Welcome to another blog post. Today I want to explore the reasons I blog. Primarily I will be looking at this subject from the author’s perspective. By the way, I want to thank those of you who have welcomed me to WordPress. It’s an exciting place to be.
Now, Why do I blog?
To answer that I must first provide some history. I didn’t start blogging until after my first novel, Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles, was published in 2003. The reason was simple: To get my name out there. If you want to sell books you need to get known and blogging is a logical marketing step.
At the time I maintained my website with ATT. Actually, it was Yahoo & ATT. This partnership of two giants provided a WordPress blogging platform. Although I didn’t know it at the time I was starting out with probably the best blogging platform in existence.
A newbie at blogging I didn’t know what to blog about, let alone how to blog. I decided to blog about anything that came to mind. That certainly provided me with a lot of material, but experience has since taught me that such a wide subject matter hurts rather than helps your blogging reputation.
I continued to use ATT Yahoo Business Plan for my blogging until 2009 when ATT and Yahoo decided to have their own separate plans. I cancelled my plan with them and moved to ATT Small Business Solutions. This however was primarily my email account. My blogging now shifted to Godaddy where I created a brand new website called RFrederickRiddle (my website RFRiddle remained with ATT Small Business Solutions). There I created a strong multi-page website and a blog.
This blog was not as strong as WordPress, but it did meet my needs. By this time I had realized that I needed to narrow my subject material. But I still was operating without any real guidance or goals. The result was that I would write for awhile about politics and then later write on Writing. Still later I might write on some other subject. This proved hurtful and discouraging.
Another twist occurred around 2011 or shortly afterward as Godaddy no longer allowed website users to have a blog directly attached to their website (my old blog was blog.rfrederickriddle). Instead, they now allow you to import an existing blog.
So I moved to Goodreads where I have been originating my blog until a few days ago. Goodreads is an outstanding site where you can interact with other authors. But I have been disappointed in their blogging tools. Too restrictive and not very powerful. That said, it was still a valuable piece of internet real estate.
So I moved to WordPress and immediately imported my new blog into Goodreads. This should prove to be a very wise move. Another move I made was to focus on Writing. This expanded in 2014 to publishing and marketing due to our founding of T&R Independent Books.
There, you have a brief (well, as brief as I could make it) history of my blogging efforts. I entered into blogging not knowing much and with no direction, but I have learned a few things along the way. These are:
- The writer’s voice is the individual writing style of an Author, a combination of their common usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works). (Wikipedia). Basically, it is what makes you unique.As an author I have learned that my writing style (voice) makes a difference. This is true in blogging as well as writing. So it is important to keep a certain degree of consistency from blog to blog, but also in connection with everything else I write.
A blog’s platform is similar to a website, but also different. Basically you are dealing with software that allows you to not only publish pages, but posts. Here are some key points to consider:
- Platform includes Pages/Posts
- Platform also has Categories/Tags
- Platform allows Image/Post Management
- Platform is Search Engine Optimized (SEO)
All of these are important considerations. I chose WordPress because I feel its platform best suits my needs even though my website is elsewhere. (My website does link to Goodreads.)
One of the things that always attracts me is the availability of Free and Premium plans. Many platforms offer this and you would be wise to check it out.
By the way, WordPress comes in two formats: .com and .org. Again personal experience and preferences would determine which you go with.
This is actually individual. I see blogging as a marketing tool that can truly enhance your authoring experience. See the rest of this blog for more details.
All of this is part of blogging. Of course, I know there is Facebook and Twitter, but I am not eliminating them as marketing strategies. They have there place, including a relationship with my blog.
When I write a post, I publish it and I promote it on both Facebook and Twitter. I will also promote my blog in our newsletter, T&R’s Writers World.
Blogging, therefore, is more than a record of your thoughts and actions. It is an opportunity to influence people. As an author I have the opportunity to help others who may be new writers or even long-time writers. Actually, that is a basis not only for my blog, but for my newsletter as well.
Which brings me to the following question: Do you blog?
If not, why not?
You don’t have anything to say? I disagree. You are an author. You can write about your own journey, about your books, about the genre you are in, and a host of other related subjects. Or you can talk about other subjects that, while not directly related to your books, enhance your reputation.
There is one more reason for blogging: it lets people get to know you.
That sounds scary, but it isn’t. If you remain true to your voice (writing style) and blog with valuable information, people will get to know and trust you. That can only be good for you!
You may argue that you don’t want to market books, just write. Unfortunately that is not true any more. If you write books, you are a marketer. The question is are you a good one or a bad one?
Give blogging a try. Choose a topic that you are knowledgeable about and blog about it. And then be patient. You won’t be a blogging success immediately (although it does happen), but if you stick with it there will be long term benefits.
There are numerous blogging platforms. Investigate. Try one and if disappointed you can move on. Finding the right one for may take time.