Thursday, February 28, 2013

Does Blogging Help or Hinder Your Writing Career?

There seems to be a lot of dissension lately on whether blogging helps your writing career, or is something that is simply a giant waste of time. In a lot of cases, I think it depends on the author's branding and publishing choices. There are so many paths to publishing these days that there's no simple right or wrong answer.

So what's an author to do? Make a pros and cons list of course! (Mind you, I'm biased. I do this with nearly every part of my life!)


Pros
  • Blogging allows for potential readers to meet you, and "hear" your voice.
  • It allows you to build a community - a group of people who will support you during your own book launch. This might not sound like much until you realize you've made a group of connections who are willing to host interviews, share your giveaways, and maybe even review your book for support. A little help does go a long way. 
  • It can boost your name in Google searches. (This is something that's much more important to self-publishers, of course.) If you have a common name, you want to be at the top of the Google results for your name. How do you do that? Have a blog where you post regularly. Google hearts blogs that are updated often.
  • You can introduce your characters to regular readers as part of a blog post.
  • You can release excerpts of your novel - teasers - to keep interest current during the writing process. 
  • A few publishers have been known to recommend it. 
  • You can build an email list of people interested in you/your writing to contact before book releases. 
  • One blog post going viral can get your writing in front of a brand new crowd of readers.

Cons
  • Blogging takes away from time you could be spending on the writing process.
  • If you're writing posts for other authors, you're not likely to be writing for your target readers. This is fine when you're unpublished, but can be a little off putting when your are published. 
  • You have to be equally as careful with blog posts as you would be for anything you publish. Typos in that blog post? Readers might think the same thing is likely to be true in your novels. 
  • If you drop off the radar for awhile, everyone knows. If they don't know the reason, they're likely to come up with their own speculations. (Under that note, let's all stay away from my blog, deal?)
  • You might say too much. If you're querying, an agent might notice if you have a few grips about the process. 

If you're looking for some great (but non YA related) reads on this debate, try these!

Should you be blogging to help your writing career (or is it a big waste of time)? by Justine Musk (Note, she likes her sailor curse words from time to time.)
(Second note - there are more related articles after the main article!)

Why Do We blog? by Molly Greene

Author Blogging: You're Doing It All Wrong by Livia Blackburne

How a Blogging Platform Can Help Novelists by K.M. Weiland and Joanna Penn



What are your opinions? Does blogging help your writing?

2 comments:

  1. There are a lot of days when I don't feel like writing at all and blogging seems like a great alternative to at least be doing something proactive.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, great call! Do you find that blogging gets your creativity flowing again?

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