Blogger: Mary Keeley
Recently I was asked what agents think of writers who begin as bloggers. I am always looking for new, fresh voices and do investigate blogs as part of that search. I know other agents who frequent blogs for the same reason.
Blogging is a good way to begin writing. It’s one avenue that gives you instant feedback. What was your reason for starting a blog in the first place? Was it a deep concern about an issue? Or did you go into it to attract an audience, knowing beforehand you wanted to become an author? Either way, agents understand bloggers learn much about your following from the comments you receive. I observe your responses and how you are connecting with and growing your audience.
I also observe writing potential as I read through a blogger’s posts. If you are open about being an aspiring writer, I want to see that you are covering the basics as someone who is educating yourself about the industry. I want to see that your grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills are professional and envision that your 16th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style is becoming well-used. Are you using words appropriately, and are they colorfully descriptive? Janet Grant blogged on this subject two days ago. you can read it here.
I recognize the name of a blogger I’m watching and observe the writing quality of your comments on other blogs, positively noting that you are reaching out to build community with other writers. It’s one thing to do well when you’re deliberate in writing your post. But I also want to see that you are appropriately eloquent or articulate in your responses to comments because it shows the quality is truly your level of writing.
Agents recognize that blogging is a natural way for a writer to discover and refine your unique voice. The key issue is if you are passionate enough to invest the necessary time and resources to learn the craft and continue learning the craft. Because it’s a never-ending process. I want to see that your voice and writing skills are consistent.
A factor that is especially important to me is tone. Is the blog writer encouraging, interested in sharing with others and in hearing what commenters have to say? or does he or she appear to be pushing an underlying personal agenda? Does the blogger exhibit any hint of being defensive? Those tones would be a yellow light to me that the person might be difficult to work with.
There are millions of blogs out there in the blogosphere. Those followers who have chosen to keep coming back to yours form the foundation of your audience. Agents recognize this. Of course, the same might be said for those who follow you on Twitter, friend you on Facebook, connect with you on Pinterest, and the rest of the social media. If I like what I’ve been observing on your blog, I’ll look you up on these sites as well.
As these other social media have exploded in popularity, I’ve heard speculation among SM gurus that blogs are diminishing in their value. Truthfully, blogging is a big time commitment. It’s also a challenge because you have to do it consistently to maintain and grow your audience. And for every post you have to come up with something to blog about that you think will interest your followers. But for writers, blogging is worth the investment because it’s an opportunity to practice and develop your skills, and you can learn about the audience you’re attracting in more than small sound bites. The information you glean can prove invaluable to your WIP.
Do you enjoy blogging? What has blogging accomplished for you? Do you have a story to share about your experience getting an agent’s attention from your blog? If you haven’t started a blog, what is keeping your from doing so?
Agents investigate writer blogs to look for potential clients. Click to Tweet.
Did you know that your blog posts might be attracting the attention of an agent? Click to Tweet.
Why do your best writing on your blog? Because an agent might find you there. Click to Tweet.