Writers: The...To Blog or not to Blog Question and How to Determine if Blogging is for You
To Blog or not to Blog: Really? Think about what you just said. You’re basically saying, I don’t know what to write.
Writers spend a lot of time writing stories. Some say, I don’t have time to blog. I don’t know what to blog. Blogging is just so overwhelming.
Let’s take a close look at each of these excuses and determine if they are valid.
1. I don’t have time to blog.
Either you don’t see the value, you don’t know how to write short, sweet and fast or you have the issues of thinking what you have to say isn’t worth reading. Let’s look at subject A:
a) I don’t see the value in blogging.
*Sigh* You might have heard about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is one way readers find you. Remember, you write for a variety of reasons, but you PUBLISH for only 3 reasons. Those are:
- To inspire
- To entertain
- To solve a problem
Yes, you PUBLISH for one of those 3 reasons. Guess why I’m writing this post. If you said all 3, you’d be right! Back to "I don't see the value in blogging". The value of blogging is to reach readers. They don’t always search Amazon for your key words or specific title. They may type in “Free stories” or “Free money” or “Free sex” – whatever. If you had a title like that, I wonder how much SEO you’d get. The more eyes on your writing, the better. Sometimes you get people who want your books because you write well.
b) I don’t know how to write short, sweet and fast.
That’s okay. You know the recommended amount of posts are 2 – 3 a month. That’s because you can promote the post everywhere. Sure I do once a day but they are mostly short 300 – 500 word articles. You don’t have to write fast. You don’t even have to make the posts long.
c) What I have to say isn’t worth reading.
Okay. I’ll come out and say, if that’s how you feel, then don’t publish. Stop the bullshit “I’m a horrible writer” crap excuse to prevent from blogging. If your ego is so low that you’re constantly asking for an ego boost by way of compliment, you don’t have thick enough skin yet to publish. If this is the excuse you use for not blogging, don’t publish yet. Get your boot straps laced and pull your pants on first—then blog.
There’s a theme here—there is only one good reason not to blog. If someone tells me they don’t want to—that’s a good reason. They think it’s a waste of time, blogging is dead. Well, I say, it depends. Thirteen year olds aren’t allowed to go on social media yet and therefore, they interact with blogs because it’s the only social thing they can do. Maybe your audience isn’t thirteen year olds. Maybe your audience are people that can’t discuss the kind of things on social media platforms because it’s a hot button. Those adults will find your stuff if you present it on your blog. Politics for instance—for some they don’t want to discuss it with friends on Facebook, but they would on another forum if they felt safe enough to.
Through out this, the point that’s most important is the 3 reasons why you publish. When you don’t know what to write, think about why your write. It’s 1 of the 3, or maybe all of them. So blog about your writing inspiration, blog to entertain people, blog to help other people. But don’t think you have nothing to blog for.
ACTION ITEM: Find your reason to blog: to inspire, to entertain or to solve a problem. Remember that helping a reader find your book is under the "solving a problem" and the "to entertain" category because being bored and not finding the right kind of entertainment is a problem. :)
Tuesday Tools: Twitter
No, this isn't a use twitter and how to use it or use it or die post...this is a use twitter as a tool post. Or maybe twitter is a tool. That sounded more insulting in my head.
Twitter as a tool other than tweeting? Oh heck yeah! Of course! What's more social proff than a social media service that you see everywhere in your streams? Have you ever tried to reach out to someone on twitter for services?
Not the type of thing where you go...oh, they seem nice, what do they do? And then you go on to buy a service of theirs. But the type of thing where you go looking for specific services.
As I look at my new followers I wonder--hey, I might need their services. But when I think I need a service or someone like my new VA, my first thought is elance, odesk, fiverr, etc.
Have you ever searched on twitter for a resource or service? Doesn't it make sense to go through the people you've connected with for help? Conversly, if you offer a service make sure you have your website and an explaination of what you offer on your profile! Some of you I'd hire right from the info I find there.
ACTION ITEM: Make sure you include the hashtag of what you do so people can find you when looking
Image created by SNMcKibben
I believe Agents might become Author Advocates.
You know what a publisher does, more or less, but what is an author's advocate?
In a sentence...an author's advocate is someone who will help you reach publication and teach you how to publish yourself by instruction.
You are not alone with an Author's advocate, but you have the freedom of self-publishing. Yes, this is a service and it will cost you in royalties. But in two years time I will expect my authors to either do it themselves or make me do it because I'm convenient. Not because they feel they can't publisher their own work.
I want to know that they don't feel helpless in the game of publishing. In two years, I expect a timid writer to feel confident they can just do it.
Then the author will gain the royalties--all of it.
Someday, I want have a site where my authors upload their books and get a 90% or 95% royalty. I want to use social media and opt in email lists to drive traffic to the site. I want my authors to make the bank.
The site will only be about books and authors swag. Secretly, I want to one day make Amazon say -- oh crap! We have to compete with her! And then I'll probably be crushed or bought, but it's a dream.
Back to an author's advocate. So while I am publishing my author's work, the real goal is to give them the inside look as to how it's done. I'd rather an author say, I can do it, but I'd rather pay Stephanie because she treats me well and she's worth the value I get.
Traditionally published authors have something I don't. I can't make Amazon have a pre-order page of your book. I can't make Amazon DO anything like traditional publishers can. But I can have pre-orders on your site. I can drive traffic there instead of Amazon. I can build an empire with my authors and author advocacy will abound.
Because it's what feels right. It's what feels ethical. Agents will become Author Advocates. The damn publishing contract will be a page long and everyone will listen to the ethical side of business. Okay, I can dream. But not everyone realizes that a contract is only as good as the people who sign it but here at Troll River--we do.
Action Item: Tell me what you think Agents will become in the future. Tell me what you'd like in an Author Advocate.
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
Books on Kindle