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Forum nameMain Community Discussion Board
Topic subjectTo Blog or Not to Blog
Topic URLhttp://www.fmwriters.com/community/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=17&topic_id=90771
90771, To Blog or Not to Blog
Posted by LeeLee, Tue May-01-12 04:30 PM
Yes, that is really my question.

I have been thinking about blogging recently. I actually tried turning my livejournal account into a blog, but I feel like no one really uses that anymore.

So, could you give me thoughts on blogging? Pros and cons. I'm really on the fence on whether this would help me as a writer or not. Plus, I am also on the fence as to what to blog about: books or writing or both.

90772, RE: To Blog or Not to Blog
Posted by Erin_M_H, Tue May-01-12 04:56 PM
Blog if it's something you want to and would enjoy doing. Blog about what interests you. As examples, Zette has a photography blog in addition to her writing blog; Valerie Comer blogs about sustainability issues and food; John Scalzi posts pictures of sunsets and his pets (in addition to talking about publishing, politics, and whatever else suits his fancy), Tobias Buckell discusses politics and race and global warming, Neil Gaiman talks about family and pets and comic censorship and bees and writing . . .

But it comes down to what appeals to you -- what do you want to do?

-- Erin
90774, RE: To Blog or Not to Blog
Posted by LeeLee, Tue May-01-12 11:15 PM
I have thought about blogging for two reasons. One, I like talking about books. Books I've read, books I want to read, and books that help the writer inside me grow. Two, I like reposting funny/inspirational/pretty pictures/quotes. But I'm not sure that I am a "real" blogger. As in, "who would want to read my blog every day?"
90777, RE: To Blog or Not to Blog
Posted by Erin_M_H, Wed May-02-12 06:15 AM
In some ways, it's easier if no one's reading your blog at the beginning. It gives you time to figure out your voice and a schedule that works for you. Also, when you get a number of posts built up before you start really trying to find an audience, they have something to read when they come.

As for building an audience -- every quarter, Jean Schara updates the blog listing for FM members, so you can be listed there; if you're on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, you can post links to your blog post for people who you're already connected to; when you visit blogs you're interested in, you can include your blog address when you leave a comment and interested people can follow that link to find you; and next April, I definitely recommend trying the A to Z Blog Challenge, where you'll find new blogs you want to follow and others will find you.

-- Erin
90773, RE: To Blog or Not to Blog
Posted by Linda Adams, Tue May-01-12 08:27 PM
A blog can be a great promotion tool for a writer, once you find your voice. That's the tough part. The first thing a lot of writers do is start blogging about how-tos for writing, and that's not going to attract potential readers to the "brand you."

It also can take a long time to find your platform and voice. Mike Hyatt talks about taking four years to find it: http://michaelhyatt.com/4-insights-i-gleaned-from-building-my-own-platform.html A lot of people give up right before they hit it, because it is discouraging to see nothing happening and not understand why.

It requires a commitment of time -- at least a couple of quality posts each week. Otherwise people have no reason to return. Three a week is generally recommended because it'll give you visibility, but that's also a lot of posts to do while you're finding your brand. At the same time, don't over commit yourself. You don't want the blogging to take over and keep you from doing the biggest priority: Writing.
90775, RE: To Blog or Not to Blog
Posted by LeeLee, Tue May-01-12 11:17 PM
Thanks for the link! That was one of my main concerns. Who wants to read my blog/how much time should I put into it that I could be spending on writing.
90776, RE: To Blog or Not to Blog
Posted by Linda Adams, Wed May-02-12 05:33 AM
One helpful thing about blogging programs is that you can do timed blogs that post during the week. Once you figure out what direction you want to go, you can write the posts at a time of your choosing and set them to post.

Platform is about giving people a reason to read your blog.