Thursday, November 29, 2007

To Blog or Not to Blog...

That is the question most writers are faced with at some point in time. Should they invest the time and energy into a blog so they can connect with their readers? Or simply spend the time writing or pursuing other promotional activities.

For one, even though we’re introverts, we are comfortable writing (or so I’m guessing, otherwise we wouldn’t be you know--writers) so using the written word whenever possible to do our promoting for us is always smart. Even smarter, doing it from the relative “call your own shots” environment of the internet. Because, to restate one of our mottos around here, The internet is an introvert's best friend.

So how does one decide?

Do you like chatting? Do you have things to chat about, besides what you had for breakfast that morning and whether or not you were late dropping Petunia off at school? Because if you’re a writer who’s blogging, your blog will also be a professional representation of who you are, not just a personal diary.

Blogs are not about you, they're about what you can give your audience. The very best blogs inform as they entertain. What “takeaway” element are you giving your readers?

And speaking of audiences, who do you expect to read your blog? Fellow writers? Readers? Librarians? Kids? And whoever you’re intended audience, how do you plan to attract readers to your blog in the first place?

Remember, blogs aren’t always about promoting; they can be about building a community, sharing common interests, connecting with people, offering a service.

What will keep your readers coming back? What is your purpose in having them come back (besides having your site meter register high numbers)?

Even if your blog has a relatively small readership, don’t make a mistake of thinking it’s a place to say private things. Anything you say in any e-form can always find it’s way into the most unexpected hands! If you know that you don't tend to self-censor very well, then perhaps a public forum isn't your best choice.

While you really don’t have to blog every day, it helps to be consistent at least. Say, every Monday and Thursday, for example. (Don’t look at my personal blog because it is a very good example of NOT being consistent OR regular. Do what we say here at SVP, not necessarily what we do.)

Still not sure? Give it a try, but perhaps anonymously. Or simply practice in a word document and save your entries. See how that goes before you commit fully to a blog. You might just find yourself addicted.

Or not. And that's okay, too, because one of our other favorite mottos around here is "Know thyself."


Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

I started blogging a few months ago, and I thoroughly enjoy it. I would say that's an important element: if it feels like a chore, if you dread it, you can find other ways to spend your time and energy. But for me it's an introvert's dream: a way to communicate with other people who care about writing, yet it's not draining the way in-person interactions can be.

Mary Hershey said...

I'm so glad Robin did an entry about blogging-- I think it is a FANTASTIC tool, but as she said, you need to "know thyself" and it if isn't doesn't appeal to you, or doesn't work for you-- it's optional! I happen to love blogging and look forward to it. Love writing them and love reading them. Would not have guessed that about myself.

Just one tool of many to consider!


Patty Palmer said...

Thanks for the post! Sometimes I wonder why I blog, especially when there are no said books to promote (yet!). But, I love the blogging community and the source of great info it gives to aspiring novelists, like me.

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