Guest post: Why Writers should Blog, by Holly Kench

Why Writers Should Blog

Image of me blogging was created by today’s guest poster, Holly Kench

When I first decided to start writing seriously, I desperately sought advice wherever I could get it. Everyone I spoke to made a lot of good suggestions: write every day, write what you’re passionate about, find your niche, create a writing routine, enjoy your writing, etc. Yet, there was one recommendation that I hadn’t expected and that kept popping up:

Write a blog.

A what? I would ask, scratching my technologically malnourished brain. At the time, the only blog I frequented was that of Ricky Gervais, and I remained unconvinced that ‘blog’ could actually be a real word.

However, it wasn’t long before I was following many MANY blogs and writing my own. I haven’t looked back since.

But just why is blogging such a positive endeavour for writers?

Let’s start with the basic reasons that blogging is beneficial for writers. The most essential of these would have to be in creating a home for yourself on the net. People need to be able to look you up online; just as you need a place to direct readers. In this increasingly virtual world (yes, it’s a cliché because it’s true), home is where the link is. For writers, this is your blog. It’s your online centre, and from your blog you can direct readers to your other social media (ie. Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads), to other relevant sites, and, most importantly, to where they can read/purchase your work.

Your blog is so much more than a Yellow Pages entry, though. It’s also a place where you can advertise your writing skills and generate an audience. You can promote yourself as an author, as well as specifically promoting your available work. Even more exciting, you can write to an interactive audience. This is a luxury that the traditional world of books doesn’t have. By writing a blog you become part of a developing community in which readers can respond and contribute to texts directly. On a blog, writers and readers communicate, discuss and consider writing as part of an ongoing conversation. I find the possibilities of this terribly exciting.

In terms of your writing itself, blogging is also a wonderful exercise. Blogging gives you the opportunity to write without restraint. You can write for the joy of it, at those times when you know your brain will burst if you don’t get those words down, or when you really need to write out problems and explore questions about your primary writing. And you have a waiting audience ready to read and contribute to your thoughts. Of course, the topic of your blog affects this to a certain extent – though I don’t really let that bother me too much. While my blog mostly consists of humorous short stories, I’ve discovered that my readers are more than willing to read and comment on my concerns about fiction and pop culture, and, for that matter, anything else I feel like blogging about at the time.

There’s a freedom in blogging that you don’t always experience from other types of writing. You don’t have to prove anything to a publisher or agent when you’re blogging. All you have to do is write for you and your wonderful followers, who are just waiting to give you their two cents worth (and that’s worth so much more).

——————–

Thanks Holly! If you’d like to know more about this week’s guest blogger, she identifies herself as a Tasmanian (Australian) writer and feminist, with a classics degree and a fear of spiders.  She enjoys writing fantasy and humour for adults, as well as young adult and children’s fiction, and is currently writing her first novel, a young adult paranormal fantasy. Oh yeah, and she also likes writing stories about herself and drawing pictures of herself as a stuffed olive. To see more of her work, you can check out her website.

Holly as a stuffed olive :)

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7 Comments

Filed under author guest post, blog, writing

7 responses to “Guest post: Why Writers should Blog, by Holly Kench

  1. I’ve been agonising over the question of whether to blog or not for years. I’ve heard that you need to put up new posts fairly regularly for it to succeed—and I don’t think I have anything interesting to say all that frequently! I could also imagine spending an inordinate amount of time polishing my blog post (pedant that I am). I doff my cap to those who can do it well.

    • I don’t know, Peter. I think I’m living proof that you don’t need to have a lot to say to maintain a blog. :) I’ve heard the same as you, that regularity is more important than frequency, which is why I try to be as regular as I can. But sometimes, just a few rambling thoughts can make a decent blog post. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself (and post after just one or two edits ;p) and just go with the flow. At least, that’s what I do. :)

      Of course, blogging isn’t for everyone. While I agree with Holly’s post, there is also an argument that says that no blog at all is probably better than a terrible blog. So if your heart’s not in it, then maybe you’re better off without it. :)

      • Stuffed Olive

        I’ve seen quite a few successful blogs that ‘regularly’ update only once a month. I think as long as you keep posting, that’s what matters.

        I completely agree with Emily though that “no blog at all is probably better than a terrible blog”!! That said, most writers I know are just bursting with things they want to write, and there is usually someone out there who wants to read what you have to say.

        When I first started my blog I had no idea what I was going to write about. I thought maybe just book reviews, but then I would increasingly wake up in the morning thinking, “Oh, I want to write THAT and I can put it on my blog!” So it sort of took on a life of its own.

        Peter, you have your own web-home at AWF anyway, which is about as interactive as it gets – maybe that is the ultimate blog.

        (as for obsessively polishing – you really have to become a bit zen about your blog in that respect, or you’d never get anything done.)

  2. sarahbutland

    Blog, Peter, Blog! And ensure you do it regularly to maintain and build your audience. The only thing I find worse than not finding a writers website/ blog at all is finding one that hasn’t been updated.

    It is such a freeing way to write as when I do it I don’t worry so much about editing or editors, the topic or the length. I tell it like it is and hope my readers enjoy and respect that.

    I do often wonder where all the commenters are though as it seems no matter the prize at the end of the draw I’m getting readers and visits but it seems they only want to like and comment on Facebook instead.

    Thanks for your insight Holly.

    • Stuffed Olive

      Hi Sarah,

      I’m glad you agree.

      Blogs are really so much fun to write, but they are also a great way to find out more about an author who has piqued your interest – I’m often blog-author-stalking!

      I’ve noticed that people often seem more inclined to comment via facebook as well. Perhaps this is because they don’t have to fill in their details. Some people have suggested that they don’t want to comment on my blog unless they have something profound or witty to say. Maybe that’s the problem, though it shouldn’t be. As I say to them, please comment with whatever comes to mind – reading people’s comments gives me a buzz!

      And on that note: thanks for commenting! (writing guest posts is my new found buzz-love too)

  3. What a lovely, insightful post. Holly, I adore your style and would happily read anything you write.
    And what an inspiring discussion in the comments. I might actually manage to apply that regularity over frequency policy in maintaining my own writing. Though my motivation to blog is quite different to what is being discussed here. I love words but I’m not a “writer”. I try to use my blog as a prompt to write, with my own style, creatively, for my own purposes. I write to communicate nothing but my own thoughts, in my own, rambling rhythm. I don’t get to do that nearly often enough.

  4. I love the part about finding a home on the ‘net. So true. Blogging is a great exercise and a sort of “comfort food” for a writer. I certainly enjoy it!

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