It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging


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Should writers blog?

Note from Jane: This provocative guest post is by L.L. Barkat (@llbarkat). If this topic interests you, I also recommend reading my older posts, Please Don’t Blog Your Book: 4 Reasons Why and Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers, especially if you think blogging is the right choice for you. While my views don’t mirror Barkat’s (see the comments for my take), her perspective is refreshing and helps to dispel a few platform-building myths that are pervasive in the writing community. Blogging is neither a requirement nor the best marketing and promotion tool for a huge swath of writers, regardless of their experience or level of accomplishment.

I look forward to a lively debate—offer your view in the comments. You should also read this counterpoint from Dan Blank, 2 Strategic and Compelling Reasons to Keep Blogging—and When You Should Stop.


“Blogging is a waste of time.”

The panel burst into protestations. Jana Riess, Lauren Winner, Cindy Crosby, and Andy Crouch were at the Calvin Festival, discussing social media in 2006, before it was a foregone conclusion that if you were an author you should have a blog.

Andy Crouch was being a bit bald-faced in making his proclamation. After all, he wasn’t a blogger. He didn’t have much of a social media presence. Remember, these were the days before Twitter, super-charged Facebook, and LinkedIn. And forget about an author claiming to be the Mayor of the Library of Congress in a game of Foursquare. What’s more, nobody was going to pin Crouch’s statement on Pinterest or pheed it to Pheed.

Was Crouch right?

I decided to find out. Especially because I’d recently met the Director of Marketing and Promotion from Simon & Schuster, who’d told me flatly, “We ask all our authors to start blogs.”

So in 2006, I started blogging. Over six years, I wrote more than 1,300 blog posts, garnered over 250,000 page views, helped establish a large blogging network for which I later became the Managing Editor, test-marketed five books and wrote and sold them. I watched blogging colleagues get book contracts. I hired some of these  bloggers as editors for the network where I managed. I was a true believer in the blog world.

But on Saturday, November 10, 2012, I suddenly did the unthinkable. I myself stopped blogging.

I had finally decided that Andy Crouch was right. Six years later.

Last spring, an author approached me via Twitter to get my advice about blogging. How could she make it work for her? Was it worth it? Should she move to WordPress, get a new design? What did I think?

I told her to forget about blogging. And one week later, after a Skype conversation about writing and platform-building, I hired her as an Editor for Every Day Poems, a publication of the site where I currently serve as Managing Editor. “How many people are visiting your blog per month? One hundred?” I had joked gently. “Work with us and serve a much larger audience. This will be more worth your time.”

Does this mean I would recommend that everyone stop blogging? No. I encourage new bloggers, just the way I always have. It’s an excellent way to find expression, discipline, and experience. But if writers already have experience, and they are authors trying to promote themselves and their work, I tell them to steer clear. If they’ve already found themselves sucked into the blogging vortex, I suggest they might want to give it up and begin writing for larger platforms that don’t require reciprocity (an exhausting aspect to blogging and a big drain on the writer’s energy and time).

Someone will disagree with me and point to a case like best-selling author Ann Voskamp, and I will point them back to the facts. Yes, Voskamp made it big largely because of the power of her blogging platform, but she had the power of being first. Before blogging was a “thing,” Voskamp was already blogging quietly and steadily in 2003. Before blog networks came of age, she was writing for one of the few women’s sites that also had the power of being first. Time cannot be turned back. Few authors can make of themselves what Voskamp did—not for lack of talent but for lack of timing and sheer cyber-longevity.

If an author shouldn’t be blogging, what should an author be doing? This is up for discussion. It is a current trend to use Facebook as a writing venue. One of my top colleagues just got invited to write for 99U, as a result of her Facebook-writing activity. This same colleague connected with Lifehacker via Twitter and got a regular writing gig as a result. And she is not a writer with an otherwise large platform. As it turns out, intelligence can be expressed in strings of 140 characters, and big outlets will pay attention.

For myself, the same has been true. New writing assignments, some even international, have come primarily through Twitter. Likewise, I myself publish poets I meet on Twitter and Tumblr, while I am far less likely to do the same for bloggers. It’s not a bias. It’s a matter of simplicity. I can see at a glance how a writer expresses. Remember the old elevator pitch? It’s alive and well on Twitter and I depend on it. Apparently others do too.

Is blogging a waste of time? Crouch was ahead of his time in saying so. For the experienced writer, my answer is yes … in 2013.

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  • jeffo

    I note that there are a lot of successful authors who DON’T blog. Of course, many were successful long before blogging became a thing, but certainly they are active in other areas.

    New authors need to approach blogging carefully. It can be a huge time sink–if you let it become one, but so can Twitter and all the others, if you’re not careful. It’s also not going to pave your road with gold and book deals and mega-advances. The problem is most new writers end up blogging about…writing, and that interests other people who are at the same stage in their writing career. On the other hand, it can be a good way to meet people, feel like part of the community, get support and feedback. I’ve picked up a couple of great beta readers through blogging.

  • Beth bates

    Hallelujah, amen. I’m taking this post as gospel and going to finish my book now. Also, please define “experienced.”

  • http://www.janefriedman.com/ Jane Friedman

    As someone who has been blogging since 2008—and pulled back in summer 2012, for various reasons—here’s my perspective on what I see as a fairly multi-faceted issue.

    1. There are a million blogs out there, and it’s tough to get attention. So I agree with Laura that people who get into the game today must contend with a very different dynamic than people who got into it 5 or 10 years ago.

    However, that’s not a reason not to do it. If it were, then why bother writing fiction or poetry or memoir or essay? Thousands upon thousands of writers are already out there doing it—moreso than ever—but yet we all know and agree that a new voice still has the chance of finding an audience.

    2. I would be more inclined to discourage a new writer from blogging than an experienced one (it can become a major distraction for some writers if they’re working on manuscript), though it depends on MANY factors. Usually the top 3 considerations are (a) what is giving you energy rather than taking it (b) what will lead to career progress in your *current* situation, and (c) do you have something to say—or a voice/personality—that’s a great fit for a blog?

    Blogging can help both new and experienced writers with discipline, focus, and voice development. But it is indeed a waste of time if you’re doing it because someone admonished you to (e.g., to build your platform), and it’s a forced chore. If you’re not enjoying it, neither are your readers.

    Established writers likely have more reason to blog than beginners for the simple reason that they have an existing audience who seek engagement and interaction in between “formal” book releases (or other writings). It may take less effort to interest and gather readers if you’re known, and it’s valuable to attract readers to your website (via a blog) rather than a social media outlet since you don’t really own your social media profiles, nor do you control the changing tides that surround them. You DO, however, own your website and blog (or should).

    3. Regardless of how well established you are, it’s always a good idea to look for new (and bigger) outlets where you can become a contributor. Such efforts not only bring you into contact with new audiences/readers, but also drive traffic back to your existing site or blog.

  • http://twitter.com/AmySueNathan Amy Sue Nathan

    I’ve been blogging since 2006. I can’t imagine not blogging. But I do suggest to new writer or author bloggers that they blog less about their book or writing and more about their interest, or what their writing is about. I don’t think that blogs that are just a book or even a personal life (unless it’s awful or awesome) will get through all the noise that is out there today. But a special interest blog—about gardening or toddlers or cupcakes just might. And there area always ways to also make it about the writing and/or the book.

  • jswwrites

    The whole “build a platform” thing is overrated – it mostly just takes time from writing. I blog and use Facebook and Twitter. That’s it. I blog because I enjoy it — I was blogging before I was publishing — not necessarily to build an audience for my books. If that happens, it’s great, but if not, that’s okay, too. I’m fairly new to the publishing world (less than a year) but I took some early advice to heart: only do the things you enjoy and forget the rest so you can focus on writing.

  • http://rmabry.com Richard Mabry

    I’ve addressed this before with those who read my tweets, Facebook posts and blog. Each audience had a different view, but apparently all of them agreed that they spent much more time on Facebook than either of the other two venues. I’m probably where most of my published-but-still-working-to-maintain-platform colleagues are: I’m afraid to stop what I’m doing. Thanks, LL and Jane, for triggering further discussion.

  • http://anthonydavidjacques.wordpress.com/ Anthony David Jacques

    I find that blogging was good experience, and I even did a short story a week for an entire year on my blog back in 2010.

    But I realized not long after that blogging was the gateway drug to better writing and it was time to move on bigger things. I have been a contributor and editor on a couple online zones since then, have published a few short stories and am waiting to hear back from my editor on my first novel due out later this year.

    The time I saved no longer blogging made all this possible. But I would always add, to each his own. Who knows, maybe someone will come along and revolutionize what blogging means in this new decade of the 21st century. That person probably isn’t me, but that doesn’t mean that persons isn’t out there about to blow our minds.

    Good article.

  • http://bojiki.com/ Kurt Brindley

    If someone has a blogging niche, a speciality, a unique voice, then blog it. A problem I see is, many writers’s blogs, mine included, are all over the map, not focused nor are they regularly presented. On the other hand, there are way too many writers out there with “how to succeed as writers” blogs. I tend to expect highly established writers, the NBAs and Pulitzer Prize winners, etc., not to have a blog or much of a social presence. Call it a personal bias but to me blogging seems rather blue collar. Nothing wrong with that – life is full of hierarchies and rank structures. Great post.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Richard, say more about why you are afraid?

  • moonduster

    When I was very young, I decided I wanted to be a writer, and somewhere along the way, I stopped writing and stopped believing. In 2008, I started working at losing weight and started to blog about it. (I lost 145+ lbs and went from morbidly obese to a healthy BMI.) I was approached by the editor of a magazine to begin writing regular articles for them and that lasted for over a year. In that time, I started blogging, on separate blogs, about other things that interested me, including writing.

    Through blogging, I found my voice again and remembered how much writing meant to me. I have written two novels, a YA novella, a middle grade book, a non-fiction book and many picture books since then. (Still perfecting my craft and looking for an agent.) I’ve also made loads of contacts within the industry, developed some friendships with people who are now my critique partners and started a writing challenge that grew from 23 members in the first year to just under 100 members in the second year.

    Blogging may or may not be useful as a platform for writers to sell their books, but it is useful in many other ways. Maybe the problem is with people who start blogging solely as a means to sell their books and not for the reasons of being part of a community and the love of writing. I don’t force myself to write blog posts a certain number of times a week or anything like that. I write when I have something to say.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Js, great point about doing what we enjoy. That makes us attractive to both ourselves and others. What do you particularly enjoy about blogging right now? :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    I agree that a new voice always has a chance of finding an audience. I also believe that it’s easier for writers who are writing in a niche, because they’ll be perceived as new sooner than someone who is competing in a saturated space.

    Where do you think it’s easiest to be found as a new voice?

    Oh, fun—that you would discourage the new writer! What do you encourage a new writer to do, if not blog?

  • http://rmabry.com Richard Mabry

    Because, as you know, authors want to sell books–it’s how they make royalties and get new contracts. And to sell books, we need to help potential readers discover us. We can all say “write the best book possible and it will sell,” but deep in our hearts, we wonder what else we could/should be doing to further our cause.
    Thanks again for a very thought-provoking post.

  • http://twitter.com/DinaSantorelli Dina Santorelli

    I started blogging in 2010 as a way to fight my way out of a writer’s block. My theory was that writing something — anything — was the ticket to getting my novel completed, and it worked. Rather than sapping my energy, blogging invigorated me, connected me with other writers who were having similar problems or who had helpful advice. I completed my first novel about five months after I started my blog. So as I wrote my second novel (I’m editing it now), I figured the same technique would work — it didn’t. And hasn’t. Blogging didn’t seem as vital to the process as it did the first time. I’m not sure why. Had I changed? Had the world changed? Perhaps a little of both. I still blog, but it seems more now to be a pastime or a marketing tool, rather than a vital part of the creative process. I NEEDED it then as a writer, but now less so — particularly with revved up social media such as Facebook Twitter, etc. — as a marketer or writer.

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    This is a really helpful post because I think it cuts to the real goal that many writers have with their blogs: reach a large number of readers. In many cases, guest posting for other websites with large readerships is the way to reach that goal. Having said that, if you can find a sustainable way to use a blog to reach your audience, that could still work. I think this post helps attack the assumption that a blog is where it’s at, when guest posting and writing for high traffic sites will bring a greater return for your time, even if a blog is still something you should pursue. For me personally, I need my blog to test out ideas before I invest in a book proposal for them. The blog has also helped me market my books, but I’m guilty of not thinking about the other ways I can reach readers online.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Great question.

    By “experienced,” I mean a writer who has finally developed a solid voice, the ability to handle deadlines (um, pretend you don’t know I have a review due right now ;-) ), can write tightly and consistently, has developed a basic network with editors or published writers—in other words, a writer who could easily be writing for larger venues but perhaps is so tied to her blogging that she isn’t finding the time.

    This was the case with the writer who approached me. It would have taken so much effort to build her blogging presence, and she didn’t need to do that, because she already had a great deal of opportunity ready to be acted upon.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Special interest blogs have more of a chance, yes! As is true with niche-products in other arenas.

    Would love to hear why you can’t imagine not blogging :)

  • Valorie Grace Hallinan

    I’ve grown to love my blog and I don’t plan to give it up any time soon, whether or not I become extensively published. I like it because of the art form itself, the mode of expression, the sheer pleasure of creating something that is meaningful to people. I like it because I’m offering something readers who find me value – and I’m giving it away for free which, I have to say, isn’t what I wanted to do at first. But now I find that free giving satisfying and something important in my life. (Not that I would give all my writing away for free or advise other writers to do so.) In my blog space, I can write what I want without having to then also find and persuade an editor to allow me to say it to a larger audience. It’s important to write well enough and develop contacts to publish, but with a blog, you can immediately “publish” what you write. Even if you don’t have a large audience, it is satisfying, and the discipline of writing short pieces regularly for people to view is a good learning experience.

    I don’t like “don’t do this” approaches. There are some well known authors who blog and I’ve learned a lot from them. There are bloggers who aren’t well known but they are excellent, and I’ve learned a lot from them too. Prescriptive language and advice can be discouraging.

  • L.L. Barkat

    The community aspect can be so important. It all comes to one’s purposes for blogging. The writer who approached me was trying to build a platform for her poetry books. It would have been a very slow-go, if ever achieving that at all.

    Curious to know… where do you meet the most new colleagues currently? Facebook, Twitter, or blogging?

  • L.L. Barkat

    I always, always loved that about blogging: I was the Editor and I always published me. :) This was important on so many levels.

    What do you love most about your blog?

  • http://www.100memoirs.wordpress.com/ Shirley Hershey Showalter

    Laura, you have named what I have suspected in the last year or so. Many of my most admired blogger friends are ready to move on. How much of your own decision is due to your own development as a writer with an already-established platform who has more choices now and how much is due to new conditions in the blogosphere (too many other bloggers)? Also, after so many years, was burnout an issue?

    Your point about the expectation of reciprocity and (Kurt’s point in the comments) the tendency for blogs to build a community of other writers instead of loyal readers attracted to a unique voice is worth considering.

    You’ve convinced me to start using Twitter more intelligently. Thanks!

    I am migrating a lot of my blog content (386 posts) in a simple way by making lists on Riffle. This may help me eventually give up my original 100memoirs.com blog because it will give readers an easy way to find even more than 100 great memoirs under different categories. It will be easier to stop blogging when I have multiple ways to re-purpose and share all those reviews.

    Jane’s point about owning the content is important. I blogged for a year at Posterous (grannnannydiaries) and now have to migrate all those lovely pictures of my grandson in NYC because Posterous is going out of business!

  • L.L. Barkat

    Ed, thanks. :) If I remember correctly, it was through writing for some larger venues that you really started to become known (and better able to market your books). You are, it seems to me, a perfect example of a writer who has been able to sift through what a blog can and can’t accomplish for you professionally.

    I loved testing out my ideas on my blogs. Did that, over and again. Hmmm. I wonder where my testing will happen in the future :)

  • http://www.wegrowmedia.com/ Dan Blank

    L.L.,

    Thank you for the thoughtful post. I tend to agree with Jane’s comments here.

    To me, this topic is important because it asks a question of WHY? Why blog? Why write? Why use Twitter? When you don’t understand your goals, you can’t adequately make decisions about how to manage your writing life.

    I see far too many blog posts that try to remove thoughtfulness from the process of becoming a writer, and becoming a writer who gets READ. So much out there saying:

    YOU HAVE TO BLOG!

    YOU HAVE TO BE ON GOOGLE+!

    YOU HAVE TO WRITE MORE BOOK!

    What is missing from this is that the journey of each writer is different. Their goals are different. There is no ‘one’ way.

    Personally, I have blogged since August of 2006. How do I measure the value of this? Certainly not by page views. That isn’t really a good measure of success. I measure the value of blogging in my life by:

    1. Creative expression: I have blogged every week since 2006, each week, not just giving me an outlet, but encouraging me to create and PUBLISH. It builds a habit that is easily sidetracked by nearly anything.

    2. A body of work: I am proud to see what I have created in that time. When I look back on favorite posts, I begin to find threads that reflect who I am and my perspective on the world. Oftentimes, these are things I was not consciously aware of at the time, and can only see when I connect the many dots – the many blog posts.

    3. Relationships. There is far too much focus on “getting attention!!!!” and “building influence!!!!” when we talk about blogging or developing an author platform. This rings hollow to me. When I look back on what my blog has delivered over the years, it is not “page views” or “Twitter followers” or “influence” or “attention.” It is relationships. That I have close friends now that I never would have had without my blog. My blog is very much me. It sends a signal out to the world not searching for page views, but for like minds. Without my blog, my life would be filled with fewer amazing people.

    4. Craft. So much of writing is about finding one’s voice. About learning how to tell a story. About the craft of writing. If you go back to what I shared years ago, vs what I share today, you will likely see a difference. Gladwell called it putting in your 10,000 hours. Maybe that translates to 10,000 blog posts.

    I absolutely respect your perspective, that your thoughts on blogging make sense for you. But blogging is a platform, nothing more. It is what you make of it. Just as I would never say to someone: “Don’t use email” or “don’t use the phone” I would never say “don’t blog” as a rule.

    But mostly, I feel that discussions like this should talk about value beyond page views, beyond just vying for attention. There is so much more depth here in what we create, why we create it, how it shapes peoples lives, and the connections that are made.

    Thanks for the lively discussion here in the post and the comments!
    -Dan

  • L.L. Barkat

    Dina, that is fascinating. And maybe this is the real point: we need to pay attention to what is working for us and what is not. Blogging is hard to stop once we start, for a lot of reasons, but if we need to do that to protect our creative process, well… :)

    What is currently the most vital part of your creative process?

  • L.L. Barkat

    Moonduster, I love this… “I write when I have something to say.” Do you think most bloggers operate this way?

    I’m also interested in knowing how much you do the reciprocity aspect of blogging (going to other blogs, commenting back on your own blog).

  • L.L. Barkat

    oh, Kurt, that is fun. Blue-Collar Blogger might need to be started by someone who is ready to blog :)

    I hesitated to make the post sound like there is a ranking. But I suppose it’s in there. It’s refreshing to me that you would see that as okay :)

  • Valorie Grace Hallinan

    For me the discovery process – discovering my voice, and what I really want to say. That is, what do I really want to say that is going to be of value to people? To keep going with a blog, you really have to think about that. It’s not just about self-expression. It’s, what do I want to put out into the world? For others? Experienced and published writers, of course, are further down that road – they have more fully developed voices, they are more sure about what they want to say, and they have more venues.
    Thanks for this great discussion.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Anthony, I like your openness. True, that people have different ways of making things work. I also *love* that you were able to see that, at least for you, it was time to stop blogging if you were going to accomplish certain goals.

  • Beth Bates

    I think I only blog when I want to write about something I don’t feel like going through the rigamarole of submitting to journals or pitching. But maybe I ought to.

  • http://twitter.com/DinaSantorelli Dina Santorelli

    That is a good question. I’m not sure. But I think I looked to blogging as being a vital part back in 2010 — as a way of connecting and interacting and, as you say, crafting my voice and getting it out there. Now, I’m connected. And interacting. And have established my voice (or at least I’ve tried to). Have I outgrown blogging? Or has it shrunk in importance? I’m fascinated by everyone’s experiences here. Thank you for initiating such an interesting topic.

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    Writing for some larger venues helped. I’ve been blogging since 2005, so my blog did help me get my first book deal in 2007, even if my blog was tiny. I’ve found that I need to both host guest posts and contribute guest posts in order to reach new readers so that I can get more subscribers to my blog and newsletter. I think most bloggers new to publishing don’t understand the sheer scale book selling requires. If I’m launching a new book and I get 1,000 page views in a day, I’ll only see maybe 50-100 click throughs on my book’s link.

    All that to say, a blog needs to reach a lot of people in order to use it to sell books! So it all comes down to goals and expectations for me. My blog isn’t just about selling books, but I’m trying to build it so that it will help do that more in the future by posting more broadly on larger sites and guest posting on other blogs.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Okay. :)

    I’m thinking… if that is your goal, you should probably take an honest look at your blog stats and act accordingly.

    If you could be writing for an outlet that reaches 50,000+ readers, for instance, but instead you are writing for your blog (and you have far fewer readers), I think it’s fairly clear that it’s time to write for the 50,000+

  • http://virtualDavis.com virtualDavis

    What a jolly (and timely) debate! Like most, there’s no tidy “right” answer. And with time tick, tick, ticking away, the answer is changing every day. So rather than wading into the fray I say, follow your passion. And — from time to time — change it up. Blog for a while. Stop blogging for a while. It’s a bit like scotch and bourbon. Or wanderlust and homelust… Thanks for a provocative post, Ms. Barkat. :-)

  • moonduster

    I think the trend for bloggers, right now, is to write frequent posts because they think this is the only way to build a following. I don’t post as frequently, so maybe I could have a lot more blog followers if I did, but I do have a slowly growing group of blog followers and even more followers through my blogs’ Facebook pages. I try not to worry about it too much. If I write when I have something to say, my posts are more likely to be enjoyable or informative to read. If I force myself to write just for the sake of being a “good blogger,” then I may end up with more posts, but they won’t necessarily be worth reading.

    I used to spend a lot of time commenting on other blogs, but now I limit it to just people who have commented on mine and sometimes other blog posts that peak my interest (usually ones I’ve found through shares on Facebook). I have made some writer-friends whose blogs I visit from time to time as well. But I try not to let doing so become the time-suck that it can become. I do think there has to be some reciprocity, but it’s more about wanting to encourage others in their writing (or weight loss, depending on the blog) than about being seen and driving others to my own blog.

  • http://twitter.com/DinaSantorelli Dina Santorelli

    I love this comment. Agreed.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Love this, Dan.

    I definitely wouldn’t say “don’t blog” as a rule. It comes to what your purposes are. The writer who approached me already had an extensive network available to her, so she could write for larger outlets. And her purpose was platform-building. So it did not make sense for her to be spending a lot of time blogging to platform-build.

    The funny thing about this, for me, is that I have never been much of a platform-builder type writer. Mostly? I couldn’t stand that much focus. I love to play with ideas and genres and techniques. So blogging was always more of a creative outlet. Go figure :)

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  • L.L. Barkat

    oh! ouch, on the Posterous thing.

    Really, we are considering this issue as a website too, over at Tweetspeak Poetry. We have a Facebook audience of about 35,000, but whose audience is that, ultimately?

    My own decision to move on was multi-faceted: loss of interest in using a medium I’d been using extensively for 6 years (I had 3 blogs), an established audience of book-buyers who may or may not have been part of my blog readership, a focus on wanting to publish others (both through our Press and our website).

    It was very hard for me to stop blogging. My last post is a little bit of a melodramatic swan song. Interestingly, even some of my most devoted readers were not surprised. I keep in contact with them now via Twitter and Facebook. :)

  • Tracy Staedter

    I started a blog last spring about writing. It was mostly a way to help me crystallize certain craft ideas. And perhaps readers got something out of it, too. By fall, I had to stop. It was taking up precious time that I needed to devote to actual writing. I still have the blog and I will return to it, I’m sure. But in the meantime, I’m devoting my time to writing writing writing writing.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Discovery. Yes.

    And that remains important for a writer.

    What do you write about, primarily? Or do you explore various topics and styles?

  • moonduster

    I will add that, of my followers, maybe only 1% leave comments on the blogs, so reciprocating by visiting their blogs is not very time consuming. Most of them comment to the blog posts on the FB pages or in the FB groups, and I usually respond there as well. I suppose if I had a larger following, it would become more difficult.

  • http://www.100memoirs.wordpress.com/ Shirley Hershey Showalter

    I’ll have to go read that last post. I like melodramatic swan songs. :-)

  • L.L. Barkat

    The sheer scale. Oh. Yes.

    And? Rare is the writer who makes money from books. :) (I am not one of the rare. By which I mean, though I make money, it is not going to support me solely. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nelbot Nelbot Timebomb PuddingTane

    Well L.L. Barkat thinks many writers shouldn’t blog but I’m not sure I understand why she feels that way, I have seen nothing here that convinces me that– I’m not sure, does she feel it is detrimental somehow or just a waste of time? She really doesn’t explain why she stopped blogging and why she feels that others should as well. This article leaves me with more questions than answers. I followed some of the links here: don’t blog your book might be more appropriately titled don’t try to book your blog, or perhaps don’t think that one should automatically lead to the other.

  • Shauntelle Hamlett

    I don’t think it’s as simple as “it’s time for writers to stop blogging.”

    It seems to me it’s more that… it’s time for writers to stop jumping on bandwagons and thinking there’s a one-size fits all solution to marketing and connecting with their audiences. A blog with no clear purpose doesn’t attract readers and doesn’t build a platform… but the same can be said for any marketing tool.

    My hunch is that if you look at writers who have found success on any particular platform, it’s because they found their sweet spot… they knew what they wanted to communicate, had a pretty clear idea of who they wanted to reach, and found a platform for reaching that audience that felt like a good match. They didn’t try to be everywhere and be everything to everyone… a tenet that works equally well for creating interesting, worthwhile written content as well as for creating worthwhile, effective marketing strategies.

  • http://www.janefriedman.com/ Jane Friedman

    I really don’t know where it’s easiest to be found. I’d say it depends greatly on a writer’s genre, voice, and fondness for particular mediums. I never thought Twitter would be the place I would get found, but that’s what happened. If writers are able to approach whatever they do online as partly experimental, a place to try on ideas, that helps.

    And, not to get too froufrou, but: online relationships/engagement have a lot in common with Zen. The more you try to gain something out of it (use it as a means to an end), the more you stunt the effort and fail. Just as you would look to be creative, fun, or ambitious on the page (in a formal piece of writing), I suggest the same approach for online.

  • http://twitter.com/PaulaCappa1 Paula Cappa

    Most successful authors who don’t blog already have a readership and probably don’t need to keep exposing their work or skills to the reading public. Blogging is important for new and indie authors who need a vehicle to expose
    themselves as authors, thinkers, dedicated to writing and reading. I blog weekly because, yes, I have a book I’m promoting, but more to the point, I’m really having fun and learning with my blog because it’s related to my novel. I blog about the classic short stories written by the master writers (horror) and my book is horror (and I write short stories). And the blog is not about writing, it’s about reading and enjoying stories. I’m still building followers; it’s a slow pace though. But the real value for me is that my blog keeps me reading the best writers out there (mostly the dead 19th-century ones like Lovecraft, MR James, Mary Shelley, etc.) and keeps me evaluating stories, reading, and authors. Thankfully WordPress is a free blog site that allows me to do this at no cost, because I’m not really making much money from my books sales … yet.

    I will keep blogging no matter what because it’s another road to readers, and a road to exploring my own talents.

  • Scott

    As a reader, I think we are looking for ways to connect with authors. For me, blogs are the way to do so. It’s interactive, not with the story, but with the storyteller, and I’ve probably bought more books after getting into an author’s blog than from any other way. For example, I saw many comments by Laura Resnick on various blogs I read, and decided that I needed to read something by her, so when I saw her book on the shelves at B&N, I grabbed it. Had I not recognized her name from those many comments, I wouldn’t have even picked up the book. Even though I’ve never had any exchanges with her, I’ve read enough of her thoughts that I felt the book would be interesting. I think this connection is going to prove more and more important as publishing changes…

  • Farhan Mosavi

    All you have said is:

    Bloggers should stop blogging because six years ago someone said that and six years later you said the same to a Twitter fan. The end.

    I thought I was about to read something which will contain strong arguments and well researched statistics. There’s really no content in the article except for your personal viewpoint.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Heh. :)

    You are a poet! (Come find me at Tweetspeak Poetry? :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Is that something you have an interest in? :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    I was thinking this morning how I met you on my blog, via Twitter. Which just makes me smile.

    Would we still meet today, now that I’m not a blogger? Who knows.

    But I’m happy for the Zen. We met, in such a friendly, organic way. We will never un-meet. :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Shauntelle, well said.

    It’s definitely not time for all writers to stop blogging.

  • http://www.janefriedman.com/ Jane Friedman

    There are many high-profile writers who have social-media presences, though many of them tend to be in the genres (young adult, romance, scifi, etc), such as John Green, Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, etc. If you look at major literary-award winners, it’s true that they tend to be rather reserved/quiet/absent from online. I think this is a symptom of (1) this “ranking” thing—it’s beneath them as “literary” writers and (2) they made their careers before the online world became what you see today.

    HOWEVER: Just about every literary author I know writes for online venues at some point. But there’s a perceived stigma when it comes to publishing their own words on their own site. There’s a sense that one’s writing is more valuable if someone else has accepted it, edited it, and paid for it—and in some cases, that’s true.

    This is not so different from the self-pub debate in the book publishing world. The easiest answer, if any, is: You play the field and adjust strategy based on career goals.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Thanks for asking, Nelbot.

    If a writer is trying to establish a writing platform but already has opportunity to write for larger outlets, it’s a better use of time to write for the bigger outlets. Purely a numbers thing.

    However, if a writer is test-marketing book ideas or using blogging as an outlet for the creative process, it would make sense to keep blogging.

    For me, blogging was not the best use of my time, especially since my focus now is largely to publish others.

  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    Test it (blogging)… try it. If blogging doesn’t suit your purposes, stop doing it.

    Even if you’re experienced, it’s worth testing. Steven Pressfield blogs, even someone else I follow (Jane Friedman) blogs… why stop?

    But keep this in mind, if you stop blogging, were your objectives set correctly? Did you have the right goals for blogging in the first place?

    There are many different reasons to blog, have you explored them all?

    Experienced or not, it’s not necessarily time to stop blogging.

  • jeffo

    Blogging. My Facebook page is exclusively personal–and relatively underused–and I’m not on Twitter at all. I think I’m lulled into the sense that there’s more ‘meat’ or more contact through blogging and forums than Facebook and Twitter, which encourage brevity. It’s silly, because there’s plenty of fluff and plenty of meat in all of them, but I think my personality is more suited toward blogging than the others.

  • http://twitter.com/artcraftculture Elaine Lipson

    On any given morning I can find an article that tells me to start blogging, stop blogging, get off Facebook, quit Twitter, use only Twitter, turn it all off, use social media differently, use Tumblr, self-publish, return to print, whatever. It’s exhausting. The truth is that nobody knows and the target is moving every day.

  • L.L. Barkat

    and that’s even a different angle, yes? This idea of stigma?

    I don’t subscribe to that. A perfect example of a group that is maybe chipping away at this is The Common, out of Amherst. The writing is breathtaking (see @commonmag on Twitter )

  • L.L. Barkat

    test it.

    oh, that is so true.

    As a website (which is a little different than a personal blog, but has similarities), we pay attention to trends quite a bit and look at Analytics a lot. The blog world is considerably less of a force than Twitter and Facebook, second to which is Google+ and StumbleUpon. And now we are playing around with Pheed, but we have no data on that yet.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Curious to know about how many blogs you read a week. :) (I used to read quite a few, but over time that fell away.)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Exploration. Yes!

    Perfect reason to keep blogging.

  • L.L. Barkat

    I think there is pressure, sometimes, to stay with a blog. So glad you listened to your particular needs and found a way that works for you.

  • L.L. Barkat

    it becomes very difficult, yes, when your following grows. Some bloggers choose to not have comments on their blogs, as a way to reduce the expectation of reciprocity. Of course, then you lose the communal aspect.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Elaine, that makes me smile. :)

    I can tell you that, from an Analytics standpoint, we have found the current power to be in this order:

    1. Twitter
    2. Facebook
    3. Google+
    4. StumbleUpon
    5. Pinterest

    With Twitter and Facebook far and away the top ones.

  • L.L. Barkat

    For those interested in blogging stats, you might like this…

    jeffbullas.com/2012/08/02/blogging-statistics-facts-and-figures-in-2012-infographic/

  • http://www.janefriedman.com/ Jane Friedman

    To reinforce Laura’s point, my analytics:

    1. Google organic search
    2. Twitter
    3. Facebook
    4. Mentions by other blogs

    Important, though: If those are my key traffic sources, what are people looking at? For me, it’s overwhelmingly blog content (old and new).

  • http://twitter.com/KariNeumeyer Kari Neumeyer

    I’ve been blogging since 2002, never as a means of getting anywhere as a writer, but because I enjoy it. Lately, I’ve been trying to attract more readers as a way to build a platform for my memoir. I still enjoy it, but feel less free to blog about whatever topic strikes my fancy.

    I’m confused about the advice to use Facebook as a writing venue instead. What’s the difference, other than having less control over design?

  • L.L. Barkat

    The difference is in virality. (Oh, the design is terrible!)

    Facebook, for now, is still a top social media platform. You can reach more readers more quickly there. What’s your Facebook page? I’ll come by and take a peek. :)

  • Tina Barbour

    A wonderfully thought-provoking post and discussion, and a wonderful illustration of what blogging can be!

    I started blogging in order to write about a subject near and dear to me that I didn’t get to write about in my day job (newspaper reporter). It’s “my own” writing. I have met many others who write about/read about/experience the same things, and the relationships I’ve made with them have made my life better. I feel like I’m making a contribution to the subject matter. I’ve become an advocate in my field, with a focus on helping and encouraging others. So blogging has been a true blessing to me.

    On the other hand, I got started on Twitter because I thought I “needed” to do so because I’m a writer. That’s been less satisfying because I started out doing it for the wrong reasons (for me). Looks like I need to really consider what I want to accomplish through Twitter and tie it in more closely with my other writing goals.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Love to see this, Jane. Is Pinterest on the map for you at all? (It is so curious to me how much praise Pinterest gets for traffic-driving. We don’t see it. )

    Yes, they are looking at blog content.

    So here’s the scoop, I think. If you are a writer with a small platform but have the chance to write for blogs/websites with a larger platform, that could make the most sense. The larger outlets will also have grown their Facebook, Twitter, and SEO, which can take significant resources to accomplish.

    Also, I think it might be important to remember that someone like Jane (hi, Jane :) has more chance to build numbers right from the start, because of other professional associations (Writer’s Digest and now VQ)

  • L.L. Barkat

    the part about it being satisfying? That right there… is golden :)

  • http://twitter.com/XelestialWriter A. Celestin-Greer

    If you think it depends on why you’re blogging, then I feel like your post should be a bit more specific. I read it, as an inexperienced (or at least fairly inexperienced) writer as, don’t bother to do it. At all. But the reason you give isn’t very clear either. Is it because it’s a time sink?

  • L.L. Barkat

    And my Facebook page is exclusively professional. Ah, the differences between writers :)

    Twitter is the place I seem to make the most contacts these days. I’ve even hired through the connections I’ve made there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorrie.porter.94 Lorrie Porter

    This is a very insteresting discussion. Thank you for bringing it to the fore. I agree writers can find a lot of their time consumed by blogging. I write a blog called: This Craft Called Writing, which I started to help my application for Arts Council funding (which was successful). It’s been running almost a year now and even though the funding period is almost over I think I’d like to continue with the blog, despite the time it takes. I suppose it boils down to what value a blog has for both the writer and the reader. As my blog makes me look closely at my writing and editing techniques, it offers me value (and hopefully the insights I find and share offers value to readers). Of course I could be completely wrong and wasting my time. I’ll let you judge for yourself. You can find the blog at http://lorrieporter.wordpress.com/

  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    And good writers, like you L.L. Barkat, know how to push just the right button for discussion :)

    1. The blog world, for you, might be less of a force than Twitter etc… but for me, blogging has brought me clients (directly, as in they read a post then contacted me for business).

    Twitter and Google Plus have a different purpose for my writing business, and are good tools for networking and building relationships (I don’t use Facebook).

    2. Since what you’ve tested proves to be true, for your business (website, whatever)… that’s what works for you… and that’s GREAT :)

    But, what you test for your business doesn’t necessarily qualify as a standard.

    I look at blogging, Twitter, G+, the Internet etc… as a great big set of tools in an even bigger toolbox (digital media). I can pick up and use a wrench, but might not be able to use a caliper. So, I don’t use the caliper, and do my best with the wrench.

    Good discussion starter.

  • http://www.janefriedman.com/ Jane Friedman

    Pinterest contributes a tiny speck of traffic; I’m so rarely active there, though I did start a board devoted to publishing statistics.

    Many of my publishing students love and use Pinterest daily, and based on their activity, I’d say it’s a more important source of traffic/readers for cooking, crafts, home decor, fashion, and other highly visual niche sites.

  • http://twitter.com/DarrelynSaloom Darrelyn Saloom

    I enjoy blogging because of the conversations it can spark like this one today. But it is a time drain, so I only post once or twice a month. I think the problem is over-blogging. If you post every day (or even 3 times a week) you risk buring out, and buring out your readers.

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  • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

    Given that I’ve written a book about blogging, I had to get in on this discussion. LOL.

    I’m still a firm believer that a blog will help an aspiring or published author in a variety of ways, not the least of which is by building a platform. And the large publishers require a platform and indie publishers need one to succeed. A blog forms an effective foundation for connecting with social networks and provides an easily manageable and discoverable website for most writers. A blog will also help writers build a brand and expert status. These will help them succeed as well. Not to mention, of course, that putting their work out into the world–their writing–via a blog is a good thing to do.

    I agree with @DanBlank:disqus that a blog will help you find your voice. And it will help you find your readers–and get feedback from your readers. You blog readers can become your critique group and you way to crowd sourcing in formation for your book.

    Of course, I believe a blog is a wonderful way to promote yourself and your book or writing–all at the same time. You can even blog your book–I blogged mine (and it is about how you can do the same). I have a response to @janefriedman:disqus’s post, Please Don’t Blog Your Book: 4 Reasons Why, called Please Blog Your Book: 4 Reasons Why. (Read it here: http://writenonfictionnow.com/please-blog-your-book-4-reasons-why/). In this way, you don’t give up your manuscript for blogging. However, I always encourage writers to find a balance between their blogging and social media activities and their writing. That said, promotion seems to be becoming a larger and larger job for authors every year if they want their work to get noticed.

    You do, indeed, have to have passion for your blog. And I tell writers this all the time. Pick a topic you feel passionate about. And if you don’t enjoy blogging, pick another promotional activity. We surely have enough choices these days! The point is simply to get your work and your name out in front of as many eyes as possible. But I strongly believe you need to bring those eyes back to your own “home in cyberspace.” A blog provides a great home, especially because it can make you “discoverable” in the search engines. And that’s important.

    When it comes down to the wire, though, the real satisfaction and fulfillment for me comes not in knowing that my blogs (yes, I have several) have helped me sell my books to publishers and to readers, or that they have helped me write my books, but that they have helped my writing get read. More people read my blogs every day than might ever read my books in a month or a year–or ever. As a writer, that’s important to me. I don’t write for myself; I write for my readers. When I get emails or comments from blog readers telling me posts I wrote helped them or changed their lives, that makes all that blogging worthwhile. I get those emails from my books, but not nearly as often. Why? I don’t reach as many readers. So I keep happily blogging on.

  • L.L. Barkat

    You have a business, it sounds like? I think a blog can be vital for a business.

    It was less vital for me as an author. But it is extremely vital for us as a business.

    Okay, I am going to take this as the compliment of the day: button pusher (I don’t generally stir controversy as a writer, so this is different territory for me :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Well, and we like it when you write at Tweetspeak, where we can serve you sweet tea and let you put your feet up and rest a while ;-)

  • Scott

    Maybe I check in on 20 or so over the course of a week. Maybe a few more. I don’t read every single article or entry obviously, but I usually do follow book related entries and follow up with visits to Amazon (too often probably)…

  • L.L. Barkat

    Offering value is never a waste of time :)

    Those were fairly strong words from Crouch. And they only became real for me after a six-year journey with blogging.

    However, if your goal is to reach a wide audience with your message, you might consider other publishing avenues. Especially guest blogging. You could do this in conjunction with your own blog. It comes to how much time you have to spend and what you’re trying to accomplish.

  • L.L. Barkat

    That’s my sense, just organically too. Would love to see Pinterest share stats on this. Or hear from gurus who are studying Pinterest traffic trends.

  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    Yep, I have a writing business. ;)

    You have a business too, as an author, L.L. Barkat (sorry, don’t know if I can just call you L.L.). Unless you write as a hobby, which implies you’re not doing so for the purposes of making a profit.

    So, you essentially just said “I think a blog can be vital for a business.” Then, I’m going to challenge you a little here, for purposes of expanding this discussion…

    Why would it be time for many experienced writers to stop blogging, if they too have businesses?

    And yes, that was a compliment. :)

  • SimplyDarlene

    Oh miss L.L. – how I’ve missed you!

    Recently I was told that I need to build a platform and spit-shine my SimplyDarlene blog, so I’ve been busy looking for nails, plywood, and collecting saliva in the creases of my cheeks… ;-)

    Can’t we just go back to smoke signals and telephone party lines? My old-fashioned, ‘n simple country heart would be fine with that.

    Blessings.

  • http://twitter.com/wendybythesea Wendy Russ

    I don’t blog as much as I used to because I’m more focused on writing for “production” (i.e. either a book or short stories/essays/poems that might improve my byline). I have found no value (yet) for blogging as a marketing tool. However, I have found it INVALUABLE for several reasons:

    Building my community: I have met other wonderful writers this way who have helped me improve as a writer, who have been champions for my writing passion. In turn I have done the same for them.

    Building my courage: I have posted pieces I wasn’t sure “worked” and have gotten feedback from writers and readers both. Making yourself vulnerable in public is terrifying. The more you do it, the less terrifying it is. Do it at your house (your blog) and raise the bar when you are ready (send it out to be accepted/rejected by industry professionals).

    Building a habit: Everyone says “write every day.” What better way than to fill up your empty blog? Experiment. Be wild. Be yourself. Be someone else. Whatever. Write, write, write.

    Really, I’m a fence-sitter. I say do whatever furthers you on your path to your goal. If it includes blogging, do that. If it includes making a ham sandwich and reading Steinbeck instead, do that.

    And pass the Miracle Whip.

  • http://twitter.com/KellyMcClymer Kelly McClymer

    Interesting perspective!

    I agree that blogging may not be for everyone (nothing is). But for fiction authors, it provides a chance to answer some reader questions with an archive of blog posts that can be accessed if and when the author comes across the curious reader’s radar. It also offers an opportunity to pass along hard-learned tips to other authors (although I agree that is best done on a larger format, but cross-posting couldn’t hurt).

  • http://profiles.google.com/tmilstein Theresa Milstein

    I must confess that I’ve been feeling blog fatigue. The reciprocity and frequency is what gets me. I like to promote other authors and to put up poems, and even still write the occasional essay-type post. And I have my faithful readers, but much needs to be done on my end to get other people to read my blog. And it’s a commitment to read other blogs. I feel bad to skim. It’s so much easier to keep in contact with people through Facebook and Twitter. While many of my favorite writer relationships began with blogging, we spend way more time with one another on Facebook, in Facebook groups, on Twitter, and (gasp) the telephone.

  • http://twitter.com/Porter_Anderson Porter Anderson

    @be8d09308a2cfbf806c5cfdb9d6a93b4:disqus

    @janefriedman:disqus

    All good points.

    But I think literary writers also have a much harder row to hoe in social media — inclusive of blogging — because they, by definition, don’t “niche” easily.

    Some may be seen as holding themselves “above the fray” if they don’t get in there and sling the tweets with everybody else and blog their breakfasts and whatnot, but their hesitance may have to do with the difficulty of the “non-genre” nature of what they do. If they want to blog, it might HAVE to be breakfast they talk about because there’s a lot less chance of them having a solid, palpable Subject attached to them.

    The more eclectic their gifts may be as literary writers — which can make them all the more valued as such by readers — the more difficulty they may have nailing down a context in which to relate to blog readers and social-media buddies, you know?

    And as a last thought — which could get me into a lot of trouble, so I’m burying it here — literary people probably (I said probably) have to spend more time on their work than some (I said some) genre writers. They don’t have a formula sent to them on pink paper by Harlequin. They’re creating worlds that may (I said may) be bigger, less easily cobbled together, and possibly riskier (I said possibly) than genre people are. All of which may mean (I said may mean) they have less time and mental energy left for the rigors of blogging and social mediation.

    Let’s not even mention dear La Atwood, whom we all adore because The Great Lady Tweets, but think of her as a lively exception who, in fact, has turned to writing vampires on Wattpad when the time came, probably because something as social and bloggish as Wattpad demanded a less esoteric presence than her deepest literary work. And while I think she seriously enjoys the Wattpadding of her career (I hope so), I would guess that a great many of her Wattpadded readers “know nothing of her work,” to paraphrase Mr. McLuhan, whom I miss daily.

    Literary people, in short, may (I said may) just not match in temperament and material the drives and instincts and needs of the wider universe of publishing. And frankly, I’m much, much more worried these days about our literary people who AREN’T at this party, but may not belong here. Where DO they belong? I’m not sure we know anymore, and the digital dynamic cares nothing for them.

    As I always like to hang myself by pointing out, the digital dynamic (which has given us blogging, btw), is an engine of distribution and it empowers most easily and strongly the lowest common denominator because the lowest common denominator creates the most distribute-able stuff for the most receptive and largest crowd.

    The elegant thinking of true literature (like fine art, like classical music, like modern dance and ballet) can find far fewer life rafts on the digital tide and must swim for shore, hard. Our literary people may need a lot more help from us than we’ve managed to give them so far.

    As the old hymn tells us: “Let the lower lights be burning. Send a gleam across the waves.”

    End of sermon, Sisters Jane and Laura. Peace be with you.

    Brother Porter

  • L.L. Barkat

    (You can call me L.L. :)

    As an author, I can reach a larger audience by writing for other outlets. For many authors, this will take less effort and produce more return than trying to reach readers through their personal blog.

    My current business is as a publisher and an owner of an online poetry/fiction site. And for this, we have something that is sort of a cross between a website and a blog (we produce content every day and people can comment).

    Stop by? You know, since you have a writing business and all. You never know what kind of editor you might meet over there. ;-)

    (I appreciate the dialog, btw. I don’t see myself as having the answers. Maybe more the questions :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Archives can be a wonderful resource for readers, yes :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Ha! :) Love the ham sandwich and Steinbeck.

    Blogging is excellent for community building. I hope it wouldn’t seem like I was saying otherwise.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Darlene, great to see you here.

    Not sure who recommended that, but since you have a wide net of contacts, I’d recommend that you might rather turn your blog into a website with blogging capabilities (and use it to archive writing you do for other outlets). There is plenty of opportunity for you to be writing for larger audiences.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Yes, yes, on the passion! :)

    As a publisher, I can say that we don’t look for an author to have a blog. We would rather see our authors doing one of these things, based on what suits them best personality-wise:

    -writing for large publications

    -speaking at conferences or retreats

    -working in a large bookstore or serving an online review site in some capacity

    Not that a blog hurts. But if they have a small audience there, it isn’t going to sell them to us :) Nor is it going to sell their books to readers much.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Interesting. Okay. How many tweets or Facebook statuses do you think you maybe pay attention to? (I’m thinking out loud here. These are not trick questions :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Um. I know ;-)

  • http://www.janefriedman.com/ Jane Friedman

    Thanks for jumping in, Porter! Thought provoking.

    I’ve always loved the Julian Barnes quote, “Never read at a reading. They’d rather hear what you had for breakfast.” For writers we idolize, reading about the ephemera of their life isn’t so bad—we get a glimpse of their greatness, mystery, humanity, ordinariness.

    But addressing your point—that literary writers don’t have the temperament—one thinks that they must lack imagination if there’s not a single thing they can imagine themselves doing that’s tied to online media. I can understand lack of time, less so temperament, though I suppose there’s a segment of the writing population for whom that might actually be true. The older the writer in question, the more I understand it. For younger generations, no. In many cases, I think it’s about preserving a particular status and image. Nothing wrong with that—but I’m not eager to say it’s some inner quality that makes them exempt or unsuitable. It’s a choice, and I’d argue (for some writers) a status choice that’s a luxury not afforded to all.

    My main belief, though: The Internet is far too immense, expansive, and wonderful for a curious, talented literary author to not find commonality in a few small pockets.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Ah. Sorry. It’s a time sink, yes. An experienced writer could be using that time to write for larger audiences and get the work out there.

    (funny. I guess that saying “blogging is a waste of time” seemed to suggest a time-sink, but I see now that that was not the case! :)

    Also, it can be highly discouraging for writers like the one I cite in the article… to try to make their way as bloggers, when what they really are looking for is readers/audience. They will find they can do this more quickly by writing for others.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Fatigue means maybe it’s time for a nap? :)

    I love that you are on the phone. Voice is really something, isn’t it.

  • http://twitter.com/brooke_warner Brooke Warner

    This is thought-provoking. I appreciate it, and I just post on my site once a month and call it a newsletter. So often I’ve felt like I “should” be blogging more, but the fact is I just don’t want to and I would rather save the content I have for social media. Smart stuff. Thanks, Jane! Pleasure to meet you at AWP.

  • http://twitter.com/artcraftculture Elaine Lipson

    I think people who care about intellectual property rights should be very concerned about Pinterest. It’s terrible for artists, and another place where the promise of “exposure” is exploitative.

  • http://twitter.com/wendybythesea Wendy Russ

    Nope! You sort of made that point anyway. I was reiterating. Your post was great and well-reasoned. In fact, an author friend and I were just talking about this very topic yesterday, so I had to send the article to her right away. A lot of people get swept up in the blogging debate as if it’s an either-or and it’s really not. I was just adding more fodder to ruin the day of anyone who might like to think it’s that cut and dried. Because I’m just evil that way!

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  • L.L. Barkat

    Interesting idea. To do it as a “newsletter” instead of a blog. I like that.

  • http://twitter.com/XelestialWriter A. Celestin-Greer

    Interesting, and certainly interesting to see all the views here. I feel kind of like I’ve done things bass-ackwards then, because I’ve started writing for other websites for the past year and just now I’m thinking…Hey I should get a website as a portfolio. But I’ve been wondering on whether or not to blog.

    If I did it, it’d be more of a place to express my feelings on the things I normally write about more freely (yet still professionally I hope) but reading this at first I took it as, don’t waste your time. But, I think I understand your point now. For that specific writer and similar ones, yeah I feel like it is a waste of time too.

    I do gaming journalism right now and if one wants to bring their writings on it to the world through their own blog, then that IS pretty much pointless (again, depending on why you’re doing it!)

  • L.L. Barkat

    oh, one of my favorite people is always giving me her #evilgrin. Welcome to the land of subversive non-cut-and-dried-ness :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    A website that has blogging capabilities might be just the ticket?

    Or if you’re looking to express, Tumblr can be a great place for that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorrie.porter.94 Lorrie Porter

    Thanks for the advice. I’ve never been asked to do a guest blog, though, and I’m not sure I have the courage to suggest it to anyone. However, I will have to put my brave face on and get on with it.

  • Tom Bentley

    L.L., I think you make a good case that writers who have a thinly attended blog (thinly disguised me) should look to venues with higher readership for exposure and attention. But as well as writing fiction and journalistic pieces, I’m a copywriter too, who sometimes uses the blog to talk about copywriting (in the thinly veiled hope of attracting copywriting clients). But suffering from lack-of-blog-clarityitis, I also blog about all manner of writing topics, from how pruning trees is an editing metaphor to how writing in an Airstream rounds out your thoughts. Nine-headed Hydra blogs might not find anyone to bite.

    I do fear I am being pulled down the drain of that time sink, but in some ways the blog medium is still an interesting one to swim in: I do find it can be a good short-form focus for ideas, and useful for honing writing craft. But in the big picture, it might not be all that crafty…

  • Marcia Richards

    I’ve been blogging since 2004. It has helped me develop my voice and writing. I began learning to write fiction 2 yrs ago and have finished a novella and half of another novel, though they are unpublished because, frankly, they stink. I’m currently writing a new novel. So, I’m not an experienced writer by your definition but, I am cutting back on my weekly blogging. My reason: While I have established my ‘brand’ through blogging and made wonderful connections I wouldn’t have made otherwise, I’m running on empty for topics. I suppose I’m just not enjoying it as much as I used to and I have not accumulated a horde of visitors who would miss me if I stopped. I’m currently on hiatus from my blog to make some decisions about how to proceed. I will likely blog once a month with a high quality post, stop my newsletter and write more. When I have a book published, I will stop blogging and reinstate my newsletter as a way of communicating with readers.

    I’m all for the concept of needing to enjoy what you do. I am just not enjoying blogging right now.

    I do agree that blogging is wonderful for finding your voice, your creativity and connecting with visitors. I don’t believe it’s the only type of platform for authors and not necessarily the best one. We all must find the way to connect that we enjoy and can maintain. connecting with writers and potential readers is valuable in countless ways for a writer, mostly for the joy of being part of a community of writers and readers.

  • L.L. Barkat

    You could ask to do a blog post swap, with bloggers who are at about the same level you are, if you can sort of figure that.

    And some big bloggers will take queries, just like a publication would. Yes, be brave :)

  • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

    I agree that a blog with a small audience won’t help them much, @be8d09308a2cfbf806c5cfdb9d6a93b4:disqus. They need to build something reasonably sized and engaged.

    Speaking is huge! I sell more books and make more great connections (who read my blog and buy my books and services) at conferences.

    And writing for great publications online and off is a tremendous boost for platform and book sales for sure. I think writing for an online site in your niche is a great idea as well, since a writer gains the credibility and audience of that site. However, a blog, which serves as your website, offers a place to “send” the readers who find you wherever you write. Then, you can collect the email addresses of the people who follow you “home” if they sign up as a subscriber (of your blog or newsletter or list in general). An email list can BE a platform, not to mention a great selling tool.

  • http://twitter.com/XelestialWriter A. Celestin-Greer

    Well yes, I’ve got a tumblr for all the stuff I’d rather no one see haha, but yeah I was thinking of making a WordPress website that I’m designing myself mostly and blogging there, using their plug-ins. I’m guessing I’ll be able to do that anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/Victoria_Noe Victoria Noe

    I started my blog a little over two years ago. It was part of my author platform strategy – part of it. The purpose of my platform work was to build credibility and awareness of my topic (grieving the death of a friend). Sometimes it’s a burden, sometimes it’s not big deal. The awards are nice, but not something I seek.
    What’s important, I believe, is to put blogs into perspective. “I need to blog to build my platform” is only part of the answer. As I said about, I had two goals: credibility and awareness. I’ve achieved them.
    But the larger goal for building my platform was reinforced for me last night when I went to a book signing by Hugh Howey. Although his unique contract is the subject of most of the talk about him, I asked him how he engaged his audience. He uses his website and email, Facebook to a lesser extent. He knows where his audience hangs out and what they want: they want to learn more on his website, they want to be able to communicate with him directly, and they want to be part of a community of fans. He relies on them to do his marketing: word of mouth, referrals, etc. It’s definitely working for him, but it might not work for everyone.
    I know writers who don’t blog but have gorgeous websites with lots of information that their fans are looking for. I know writers who spend most of their self-promotion time on Pinterest or Facebook, because that’s where their fans are.
    I know where my audience and potential audience hang out, and that’s where I spend my time: blog, Twitter, increasingly Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook (pretty much in that order). I go where they can find me. My platform also includes a lot of face-to-face marketing, too – again, where my audience is congregating.
    So, I would not discourage anyone from blogging. But I would challenge them to take a good hard look at their potential audience of readers: where are they? what can you offer them? The answers should point them in the right direction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hartjohnson23 Hart Johnson

    I am the rare bird who actually got my book contract through my blog. I began blogging about 4 years ago, have made a large group of friends that is ‘dense’–in that we have also become friends through Facebook, Twitter… the cross pollination is going. But one of my early friends recognized a cozy mystery voice in me–a genre I’d never tried… and then she referred me for an audition opportunity.

    That said, I see it’s function for NEW writers as 1) the best place to solidify VOICE (no better way to learn what YOU uniquely bring to the table than to write as yourself), and 2) a HUGE learning opportunity–watching others at various stages in the process is a great way to learn the craft and the business. And for some of us, it is a better learning FIT than reading BOOKS about writing or the industry (blog posts by friends are both more ‘bite sized’ and more entertaining than full books.)

    For people in early publishing (or trying to publish) blogging is a great way to build your army. On FB and Twitter I get SO ANNOYED with straight up promotion ME ME ME ME ME, but if you have formed the relationship, you only need to ask your army once and all of THEM go out and shout about your book. (FAR less annoying).
    It’s a good place to pay it forward or give a little bump to someone you’ve noticed who you think deserveds it.

    Now I concede that it is time consuming. But I think the payback for it is huge, early in a writing career. I’m not sure it’s as necessary once your NAME sells books–you’ve built a loyal audience and they are already clamoring, reviewing and promoting for you…

    What it is NOT is a direct route to readers unless you are already famous.

    And if you AREN’T going to do all that reciprocity (visiting dozens of others each time you post) it probably won’t be worth the time. If you ARE willing to do the work, though, I believe it works.

  • L.L. Barkat

    I wonder if there is a reason Twitter and Facebook feel more me, me, me? And, if that’s true, how writers could approach these mediums in a more holistic fashion? (I have ideas, but I’d love to hear from others )

  • jeffo

    It seems more people are touting Twitter than just about anything else. I’ll definitely be taking another look, but I’ve largely been underwhelmed when I’ve poked around there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hartjohnson23 Hart Johnson

    Well said. I think each of us has different tendencies. I, for one, suspect a person needs to be on crack to follow Twitter–not my thing. But I like blogging and facebook a lot, so that is where I put the effort.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Great question: where are they? Love it. :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Running on empty. Such an important thing to pay attention to.

    What fills you?

  • L.L. Barkat

    Tom, you make me laugh (I love to laugh. Ask anyone who knows me :)

    I went through seasons at my blogs and never established a one-topic place for readers. I suspect that whoever came to my blog did so for my voice or way of turning things this way and that.

    You sound like a poet to me too. Do you know this about yourself yet? :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Email lists are primo.

    Did you hear the idea of one of the other responders in this thread? I guess she uses her blog more as a newsletter. That seems like an interesting alternative that could be promoted easily through an email list, without the high maintenance of constant blogging and reciprocity.

    Do you think it is as powerful to “send” readers to a website that has blogging capabilities, perhaps? (In other words, where your site is more overall established in its look/content, but it links out to writing you’ve done elsewhere?)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Shhh. Me too (on the Tumblr ;-)

    WordPress is a bit of a challenge. Let me know if you need recommendations for a good designer/overall helpful WordPresser.

  • L.L. Barkat

    if you end up poking around Twitter, connect with me/us? @llbarkat @tspoetry @Edaypoems

  • Amy Shojai

    The issue I see with publishers “demanding” an author blog is they offer no guidelines about WHAT to blog. So the poor author defaults into blogging about writing–which attracts other writers or wannabes (maybe), but few readers. If it’s true that readers want to know ABOUT the authors they read (and I believe that’s the case) but not be hit over the head with writing how-to-do-it, it’s a no brainer. Blog about what you love. Yes, it’s easier for nonfiction authors–but you can do it with fiction, too. If the PV continue the same as the past week, my blog this month will have 30k views, and it’s growing weekly and drives eyeballs to other paying markets that also support my author “brand.” It’s not that you shouldn’t blog…it’s that not EVERYONE should blog and those who do should do it right.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Tell us more about your blog, Amy? And, how long have you been blogging?

  • http://twitter.com/XelestialWriter A. Celestin-Greer

    Haha, good to see I’m not the only one who has tumblr as a guilty pleasure. And hey, thanks for the advice and interesting blog, I’ll keep you in mind once I get around to finishing the site :)

  • http://twitter.com/Porter_Anderson Porter Anderson

    Just came across an #AWP13 tweet that I think has some relevance here. :) (And I’m not sure I’ve ever tried getting one to render in a comment, seems that it sort of works, lol, just not real well graphically.)

    #awp13 there are way too many blogs about writing that aren’t good enough. – Priscilla Long— ann_oconnell (@ann_oconnell) March 7, 2013

  • http://www.janefriedman.com/ Jane Friedman

    Truth.

  • http://twitter.com/DarrelynSaloom Darrelyn Saloom

    Ha! It’s a pleasure to write for Tweetspeak. Did I meet you on Twitter or right here on Jane’s blog? I even enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate in Dublin with your lovely associate and photographer Claire Burge on my book tour in Ireland. So you never know where you’ll end up or who you’ll meet when you guest blog and tweet.

  • SimplyDarlene

    Thank you, ma’am, for the interesting idea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hartjohnson23 Hart Johnson

    I think because people feel compelled to send the same short message again and again instead of trusting the relationships they’ve built and letting other people do it for them. Maybe the ‘right way’ still happens on Twitter and Facebook–in fact I know it does–I see people share other people’s stuff all the time–but I think because of the brevity, it is ALSO easier to do it WRONG.

  • Tom Bentley

    Oh, damn, that means I need to blog about poetry too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hartjohnson23 Hart Johnson

    My themes are goofing around and writing. I think people come visit me for voice, too–to chuckle a little. My #1 tag is writing, but #2 is pure insanity. I’m coming up on half a million blog hits on that.

  • http://bojiki.com/ Kurt Brindley

    As with all good discussions and debates, this is one where there are really no wrong answers; only ones that are right according to one’s values and taste.

    I have no expectations that who I consider/value as a high-profile writer will align exactly with anyone else – maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Just because someone hits it big doesn’t automatically or even necessarily make him or her high-value writer in my book, so to speak. In fact, most of the authors I read are dead and the living ones, while award-worthy in my eyes, are, generally speaking, hardly making the “Twilight” or “Hunger Games” bucks.

    What does that mean in the context of this discussion? I’m not sure but regarding self-publishing, there has always been a stigma associated with it (and yes, I have two lonely self-published books); fortunately, the revolution we’re experiencing is lessening that stigma rapidly day by day. However, I, for one, still appreciate the firewall of agents and editors and the NYT reviews that sets apart a Big Six (or however many pub houses there are left) writers, at least the ones I value, from most of us “indie authors.” If one of the writers who I consider high-value started blogging, I, in all honesty, would probably be a little disappointed. But I admit, as each day goes by and more and more indie authors are showing us that not all are chaff, I am learning to see the value in their accomplishments, as well.

    BTW, earlier in the day, L.L. had a couple replies associated to this comment – one in response to my comment and one in response to your response, Jane. I wonder if after seeing your response she had second thoughts about hers and disappeared them. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/CydM Cyd Madsen

    Proof. LOL

  • L.L. Barkat

    i never got a half a million blog hits for anything. I should have tried insanity ;-)

  • L.L. Barkat

    well, yes. And do let me know when it happens :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    You found me on Twitter. I don’t know how. And tweeted my post ’10 Reasons to Write (or Not) a Book About Writing.’ That brought Jane to my blog and a year later I found you through Jane. Full circle. Of course I am waiting to have a cup of hot chocolate with you in NY :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Ha. No, I didn’t disappear them. But I did notice that they got eaten. Hungry DISQUS? (a few others got eaten in other threads here as well.)

  • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

    Great points, Viki. Market research is so important. You have to know where your readers are and what they like–tweets or posts or both. Of course, a link to a post makes a great tweet! Value is the main thing.

  • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

    I’m not sure how that would work. People need to subscribe to your blog to get your posts in their email box via RSS. Or they need to subscribe to your email list to get either your broadcasts (newsletter) or blog broadcasts (posts) in their email box. Either way, you need to be sending them “home” to your site and encouraging them to sign up for something.

    That’s why a blog, IMHO, works so well. You can get readers to a blog and then get them on your list. Then you can communicate with them.

    If you are blogging or writing on someone else’s site, you don’t build a subscriber or email list. To me, that’s a huge problem.

    Also, if you link out to writing you are doing elsewhere and don’t blog on your own site, the issue is that your site will not have fresh content to be cataloged by the search engines. It will not contain keywords and keyword phrases that will get cataloged either. This means your site won’t get discovered by the search engines. If that doesn’t happen, readers won’t find you either….and no one will subscribe or sign up for anything. That leaves you no way to communicate with anyone.

    So….you may have a platform on another huge site, but you have no good way to communicate with any of those readers. That’s why I’m a big advocate of blogging on your own site…as well as on some other sites.

    Lots of work? Yes. Feel like too much? Well…when you feel you are ready to cut down, switch to just your own blog.

  • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

    I love Pinterest and pin all my blog posts. I have not, however, really checked to see how much traffic I’m getting from it.

  • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

    @Ed_Cyzewski:disqus, I agree that test marketing ideas on a blog is a super use of the medium. It’s one use of the blogging-a-book idea. And it’s a reason so many successful blogs have gotten book deals and boggers have ended up booking their blogs. I am currently blogging bits of my new book and carefully watching the stats (and my publisher gave me permission to do so).

    As for guest blogging, I’m a huge advocate. I went on two blog tours with my last book and this helped sales tremendously. I jump at every opportunity to guest post for other bloggers who have successful blogs. This introduces me to their fans, increases my expert status and sends new readers to my blog.

    I’m also a big fan of bringing in guest bloggers to my own blog. This is a superb way to increase the readership on a blog and to increase your own expert status.

    In both these cases, you can create some nice partnerships, too…

  • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

    My blogs helped me land my first book deal–and my second–as well.

  • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

    I remember getting publicly slammed by a writing newsletter with 70,000 subscribers when I asked the editor/owner/writer to provide me with a free guest post for my Write Nonfiction in November event. She was appalled that I would be asking any writer to provide writing without pay. And she let everyone know. LOL. She wasn’t aware that most bloggers were providing free guest posts on a regular basis just for the promotional bio. Now we do so much of that online–everything from a 500 word blog post to much longer articles. But I can see how someone might see that as devaluing their work. Yet, authors give their books away for free with the Kindle KDP Select program all the time and never think twice. Go figure.

  • http://twitter.com/NinaAmir Nina Amir

    Agree.

  • Mike

    L.L.,

    This is such a good discussion! I am a very minimally published writer, and I’ve just started blogging, but not because I want to build a “platform.” I blog because it’s fun for me; it is a creative outlet, as you mention it was for you. I love to write about writing, and I feel I have something to offer other writers, not that they have to listen to me. But I have no delusions about being “found” through blogging.

    Also, blogging is about staying connected to other writers and keeping up to date on what is happening in the writing world. I live in a fairly remote area and, outside of grad school, would rarely be involved in discussions such as this if not for blogging. Even finding Jane’s blog was a great help for a not-so-tech-savvy writer who could stand to brush up on the publishing world, etc.

    After thinking about all of this, I have come to the following conclusion: I will blog if it feels good to blog, and if it ever becomes a dull chore or a means to an end I will stop. Thanks for such a thought provoking post! Mike

  • Tom Johnson

    Great post. It made me rethink using Twitter but I have a question. I cant really seem to wrap my head around Twitter. I would like to use it to have fun, joke around and express my opinions but I worry I will look “unprofessional” to potential clients because I’m a freelance copywriter as well as an unpublished fiction writer. I’m unsure of what to talk about. Should I be giving copy writing advice, spit balling story ideas or is it safe to just relax and be myself? Any input would be appreciated.

  • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

    Interesting point, Laura. I’ve thought a lot about blogging and my place in it over the last year. Creative writers, fiction writers especially, have a hard time building traction with blogs, and so many of us end up starting writing blogs, which rarely convert to readers of our fiction. So you’ve nailed something here, I think. Still—and I’m hesitant to say this in such astute company but—the best tool to sell books online that I’ve found is email, and one of the best ways to build an email list is through a blog.

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  • Rodney Savary

    “The power of being first” is what I connected with, because I have been aware of the phenomenon, but not the exact phrase. In many areas I have had to decide whether to commit to certain things because they were tried and true, or if I should devote time and effort into another direction because the wheel had already been invented and rolling it would only get me where others have already gone. I have to stand out if I am to be successful and continue to enjoy writing, and that won’t happen if I follow in another’s footsteps without some diversity.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/katla.sieltjes Katla Sieltjes

    Something I didn’t see addressed in the article or comments – is your blog adding to your output? I write novels and short stories in the Amsterdam Assassin Series, but I find I’d like to write more about Amsterdam and Assassins than I can put in the novels and short stories, which is why I have a blog. More information on Katla’s Amsterdam gets articles on my blog, but it’s not ‘fit for publication’ in an ebook.

  • http://www.creativeideagal.com/ Amanda Socci

    This blog post is of timely consideration for me as I approach my one year mark of blogging consistently. I am extremely proud of everything I’ve accomplished in one year. I’m proud of saying that I’ve cut my teeth in blogging on my own blog. After attempting a blog for the first time 5 years ago and giving up after 2 blog posts, my 1-year accomplishment is pretty good.
    With that being said, I am starting to feel a strong calling towards getting back into regular full-time freelance writing, which is a far cry from the informality of blogging. If I had to give up blogging for paying gigs, would I do it? In a heartbeat. My site will go down in a matter of seconds, and I would not regret the fantastic training ground I built for myself.
    The advice I’d give to others? Follow your heart first, your checkbook second :)

  • http://www.helenahalme.blogspot.com Helena Halme

    But how, oh, how can one stop blogging? Is there a Bloggers AA ?

  • http://www.janefriedman.com/ Jane Friedman

    IMHO, there as many different ways to use Twitter as there are people. Probably some of the most popular Twitter feeds are those that offer witty commentary, so it’s unlikely you’d be found unprofessional as long as the Twitter bio more or less states your general purpose there (to have fun).

    Highly recommend that you relax and be yourself.

  • http://www.janefriedman.com/ Jane Friedman

    Wonderful point, Katla. A blog works well for that type of content. You might also consider putting that content in a periodic e-mail newsletter (if you don’t already) so fans can be sure they don’t miss any of the extras—plus you get a valuable and direct communication path to your most loyal fans.

  • L.L. Barkat

    All excellent reasons for blogging. Knowing when hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em is also key ;-)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Ah, your comment is back! :) However, I see that my answer didn’t reappear.

    I would say that either way, ‘The Atlantic’ or a personal blog, you would have to put in time to gain attention.

    And, perhaps serendipitously, we actually have an author who writes for ‘The Atlantic.’ Her book sales are definitely influenced by this. She doesn’t even have a website (we host a page for her at Tweetspeak and she has a good Page following on Facebook).

    For her to try to build a personal blog at this stage in the game would make little sense. Again, just a numbers thing, but it profits her more to put in time at ‘The Atlantic’ than to try to build a personal site from scratch.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Ha. :)

    Do you want to stop blogging?

  • L.L. Barkat

    It’s interesting, because sometimes being first means no recognition (think of the myriad painters whose new styles shocked the public, who died penniless, and now you can’t even touch one of their paintings, literally or figuratively).

    But in technology, the power of being first is a real phenomenon. For this reason, you might consider being an early adopter and seeing if you can make your mark in a new space before the crowds show up. :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Joe, I would say that you have done a bit of niche work and it has definitely paid off. I remember when I first visited your site, I could feel how it was doing something just a little different. So, in your way, you have harnessed the power of being first.

    And I love that you bring up the point about selling through email. I don’t do it at all, because I just never became a super marketing-type author. You do this really well. And I mean that as a high compliment. Maybe someday you will get an email from me, about my business book (no, I haven’t written one ;-)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Can you say more about how your Goodreads presence has expanded and how this relates to your blog? Very interesting. :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Awesome, Nina.

    How often do you blog? What is the focus of your blog? How long have you been blogging? (yes, I’m the curious type :)

  • http://www.helenahalme.blogspot.com Helena Halme

    I do, but I’m afraid I’ll lose my readership if I do. Is Twitter and Facebook enough to keep a writing platform going?

  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    I would say that Facebook is her “website”… maybe even her “blog.” Just hosted on Facebook, not her own web host.

    And building a personal site from scratch wouldn’t take as long as you think, so long as you could leverage the attention she gets from other sources. The Atlantic sells advertising against content, Facebook does the same… neither are interested in her audience, or attention, at all.

    When you build a website, or a blog, you’re building an asset… when you leave your content on someone else’s site… you’re building their asset.

    If The Atlantic or Facebook did something stupid, and were shut down, would she (the author you’re referencing) have to start from scratch? Then why not start now. ;)

    But again… you’re right too, it would take quite a bit of time and energy to design and structure a website or blog (even to have it built). If the ROI doesn’t make sense to her, she won’t do it… and probably will build a profitable writing business anyhow.

    Because what are the odds that Facebook will invade someone’s privacy, or The Atlantic won’t pay writers for what they’re worth even though they post record profits… right? :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/katla.sieltjes Katla Sieltjes

    I don’t put out newsletters or use mailchip etcetera, and my blog amsterdamassassin.wordpress.com doesn’t have much traffic, but I enjoy making articles on parts of Amsterdam that appear in the Amsterdam Assassin Series that would take up too much space or drag down the pace of the novels. Plus I add my own photos and Googlemaps to the articles, so people who enjoy my novels can study the locations from the book more ‘in-depth’. I also post samples from my WIP, so people who read the novels can anticipate on the next novel in the series.
    Martyn V. Halm, author of the Amsterdam Assassin Series. (Katla Sieltjes is the main protagonist in the series)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Hmmm. Maybe more like her Twitter feed. She doesn’t write on Facebook, only links out to her writing at The Atlantic, etc. and posts other’s book reviews.

    I’ve been thinking more about this whole conversation (your thoughts are echoed in some of the other threads here). Part of it comes to if a writer wants to be a full-fledged business and get involved with marketing (via email and newsletters and advertisers on his/her site).

    Many writers, like the one in this example, have other businesses/jobs. This writer we’re discussing is a full-time Professor. I don’t think she has any interest in running her own business, which a successful author blog is.

    I also suddenly have this question… how many of the most successful authors, and that includes bestsellers, market themselves through blogs? Versus, say, being marketed by publicists and traditional gatekeeper outlets (NY Times, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, etc.)? (This maybe relates to Porter’s observations)

  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    As a side note to my reply to your comment here… I’m also buying a copy of your book Rumors, do you have a blog? ;)

  • L.L. Barkat

    You don’t need to answer this publicly, but what is your readership? I mean, numbers?

    What kind of writing platform do you have?

  • http://twitter.com/Porter_Anderson Porter Anderson

    @disqus_8HKOaUMMMo:disqus

    Tom, I agree with Jane below, and I’d recommend a couple of folks to look at on Twitter for examples of primarily witty-commentary streams. One is a colleague, Chris Kubica ( @ChrisKubica ) and another is Will Hindmarch ( @wordwill ).

    -p.

    @Porter_Anderson

  • L.L. Barkat

    Thinking out loud… :)

    is it a huge problem, for a writer who doesn’t necessarily want to run a writing business? (But who can definitely produce and deliver, as far as writing itself is concerned).

    Coming to mind at the moment, for some reason… Elie Wiesel.

  • L.L. Barkat

    Lol. I have three. But the last posts are from 2012.

    (ah, but you are not buying my book because you met me on my blog ;-)

    you are funny.

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  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    Ah but L.L., I might want to continue engaging with you as one of my new favorite authors… and having content all in one spot makes it more convenient for me to do so.

    Plus, I wonder if you blogged continuations to your stories, pieces of other stories, and heck, even advice to other writers (a la Kristine Kathryn Rusch)… I wonder if a blog could be a good way to do that?

    And, I wonder if you stepped outside of the box a little… and used VIDEO to engage your readers, show a little bit of yourself on your blog for 5 minutes, once a week is all it would take.

    Hmmmm…

    Maybe, just maybe the payoff for blogging (under one roof with your website) could be in a different form. I love authors who engage their audience and provide interesting content. :)

  • http://www.helenahalme.blogspot.com Helena Halme

    Do you have email or could I Dm you on Twitter?

  • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

    That IS a high compliment (and two of them in one reply). Thanks Laura. I’m excited to read your as-of-yet unwritten business book. :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    New favorite author. Ha. That was quick. Can you coach my other readers? ;-)

    you can engage with me @llbarkat on Twitter, llbarkat on Facebook, L.L. Barkat on Google+

    Yeah. I am a mystery woman. No video, no head-on photos. Quite a few hands and some feet and, on Google+, my pen to the paper. That’s my outside-the-box, which is its own fun. :)

  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    Twitter, Facebook, Google +… yep, those are essentially your “blog” right now in fact, so why is it time for writers to stop blogging?

    See, I think we sometimes need to quit labeling things (like the act of engaging with our audience) as “blogging,” “Tweeting,” “Liking,” etc… with popular terms… because we lose sight of the most important thing:

    It’s not what it’s called that matters, it matters that you’re in fact doing it (engaging with your audience).

    But here’s one more label for you…

    I prefer to have my “engagement” on my own real estate, where I don’t have ads or other distractions except my own stuff (although, thinking about it, I have Twitter and G+ links to my profiles on my blog too).

    My content, on my website, is more a container… you and I are both “blogging,” just in different ways… for different reasons.

    I suppose, now that we’ve hashed this discussion out a little, I realize the main point I’m making is forget the label, focus on the action. :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Hmmm. I guess I see blogging as much more intensive than social media—more like running a magazine. It took a great deal of my time and my writing energies. I didn’t have space left over to write for others, which has been an important thing for me to do, for so many reasons.

    I agree with you on Real Estate. Tweetspeak definitely takes this approach. I guess some writers are more suited to rentals? ;-)

  • L.L. Barkat

    I have a history of announcing a book at least a year before I write it, with no intentions whatsoever of actually writing it.

    Really, though, I need a break. I think this non-announcement should sit for two years :)

  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    And as another side note to this post, imagine if this insightful discussion-starter you’ve written was on your own, hosted blog (not on Blogspot, WordPress.com, or other site).

    Imagine this… 178 comments and replies on your own site… with your books in the sidebar instead of just a byline (no one else’s content or books, ads, anything else etc…), with the ability for people to find your other discussions on your blog, conveniently.

    Imagine if I could subscribe to your newsletter on your site because I read this insightful post and want to read more from you?

    Imagine if I’m one of those people who like to read books, but like to read further as well, to see what you have to say when you’re writing in your true voice?

    Yep, you absolutely can do that to some degree on G+, Twitter, etc… but truthfully, do you write on those sites exactly (and I mean exactly) as you would on your own personal site for the people who follow you exclusively?

  • L.L. Barkat

    i like you. :)

    I would say that Jane is a big reason this post has 178 comments. I would also say that I am quite happy that the post links to Tweetspeak Poetry (thanks for the super SEO, Jane ;-)

    Are you trying to get me to blog again? ;-)

  • L.L. Barkat

    you can DM me on Twitter if we are following each other :)

  • Dorothy Greco

    I’ll stop blogging if you offer me a job too!

  • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

    Ha! You’re so funny. Still, I would be very interested in a business book from you. You certainly love to jump around genres though, don’t you?

  • L.L. Barkat

    Ah, well. I’m done with blogging and am happy to give this to Jane. :)

    How about this? Pact? Let’s talk in three years? That way I can compare at least 3 years of my new strategy to 6 years of my blogging and let you know the data scoop. How would you measure the success? What should I collect to share 3 years from now?

    I am confident that your blog justifies its existence, because you are passionate about it and clear in your strategy. It would be fun if you let me know where you are 3 years from now too :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Well, yes. And thus one reason I am probably not best served by being a blogger. Can you imagine my poor fiction followers trying to figure out if my business advice is real or imagined? ;-) And then there were my non-fiction followers who weren’t sure how to read poetry.

    Jumping around genres is one way I can move with my personal growth seasons. You won’t find me on one shelf, unless it’s Charity Singleton Craig’s ;-)

    Being a publisher is a great way to get to do multiple genres. And you don’t even have to write the books yourself. I highly recommend ;-)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Cool. What kind of job are you looking for? :)

  • ToddMoody

    The assumption that the only reason to blog is to build a platform is a fallacy. I started blogging a few months before I even decided to start pursuing writing as a potential career change. I did it for two reasons:

    1. I like the idea of have a place to share my thoughts on things that strike my fancy, whatever that might be, with no real expectation that anyone might give a crap. It ended up being primarily about my journey as a writer, but that happens to be the thing preoccupying most of my focus and time these days.

    2. I love having a place to interact with my favorite authors (like CJ Cherryh, she has one of the longest running blogs I know of). I want to be able to offer the same sort of space to a future fan of my writing.

    It’s really that simple. Just being myself and sharing things that happen to come across my windscreen. If it helps build a platform in the process that’s a bonus.

  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    3 years from now it is L.L. :)

    Success would be measured by clearly defining your objectives, and being as specific as you can about them.

    I want to earn more money from my outside sites= not specific

    I want to earn $12,000 more the first year, etc… = more specific

    So, get clear about your objectives… and rock it!

  • L.L. Barkat

    So, it’s money? :)

    Okay. I want to earn $60,000 more this year and double the year after and double the year after that.

    Go.

  • http://josephratliff.com/ JosephRatliff

    It could be money, it could be PR, it could be authority, it could be communicating with your clients, it could be… well you get the picture…

    … and it could be a combination of those things. :)

    I suppose specific and “realistic” objectives would be best as well :)

    Go.

  • L.L. Barkat

    In that case it will be hard to quantify. As always, I want to make a difference in people’s lives. One life could be worth the whole endeavor. I mean that (ask anyone who really knows me).

    I want our authors to go on to get other book deals, besides the ones they have with us.

    Last year I had the goal to get at least one of our writers into HuffPo. We got two, which made us so happy.

    Is it too much to hope, to get one more of our author’s books onto Oprah’s book club selections? It might be. But we can hope. One never knows.

    I’ll do all the things it will take, to meet the goals. Serendipity will have to do the rest. :)

  • http://twitter.com/SCCunningham8 S C Cunningham

    I keep meaning to ‘blog’ but feel it is a guilty pleasure, as I should be working on my novels… how do Author ‘bloggers’ find the time?

  • TheMarriageWhisperer

    Great post! I agree that blogging is not an absolute necessity. Evaluate its value subjectively. Blogging has its place for most people at one point in time. Learn what yours is. With my first traditionaly published book out soon, I have let go of blogging. After about four years of blogging, I “could” recycle content—-but why bother. That takes time. I “could” create new content. But I’d rather use any precious writing time I have on my next book and for marketing this one. As I like to say, “We all have the same 24/7. What we do with our time becomes our priority.” My priority is NOT on blogging. So it is gone. TheMarriageWhisperer

  • Angela Bigler

    Thanks for this to the champions of both schools of thought. This is timely for me as I am a new blogger working on her first book. I haven’t been sharing my book. I originally did blog because everyone was saying that I must. I find myself using it to stay sharp in various forms by sharing poetry and short pieces of prose. So far what I have found is that the relationships are what is feeding me more so than the hope of generating an army of followers. I will say it has also been a distraction from my manuscript and because of this I am considering cutting down on the number of blog posts I put out there and setting a time limit for the amount of time I spend reading blogs. There is so much out there to get whisked away by!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorrie.porter.94 Lorrie Porter

    Sounds like a good idea. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/justShauntelle Shauntelle H.

    I’m late joining in on this cause I take my weekends offline mostly… but I had to chime in and say HEAR, HEAR to you Joe! I adore that you understand your writing as a business and I LOVE that you also understand just how important having a list can be to selling your books and engaging with your readers (I’m extrapolating that bit because I feel pretty certain you get this.).

    I think this is a point that many writers with blogs don’t understand… Most of the fiction writers I know don’t think about adding email subscription options (or a regular newsletter) to their blogs until I point it out to them… and I can not tell you how often someone says “I have my FB page” as though that’s the be-all-end-all option. And then I patiently have to explain that this means FB gets to decide when and how often they can actually reach their fans… and that if FB dies, exactly how will they get in touch with their fans then? Do they have an email address, or even a website addy to look up?

    Even if you don’t have a blog, you could still have an email list. Gwen Bell had a clever way of doing this awhile back… she had basically a landing page for Reverb and you could sign up for updates, so then you’d receive interesting pieces from her that you couldn’t find anywhere else. She stopped blogging (except, for a bit on G+, but she’s gone away from there too I believe) but she still launched a new book with just her email only list.

    Anyhow, I know I’m preaching to the choir here with you Joe, but I was so happy to see someone point this out and have a great business oriented discussion about having a blog that I had to pop in and say “Bravo!” :)

  • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

    Thanks Shauntelle. You and I are on the same page. :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    Visit us at Tweetspeak Poetry? We enjoy publishing new writers, if their work is a fit for our site.

  • L.L. Barkat

    my guess is that for the most successful ones, it is a full-time job :)

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  • http://www.redletterbelievers.com/ David Rupert

    First, you have to admit you are powerless

  • http://www.facebook.com/amanda.j.hill.31 Amanda Johnston Hill

    I really enjoyed this article – thanks for your honesty. As an unpublished author, I resisted blogging for a long time but finally took the plunge last year over at http://www.hillpen.com. What I found was a group of blogging friends I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and a way to “reach the nations” through writing that I wouldn’t normally reach in another published venue. Now I have so many new followers from so many countries – it feels cheap to call it a ministry, but in a sense that’s what it is. I hope it leads to a book deal for my novel, but who knows. What I do know is that my words are reaching someone out there in the world, and that matters. And it’s great therapy, which I’ve seen people mention. If it brings joy, why not? If it begins to be work or takes away from other writing endeavors that are more productive, purge. . . But I love the comments. Keep em going!

  • Cambrai

    I wonder what Rilke or Graham Greene would have thought about writing described as an elevator pitch. depressing.

  • http://www.redemptionsbeauty.com/ Shelly Miller

    Love this discussion, I’ve learned so much. Not sure what to do with it all, but a fascinating conversation here nonetheless. Thank you.

  • Rachel

    As a newer blogger (just passed the one year mark in February) I am encouraged by what each of you said in your comments. I had originally blogged as an easy way to keep family and friends updated on my daughter who has special needs but picked it back up with more of a focus on writing about my personal journey so that I could encourage others who find themselves walking a similar path. (I’m hoping this falls under the category of a special interest blog and that have more of a chance!)

    L.L., I found your post very thought-provoking but as I read through it and the majority of the comments, I was beginning to feel as if I’d made a mistake to start blogging again.

    I do have a desire to write a book although I haven’t made a final decision as to what its focus should be. In the meantime, I’m going to try to focus more on the art and craft of writing instead of worrying so much about platform and numbers coming to my blog.

    Thanks for your excellent post–I came away with some great thoughts to ponder.

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  • http://www.AuthorAlden.com/ J.W. Alden

    I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this lately. And I do mean a lot, as I’ve been trying to balance the time I spend on my various internet exploits with my personal writing time. And boy, do I hear you on the “reciprocity” bit.

    I do enjoy blogging (mostly), but the reciprocity part of it is the part that feels most like a job. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading and commenting on other blogs, it’s just that I’m constantly guilting myself over whether or not I’m doing enough of it, or too much, etc. It can be a huge time drain compared to the actual writing.

    The part about people establishing contacts and getting work via Twitter/Facebook is intriguing as well. I think I must be doing it wrong! ;)

  • L.L. Barkat

    what part felt like a mistake for you? I think that’s the part you need to maybe spend some time with. Test it, turn it. :)

  • http://stevenramirez.com/ Steven Ramirez

    For me, this is a case of the author stating what we are all
    thinking. I’ve been blogging off and on for a couple of years. Recently I
    recommitted myself to my blog, and am posting once a week. I agree that the
    payoff is small compared to the work, but I plan to continue for a while since
    I have a zombie novel coming out this summer.

    The truth is that authors need a home base for social media.
    It doesn’t have to be a blog, but personally that’s where I’ve chosen to drive my
    audience. The key is to not let the blog overtake your writing. If it does,
    then quit blogging and write.

  • L.L. Barkat

    what do you think you’re doing wrong? :)

  • L.L. Barkat

    oh, too good. :)

    I love amazing writing. But I need to find those amazing writers, and Facebook and Twitter help me. Just this month, I found 6 writers via Twitter/Facebook, who are now going to write for our site. One is even going to become a regular Contributing Writer. And her work is absolutely stunning (I was thinking today that I need to find a way to get her work into The New Yorker.)

  • http://www.peterdehaan.com/ Peter DeHaan

    I guess it will take me a few more years before I come around to this “stop blogging” perspective. (But I’ll keep it in mind; thanks!)

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  • http://twitter.com/TraceyUpchurch Tracey Upchurch

    I like blogging, and having my own site. If the internet’s a big, wide world, my site is a little cottage, where I can invite people in for a chat. It has a readership of about two people and I like them.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lori.widmerbean Lori Widmer Bean

    Ironic that this advice comes via a blog. :)

    I blog. I used to blog every day, but realized quickly what a time sink it was. Now I blog two or three times a week — still a lot, but I’ve been considering cutting back even further.

    I agree with Jane Friedman. There are too many blogs competing for the same audience. It becomes not an experiential setting but one of SEO wars and whoring for traffic. I think it’s not necessary to have a blog if you’re a writer. It’s nice, but it’s not going to make you or break you. Frankly, there are people who simply don’t have enough to say to warrant it. I’d much rather see writers investing that time into building and maintaining a good website that showcases their skills.

    What Shauntelle says — time to stop jumping on bandwagons. Amen.

    If I run out of things to say, I’ll stop blogging. If the work outpaces my time, I’ll stop blogging. If my readers stop reading, I’ll stop blogging. I blog for the community of it, and maybe that’s what differentiates me from other bloggers. I care about SEO, sure. But I care more about how to help my peers and how we can share experiences and lessons learned.

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  • Edward Shepard

    I agree that it’s important for many authors to seek publication with existing outlets that have large pre-existing audiences, rather than get bogged down blogging exclusively on their own site. However, an author’s blog typically also feeds other social networks (including the author’s Goodreads and the author’s Amazon page via RSS), so blogging effort pays off in multiple dimensions. It’s not a one-time investment.

    Also, in my experience, blogging 2000 – 3000 words a month (500 ~ 750 words a week) is one of the most effective ways to bring traffic to a website. Any kind of website – author site, commercial site, etc. If one of your goals as a writer is to bring potential readers to your site, blogging on your own site likely should be pursued.

    A lot of content can also be curated and commented upon at minimal effort of the author. That also has the benefit of feeding the author new ideas and information.

    Of course, if this activity seriously cuts into your writing time – cut it out until you can manage both.

    Finally – if I chose – I could take this comment that I’ve already written, expand upon it, and post it on my blog linking back to this article. Then I could post a link to my blog to Reddit (specifically /r/writing) to get a substantial wave of traffic to this site and my own. Of course, I’m too busy to do that… the irony!

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  • Tim Greaton

    LL, what a great discussion. I sell thousands of books each year, have an active social networking platform that measures in the tens of thousands, and I absolutely, completely…have no idea how to feel about your statement. My blog is receiving 400+ hits a day after a few active weeks. For me it comes down to this: I need to coalesce my thoughts around a long-term direction, and my blog is definitely serving that purpose while also, I hope, gathering a core audience that might actually follow me across genres.
    I tried blogging a year or two ago, for a short stint, but the effort seemed aimless. Today, I have a completely different mindset: I’m blogging mostly about what excites me–breakthrough science–with some author interviews and book-related posts in between. My futuristic science interest doesn’t currently match my fiction, but it has led me to consider migrating toward near-future, science-fiction.
    In any event, a wonderful, and truly though-provoking post. I hope to revisit this or a similar discussion in another year or so :-)

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  • http://missionsuntold.com/ Jordan Monson

    Joe, I believe you’re right. Almost every blogger-turned-book-writer who is successful is writing in the non-fiction or inspirational or self-help genre. Your Jeff Goins/Michael Hyatt type of inspirational self promoting characters. For fiction writers, blogging doesn’t make much sense. I’m surprised I’ve read so little about this. Am I missing the articles? Does Jane cover this, or one of the other writerly or agent bloggers? Thanks for speaking a truth that many see but few talk about.

  • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

    We’re experimenting with how to do this over at storycartel.com, Jordan. You should check it out.

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  • L.L. Barkat

    sounds like you will eventually look for the ROI of blogging versus your vigorous social networking platform. And by that I mean how much you have to put in to get the same or more out. Would love to hear from you in a year! :)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1380079551 Marie Dees

    Thank you!
    I’m on the web 9 to 5 every day as a content manager for a non-profit, so I am comfortable with blogging, tweeting, etc. But this last year I pulled back from my blog because it seemed I wasn’t getting much traction from it. It takes time to write a worthwhile blog post. Time I’d really rather spend working on a new book. But then other keep telling me “you need to blog to promote.” No, perhaps not right now. After all everyone is blogging to promote and I see the same types of posts over and over.
    I think it’s time to rethink how I spend my time and stop feeling guilty about the blog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenn.amdahl Kenn Amdahl

    I blog because I love to write and don’t expect or need to make money on each word that dribbles forth. I also love to rant don’t want to subject my family to every passing passion. I started blogging because authors were “supposed” to. But I never promoted the blog and it never became a significant marketing tool. Instead, it provides a small audience for thoughts I don’t feel the need to refine too much and a means to connect with readers who just like to connect. The idea that we only write (blogs, books, poetry– whatever) to improve our own marketability makes me squirm. Which is not an image any of us want to hold in our brains for long.

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  • http://www.timesharescam.com/ Harriet Mendler

    Some people think blogging is a waste of time but there are some people who like to blog and is their decission. Personally I like to blog!

    Harriet M.

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  • Russell
  • rochellebarlow

    I am 3 months late to the discussion. I am an unpublished author and ALL I have heard from anyone saying anything is, “you must start a blog, you must get online a build your platform, even if you haven’t even finished your first book!” You’re the only one that has disagreed. What you have said is valid and I agree, but I don’t want to at the same time. You know? I have been wasting away in front of my computer for two weeks now trying to set up a site and blog. Now I’m freaking out. What in the heck am I supposed to be writing about that people would even care about? Write about writing? How would that help me find readers? Write about my life? Who, besides my mother, cares? I am pretty amazing and everything, but I just don’t know if others would get it. Everything I’ve read says publishers won’t publish you if you don’t have an online presence. Then everything else I read says no one will buy your self-pub book if you don’t have an audience first. My brain cells are evaporating. I am so lost. Can someone hold my hand? Pretty please? With cherries on top?

  • http://www.janefriedman.com/ Jane Friedman

    Rochelle,

    It is indeed confusing. About the most important thing I could tell you is this: Every author builds platform or audience in distinctly different ways.

    Blogging is often a top choice for authors because it’s a proven and fairly direct method of either reaching new readers or keeping in touch with readers you already have. But it’s not for everyone—mostly because each author has different types of work they’re writing, different strengths and weaknesses, and different types of readers.

    Once you start to develop a strong sense of who your readers are, and what voice you’re going to use to speak to them, blogging makes more sense. Sometimes that strong sense (and voice) only comes after years of writing other things. And sometimes it only comes after you blog for 1-2 years (as it did with me!).

    Remember that everything you do — including everything you write and publish — has an impact on your platform. It’s a long journey, and I write more about it here: http://janefriedman.com/2012/03/13/author-platform-definition/

  • rochellebarlow

    Jane,

    Thank you so much for your help! After reading your other post I get it now! I had it mixed up. Now I can re-frame my goals and take a better approach. Thank you again.

  • http://illustratedshorts.com/ Illustrated Shorts

    I think it would be worthy to discuss what blogging is, because it’s an action whose output can be varied, depending on your industry. Blogging doesn’t have to be bleeding heart exposés or intensively-researched news articles which consume hours of your life; blogging can be simply about connecting with your audience on an independent platform (ie. not Facebook) and sharing your (unique) opinion on areas of interests for which you many not be necessarily paid, or which others Editors might otherwise reject.

    Simply saying ‘blogging’ is a waste of time is overly simplistic – one has to look at one’s purpose, content and audience before dismissing it completely.

  • rachel

    there are some great anonymous blogs out there – hilarious!
    http://www.thepsychiccompany.co.uk/

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  • Richelle Murry

    I have two, one about art, the other I write stories. If a person came and ask me if he or she should blog, I will that person to blog about what you love to do.

  • Monique Heard

    I am a new writer and am currently reading a book that suggest starting a blog. Although I’m not what you’d call an experienced writer, I was curious what thoughts you had about blogging and must admit I found your point of view interesting.

  • Monique Heard

    I’m interested in blogging in the near future and I think as long as your readers can connect to whatever your blog is about and get a feel for who you are, and I mean passed the words on the screen, every blog has a chance to reach their audience. Good luck!

  • http://nancemarie.blogspot.com/ n davis rosback

    After many years of blogging, i have found that no matter what your art or desire, that it can be more rewarding in many ways to spend a good portion of the time off-line, actually doing something creative and interactive in your physical touch world. And the time that is spent on-line, i agree with L.L. Barkat, can be better spent going to where others are already spending time rather than getting people to come to your blog and then to read something that may be too long/ time consuming. I would suggest that today, it’s best to view a blog as a form of communicating with three or four friends that like to keep in touch and to have a fun with media at a small-scale level. And i would also suggest that posting once a week is a good place to aim.

  • Funny Motivational Speakers

    I think writers should spend their time on marketing their work. That means a
    great site, proper SEO, as well as, for some, building a speaking business.
    Blogging can be useful, but if you want to sell books and make money, the focus
    needs to be on marketing. Blogging can be used to market if it is set up properly, which is where many bloggers and writers fail.

    From the website to blogging to SEO, it’s all about marketing. These can all lead to speaking opportunities. Many conferences will book writers on various topics,
    which give you the ability to share your knowledge to help others, as well sell
    your books. By conferences, I don’t mean just writers conferences. Many corporate and association events will book writers.

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  • Becky

    I am not a blogger but I follow quite a few. I hope the food bloggers I follow never stop blogging because they have opened my world to such wonderful recipes. And when they are ambitious enough to produce a cookbook I buy it.

    But for the sake of honesty I have to admit I am not reading every word written. I’m looking for the food pictures and reading the recipes. A lot of the blogs I follow have good writing and a lot have bad writing and that is okay by me. I admire anyone that follows their passion. But I learn quickly which blogs have the kind of writing I enjoy and those are the ones the get most of my attention. Pretty pictures help!

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  • simplyscott

    I guess it all comes down to the “why”. Why does one person blog and the other does not? What the purpose? What’s the goal?

    I do blog, and I’ve been blogging since I got divorced. It was my way to cope with the loss, which evolved into short stories and now novels. I still blog, but I don’t blog about my books (very much). I mostly write about social and political issues, sussing things out for myself and looking at the world critically. Here and there are short stories, cute anecdotes, and mentions of my novels appear, but if I am not giving the novels enough attention, the “blogging” is the first thing to go.

    I’ve never given much thought to writing for larger platforms simply because I write for myself, but I have been invited to write for others. I’ve just not taken advantage of it. I have 3-4 novels claiming precedent in my head, and they win. If anything besides just personal enjoyment, I hope that my writing on my blog gives someone who might want to read me something to look at, a broader body of work and a greater insight into who I am as an author outside of writing. What kind of person am I? You can find that out quickly on my blog. And maybe you’ll notice that I’m a pretty good storyteller, too.

    Meanwhile, I’m steadily re-posting on Tumblr all the brilliant things I find; stop by: http://simplyscott.tumblr.com/

  • Jim Stephens

    To write original articles for my blog would generally be an energy drain, as I am not trying to be an author, not a blogger. However, I find being on Blogger helpful as a place to share interesting articles I find about history and humanities. It lets people get to know my perspective and my level of knowledge in the field.

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  • Wendy Christopher

    I started a blog round about the same time as I started my current novel-in-progress. Not so much as a promotion tool for when I (eventually) get the darn thing finished and (she dreams) published, but more as something else to do when I hit the lack-of-inspiration-wall with my novel. I find switching to another type of writing, even for an hour or so, can sometimes be enough to kick my brain back into gear with the novel again. But I wouldn’t call myself a ‘regular’ blogger; four posts a month would be unusually prolific for me. My novel comes first.
    I’m quite liking Twitter, although I really need to learn how to use it properly because I know sweet diddly about all its extra doodads.
    FaceBook just scared me to death. I signed up for it, and once a load of people I used to know from school about twenty years ago found me and me all hooked up again I was getting all this ‘stuff;’ requests to make cakes for virtual cafes, (huh? I’m virtually EMPLOYED by you now? And I have to pay for apps to make you pretend food to sell in your pretend café?) ‘so-and-so has sent you a badger…’ (Sorry, whaaat? A BADGER? Do I have to send some form of wildlife back or something? How the chuffin’ heck would I even DO that?) Based on my experience, I can’t imagine how it could EVER be used for any kind of serious interaction in the real world!

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  • joecarl

    I’d like to note that as I have begun writing with more passion and discipine, I have severed almost all ties to the internet, and the computer in general. By moving back to a pen and paper, I have truly found that my thoughts and dreams have more crosswinds to dance upon. Instead of redacting and scouring, I sketch and scratch, leaving the thoughts on the page for future meditation. I have little desire to blog, and only work on lyric and novel. I am probably setting myself up for failure in the career, but I have integrity with what I feel is important for me. To reach me, I’m afraid you’ll have to walk down the path that leads to my email.

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  • monida

    Real Sociedad coach needs a
    positive result against Manchester United

    Agen Bola terpercaya indo11.com reported, Jagoba
    Arrasate, Real Sociedad coach, said his side needs a positive result against Manchester
    United on Tuesday.

    Sociedad are four points
    behind third-placed Shakhtar Donetsk with Bayer Leverkusen a further two points
    ahead in second position.

    Real Sociedad will have
    almost no chance to stay in this completion if fails to win tomorrow.

    “We will prepare well
    for the game, hopefully being close to our best performance and try to win this
    match.We won’t approach the game differently just because there is a possibility
    we could get eliminated,” Jagoba Arrasate said. as reported by Indo Eleven.

    He is aware that Manchester
    United will pose a stern test, but hopes he can upset the form book.

    “People are talking a
    lot about of the period of transition, but the other day, Manchester United
    also showed the potential they have,” he said.

    “They are very powerful
    physically, defending well, coming out on the counter attack very well,”
    he added.

    Real Sociedad coach hopes
    that his side can give Manchester United a scare tomorrow.

    Source http:// indo11.com

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    Fanny )

  • Debra Motanya

    Interesting…

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  • chamroeunluis1

    Mignolet Bantah Pertahanan ‘Si Merah’ Tak Lagi Solid

    Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 –Liverpool – Cuma satu clean sheet dari 12 laga terakhir di Premier League membuat barisan belakang Liverpool dkritik. Tapi Simon Mignolet membantah bahwa “benteng” The Reds tak lagi solid.

    Mignolet dan barisan pertahanan di depannya sebenarnya mengawali musim dengan melalui tiga laga awal tanpa kebobolan. Tapi dimulai laga melawan Swansea City, gawang Mignolet seperti kian mudah ditembus dan cuma saat melawan Fulham, Liverpool tak kebobolan.

    Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya –Sebelas laga sisanya kebobolan 18 gol yang membuat mereka jadi tim dengan rekor pertahanan terburuk di tiga besar. Meski demikian Liverpool patut menepuk dada karena setidaknya mereka jadi tim terproduktif kedua setelah Manchester City dengan 34 gol dari 15 pekan berlalu.

    Tetap kritik untuk lini belakang Liverpool akan terus ada selama Brendan Rodgers belum menemukan solusi terbaik. Apalagi ‘Si Merah’ punya stok bek mumpuni dalam diri Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure, Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson, dan Jose Enrique.

    Sumberhttp:// indo11.com

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  • Jonh World

    Tottenham eyeing El Shaarawy

    Agen Bola terpercaya indo11.com reported,Tottenham boss Andrea Villas-Boas is readying a January bid for AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy.
    Spurs have made a number of high-profile signings after it became clear Gareth Bale would be sold to Real Madrid, but Roberto Soldado was the only attacker to arrive at White Hart Lane.
    Andre Villas-Boas is, therefore, looking to further reinforce his front line in January and he has reportedly set his sights on Stephan El Shaarawy.
    Seeing as how both Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor are expected to leave in January, the Portuguese manager believes the AC Milan forward would be an excellent addition to the squad.as reported by Indo Eleven.
    The problem is the Rossoneri see him as a key member of the squad and they are highly unlikely to consider any offer from White Hart Lane.
    Source : http://www.indo11.com

  • da da

    Allegri decided to leave Milan prior to the Serie A campaign

    Agen Bola Indo11.com reported, Massimiliano Allegri, a coach of Milan, revealed that he has decided to end his career at the club prior to the Serie A campaign.

    The 46-year-old publicly made his intentions clear just prior to the New Year – after Milan’s struggles in the Italian top flight saw them sitting mid-table.

    He already informed Milan chief Adriano Galliani prior to Christmas of his desire to resign come mid-2014.

    “In Italy sometimes all these changes can create clamor amongst people. These decisions are normal business and Italy will have to get used to it,” Allegri said.

    “We are all professionals, both players and coaches, and we must perform well for the whole length of our contract.”

    “It is not possible to stay in a club forever. I have been in AC Milan for four years, I have done a good job and I am very happy for that,” he added. as reported by

    Agen Bola Indo11.com.

    Massimiliano Allegri also thanks the vice-president, Adriano Galliani, who both provided him a good squad that could achieve the objectives, agreed before the start of every season.

    Source http://indo11.com

  • bluesen11

    Giroud Beri Keseimbangan untuk Arsenal

    Berita terbaru dan terkini Bola Soccer dari Agen Bola Indo11 –London – Olivier Giroud sudah menepi dalam dua laga terakhir yang dimainkan oleh Arsenal karena sakit. Saat bisa kembali bermain, dia disebut Arsene Wenger akan memberik keseimbangan untuk The Gunners.

    Agen Bola Indo11 Terpercaya –Giroud terakhir bermain saat Arsenal melakoni laga lawatan ke markas Newcastle United pada 29 Desember 2013. Kala itu, dia mencetak gol penetu kemenangan ‘Gudang Peluru’.

    Arsenal saat ini sedang mengalami krisis striker tengah usai Nicklas Bendtner dan Theo Walcott harus menepi akibat cedera. Bendtner mengalami cedera engkel, sementara Walcoot harus absen enam bulan karena cedera lutut parah.

    Giroud yang diprediksi bakal kembali, Senin (13/1) hari ini, lantas disambut baik oleh Wenger.

    “Giroud mempunyai kualitas yang tidak dipunyai oleh seluruh anggota skuat lainya, dia selalu memberi kami kekuatan itu,” kata Wenger.

    Sumberhttp:// indo11.com.

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  • Thon Mey

    Drogba praises Jose Mourinho as best manager

    Agen Bola terpercaya indo11.com reported, Didier Drogba, a striker of Chelsea, has praised Jose Mourinho as the best manager because he turned him to a winner.

    The 35-year-old, who won 10 honours during his eight-year stint at Stamford Bridge and bowed out with a Champions League medal, says his mentality is down to the work ethic instilled in him by Mourinho, as reported by Agen Judi terpercaya indo11.com.

    “Of all the managers I’ve worked with he’s [Mourinho] the first, I would put him first. Our philosophy when I was there was very simple. He educated us to hate losing,” Drogba told reporters,” the striker said.

    “Sometimes, in training, you could play three or four games of five minutes without a goal. It shows you the intensity of training and the way we working. Everyone was so concentrated.”

    He added, “We knew everything about the opponents. We were ready, when we went on the pitch, even for a difficult game, a difficult start, we knew we would win. It was a machine. It was like we were a machine.”
    Source http://indo11.com

  • ry chard

    Valdano: Raul Adalah ‘Guardiola Real Madrid’

    Berita terbaru dan terkini dari agen bola City Holiday – Eks direktur olahraga Real Madrid, Jorge Valdano menilai bahwa Raul Gonzales bisa menjadi pelatih Real Madrid dan menjadi ‘Guardiola-nya Madrid’

    Agen bola City Holiday Terpercaya – “Raul ditakdirkan untuk menjadi Guardiola Real Madrid. Tapi jelas, dengan cara dan gayanya sendiri. Dia tak dapat dibandingkan dengan Pep,” ujarnya.

    “Saya tak ragu bahwa dia sedang menyiapkan diri untuk kembali sebagai pelatih dan saya tak sabar menanti itu. Dia benar-benar akan menambahkan sesuatu di Madrid, lagi,” tandasnya.

    Sumber http://cityholidaybet.com/

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