Blogging, Marketing

When Blogging Doesn’t Work

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Authors need to blog, it’s the mantra that self-publishing gurus repeat over and over to newbies.  In fact, this myth was started by agents and editors several years back.  Mainly because most publishing companies now completely depend on their authors’ platform.

Problem is, they had no idea what the hell they were talking about.  They figured there’s nothing to building a popular blog.  In fact, one literary agent said, “Blogging is storytelling and that should come naturally to all writers.”  Sadly, he omitted a few other necessary skills like; SEO, HTML, copywriting, and marketing are also key in creating a blog that people will actually read.

Several years back, The New York Times reported, that 95% of blogs are quickly abandoned.  That doesn’t surprise me, I for one, walked away from this blog twice, my longest stint being 3 months.

Good News: You Don’t Have to Blog!

In Cheryl Tardif’s book, “How I Made Over $42,000 in one Month Selling My Kindle Ebooks” she says she doesn’t know any authors who were ever helped by blogging.  P.S. That was like a knife in the heart!

But the reason why most blogs don’t work is because it’s demoralizing to talk to nobody for months, or even years on end.  I should know, I did just that!

So what does an author do instead of blogging?  Here are just a few things some authors have done to make a splash online.

Start a Blog Co-op

If you can’t keep up with the demand for new content, then think about teaming up with other authors and share the responsibility of a blog.  Here’s how it goes, you team up to in order to help each other promote posts, and comment.  This will help propel the blog up the search engine rankings thus creating interest.   However be very careful who you ask, the authors you choose should understand what type of a responsibility they’re signing up for.

Guest Posting

Amanda Hocking was famous for her blogtours and online savviness.  She understood how hard it is to build an audience for a blog, so she got a little help.  If you find a blogger with a large following within a similar niche, there’s a huge opportunity to market your work.  Just make sure you get a byline and a link to your books in it.

Create a Short Newsletter

Instead of writing 400-1,000 word posts, why not just create a brief newsletter.  Have you signed up for some author newsletters?  J.K. Rowling for example had a newsletter called “The Prophet” and Stephen King has an archive of newsletters here you can study.  You should check them out and see what different techniques those authors used.

Use Social Media as an Alternative

Instead of building your own hub, why not go to the ones already established?  Wattpad, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Google+ and even LinkedIn all are good places to mingle and share your work.  You can also start reading clubs or community groups dedicated to your genre.

Write Articles for Pay

Both print and online media outlets are starving for content and some are willing to pay for it.  If you can find a paying freelance gig that helps you promote your book you’ve hit the jackpot.  As a part time freelancer, I highly recommend making money while you work on your book.  It not only pays the bills but it also gets your name out there.  Here are a few sites you should check out:

Places to Find Paying Writing Work:

I hope you weren’t thinking this platform building thingy was simple.  It takes more than just a posting or two to become a blogger.  It’s a commitment to research, community building, and content creation.  It’s okay, if you don’t have the stamina or desire to blog, that’s why there are alternatives.  Stop listening to the soothsayers and find out what’s right for you and your book.

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11 thoughts on “When Blogging Doesn’t Work”

  1. I blog because I enjoy it. Right now I have about 450 followers who evidently enjoy reading what I write. I don’t consider it a promotional tool, I do some networking with other writers and readers, but mostly I do it for fun.

    I would not recommend anyone starting or maintaining a blog who doesn’t enjoy it. If you don’t like writing it, people won’t like reading it. If people don’t like reading it, then there is no point.

    It’s like dating advice. Going bowling is a good first date, but only for people who like bowling. If you hate it, it shows, and your date isn’t going to have a good time either. My advice for authors who don’t like blogging is, don’t blog.

  2. I began blogging getting on for five years ago now and it was without a thought about platforms or promotion, but as it carried on, things evolved. Because what I blog about seems to hit a certain note, it seems to resonate with the same sort of people who then enjoy my books. Not planned but serendipitous.
    I blogged several times a week, even daily, at first, but now I find a weekly blog is sustainable given how much of a commitment it is.

    1. I’m glad you found your groove, most people who start a blog don’t. Many of us struggle with the idea of posting regularly in the beginning. I know I was! What was I going to say? Who would even care? These thoughts plagued me for the first year of my blog. Finally, I came to the realization that the name of the game is to stay connected to a community that shares your interests and not simply to go viral. Once I shed that “get noticed” mentality, the flood gates opened.

      1. I also find that seeing it as a way I can speak my thoughts, and be heard by people thousands of miles away, and for those thoughts to actually matter to others rather than just vanishing without trace like tears into a thick carpet.
        In essence, it’s saying, I have a voice, I matter.

  3. I started my blog without really understanding why, except that I needed one if I wanted to be an author. Then this year I started a daily blogging challenge – writing a novel in daily installments on my blog – and even though it’s been a right pain at times, I have enjoyed it immensely. It probably hasn’t given me a huge surge in blog followers, but it has improved my ability to write to a deadline and copy-edit quickly: benefits I hadn’t envisioned in the beginning. In fact, I may even do it again next year (although I suspect my family may beg me not to!!)

    1. I hear you, it was difficult in the beginning, but the benefits for me were discipline and “ego desensitivity.” I was like the mad blogger who despite the overwhelming sounds of crickets, kept blogging LOL!

      I understand your family’s reserve about the daily posts, I just got done with a blog tour and it was exhausting. We posted daily for 8 days straight and it was an experience I don’t want to have again anytime soon. Keeping names straight and linking to the right pages was difficult to say the least.

      Anyway, good luck with your blog. ~Rachel

      1. Thanks, Rachel. I’ve totted up around 300,000 words on the blog this year and I’m definitely starting to lose the plot. I’d like to do a blog tour to support my latest book but I don’t think I could find the extra words! 🙂

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