Why Do You Blog?

| Monday, January 7, 2013
Today's Blog: Have It All

I think I've mentioned once or twice or eight billion times that I'm in Internet Marketing. I've essentially been toying with blogs and social media and chatrooms since I was something like 11 years old, and now I get to do it for a living. Which is both cool and less cool, depending on which angle you're coming from. As with most jobs, I'm sure.

On this week's #NALitChat on Twitter, moderator/founder E.J. Wesley was leading a discussion on book marketing, and naturally blogging came up. I had a few thoughts.

This is the conundrum of blogging: some people will tell you it's absolutely useless when it comes to marketing; a complete waste of your time. Others will tell you it's essential for getting your name/product/service found. Ultimately, I find that it depends on what you want. For writers, any marketing we do (and boy, are we a lot that hates marketing), it's to find readers to purchase our books. We also tend to seek companionship and community. These are very different goals than your average product marketer.

A lot of people get hung up on blogging because someone told them they should, or because they heard it's a great way to market books. So they end up with a blog full of posts touting their own work... maybe picking apart their own plots, pushing bunches of tie-in stories, or gimmicks like writing posts "in character." If your goal is just to get people to find you on Google, click through to your blog, and then click right on through to another page of your website, this approach might work to get you clicks.

But if you want people to find your blog and stick around, you have to dig deeper. And the first step to digging deeper is to actually LIKE blogging. If you enjoy what you're writing about, it will come through.

Blogs are essentially a labor of love for most people. Some folks find just the right voice or niche, and their blog takes off like wildfire. For most, it's a much slower process. It's something you do because you're passionate about your blog topic, and you honestly enjoy the community around your blog, small or large as it may be.

Ultimately, you have to figure out your goal. Are you just interested in getting people to your website in order to lead them through a funnel to a landing page where they'll (hopefully) buy your book? Then your goal is probably just to figure out which keywords are going to get you the most traffic from search engines. On the other hand, if you're interested in building a readership and actually having your posts read/shared/followed/enjoyed, then you're going to want to find something you absolutely love. You have to love it enough to talk about it repeatedly for months, and keep talking about it even if it seems like no one's listening.

Blogging isn't easy. Especially blogging with passion. Some of my posts take me literally hours, if not days, to compose. It's worth it to me, though. Even if I don't get a single comment. Is that the sort of thing that interests you?

Why do YOU blog?


{ Heather Kelly } at: January 7, 2013 at 6:04 AM said...

Blogging for me is about community. I love that it is fluid enough that its purpose can evolve over time. I've seen a lot of people stop blogging recently to take advantage of the shorter format of twitter and Facebook.

But I am confident that the community will remain. :) Thanks for the thoughtful post!

{ Stephanie Ingrid Sarah Kristan } at: January 7, 2013 at 6:53 AM said...

We're on the same end of the spectrum as you: we blog for passion. No, we don't get thousands of hits a day. But we have made friends (like you!!) and connected with fellow YA-lovers who want to discuss not only great books but also the various topics that they raise. Do we expect to become rich & famous off that? No way. Do we care? No way. :)

(That said, we don't have any problem with people who are blogging for more commercial purposes. No judgment. We just think it's really hard, and wish them luck!)

{ A.J. Frey } at: January 7, 2013 at 8:23 AM said...

I love the community of blogging as well. It is so beautiful meeting people who also speak to invisible people and pray for the day when more and more people will get to meet them.

I try to only blog if I have something to say, hopefully something people can relate to. And frankly, I love it. I love the interaction. I love setting the little stories inside of me free. Fly little birdie. :-)

{ Alex J. Cavanaugh } at: January 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM said...

I began blogging because my publisher told me to build a platform. I've stayed because I got involved with the blogging community and made friends. Now I blog to highlight others and give back.

{ Blair B. Burke } at: January 7, 2013 at 3:57 PM said...

I've been thinking about the direction of my blog and your words definitely help. I think I need to do more posts about the things I like in particular - stories.

{ JeffO } at: January 7, 2013 at 5:01 PM said...

I'll be honest, I started blogging in large part because I thought it was something I was *supposed* to do. But I enjoy it (mostly) and have met a number of great people this way. Really, it's about the community and support for me. And as a reader, I also learn a lot and am challenged to think, and that's ALWAYS a good thing.

{ linda } at: January 7, 2013 at 11:19 PM said...

I like having a blog so I have somewhere to post my rants/essays/random thoughts when the mood strikes. And sometimes people even read and/or comment! So awesome when that happens. Haha.

{ Suzi } at: January 8, 2013 at 6:28 AM said...

I also started blogging because we are 'supposed' to. But it's evolved. Took me a while to get the groove, but hopefully now I've got it down.

The biggest benefit to me has been meeting people. Not just that come to my blog, but by going to others. Or meeting them through blog hops. I've met some great writers who I didn't know even a year ago.

And I now have beta readers. And I too get to read some terrific books that haven't been published yet. And I've learned a lot over the last year--something that didn't start happening until I got involved in blogging.

So I may have started off for the wrong reasons, but now I'm doing it because I love it.

{ Sprunty } at: January 8, 2013 at 9:18 PM said...

My blog helps me continue to build my writing skills. I also get to make baked goods about books. That's pretty fun too.

{ Suko } at: February 7, 2013 at 10:07 AM said...

I blog for many reasons! I recently wrote a Squidoo lens about why I blog about books: http://www.squidoo.com/19-reasons-to-blog-about-books

{ Deepak Sachdeva } at: April 1, 2013 at 11:50 PM said...

Blogging is a great way to express yourself including your thoughts, ideas etc to the entire world. A blog can initially be thought as an online journal diary used by different people for all together different reasons. Overall, I found this post to be informative as well as creative. Good job, keep it up!

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