Do I really need a Blog?

I don’t think every writer needs a blog.

I don’t think fiction writers need a blog.

I don’t think most readers give a rats a$$ about writer’s blog.

I think telling writers that they need and don’t need a blog is plain stupidity. πŸ˜€

You are welcome to disagree with me. I won’t stop you. But I want to tell you why I believe the statements above.

I don’t think every writer needs a blog.

Every writer is different. The goals for their writing are different. No one author platform is the same.

This blog is about writing, publishing, and marketing books, the niche is self-published fiction writers. It was started to share our thoughts and opinions on self-publishing when it was still a shiny bright toy. This is a non-fiction blog. We get 50 to 4k+ hits a day. It works because it is geared toward readers looking for information on self-publishing and writing.

On a personal note, it fills my need to write about writing and publishing. It’s not here to sell my books (Probably because I’m a fiction writer, not a non-fiction writer.) It doesn’t build my platform, unless I start writing non-fiction. It’s mostly a blog for you and me.

Blogging was one of those things created for non-fiction writers and those who liked to share their personal journals online. What better way to build a non-fiction platform then by sharing snippets of information found in your books.

I don’t think fiction writers need a blog.

Fiction writers don’t need a blog. For the most part it serves little purpose other than to alleviate the guilt that we “should be blogging.” If a blog helps you hash out your thoughts and ideas, keep at it. However, if you hate blogging, can’t think of anything to say, and don’t want to do it, don’t. Create a website instead and use your blog as a latest news stream to let readers know that you have something coming out or places that you’ll be. Create an ‘Extra’ pages for fun facts and stuff for readers.

I don’t think most readers give a rats a$$ about your blog.

Before I became an author I never read a blog from an author. I visited plenty of their websites. But I didn’t care what they had to say about their daily lives, what contest they were running, what their life was like, if they were having trouble with the characters, if they’re busy or in need of a holiday, if they’ll be absent from the internet for weeks or why, or what their kids are doing.

Sorry, but I’m selfish that way and irrelevant information isn’t going to make me want to come back. And I’m not alone. Many readers don’t visit the author’s blog. They don’t care about the life of the writer. They care about the books. And reading a blog geared toward other writers is a turn off for many readers.

The top things a reader want when they come to your blog/website isn’t the blog. They want information on your books, what is available and what is coming out. They want to know about you, but not too much about you (About me page?). They want a way to contact you (Contact Me page). They want excerpt from the books (Books page). Possibly some fun facts about the books (Extras about the books). Maybe a FAQ page (Author FAQ or Book FAQ pages).

I think telling writers that they need and don’t need a blog is plain stupidity.

Yes, I see the irony of this statement and I still believe it’s true. I don’t think writers should tell other writers that they absolutely need a blog or that they don’t. Every writer is different. Their goals for their writing are different. Their author platform isn’t the same as another authors.

Besides, I didn’t tell you not to blog, merely that I didn’t think every writer needed to. I’m a blogger that shouldn’t blog. I can’t keep to a consistent schedule. I only blog when I feel like it and weeks can go by without a word from me unless I start feeling guilty or have a sudden burst of energy and write dozens of posts at that time. I have plenty of ideas for blog posts and title and no real passion to do most days.

21 Comments

  1. My blog IS my website. I’ve been seriously considering changing the front page to be more like a website and having my blog be just a page on my site. The front page would be informational about my books, writing genre, news, etc. This post has actually made me think about this more seriously.

    1. Kate Sparkes says:

      I’m planning to do this, too, when I actually have books out. My blog is very important to me as a writer (it’s where I’ve met most of my beta readers and my biggest supporters), but when someone lands on my page, I’d like it to be appealing to readers first and foremost.

    2. A static homepage can be a useful place or it can be a waste of space. It all depends on how you use it and your website goals. It’s really not that needful. πŸ™‚

  2. My blog is and always has been my personal journal. I do it more for myself than for an audience. I do have a WordPress blog that I use as my website because I’m a technomoron and it’s easier for me to maintain.

    I agree, most fiction writers don’t need a blog. I follow a lot of them only because I consider the bloggers my online friends. And I’ll admit that even then, I can’t always come up with a clever comment, so I just go for the Like button.

    1. The like button is my favorite thing to hit. I usually have little to say on other people’s blogs. I’ll also share the posts if I really like them. πŸ˜€

  3. A started my blog to journal my experience with writing my first draft. Since then the blog has become a forum for sharing information and also to keep me writing every day even if I’m not working on my novel.

  4. Katie Cross says:

    I don’t get ANY “pure” readers on my blog. I get writers. They help me learn, and they help me grow. They act as readers for me, and help me connect with readers, but, beside my mother, no person goes to my blog because they are a reader. So yeah, it’s definitely not for everyone.

    1. Writer’s can also help you not feel alone when you hit road blocks. It’s a community of support.

  5. tjtherien says:

    I am a writer that uses the blogging platform to get me word out there. I have no ambition to publish in the conventional sense and have chosen blogging as my medium… I would say there are readers that do give a rats ass as recent events have demonstrated for me when I myself was going to stop blogging. I think it comes down to a writers ability to identify with their readers and their readers to identify with them. If writer and reader make a connection blogging can be a wonderful way to grow an audience.

    1. I can see where your readers would care about your blog. They are reading it for the stories and poems written there. You are providing content that readers want and from what I can tell can’t get anywhere else. It is very different from many writer blogs. Most “gurus” would say that posting your writing online is a no-no. However, I found it to be very helpful in gaining readers looking for free stories to read.

  6. Andrea Goyan says:

    Thank you for posting this. You have made me very happy. I feel a great weight has been lifted.

  7. robakers says:

    I think every writer needs to have tools that make themselves available to the public, to agents, to publishers and to the rest of the world. A writer can exist in complete isolation but at some point they much start to engage their target audience in some manner.

    These tools include a blog, twitter, a web site, Facebook, and the other aspects of social media. I don’t know how many different tools a writer need, as that is a personal decision. I chose to maintain a blog and currently I have nothing else. No Facebook, Linked, Twitter or web site that are active. This is my primary mode of communication with potential readers right now.

    When I do publish my work, things will change. But until then, the blog serves the purpose of keeping me in the habit of writing, it gives me a platform that can be accessed by anyone, it serves as a means for contact, I use it to network and research other writers, and I am able to write about the major events of my past so that my young children will have a record of what Dad did before he was old, fat and ugly.

    I love your blog by the way. I love reading about your experiences in the writing world and learning all the experiences of what it means to be a real writer. Thank you for being so open, honest and forthright in your professional world.

    1. You sound like a writer that very much loves to blog. Congrats on that and thank you. I try to state my opinion as honestly as I can.

  8. I do admit, you have some valid points. At most, a blog can be helpful, but it’s not essential. On the other hand, I think blogging has opened up many oppurtunities and many friendships for me, so I’m glad I got one in the first place.

    1. It very much depends on the writer writing the blog. I’m glad that blogging has been so beneficial for you. πŸ˜€

      1. Me as well. And I’m glad blogging lets you help people.

  9. Thank goodness for this. I tired blogging for a month and called it a day. When something becomes an extra source of stress for you, it’s time to give up and move on.

  10. I have tried to contact many authors through their website post in the book but never a place for comments just bio and advertising and could never reach them writing to their publisher either. Perhaps a blog format would provide for some interaction between author and reader. On the other hand answering all the visitors might disable the writer from getting any work done.

    1. Hmm. After reading your comment, Carl, I might just leave my blog exactly as it is. Other readers may feel the same way.

  11. Kathleen says:

    “Fiction writers don’t need a blog.” Drat. NOW you tell me.

    But seriously – whether she needs it or not, I refer folks to M Louisa Locke (http://mlouisalocke.com/blog/) as an excellent example of a fiction writer using a blog to keep an audience engaged between releases of her books. She’s doing a countdown right now to her next release and posting interesting historic tidbits about the settings for her books.

  12. I don’t think any writer “needs” anything – except to write – and that’s it. It’s like many authors swear by twitter but, truth be told, I barely use it. It works for them, but it bores the crap outta me. I think blogs are the same way. if it works and you like it, then have one, if it doesn’t, then don’t sweat it. I have a few readers who stop in, but that’s because I tend to post extra stories and things of that nature. mainly it’s a core group and that’s it, but I enjoy it, so I;d do it even if no one came by. But for authors who don’t like it, you’re 100% right – no one NEEDS to blog to be successful πŸ˜‰ There’s no magic formula of social media that is going to make an author a success, no matter what the self-help, DIY and author gurus sell. After all, they need to sell us on the idea so we will keep buying their how to strategies, because it’s always more profitable to sell shovels during a gold rush then to go digging.

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