2 Reasons Why Every Writer Needs a Blog (and How to Rock One)

FEATURED_Reasons-Why-Every-Writer-Needs-a-Blog-(and-How-to-Rock-One)You’re a writer, not a blogger, so should you still write a blog?

There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about whether authors should have blogs. Some say it’s a waste of time, others say it’s a benefit.

Personally, I’m in the benefit camp. For the reasons you’ll learn below, blogging is probably the best thing you can do while you’re not actively writing your novel to prepare you for the task.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Here’s a handy guide to choosing the perfect blogging platform!

Reason #1: All Writing is Writing

In other words, you need to write to be a writer. You’re not going to roll out of bed one day, head to your computer, type out the perfect novel in one sitting, and then go back to bed. It takes years of writing to create perfection (and good news, I’m including your troubled high school years in this equation, too).

Unfortunately, a lot of folks have the idea that they can sit at a computer on any day of their choosing and force a novel to come out.

Come on, you know the folks I’m talking about.

The ones who think, once I have time to write, I’m going to write my novel. I just don’t have time to write right now.

But the truth is, once all of their perfect conditions are met and they finally sit down to write, they’re rusty as nails.

nails-563807_640

This is the type of person who has a talent for writing, but never honed it. Now instead of prose that flows, it’s prose that blows (maybe a little harsh, but I’m a slave to rhyme).

But there’s an easy way to guard against this. It’s to write.

You don’t have to write novels constantly—no one has time for that. But you can write short stories, editorials, and yes, blog posts frequently.

Simply writing will help you write faster and more efficiently when it comes time to pen your novel. You’ll already be familiar with the process of writing, such as quieting your mind, gathering your thoughts, putting them into words, and then editing those words. Starting with a blog will help cultivate your writing skills so that it won’t feel so foreign when you begin writing your novel.

Now, let’s talk about how to create a successful blog.

Decide What You Want to Blog About

write-593333_640(1)

There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of topics you can blog about. It doesn’t have to be about literature. It can, and should, be about a topic you’re passionate about. Bonus points if it ties back to your writing in some way.

For example, let’s say you’re interested in writing crime novels. You may create a blog around the topic of forensic science or discuss cold cases that pique your curiosity.

On the other hand, you can simply write about writing. Discuss your process, offer tips and tricks to fellow writers, and build a community around you.

Of course, you don’t have to reference your passion for writing at all. You can blog on some other passion you have—maybe it’s home decor, sports, beauty, auto repair, barbecue, you name it. Even if you’re writing about a subject that’s completely unrelated to the type of novel you would write, it still helps you sharpen your writing skills— and that’s what this is all about.

In a notebook, create a top five list of potential topics you could write about. Next, for each topic, come up with at least five post titles you can blog about. It’s okay if they’re not perfect, you’re mostly looking for subject matter here. If you can’t come up with five titles, cross that topic off your list—you’re not passionate enough about it, and populating a blog on that topic would be more of a chore than anything else.

To narrow down your blog topic further, decide which one of the remaining topics you’re most excited about tackling, and then go for it.

If it doesn’t work out, no big deal. You can always go back to the drawing board and choose another one.

Reason #2: Use Your Blog to Connect with an Audience

One of the biggest benefits of blogging is that you can interact with your readers.

Novel writing offers a different experience. While you can still connect with your readers, you won’t know for months or years, if ever, how the readers feel about your novel.

However, if you manage to build readership around your blog, you’ll get quick feedback on how readers feel about your writing.

This can build your confidence around writing, for sure. Don’t discount this need. When others enjoy your writing, it can be a powerful motivator that encourages you to write even more.

Depending on the topic of your blog, you can also use your posts to get critiques for your writing.

It can also help you build an audience who’s more likely to read your upcoming novel. The more exposure you achieve as a writer, the better your chances of selling to a wider audience.

To this end, I highly recommend starting an email list so that readers who enjoy your blog can stay connected to you through their email inbox. This way, when it comes time to send them the good news that your newest novel is for sale, they get that news delivered directly to their inbox.

Be aware, though, that it takes a while to build readership around your blog. It takes at least a year of actively pursuing connections to establish a community. You’ll also need to be blogging quite regularly (two times per month or more) on a consistent schedule to see results.

As for writers who are already published, it’s even more important to grow and maintain a blog. One reason is that your readers want to learn more about you. They want to read more of your work. By having and maintaining a blog, your readers get immediate access to you in a way that was inconceivable 25 years ago.

Keep It Private

padlock-690286_640

Who says your blog has to be open to public scrutiny? You can keep a blog for your eyes only—no one else has to know about it or read it.

In this case, your blog is your journal. You can use it to collect your thoughts and random musings.

So why a blog and not a notebook?

With a blog, there’s no paper trail, everything’s in the cloud, and you have the benefit of delete and undo at your fingertips.

Every major blog platform allows you to go private with your posts, including WordPress, Penzu, Ghost, Day One, Blogger, Squarespace, and more.

When You Shouldn’t Blog

So, to be fair to the topic, let’s discuss the reasons why blogging isn’t always a good idea.

If You’re Looking for Something Quick and Easy

Blogging is time consuming, especially if you do it right. There’s no way conceivable (to me, at least) that you can blog while also writing a novel. That’s a guaranteed recipe for mental overload.

If you plan to blog for an audience, you’ll need to go through the extra step of editing your posts for spelling and grammar errors.

You’ll also need to let your audience know that you’ll temporarily suspend writing on your blog when the time comes to write your new novel. You may lose some of your audience when you return, so be prepared for that.

If You’re Looking for a Book Deal

Unfortunately, blogging doesn’t usually lead to book deals. Unless you’re a crazy-successful Internet celebrity, you’re not likely to get approached by a publisher who’s interested in turning your musings into a book.

Don’t blog for that, but celebrate if it happens. And then let us know if it happens, and we’ll celebrate, too.

Final Thoughts

Writing is hard but it gets easier the more you do it. That’s true for all artforms. With blogging, you can improve your discipline and focus simply by writing on a consistent basis. If you open yourself up to an audience, you’ll have the added benefit of community and possibly even feedback.

If you have a blog, let us know in the comments below and we’ll check you out!

Don’t forget to grab our guide to choosing the perfect blogging platform.

 

Make Sure Your Book Isn’t A “Long Shot”

Enter your email for your FREE 7-Day Bootcamp and learn:

  • 5 Unconventional Techniques to help you finish your Draft
  • The Key to Getting Readers to Care About Your Characters
  • How to Master Dialogue, even if you’re a First-Time Writer
  • What You Need to Know to Hold Your Reader’s Interest
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

39 Comments

Girish Karthikeyan

Hi,

Your blog is a great resource. The articles are easy to read and make great points. That really helps for self-taught writers like myself.

Reply
Selina

I started a blog after a long time away from it. Created a newer one with a different focus, but old one is still attached so it can still be viewed. The old one had some good connections in its heyday from a smattering of authors, poets and artists in Brooklyn. My new blog called SPACE BABY is up and current.

Reply
Ajay

I have started a blog to help people quit their addictions of any kind. I offer FREE 5 days course. Guest bloggers can contact me. Please check out the blog at http://www.myhabitmanager.com

Reply
Toni Mariani Author

I did not realize I was blogging all the years my Facebook page has been open, until now. Spirituality and Bible topics were my favorite themes, which turned a lot of people off.

Reply
Jason

My blog discusses my thoughts on my favorite movies. It doesn’t connect much to my book writing aside from the fact that I love fiction so much I enjoy analyzing it. Plus, with as much good fiction as there is out there, I like to create something of my own based on it. That’s largely what this blog is for aside from exercising my writing muscles.

Link: http://jasonicmovies.blogspot.com/?m=1

Reply
Jennifer Smith

Sure do have a blog, a niche blog in supporting people in realizing, recognizing, escaping and recovering from love scams… from sociopaths. Personalized recovery guidance sessions, the articles and social media True love scam recovery. – I’m wetting a book expanded and adapted from the blog articles. (A “true study” creative nonfiction of my personal experience of being hijacked by a sociopath next.) Here’s the website: https://www.truelovescam.com

Reply
Jennifer Smith

Please know I’m writing not wetting a book. 😂 And writing a “true story” rather than a “true study.” — Time to turn off predictive auto correct. 😂😂👍🏼

Reply
Jill Thomas

I use my blog to share Biblical truths and how I am attempting to apply them to my life, sometimes successfully, often not.

Reply
Majo Lopez

On March of this year, my life changed completely and forever. At the age of 24 and being a very healthy person, I was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of pancreatic cancer (Frantz Tumor) and metastases in the liver.

You can follow my journey on social media as @goodbyefrantz or my website http://www.goodbyefrantz.com

Reply
Muon

Hi,
Wonderful thoughts here. I am writing a novel and I do find it extremely hard to multitask around these two. However, now that I learnt about ‘private blog’ I will transfer my word doc into the site and pick it from there. Thanks, a lot.

Reply
Dorothy Bale

Great post! I’d forgotten about the benefit of simply writing. I’ve struggled with what to blog about in order to best connect with an audience who may be interested in my ‘almost finished’ novel. 🙂 Ultimately, I realized it is far easier to write about what I’m most interested and passionate about – Mythology, History, Spirituality…. Mythic Voices at http://dorothybale.com

Reply
Joe P.

I’ve been blogging for years, but I’ve never marketed or monetized my blog: servingandbelonging.wordpress.com

Reply
Shubh

I have started a blog in around 2017 and finally did with it’s niche. I thought one day about it and then decided, i should have a reader’s platform to attract for my novel. But as you say, one should not carry the blog along with his piece on progress. And, i am doing it. Do let me know, is there anything i should do on my blog. https://spilledthoughtsarc.blogspot.in/?m=1

And, yea. Thank you for all those tips you deliver to us with that dedication. Stay blessed

Reply
Bryan

I have a blog. authorbryanblake.blogspot.com
I need lots of help.

Reply
Tara

I started a blog that deals with my withdrawing from antidepressants. It has been very cathartic for me. Now that I’m drug free! Yay! I have started to transition my blog to other areas of interest such as reading. Theinnerkindness.com

Reply
Ethel

My blog is for those who have been through a major loss. Mainly focused on loss through death. In the future I will look at loss due to divorce, job loss, loss of self identity and even the death of a pet. I have a passion to help people rebuild their lives after the grieving process.

Reply
Julie Becker

I started a blog 2 years ago, writing about current social issues. Some are political, but some are just events of the moment, such as ‘job creation.’ My goal is to show both sides of an argument, left-right, male-female, rich-poor, etc. For example, I wrote about gun regulations allowing for points of view from avid gun users to non-gun owners who want to see tight gun control.
My blog is https://www.ambidextrousthoughts.com/

Reply
Arturo

Great post, thanks!

I like to believe that “All Writing is Writing”, but I think that writing a novel is a very different process… But you are right, at least your fingers won’t be rusty if you keep a blog 🙂

Reply
Liz Goldsmith

I have been blogging since 2008 on the same topic as my novel. I think it’s an excellent way to build and engage a community but it takes a lot of work. Writing twice a month won’t cut it; I post at least 4x/week. There have been times when i post less often and I can see the readership start to drop after a couple of days. So, it’s not something to be undertaken lightly. I hope it pays off when the novel comes out as I should have a good number of readers who are interested in what I write about.

Reply
Julia

I do have a blog, which precipitated me to begin my memoir. I haven’t written much in it as of late, as I’ve been preparing my manuscript. But, according to what is said in the article, I may need to keep blogging!

Reply
C.L. Charlesworth

I have a blog within my website. It tells about my journey and gives an honest view of who I am as a writer. I look forward to writing it.

Reply
C.L. Charlesworth

I have a blog within my website. It gives an honest look at who I am as a writer. I actually enjoy writing it. The subjects are quite interesting!

Reply
Alejandro

I wonder why you didn’t suggest Medium in your blogging platforms.

Reply
Ruth

My blog is about my books and how to write your first book. I didn’t write my first book until I was the grand old age of 69 yrs with no skills or knowledge how to start. So, I try and help those who are in the same predicament I was in.

Reply
Barbara Thompson

I’ve had two blogs since 2008/9.

The first is a law & order/forensic take on the Tate-LaBianca murders committed by the Manson Family in 1969. It has over 300 articles that also cover that era and feature smaller fictional pieces as well, titled as the “2nd Official” to spoof the pro-Charles Manson blogger, username, Colonel Scott (the supposed name for Manson’s real father) – 2nd Official Tate-LaBianca Murders Blog

https://2ndofficialtate-labiancamurdersblog.blogspot.com

The second, titled as a spoof to the two main weapons used in the Manson murders along with my online username “MsBurb,” is a social commentary/virtual Irish pub blog covering history, politics, and societal issues in general, the type of conversations Irishmen can be heard jawing about over a pint of Guinness – Burb’s Buck & Buntline Inn

https://burbsbuckandbuntlineinn.blogspot.com

Last year, I began my author blog that covers my writer’s process and showcases smaller works as well as articles about my three literary novels and how I’m working through my current WIP, entitled Words to Write By… … and Books by B. J. Thompson

http://www.booksbybjthompson.com

There is no downside to blogging IF you mean what you say, and you ARE a serious writer.

It was through my craft development on the Manson blog that I honed my skill and received instant feedback from total strangers that my words WERE affecting them – uncovering long-held emotions on that era and learning never before revealed information on the crimes.

That feedback was what gave me the final push I needed to tackle longer works, and today I’m an author of three literary novels, working on a fourth.

Before I became a novelist, I would post 2-3 times per week on the initial blogs. Now, only when time permits, but I force myself to write away from my WIP to push the artistic envelope and get out of my myopic WIP obsession and comfort zone.

Flash fiction or a single article will take an afternoon, maybe two – for write, then edit – and in the long scheme of things that “away time” from your novel is good brain therapy.

Writers assume they need buckets of time to write when in reality that is never the case. A 1000 words can be written in a couple of hours, or less, depending on difficulty of topic and amount of research required.

If you’re a writer, WRITE.

Write for practice.
Write to help others.
Write to help yourself, oncoming monetary gain or public adulation, or not.

Writing is like any skilled endeavour – practice is the ONLY WAY to make perfect.

Blogging is a wonderful adjunct to that purpose. Your attempt will thank you for years to come.

Reply
Abbie

I have been working on my blog for a few months now. It’s centered around my passion for all things haunted. thehauntedme.com
I’m hoping it will help build an audience for the middle grade fiction book (a ghost story) I’m working on right now. I definitely agree that it has helped get me into a daily routine of writing and practicing my skills as a writer.

Reply
Eleanor

I tried to have a Blog a few years ago. I didn’t understand everything that I was reading in the directions so I left it. I know that it is still there but I don’t know how to do it. Says things like setting up a picture across the top of special title so if anyone here is the connection with me perhaps it is time for me to work with this again. I have learned more about writing as it is done today’s day I have been studying on my own I have support from many authors for my writing. Pardon the typos. I am using voice typing for the first time On cell phone.

Reply

Leave a comment