Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To Blog or Not To Blog?

Is it really worthwhile? Many of us have asked ourselves this question. And depending on the person, answers will vary. Some feel it involves too much time and effort that could be better spend on their next story. Others feel a blog keeps them connected with their readers, authors, and others out there in cyberspace.

I've often wondered--of what benefit to me is it to have fellow authors read my blog. The answer is simple. Authors are readers too. They have readers on their blogs that may drop by yours on occasion. Also, those writer friends may ask you to guest on their site and vise versa which may bring you new readers.

When I started my blog, Linda LaRoque's Musings, it was difficult deciding what to blog about. Interestingly enough, I get more hits on recipes, vacations, posts about my dog (this week I told about her run-in with a copperhead snake), and short stories I've written. Readers also like to hear about new releases and promotional events. An occasional post with writing tips can also be a big hit.

Blogging doesn't have to be hard. Your posts don't have to be long or on a schedule. Write about what interests you which in turn proves to your readers you're an interesting individual. Respond to your reader's comments. They may never check back, but then again, they might.

Offer an incentive for them to keep coming back. I give away an ebook every month.

I've just started putting out a monthly newletter. Will it take the place of my blog? I don't think so. Though the newsletter will have some of what I've blogged about, it serves a different purpose. Many would rather read something once a month that comes directly to their mailbox rather than go to your site each time you blog.

Remember, each time you blog, each time you comment on a blog, google makes note and that's a hit for you. Google your name and see how many times your name comes up? Is it 10, 100, 1000, 10,000? The higher the number, the better you're doing on getting your name out there.

What are your thoughts about blogging?

Happy Reading and Writing folks!



Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I agree 100%. Keeping a high Google presence helps readers find all your books and the new e-distributors that they would not have otherwise known about. You would be surprised at who is using readers these days. My MN cousin who has lived in Brasil (Not misspelled for her) teaches English to people from all over the world. She has an inexpensive reader and is buying my book in that format.

The idea of making yourself interesting is a big sales plus. You are, and you did.


Linda LaRoque said...

Hi Jule,
I'm an ereader person too, as is my husband. We don't like to buy paper books anymore though I do enjoy seeing mine in print. I've an ebookwise reader for years and am about to invest in a Nook.

I don't doubt in a few years textbooks will all be ebooks. Of course, students can tear up ereaders but if their parents have to buy them, maybe they'll take better care of them than they do textbooks. I taught school for 30 years and it's a shame what happens to the texts.

Thank you, Julie. I try!


Ashley Barnard said...

I didn't realize that about boosting your Google rating, so that's good to know! Just started blogging myself, so it was great to see more reasons to keep on plugging.

Jude Johnson said...

Thanks for bringing this up, Linda. It's been difficult to convince other author friends how easy it is to blog - especially in a group situation where you aren't the only contributor. Not limiting your subject matter to profound subjects makes it a lot more fun, too!


Linda LaRoque said...

Great, Ashley. Glad I relayed some constructive info. Keep on bloggin'!

Linda LaRoque said...

I sometimes think a group blog is harder. When your turn comes up you may not be in the mood, or you can't think of anything interesting. That makes it a chore.

Victoria Roder said...

Very good points, Julie. Sometimes it feels like I'm talking to myself, yet I continue to blog, blog, blog. Hpefully as writers we can reach one new person each time.

Ciara Gold said...

I agree about blogging and everything else we do to get our name out. My own promotional efforts are rather seasonal though. Time is my worst enemy but even short on time, I make an effort. Great post. You'd make a darn good cheerleader.

Rhobin said...

Blogging is hard, but as you say, it's about keeping a presence. I hate promotion but it is so necessary, I'd much rather write. Blogging can at least become an extension of writing.