Blogging can be a bit scary for new writers. It’s time-consuming. It’s a commitment. And besides, what to write about?
These are all good questions, but to show agents and editors – and readers – who you are, it’s a great idea to use a blog as a tool. Blogging is even an excellent idea for authors who aren’t yet published. We want to know who you are. How better to find out than to hear from you once a week?
Some writers have a web site and others have a link that will take you directly to a blog. Either way works.
I recommend blogging once a week because more than that can become onerous over time. Granted, our blog appears five times a week, but notice that we have four bloggers, and Friday is a fun blog.
Choose a focus for your blog. It can be a wide focus, but not too wide. Let the reader know what to expect. For example, this blog’s readers know to expect posts related to the business of publishing, except on Fridays. Rarely do the posts deviate from that mission. Your blog’s mission is one good reason not to try to post too often, because you will run out of topics and will need to write on the same topic but from different angles. You want all your posts to be worth your readers’ time, and you don’t want to burn out.
When you decide what weekday to post your blog, choose a day that’s normally slow for you so you can respond to comments from your followers. Granted, some blogs don’t receive many comments, but you’re working toward having many comments as a goal.
Why so many precautions? Because all too often when I’m evaluating authors, I see abandoned blogs. Please don’t abandon your blog. If you have, take down your posts and start anew. Show us that you are active. Thank you.
Do you have a blog? What do you write about?
Besides this one, what blog do you enjoy most?
What tips on writing blogs can you share?
I’ve been blogging forever.
I view my blog as a test kitchen for ideas.
I suggest that writers with readers.. A response to a comment whether on the blog or other social media where it is shared goes along way to platform building. I also try to thank those who share posts.
My favorites to read? Scary mommy and the Bloggess.
I’m so glad to read your post today and learn blogging is still relevant. Thanks.
I blog twice a week. Mondays are short posts. Thursdays are longer. Sometimes I post a different day like Veteran’s Day.
Your blog helped me learn to narrow my focus. I mainly write about Kentucky and American Pride. I’m always open to ideas how to improve my blog.
I love to write on my blog. It is a place of ministry, of platform building and creativity. Latley I have been writng a few post with more depth in them, seeing how my readers respond to evaluate if that could be a good book idea. I also do a readers survey each year – the input I obtain through the survey tells the pain points of people I am connecting with. Blogging has taught me the discipline of writing consistently and helped me develop my writers voice.
Jean, you said one of my favorite words–MINISTRY. Yes! Because that is the perfect way to look at blogging. It’s our platform, of course, but ministering to others through our words/thoughts is a huge blessing. Adding value to others’ lives is, in part, living out the Great Commission.
Cynthia, One reason the word ministry is so front in my thinking lately is all the “pressure” and noise about monetizing and growing your blog. I have to keep refocusing that it is about God not me. Keeps me honest. ( :
Jean, I like the idea of a survey. What kinds of questions do you ask?
Hi Jeanne, Micheal Hyatt has a great freebie about readers surveys. This year I asked what social media they were using so I knew more where they gathered. My best question is this: What is your greatest challenge in your relationship with God? amazing answers.
Janet Ann Collins
When I started blogging I wondered how I could think of material to do it for more than a few weeks. But I’ve been doing it twice a week for about six and a half years. My posts are about words, books, and kids so at least half of the posts are book reviews. I read books for kids all the time – at least half a dozen Middle Grade and a few picture books every week, so I have plenty to write about. I also blog about other things related to children and about linguistics, though I try not to do that topic too often. My blog posts appear on Facebook and I get most of the responses there.
Love your thoughts today, Tamela!
I’ve blogged for almost five years and I enjoy it. Writing will always come first, but blogging is a form of creative expression that, done consistently, hones our craft and improves our skill. AND since various media networks are limiting our visibility (unless we pay for their ads), it only makes good sense for writers to add blogging to their creative arsenal. Blogs are ours. WE are in control.
I often blog about the Ozarks and slice-of-life vignettes, but the focus of my blog is all about the love–hope and encouragement. I want folks to know they can stop by and let their hair down. If they’re looking for fancy OR Downer Debbie content, my cyber home isn’t it.
You made a great point about abandoned blogs. There’s nothing more disheartening when checking out a favorite author only to discover there’s no one home. Well– you know what I mean. 🙂
I blog on topics of interest and inspiration. My goal is to keep it meaningful and real, full of substance because that’s who I am. Like most people I have a variety of interests and those are all displayed on my blog.
I am sort of new to the blogging world (2 years in to it) and wasn’t sure if I’d take to it our not. I have discovered that I do enjoy it as a creative outlet. I post almost exclusively on parenting issues. I share activities that I do with our kids to teach them faith lessons in my effort to build unshakeable faith. I’m glad to hear that agents still think blogging is relevant – I’d seen hints elsewhere that it was old hat (which was sad because I’ve only just stared in it!)
Tamela, I’m glad to know that blogging is still important. I’ve been blogging for about 2 1/2 years, twice a week. My Tuesday posts are longer and more in-depth. My Friday posts are a five minute free-write on a word that I link up with other bloggers. I was really nervous about blogging when I started, but now I find I really enjoy it. And I’m meeting new people through it, which is also fun.
My posts are about living out the Christian life as a woman and as a mom. Most of my posts are about life lessons, some are about mothering, a few are book reviews.
One tip I would offer is to be looking all around for blogpost ideas. I’ve found them in unique situations, as well as common places. Ideas are all around us. 🙂
Tamela Hancock Murray
I’m glad to see so many blogging more than once a week. Thanks for sharing your ideas and tips!
I am a recovering blog abandoner. I even blogged about abandoning my blog and now try and post twice a week. Every once in a while, it slips by me, but I’ve been at it again since April of this year.
My posts are anything from movie reviews, my opinions on music and the halting steps through navigating the waters of “I want to publish a book.” Meandering is my specialty.
While I dream of adding a survey, I’ll have to wait until I have more than a handful of followers.
I have two blogs – one for married women and one for single women. I have been blogging for almost 4 years now. This is my passion and calling from God. He compels me to want to write. I long to write posts and share the beautiful, powerful, Life-giving truth of God’s Word and to walk with women on this road to become the godly women/wives God calls us to be. 🙂 I feel like the most blessed woman on the planet that God allows me to do this!
Interestingly, the blog for single women almost never has any comments. But the blog for married women gets tons of comments. Not exactly sure why that is.
I write about our relationship with Christ, dealing with sin in our lives, learning to reverence God and submit to Him as Lord, learning to respect and honor our husbands, being filled with God’s Spirit, resting in Christ, etc… Mostly Titus 2:3-5 and discipleship things for women.
The comments often provide lots of ideas for new posts. When someone shares something God has shown them, I sometimes ask if I can share anonymously as a guest post. If someone is confused, often, there are many others thinking the same things but not commenting. So that is an opportunity to do another post to hash through a difficult topic in more detail.
I’ve learned that conflict on the blog and criticisms from people are often a gift from God to demonstrate His grace, love, and wisdom. My other readers watch how I handle strife – and they are often blessed as they see how God prompts me to respond when someone is angry or upset. I have seen so much good come from God’s Spirit working through these situations. Sometimes, people even come to know Christ!
I usually blog twice a week – Mondays and Thursdays. I used to blog 7 days a week, but that was too much for my readers to read and too much for me to write. This is a better balance.
I’m so thankful for the opportunity to blog. I trust God to bring whomever He will to read the posts. And I pray that He might speak through His Spirit to each of my readers. I want it to be more and more about Him and less and less about me.
Great topic! Thanks for the discussion.
I’ve been blogging for several years, but my following seems stagnant. I add a post once a week with interviews with authors who are new or NY Times Best Sellers. They share their writing tips and encouragement to keep on writing.
I link FB to it as well and promote it on Goodreads and Bookblogs. Now I’m adding short tips on FB to direct people to the blog.
What else should I do to grow my following?
Tamela Hancock Murray
Christine, you might want to try making your blog known on additional types of social media, such as Twitter.
Jessi L. Roberts
I’ve been blogging once a week since March. I do feel like I have trouble coming up with posts, so I’m thinking about posting every other week or once a month if things get hectic. I haven’t noticed an increase in viewers or followers, which is kind of depressing. Would that make it look like I abandoned the blog if I was posting once a month, or would it be okay as long as I didn’t stop posting?
Tamela Hancock Murray
Jessi, the general opinion is that once a month lends itself more to a newsletter, so I don’t recommend making the posts that infrequent. Sorry. Perhaps asking for guest blogs might be a solution?
Gary Neal Hansen
I post to my blog twice a week. Though I wonder if three per week could gain more traction, two is manageable.
My focus is mining the best of Christian history and theology to equip competent disciples. That includes several themes, which might seem unrelated to each other at first glance.
Blogging allows me to get a sense of how readers respond to bits of my current and future projects. Though comments are rarely numerous, other indicators like Facebook shares tell me a lot.