Tuesday, January 28, 2014
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Over on my personal blog, Chasing The Crazies, I'm celebrating my two year blogaversary today! It's a bit overwhelming for me because when I first started blogging I thought there was no way anyone besides my family would actually read what I wrote. And honestly, that was okay. I approached my blog as more of a personal journal, rather than a format to spread my thoughts on writing and publishing as a whole.
But then a crazy thing happened. One day I got a new reader. And then a week later a few more. Slowly over the years my following reached a respectable number. And today, I'm eternally grateful to all those people who think enough of me to read my words three times a week.
I've had a lot of people ask me about blogging, and what do I personally get out of it?
Today, I want to share the triumphs and tragedies of actually having a blog. Hopefully, this information will help you consider whether or not you want to start a blog of your own.
1) Pick a topic. Any topic.
In order for your blog to be successful, in my opinion, it needs to have focus. If you're a writer, talk about craft. If you're a reader, perhaps share reviews. Whatever your passion is, use that as a source for your posts. Readers will follow you if you have a specific topic you focus on each and every week.
If you're going to have a blog, you have to commit to posting at least once a week. If someone is going to invest their time in following you, then they are going to want to see original content. If you're not going to do that, be honest about it on your blog. Tell the readers when you plan to post and let them decide if they want to follow.
If a reader takes the time to ask a question, or leave a comment, respond in a timely manner. If that person has invested time in reading your post, you need to acknowledge that and thank them for reaching out. This simple act of courtesy will get them to return to your blog time and time again.
4) Always, Always, Always, Be Professional
A week ago on Twitter I saw a very high-caliber literary agent post that she wants to see social media contact info in query letters. This tells me that agents are starting to research what authors do and say, not only on Twitter, but on their personal websites and blogs. So remember even though you may want to unload on an agent who sent you a form rejection on a full, or curse out an author who wrote a book you didn't like - DON'T do it. Use your blog to showcase your personality and writing - not your bias.
Blogging is a huge time commitment, but I have made many contacts and grown as a writer because of it. Really think through if it is something you want to commit your time to. If you do, I say go for it! There are many people out their just itching to read something new and interesting from an aspiring writer!
Have questions about blogging? Share them with me in the comments!