7 Reasons to Quit Balking & Start Blogging
I’m a baby blogger who came to it kicking and screaming. So it seems premature, even presumptuous, for me to write a post encouraging other writers to blog. But as a recovering alcoholic, I’ve learned that a newbie is often best-suited to help a reluctant visitor, because her own objections are still fresh in her mind.
When Rachelle asked me to start blogging before she shopped my memoir, I understood the marketing logic, but I balked. For very good reasons, of course. Here are a few, along with the surprising aha!s I discovered hiding behind my objections:
1. “I don’t know who I’m talking to.” I have an audience in mind for my memoir, but being asked to start blogging before I have a book felt like being asked to stand in a room and talk to a blank wall.
- Aha! Your audience is not the hoped-for, imaginary demographic described in your book proposal. It’s the people who actually want to read what you write. A blog helps you find a small but helpful sample of those people.
2. ”A blog is too short for me to say anything important.” I don’t want to talk to people in snippets. That’s why I’m writing a book!
- Aha! A blog post can often say as much as a chapter. Because a blog forces you to be concise, what you end up with is more concentrated content. The good stuff. I can’t think of a better way to learn to write tightly.
3. “Sure, a blog is free to readers, but it’s costly to me.” Why wouldn’t I be better off working on my book, which I hope to sell, which I hope will make money, which I happen to need?
- Aha! Hopefully, your blog readers will eventually buy your book. But even if they don’t, all that writing clarifies your message and your motivation. It reminds you that you don’t really do this for money.
4. “A blogs feels embarrassingly self-centered.” You know—Step right up! Read my blog. Learn all about…me!
- Aha! Even if your blog is personal, it still has to be for and about the reader. Blogging forces you to find that sweet spot where your story overlaps with your reader’s, and yet you bring a new perspective.
5. “A blog will suck up all my creative energy.” That means, little or nothing left for the book.
- Aha! A blog can also create energy as you interact with people and ideas. It sparks new thinking, gets the juices flowing, and keeps your brain and your writing from going stale.
6. “A blog feels so temporary, so transient.” Why waste all that effort on something that basically disappears the second I write something new?
- Aha! Not true. Posts are like Twinkies, they last forever. They can end up in someone’s sermon or pasted into journals. They can be re-purposed by you for an article or book. Plus, a blog’s immediacy is part of it’s appeal. Someone will say, “This is exactly what I needed to hear today.”
7. “A blog will make me feel over-exposed and insecure.” If people read it, I’ll feel embarrassed. If they don’t, I’ll feel worthless.
- Aha! A blog helps you get over yourself. Few things bring your ego out of hiding better than blogging. Think of it as constant reminder to reach for humility. And for goodness sakes, turn of the stats graph on your dashboard!
If you’re already blogging, have you struggled with any of these reasons to balk? If you’re not blogging — what’s holding you back?
Heather Kopp is a blogger, editor, and the author of more than two dozen non-fiction titles including the popular Dieter’s Prayer Book which is still selling 12 years after its release.
These days, Heather is returning to publishing after a personal hiatus during which she focused on recovery from alcoholism and on her spiritual connection to God and others. She is currently working on a memoir about her spiritual journey which will be published by Jericho Books (an imprint of Hachette Book Group) in 2013.