Recently I stirred up a bit of debate when I noted on a podcast interview that I don’t always recommend that authors have a blog. You could have heard a virtual pin drop for a moment as this statement was met with silence!
When you’re an author, one of the things you might be pressed into doing is a blog, but I think it’s a very valuable question to ask of yourself—“Do I really want to blog?” The other questions you should ask along with that question are: “Do I have two to three hours a week to write content and keep the content engaging? Do I feel all right about having others freely comment on my content? Am I in this for the marathon, not the sprint?”
I’ve also written about this on my own blog in terms of the growing “Book Blog Cemetery” where authors have penned blogs in the very first months of their book launch and then just let them go after a couple months. I think if you’re going to engage readers and hope they come to your blog, then you need to be in it for the marathon, not the sprint. It’s important to respect your readership, and when you’re blogging, you’re making a commitment to the readers of that blog that you’re going to be there, and you will want them to depend on coming back to read more of your great insight.
One of the authors I worked with in the past and that I always use a case study for blogging is prolific writer Beth Kephart – beth-kephart.blogspot.com/.
Beth started a blog prior to her YA novel release (she’s an award-winning non-fiction writer) and blogging was a whole new experience for her. The wonderful thing she’s done with her blog is that she truly committed herself to blogging for the long haul and now she can’t not blog! That’s a good thing!
If you’re trying to decide whether blogging is right for you, I also recommend you read Bob Bly’s book, “Blog Schmog” – it’s full of very good insight in terms of identifying whether you have the time, patience, and topic fit for having a successful blog.
Remember you can still have a wonderful author’s presence through your website without a blog component! It’s really up to you. I always like to relate blogging to the bigger picture, so I often say, “Blog the change you want to see in the world” as a homage to Gandhi, but also as a reminder to authors that when you blog you really are engaging in a two-way conversation that can initiate action and change!
The possibilities are truly endless in terms of connecting your book to like-minded and “link-minded” readers online, as long as you keep in mind that you always want to, “Ask not what a blog or blogger can do for you—ask what you can do for the blog or the blog readers, instead.”