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Blogging, Is It Worth It? Does It Make A Difference?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gibbs is blogging?
I've been wondering about the value of blogging a lot this year. Is it worth it? Does it really appeal to readers who may enjoy our fiction? Does it make a difference in trying to reach readers? Should it? The more questions I ask myself and others the more questions I come up with. I don't believe blogging is the best social media anymore for connecting with readers, but I do value a great website with wonderful content. I strive for that and will always work to make my website easy to use. By the way, if you like the pics today I found them at Photobucket

I've noticed that even Michael Hyatt is changing his thoughts about blogging after he posted How I Unplugged and Lived to Tell About It? A couple weeks after this post he then blogged about Why I Will Be Posting Less This makes perfect sense to me. But Michael Hyatt is well known and has a massive amount of information in his archives. If you haven't scanned these posts to see what might be of interest I encourage you to do so.

Since being published in 2011 the responsibilities of completing a series, working the day job, finding time to spend with my husband and family have become increasing complicated. How to manage everything there is to manage is a continuing question I'm searching to answer. And I know I'm not the only one. I try to ask myself the question I frequently ask the college students that I counsel, "How important is it?"

That's not possible. Is it?
My agent, Rachelle Gardner (blogger extraordinaire) recently posted about her change of blogging schedule and experimenting with that schedule here, New Blogging Schedule. My agency mate Jody Hedlund does an incredible job of blogging and recently went from blogging three times per week to twice a week. Just look at this list of posts Jody did so far on the issue of  Blogging alone. It's incredible! And also, Jenny B Jones posted this statement in an awesome blog post you should read in its entirety, "It’s said that to maintain traffic and get an impact, the minimum number of times you must blog is 3x a week or it’s useless. I’m about to become useless." The post is titled, How It Is. I believe Jenny's post is how it is for many of us, including me.

So what are we going to do about it? What am I going to do about it? I've already gone from three times a week to twice a week to currently once a week. Hmmm. Blogging, has it morphed into something else? Has it grown obsolete? Is Twitter and Facebook where it's happening now? My agent also recently posted the question Is Facebook Here To Stay?

C.S. Harris commented on blogging as well. See her post at Asocial. I can relate to this. I really want to blog when I have something to say that I really want to say and not feel pressured into doing it because it's what we authors are supposed to do to draw readers in. For the most part I think we frequently draw other writers in and that's okay because writers also read but they really aren't our target audience, right? And I don't want to hire an assistant to blog for me.

Group blogging may be the best option but it depends. Some group blogs work and some not so much.  My two favorites have to be The Kill Zone and Seekerville. Do you have favorite group blogs you think are very effective and fun too?

I don't blog!
It's important for me to remember the word, PRIORITIES. Posting once a week or less often doesn't mean I don't care about reaching my readers or engaging in wonderful conversation about issues we enjoy and connecting with friends we make on line. I also blog at Just The Write Charisma once or twice a month, and periodically do guest blogging.

I want to write wonderfully entertaining novels that people will read and look forward to reading. Frequent blogging may interfere with my ability to do that well. So I'm going to be doing some experimenting. If you follow me you're going to notice some changes and it may be things that happen spontaneously or not. :)

James Scott Bell in his post entitled, Social Media Marketing Made Easy said:

Don't Hurt Your Writing Time or Your Life
If you find your social media presence detracting from your writing time and your ability to produce quality words, cut back. If you're on Facebook more than you're with your family, check your priorities. This stuff isn't as important as either of those two things.

What do you think and feel about blogging? About social media in general? Is Twitter, Facebook, etc. enough? Is a great website enough regarding DISCOVERABILITY? I found this link via JSB's blog. Digital Book World I've always heard that word of mouth is the best way to sell our books after we've written a great book. I wonder if that's still true? What's your take on blogging? How far are you willing to go?


  1. I really enjoy blogging, but don't get too many visitors. So, I have cut back from 3 days a week to 2 days a week. I plan on devoting more time to my author web site next year than my blog.

    1. Good Morning Ruth,
      It seems that unless we have a huge following the blogging thing is something we have to come to terms with in our writing lives. I like the idea of having a website that might offer more in some special way, not sure what that is yet, but I'm working on it. I look forward to seeing how you develop your own site.

  2. I struggle with this, but in the end I come back to the fact that I (mostly) enjoy blogging. I don't blog about writing or the publishing industry or marketing. I simply talk about what has struck me from scripture or struggles I'm going through or my crazy life. I do it more for a sense of needing to say those things than seeking readers for my blog or my books, but I know if someone happens on my blog they'll get a good sense of who I am from reading a few posts. I don't have many followers and don't get many comments but I keep on simply in hopes that something I'm grappling with or have been through will be the thing that one other person needs to hear that day. So I guess for me blogging is more personal and less business. Probably not the right way to do it, but it's what is most comfortable for me--at least for now.

  3. Some people have a love/hate relationship with social media. I have a hate/tolerate one. I don't have a huge number of blog followers, but they're pretty loyal. I've gone to a twice a week schedule, and that seems to work. And last year a surveyed my readers about what they'd like to see on my blog. In response, I've settled on Friday posts about the writing life and Tuesday posts about my personal life. No book reviews, no interviews, and people seem to like it.

  4. Well, at the moment my individual reply buttons aren't working. Actually, Anne, I'm beginning to think that what you do is the right way to blog. There are so many blogs with so many professionals talking about how to write, etc. that I think sometimes we lose track of our ordinary days, and in truth I don't think many of us have what I'd call ordianry days. Everyone is so busy and so pushed to the limit that we forget just to get lost in scripture with God. One of my friends said the other day that God didn't put her here to be successful but to be faithful. I loved that and I love your thoughts.

  5. Hi Richard,
    Blogging is easier for me when I'm not under deadline, but even then I don't want to feel like I have to perform with exceptional blog posts. I don't think I'm going to have the thousands of blog followers I hear we're supposed to have from different parts of cyberspace. Heck, I'm a full time social worker, wife, mom, writer . . . the list goes on. I bet if I choose to blog once a week about whatever I want that strikes a chord with me that day that it will be fine. I may be talking to no one; the term "into thin air" seems appropriate. :)Appreciate your comments today.

  6. On my website, I deliberately use the word "journal" instead of "blog" because to me, that's what it is--journal entries about something that's on my mind. If people enjoy reading them, so be it, but the idea of writing a 3x week blog? Yikes!

    For me it gets down to who I am at core. Am I a communicator or a story teller? The answer is that I am a STORY TELLER. If I am in a room full of people, I am not particularly a good conversationalist. I keep wanting everyone to quiet down so that I can tell them a story, or--even better--hoping someone will tell me one.

    I also have some medical issues in our family that cause our health care costs to soar higher each year. I have to cover those costs with whatever I can make with my words and it takes a lot of words to cover those costs.

    So here's the bottom line for me: My life and time is finite. I have only so many minutes in each day. I can spend those minutes struggling to write a free blog, hoping someone will show up on my website to read it someday, or I can spend it spinning stories that people will actually pay for. Some writers I greatly respect tell me that a writer's life is best served by writing what one loves. I don't know if the numbers bear that out, but that's the advice I intend to continue to follow.

    1. That's another breath of fresh air. And maybe that's the answer for my searching. Not sure, but I do like the way you think, Serena. "My life and time is finite." I wonder if my struggle with blogging is because I'm so aware of the fact that time is running out. I'm well past that 50 marker and maybe that's part of the issue. I want to write what I want to write and make it great, make it the best story I can and if blogging interferes with that and/or family time then I need to make some of the changes I'm considering. We'll see. Thanks for dropping by Serena.

  7. I always wondered where "they" came up with the 3x/week rule. I refused to follow it. I don't know where writers find the time to blog regularly and write books. I think having a good website is most important. BTW, I love yours!

  8. Hey Ruth,
    I'm so glad you love the website. Thanks so much. I can't wait to read your new book, Moonlight Masquerade, that comes out in the spring. I'm such a regency nut even though every time I study the era I learn something new and pray I haven't made a mistake in a novel already written. :)The more I think about the blogging issue the more I think I want a journal-blog and do what I like with it when I have something to share. Then I can tweet and if anyone's interested they can come visit. I also still blog once or twice a month at Just The Write Charisma with my fellow Realms authors.

  9. Hi Jill, I've cut back on my blogging. I just don't have the time and I'd rather have quality posts instead of quantity. I know bloggers who write daily but I don't have the time to visit daily by any means. Enjoyed this post and the link. Have a great day :)

  10. Hi Kathleen,
    Glad you enjoyed the post. I know what you mean about the quality vs. quality thing. I appreciate you weighing in today.

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