAILABLE TIME on their CRAFT first and foremost. All these other internet social media venues for promotion need to be explored, but not every writer is “fit” or “cut out” for everything. The current “one size fits all” dictum is both unrealistic and untrue. Bravo. Hear, hear — again.

  • http://einefeistyberg.wordpress.com Cherry Odelberg

    I blog because I enjoy it (reason #2).

    Is light philosophical thought something of value to offer?

    I do not intend to stop blogging just because my readership is in single digits. I will continue to keep searching for soul mates, asking, “do you see the same truths?”

    Blogging my thoughts is one way not to take myself too seriously and to connect socially with others.

    Blogging is great practice. Sometimes as a writer I just need to be able to say, “yes, I wrote something today. It was just a blog, but yes, I wrote.”

  • http://www.joannaaislinn.wordpress.com Joanna Aislinn

    Thanks, Rachelle, for some serious food for thought. I like both the should and should not list.

  • http://renegadeoracle.com/ Joseph Jin

    I’m not published or anything, and I haven’t done much on my blog either. This is all kinda funny considering how much I enjoy writing.

    It’s like a catch-22. You have to write a fair number of posts to build an audience to interact with, but it’s hard to feel motivated to write much when there’s no audience to interact with.

    Anyway, it’s obvious that I don’t write unless there are at least one or two people involved in the conversation. Maybe my blog is useless for now. Maybe it’s best to spend my time in social media by commenting on others’ posts and writing my own stuff every now and then.

    Whether or not a blog fits into all this is still a mystery, though.

  • Catherine Hudson

    What a relief. As an unpublished Author I have always wanted to focus on my writing, on honing my skills.
    I’m a perfectionist so despite all the calls to “get it published!” from my readers, I keep trimming and clipping.
    Along with the perfectionism, the need to blog, tweet, Facebook, Goodreads etc… has deterred me from seeking publication seriously. Yet!

    Now I can breathe a little easier. I may not have to blog, to take precious time to do something I’m not very good at. I write novels. Its what I do. I write them, trim and pick and sigh and trim and nip and tuck – until its ready. When that is I don’t know but THANK YOU Rochelle that the second I do get accepted I don’t have to worry about generating a blog with a huge following. Seriously. Thanks! :)

    P.S I think the product (the book) is the most important thing in case you didn’t get that. As an avid reader that’s what I think anyway.

    • Stephen R Welch

      Catherine, I feel much the same way you do. I have a novel I to finish, and the last thing I need is yet another distraction or excuse to procrastinate.

      Nonetheless, I think we all recognize that the industry has changed permanently and the new environment requires authors to commit an enormous amount of time to building a “platform” and promoting our own work. I have a specific idea for a blog that relates to specific areas of interest associated with my novel — who knows, however, how many followers it will attract. I’ll have to wait and see. Still, the bottom line is getting the writing done, and done well … if I spend six hours a day on social media, as some would suggest (and many seem to do), I’ll have no novel to promote …

      SRW

      • Catherine Hudson

        Six hours?! That really is a lot. I agree if you follow that rule you won’t get a quality end ‘product’

        I think all of us (who are serious about writing and getting it published) recognize the need for a platform. Its just working out a balance of how to do that and still have a life… ;)

        • Stephen R Welch

          Well, I admit “six hours” was an exaggeration (though for some it may not be) …

  • http://chitrader.wordpress.com Chris Norbury

    Blogging is in a bubble similar to a financial bubble. It got easy, everyone was doing it, so we all joined the party, because some people are making “easy money” with their blog, and it’s a great way to promote your writing, so if they can do it, why can’t I?

    Then reality sets in that most of us are not all that interesting, and of those who are, not all are great bloggers, or are too busy living interesting lives to find time to blog to others about it on a regular basis.

    So blogs gradually fade away, only a few survive that are relevent and are not merely writers blogging to other writers and other writers reading writer’s blogs, and are relevant, distinctive, and offer quality posts.

    I see similar trends happening with Facebook and Twitter. They have their uses, but too many people will discover that they’re wasting a huge portion of their lives with these timesuckers and will get back to living.

    If I read every post of every blogger I’ve had a chance to follow during the past year, I could easily spend 24 hours a day, reading, commenting and posting on my own blog.

    I’d rather write novels and short stories. Once I have a quality project finished, I’ll figure out the best way to market it. I don’t think blogging, FBing and tweeting about it will help too much in the long run. But I’ll incorporate those media if they still seem viable in the coming months and years.

  • Stephen R Welch

    Thank you for this post, Rachelle! You made my week. Some points you’ve made — that too many blogs are by writers blogging writing advice to other writers — are spot-on.

    Regarding Facebook, I’ve become bored with it and consider it to be largely a waste of time … tired of the same two or three friends posting “amusing photos” every two or three minutes. You suggest that Facebook can be used effectively. I’m intrigued … how so?

    SRW

  • Pingback: Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs Business Bonus Issue « cochisewriters

  • Pingback: How to Create Your Own Marketing Team | Rachelle Gardner

  • http://Www.jacquelinewindh.com Jacqueline Windh

    Thank you!

    I got really tired of the “standard” advice that all authors must have a blog. That makes for a real lot of blogs… And not much of an audience (other than our other SM friends who are trying to be supportive by reading our blog posts… Or maybe just reading and commenting I hope that we will do the same for them).

    I blogged fairly regularly for several years. I attained a small readership… But often, my posts would get maybe 12 or 20 views in the first few days. Not really worth my while.

    I think the days that “every” writer should have a blog are long gone. ‘cuz now, most writers do. WAY too many blogs.

    I stopped blogging over a year ago. I think my time is better spent now. I put a lfair bit of time into Twitter… But that’s about it.

  • http://sharidragovich.wordpress.com Shari Dragovich

    I really appreciate this post, Rachelle. I struggle with my blog, precisely because I feel like I “HAVE” to blog in order to build a tribe, which – by the way – I don’t have a mission for, yet! To blog as a way of practice and ‘honing’ my voice is good in theory, but often I take ages and a day to write something I feel comfortable posting. This leaves me with sporatic posting, which I’m wondering does more harm than good, if my goal is platform. If my goal is practice then fine…but why am I practicing in front of the world, who isn’t watching until they want to ‘google’ me and see I’m a sporatic blogger so then conclude I am wishy-washy about my commitments at best. : )

    You’ve given me good things to consider and I’m thankful for someone in the writing community who recognizes that blogging isn’t always the way an author should go.

  • http://valeriecomer.com/blog Valerie Comer

    I’m giving blogging one more big push since talking to social media experts at ACFW conference, though I have a bunch of things in the pipe that need to come through before making all my changes.

    A central theme to my fiction is how Christians react to the environmental movement and local foods. By January, I’ll be blogging less (two days a week instead of three) but focused entirely on those issues. I can hardly wait to get there!

  • http://www.LinnetteMullin.com Linnette

    Thanks for this, Rachelle! Now, I don’t feel so guilty. I blog when I feel like it and I have different blogs for different purposes. I just don’t have the time and energy to pour into it when I’d rather be writing books. :)

  • http://daily-bible-reading.com Deborah H. Bateman

    Thanks for sharing your post. I use my blog as the basis for my books. Eventually most of them will appear in a book, after being edited and reformatted.
    Blessings,
    Deborah H. Bateman-author

  • Pingback: BOOK BITS: Write a book in 30 days, Pippa’s recipes, ‘The Bone Bed,’ Lemony Snicket, current book fairs « The Sun Singer's Travels

  • Pingback: Thirsty Thursday Blog Roundup | Writing, Reading, and Life

  • http://www.spicetoeternity.co.uk Yvonne Pat Wright

    What a relief. I was teetering on the edge of a decision I had to make about a blogging commitment. Your article settled it for me. I only need to blog when I feel like.
    By the same token it seems your blogging is an unqualified success by the number of comments you received.

  • Pingback: Top Picks Thursday 10-25-2012 « The Author Chronicles

  • Pingback: Friday Faves | Katie Ganshert - wildflowers from winter

  • Pingback: Friday Features #28 - yesenia vargas

  • http://jenchandlerwashere.blogspot.com Jen Chandler

    I just found the link to this post on Talli Roland’s blog. Thank you for this perspective.

    I do blog but with school commitments, I’ve not posted as much as I would have liked to in the past few months. I keep coming back to my blog, however, because I love the community of bloggers I’ve met over the years.

    Blogging isn’t for everyone and I think it’s wonderful that writers are realizing that they don’t have to take away from their precious writing time to do another task. If you enjoy blogging, do it! If not, don’t stress over it.

    Thanks Rachelle!
    Jen

  • Pingback: Link Feast For Writers, vol. 27 | Reetta Raitanen's Blog

  • Pingback: How Often Should Fiction Writers Blog? | Christy Farmer

  • Pingback: The “How Often Should Fiction Writers Blog?” Manifesto | Christy Farmer

  • snehal

    I am blogging since nearly a month and half and have 21 followere and about 200 reads which dont include me…do you think blogging is good or beneficial for me? i m not a writer till now but am writing my first novel (the blog is not about it). My novel is non fiction , supernatural…but stresses mostly on emotions…do you think there is an audience for that??? please reply.

  • Pingback: Author Interview: She Writes Press Publisher Brooke Warner « Writerland

  • Pingback: Where Am I Going, Where Have I Been? « Eva Rieder

  • Pingback: Writing and ProcrastinationThe Point of the Quill

  • Pingback: The "How Often Should Fiction Writers Blog?" Manifesto » Christy Farmer

  • Megan

    Your list here really helped me determine whether it is necessary for me to have a blog. I’m almost done polishing my first novel (sending out queries in two weeks, yikes!) and I didn’t want to be the only writer left behind in the world of blogging. Under your heading, “Don’t have a blog if:” the first three bullets fit me perfectly. I’m much better at using sites like twitter, facebook, linkedin and things like that, and I think I can survive with just those. I really appreciate this!

  • Pingback: The How & Why of Author Email Lists - Inland NW Christian Writers

  • Pingback: This Week in Favs… | Melinda S. Collins

  • Pingback: Blog sì, blog no: il dilemma dello scrittore - Scrivo.me

  • Pingback: Should Authors Blog? (12 questions to ask) - Inland NW Christian Writers

  • Pingback: To Blog or Not to Blog – That Is Your Question! | Kathleen Krueger

line
Site by Author Media © Rachelle Gardner.