Should Authors Have Blogs?
I have often wrestled with this question.
Some people say as authors you don’t need a blog.
Others say it is a must have.
So here is what I have learnt after writing and publishing 100 posts on this blog to date.
Blogging is hard
You need to have an interest in the topic you want to write about. Because a blog is only worth the effort if you are putting out consistent and quality content.
This is my third attempt at blogging. The first was on self-development and the second was on healthy eating. Both of these topics interested me. But they didn’t interest me enough to put aside dedicated time to research and write quality content.
You need to pick a topic you are passionate about
It needs to be a topic in which you cannot stop learning and sharing. This is what my blog is about. My aim is to help other authors who are a few steps behind me on the author journey. I love writing and reading. I love everything and anything to do with books. And I love to share what I am learning with other authors and creatives.
At a recent workshop, I attended, Joanna Penn also reinforced this point. She had three blogs before she started The Creative Penn which is now one of the most highly trafficked blogs out there on how to self-publish and run an author business. She said she has so much content to share (because she is always learning) that she has blog content scheduled out for the next 6 months!
That gave me a kick up the behind to start scheduling my posts in advance!
So only start a blog if:
- You enjoy the process of blogging (from writing to curating content to publishing the posts)
- You are willing to write quality content that will help you with SEO rankings and build your author platform (as opposed to random thoughts)
- Put some time and effort into learning basic copywriting skills. This includes SEO and headlining (this is all new to me so I need to start learning this). But to get an idea, look at successful blogs and emulate them. Look at the type of headlines and titles they use. For example, which article are you most likely to read:
Tips on writing your book you can’t find anywhere else
7 steps to writing your book effortlessly in 7 days
It’s quite clear to see that the second option is more likely to get attention. It is specific, targetted and the reader knows what to expect from this type article. (PS- look at the title of this article- does it live up to its expectations?).
- Author Platform: You can use your blog as a powerful platform to connect with readers and be seen as an influencer and authority figure.
- Be strategic about your blog and think about how you can use it as part of your wider business model.
- Be helpful and useful – What value are you adding to your reader? How are you helping them get closer to their writing goals?
Above all have fun!
If you don’t like to produce blog content or don’t want to post regularly then this option is not for you. Only do something if you are willing to put in 150% effort. otherwise, you could be spending your time on other activities that may be better suited to you and your business.
Think outside the box
Blogging may not be the best medium for you. Have you thought about podcasting or sharing your author journey on YouTube? Try out different things. The key is to feel comfortable. and all these different mediums are equally great for building your author platform.
But blogging does take time
And it takes away time from the words you could have been producing for your next book. So ask yourself, do you need a blog as part of your business model?
Writers like SJ Scott and H.M Ward are high production authors. They are typically producing a book per month! If you have a production schedule like that you probably don’t also want to be blogging! (or you can if you have the time!).
At this point in time, I am including this blog as part of my wider author platform. Firstly as a place where I can document my journey and share lessons learnt.
Secondly, it helps me to maintain a regular writing practice. I write a minimum 500 words every day for my blog. This is to instil the practice of writing daily which i need because it helps to keep the fear and self-doubt at bay
And most importantly, when I press publish on a blog post, I know I have created something of value and sent it out into the work.
And every time I press the publish button, my fear and self-doubt take a back seat …at least for the day.
Do you blog? Do you think authors need a blog?