Blogger: Mary Keeley
A client and I occasionally converse about the benefits, or not, of author blogs. Many writers among our blog community love blogging and can’t imagine not doing it. Others aren’t so excited and are looking for a valid reason to focus their attention on other social media. Let’s do a quick analysis.
Some writers are naturally gifted by God to be able to whip up well-written posts that interest their audience seemingly effortlessly. They always have something to say that relates to their brand or the next book. They are blessed. It doesn’t come so easily for others, but there are several important reasons for any unpublished author to work at growing a successful blog. It’s a great way:
- To practice your craft and develop your voice
- For agents to read samples of your writing to observe consistent quality and if you are developing brand identity
- To grow an audience
I blogged about the benefits of writers who start out as bloggers a few months ago. Admittedly, it isn’t as easy for new bloggers to attract an audience as it once was. Authors who started their blogs years ago had an easier time growing an audience simply because there were few blogs competing for followers. Think Michael Hyatt and Ann Voskamp, who started blogging and growing an audience long before she wrote a book. Today, there are millions of blogs competing for followers’ attention, but still only 24 hours in a day to read them.
Royal Pingdom’s survey of 2012 worldwide Internet usage offers some eye opening statistics. Here are a few:
- 634 million websites as of December 2012; 51 million added from 2011
- 59.4 million WordPress sites
- 3.5 billion webpages run by WordPress viewed each month
- 191 million visitors to Google Sites, the #1 web property in the U.S. in November
Data like these make it harder to support the argument that established authors should continue to maintain a moderately growing blog–a blog that requires just as much time every week…every month…as a highly successful blog. Time is precious. Unless your blog is thriving and you can’t imagine giving it up, you might be better off using your time to:
- Write more articles for specific publications that reach thousands of readers
- Write guest blogs for other authors or groups related to your brand and genre
- Build and nurture relationships with your Twitter followers and Facebook fans
It pays to analyze your social media stats once or twice a year. Where is your greatest growth? Next greatest? Least fruit bearing? How much time do you spend on them? Which ones feel like the best fit for you? Remember, they are tools for growing your audience. I used blogging as an example, but the same approach can be applied to all your social media. There’s no unwritten law that you have to use social media when it isn’t working for you. On the other hand, sometimes, the one that is the most fun isn’t the most productive but still is worth keeping for the non-calculable benefits and encouragement you get from it. Lots to weigh in your analysis.
What has been your experience with your blog this year? With your other social media? Is there something you can do differently that might reap more benefits for you?
How is your social media working for you? Maybe it’s time for adjustments. Click to Tweet.
Your blog pays you for you efforts in numbers. Is your payback worth your time? Click to Tweet.
When was the last time you examined your social media stats? Time for a check-up? Click to Tweet.