I know, I know. You’re tired of hearing about platform-building and how much time you’re supposed to spend on social media plugging your stuff when all you really want to do is write. I get it, because I totally feel the same way most of the time. But it doesn’t have to be torture and it doesn’t have to take forever. In fact, I had a post a while back with 10 quick and easy ways to build your platform that you might want to check out.
Anyhow, my objective here isn’t so much to talk about the broad topic of platform-building as it is to talk about a little more specific part of it: blogging.
Everyone should have a blog.
No, not really. But I do think anyone who is trying a build writing career should have a blog of some sort.
Well, there are quite a few good reasons why writers should also be bloggers.
Let’s start with the non-fiction writers:
For starters, regardless of your format (books, articles, columns, etc.) if you’re writing non-fiction, you must be an expert on something. And I think it’s safe to assume that that something is the subject of your writing.
If you’ve self-published a book on something like “Deaths caused by Christmas Trees,” what better way to sell copies of your book then by maintaining a similar blog to keep that audience up to date on any future Christmas tree deaths? Or use your expertise in Christmas tree deaths to bring the latest strategies in avoiding said deaths.
Or say you write a weekly column for a site that reviews movies, TV shows, or games, or whatever. It would make perfect sense to run a blog that covers similar topics in the area or genre you cover for your columns.
In other words, bring your unique combination of knowledge and experience to a blog that can serve as a companion to your other work.
But what about fiction writers?
I definitely think fiction writers should be blogging, but the real question is what type of blog should you have?
Well, I’d say “that depends.”
It depends on your strengths, interests, and–most importantly–goals.
If your primary purpose for a blog is to sell copies of your books, then you should consider running a blog that has some sort of tie-in to your novels. For example, say you published a trilogy of werewolf novels. You could start a blog about werewolves and other similar legends and throw in the occasional (and I mean occasional; don’t make your blog a big advertisement) plug to your books, the idea being your blog readers might not be aware of your own fiction and could potentially be willing to give it a chance.
Another option is to create a blog based on your novels. It could serve as a companion to the print, full of character bios, origins, or even short stories based in the same universe. This might be better if you’re writing an ongoing series and trying to maintain reader interest in-between books.
You could also go a completely different route and blog about things completely unrelated to your actual fiction. Personal blogs are still a thing and you could build followers by journaling your life as a writer, or your journey to publishing as an aspiring writer. Your goal in that case would be to sell yourself instead of your writing and hope that you build enough of a following online that people will want to support your writing whenever you have new material to sell.
Finally, you can take the approach I do here at Write Good Books, which is to write about writing. I don’t blog here so much to sell my own fiction, but instead to help myself and others continue to learn and improve. Running this site also keeps me interested in the business and craft of writing, and also (in theory) helps continue to build my own brand as a writer.
So there you have it. If you write, you should blog. And if you blog, well, I guess you’re already writing. But don’t stop. Blogging is a great way to express yourself, hone your skills, make connections, build a reputation, and (if you’re lucky/good at it) make some extra cash.
So thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment and share some of your own blogging experiences or links to your stuff!