To Blog or Not to Blog?

That is the question I’m getting a lot these days. Many authors are being advised that they must have a blog as the first step to marketing themselves. But I think that advice is getting outdated. Here’s why:

→ According to Technorati, there are nearly 113 million active blogs. That’s not a typo. Considering there are about 400,000 new books being published in the U.S. each year, logic dictates that it might be easier to market your book itself than to try to market your blog amongst the crowded blogosphere.

→ Creating and maintaining an active blog is an incredible amount of effort. You need to update your content at least three times a week, and you need to spend time online in activities that will draw people to your blog. If you don’t LOVE blogging, you won’t be able to make your blog a success.

→ Most authors with successful blogs have been blogging 3 to 6 years or more. A blog is not a magic bullet or instant-recognition tool.

→ Blogging takes passion, commitment, and creative energy that in many cases, is better spent on writing your books.

→ If you’re trying to be honest and authentic on your blog, and you spout off about religious views, politics, your views on parenting or any other controversial topic, you risk alienating potential buyers of your books simply because they disagree with one of your personal viewpoints.

Obviously those are some pretty negative takes on blogging. So what are some reasons you should consider blogging?

→ You simply enjoy it, and you have the time.

→ You are a non-fiction author with a subject-related blog that draws readers specifically interested in your topic. Focusing your blog is what can make it a valuable marketing tool.

→ You’re a fiction author with a strong, entertaining voice and you’re able to engage readers and keep them coming back. You’re using your blog to create relationships with future buyers of your books.

→ You are two or more years away from a published book, and have the time to actively build your blog readership.

→ You are using your blog as a daily discipline to practice writing, engage with readers, and begin to understand what interests readers and what doesn’t. You can get instant feedback on your writing. If you take a serious approach to this, paying attention to what sparks comments and what doesn’t, you can improve your writing a little more each day.

My point here is this: a blog is not required, and if you can’t do it well and you don’t love it, don’t do it. A strong, professional website, with occasional content updates, can serve your purposes just as well. (We’ll talk about author websites another time.)

Q4U: Do you blog? Are you considering it? Why or why not?

[Some of the above information is from M.J. Rose’s article, “Blogging,” in Writer’s Digest, October 2008, p. 69]

Rachelle Gardner is a Christian literary agent affiliated with WordServe Literary Group in Colorado.

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Books & Such Literary Agency. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!

51 Comments

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  7. Laura Christianson on October 21, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    >Rachelle, Just wanted you to know we’re doing a takeoff on this post on our blog during the next 2 days. Today: 8 reasons not to blog:

    http://heblogssheblogs.com/2008/10/21/8-reasons-not-to-blog/

    Thanks to you and your readers for all the thought-provoking ideas.

    We distilled many of their thoughts and questions down to the 8 most common reasons people DON’T blog and the 10 most common reasons they do.

    Laura Christianson
    co-founder, HeBlogsSheBlogs.com



  8. Bonita on October 11, 2008 at 8:13 AM

    >Thank you for your honest look at blogging. I’ve had a blog for several years and sometimes I love it and sometimes I don’t. Building readership is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I was just contemplating whether or not to shut the blog down completely. Your input is very helpful.



  9. Susan J. Reinhardt on October 8, 2008 at 6:19 PM

    >I’ve only been blogging a few months and love it. By the grace of God, I’ve been able to blog three times a week.

    Rachelle, I appreciate the many tips you’ve shared. I don’t know whether or not blogging will build a platform for future books. Even if it doesn’t, the relationships are worth the effort.

    Susan J. Reinhardt
    Christian Writer/Reader Connection



  10. Lori Benton on October 8, 2008 at 1:30 PM

    >I’m not published yet, but I started blogging nearly a year ago for the purpose of journaling. And of course I’d heard all the voices saying it was a needful (or at least a very good) thing for a writer to do. I wasn’t convinced, but thought now was the best time to put it to the test, while I have the time. I’ve written about my specific WIP (a historical) and the writing, editing process as it works for me.

    And that last is a subject I find endlessly fascinating. I never tire of hearing how the process works for other writers.



  11. Kristi Holl on October 8, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    >I enjoy my writer’s blog, and it helps promote my Writer’s First Aid book and points people to my writing website. I have to watch how long it takes to do though–and put a limit on it. I do like to encourage newer writers, and when I think of it as a ministry, I enjoy it a lot more.
    Kristi Holl
    Writer’s First Aid blog



  12. rob, BtG on October 8, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    >great tips. thanks and, a blog is also a great way to promote an existins small (or big) business.
    check out-
    http://www.blogtogreat.com/2008/10/should-your-sma.html



  13. Gloria McQueen Stockstill on October 7, 2008 at 11:14 PM

    >I started two blogs this year, one a devotional blog,the other a writers’ blog. I have suspended the writers’ blog. Too difficult. I still have my devotional blog. I’ve gotten good response from those who read it. However, I need to learn how to get it “out there.” I’m not savvy on search engines and such. That is my goal for the next year.

    Blogging is a good discipline for me. And, I hope those who read it will have an interest in my devotional book once I get it published.



  14. Kristie on October 7, 2008 at 7:50 PM

    >Rachelle– I’ve been blogging, thanks to your advice, for a couple of months, and I do LOVE it. The discipline of posting one devotional-type piece a week has been great for me. I am constantly thinking about what I will post about next, but I only let myself spend a set amount of time actually writing it. The instant audience helps keep me accountable and also helps me aim for excellence in each post. Thanks for your wisdom.



  15. elaine @ peace for the journey on October 7, 2008 at 5:09 PM

    >Yes, I blog. Why? Because blogging allows me a public canvas on which to paint my words. For far too long, they’ve been reduced to the hiddenness of file folders and drawers! Blogging has been an invaluable discipline toward my writing endeavors.

    That being said, I recently had to draw some boundaries lines. Blogging is time-consuming and requires quality input. The goal is to present a consistent tone in keeping with your writing style. That way, readers know what to expect when they come to your site.

    When you visit my blog, you know what you’re going to get. I don’t do fluff. I don’t do recipes. I don’t do humor (although I am a very funny person…I just don’t write funny). If you come to my blog, you’d better have some time. And if readers are taking the time to come, I’d better have something posted worth reading.

    That is both my gift to give, but also a difficult and challenging obedience. For now, it’s working for me. And as long as I feel that it’s working on behalf of my Father, I will keep to discipline.

    peace~elaine



  16. Marla Taviano on October 7, 2008 at 4:39 PM

    >I blog for the community. I’ve met 30-40 gals in real life in the past 2 years after meeting them on my blog. It’s been a God-thing for sure.

    People get to my blog from lots of different places. They’ve read my books. We’ve reconnected on facebook. A friend told them about it.

    My posts aren’t time-consuming, because they’re more of a free write. No stream-lined topic, just my thoughts and what’s going on in my life. I won’t attract thousands of blog-readers this way, but that’s fine with me. God is connecting me with special people, one by one.

    You aren’t going to stop blogging, are you??



  17. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience on October 7, 2008 at 3:34 PM

    >As a conversation about blogging stirs me, I’m delurking here to say…

    God may call us to write. But has He called us to traditional publishing? Maybe. Maybe not.

    I often think of Cec Murphey’s urging, “Be passionately involved in the process, and emotionally detached from the result.”

    That what’s blogging is: daily being passionate about writing, with daily deadlines and daily practice of the craft. And, too, being emotionally detatched from the result: hit “publish” to the blog, and the rest is God’s work…

    Quitely blogging has led 2 columns this way, an agent, and a CBA acquisitions editor….. but that was never the intent. Simply being faithful to the call of God to quietly write down the story of God on our days, that was only intent…

    Yesterday I posted the 1500th post to my out-of-the-way cyberplace… humbling… that God can take simple words from a farm in the middle of nowhere and use them in places never imagined …. What more could we ask for quiet words?

    If we pray for the words He gives to be used of Him, all for His glory, then yes, prayerfully consider blogging…

    It’s an entirely free, entirely global, entirely possible, ministry…

    I guess we need to ask ourselves: did call me to write? Or did He call me to *publish*–if you are sure about the writing part, then, yes blog… because you may not be sure if He ever called you to publishing

    And the words you publish on a blog in suburb, middle America, may reach one needy soul out there in the cosmos… and isn’t that why He called you to write?

    (Forgive me… I’m unusually passionate about blogging ~blush~… now quietly returning to lurkdom again ~warm smile~)
    Ann
    (P.S. Congratulations, Jennifer F. on signing with an agent! Your blog’s a favorite, and I look forward to what God intends for your faithful words!)



  18. Stephanie Reed on October 7, 2008 at 12:47 PM

    >I update my blog when I have time. I ask readers to let me know via my blog if they liked my books. I think of it more as a way to stay in touch with readers and let them know a little more about me and my books. My blog allows readers (kids) to communicate and get a response almost immediately (kids don’t like to wait) without spending money for postage or driving anywhere. I also interview fellow children’s authors and give away their books.



  19. Merrie Destefano on October 7, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    >I confess. I do blog. Not regularly, but when I have something to say.

    One of the main reasons I started blogging was to support other writers. My site gives me the opportunity to review books, CDs, movies, to interview authors, editors, etc.

    There are also times when I have writer’s block when I am working on a book. I will slam down a couple of poems or a piece of flash fiction, and then post it. It makes me feel slightly validated to be able to toss some writing out now and then–writing that wasn’t done on commission or for a work assignment. It reminds me that I have a voice and a style that belongs to me only.



  20. KBall on October 7, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    >Great post, Rachelle. I started blogging for a number of the reasons you mentioned. As an author, I wanted to connect with my readers. As the executive editor of a line of fiction, I wanted to share some insights on the publishing world. As a believer in a hostile world, I wanted to share some of what I was learning in my journey. And as an off-the-scale extrovert, I wanted to dialogue with whomever stopped by.

    In some ways I’ve accomplished all of the above. But my greatest challenge, with all my travels, is keeping the blog updated. So I’ve been considering ways to deal with that issue. Blogspot helped when they allowed us to write blogs and then choose when they post. So we can write a number of blog entries at a time, then set them up to post every few days. BIG help. But even with that, when I’ve been in meetings all day and am dealing with travel fatigue, it’s hard to take the time to write. Especially when I’ve committed to writing a set number of words a day on my next book.

    Your thoughts are helping crystallize my own thoughts about what I need to do with blogging. So thanks!

    Peace.

    Karen Ball
    http://www.karenball.blogspot.com
    http://www.karenballbooks.com



  21. Laurie on October 7, 2008 at 12:00 PM

    >Rachelle,
    Today your words made me do the happy dance! Last week I made the decision to halt my blog. But I felt guilty. As a writer, I want to do everything I can to support my success. But I realized that, between working and writing, I didn’t have time for blogging, too. I agree with your suggestion that it’s better to focus on the writing than on the blogging, unless we’ve already built up a following. Thanks for the good advice.



  22. Jeanie W on October 7, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    >If you can find a few friends with whom you can form a group blog, together you can easily keep up with the minimum 3 posts per week without placing a huge burden on any one writer. See The Longstockings: http://thelongstockings.blogspot.com/
    The variety of voices might also help you attract a wider readership.



  23. Laura Christianson on October 7, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    >Rachelle,

    When Jim Rubart (my biz partner) sent me your post, I had to laugh, because we published an entire book on this very subject just yesterday and taught a workshop on it last night!

    Regarding the 113 million English language blogs, 97% of them are abandoned after the first post, so don’t let the sheer numbers of people who are supposedly blogging scare you off if blogging something you want to try.

    While the blogosphere is crowded, it’s mostly crowded with bloggers who
    a) aren’t writers
    b) don’t have much of interest to say

    The cream rises to the top, and bloggers who possess writing skills and the ability to discuss their topics with passion and clarity usually do quite well.

    You are right on target with your recommendation to build your blog readership when you’re two or more years away from a published book.

    A marketing friend advised me to start a blog a year before I was offered my first book contract, and it’s the best long-term marketing tool I’ve ever used.

    That book (which is a niche-market Christian book) has been on the market for over a year now, and it’s selling much better now than it did during the first six months after it was released. I think that says a lot about the power of a blog to attract book buyers.

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. I’m going to link to it and blog about it at our business blog, http://www.HeBlogsSheBlogs.com.

    Laura Christianson
    Co-founder, HeBlogsSheBlogs.com



  24. Kat Harris on October 7, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    >I’ve met some awesome fellow writers blogging.

    In less than a year, networking I’ve managed through maintaining my blog has improved my writing and helped me find my voice.

    I’ve also received some great feedback from writing peers through my blog.

    Wouldn’t stop for anything. 🙂



  25. Kathryn Magendie on October 7, 2008 at 10:26 AM

    >Blogging allows me to relax into the writing and to have a little fun. I'm even writing a "draft novel to blog" right onto the blog (once a week) just for fun, and to keep my brain oiled -and to coax other writers to "just write without worrying so much about how it sounds."

    I've met some interesting people and a few have become friends!

    I write on "Grogs" as well and that brings about other kinds of readers and ideas and thoughts.

    But, yes, it takes time – you have to decide how much time you are willing to give, especially if you are also on "grogs" …yep, I am…!eek – but, I manage my time so that I still have plenty to write and to edit and duties at the R&T.

    One other thing: Blogging is free and most are easy to do.



  26. Anne L.B. on October 7, 2008 at 10:17 AM

    >26 comments by 8:47 a.m.? You hit a nerve, Rachelle.

    Perhaps the question becomes, “Lord, do you want me to blog?” If He directs that time and sweat (and maybe tears) be spent on a blog, He knows what purpose the blog will fulfill, and He can direct to the blog those people He wants to see it.



  27. Yvonne on October 7, 2008 at 9:47 AM

    >I just started a blog last summer. I found it a good release for all those thoughts and memories and ideas bouncing around my head.

    It has also taught me a lot about working on a computer, plus it has connected me with more friends and writers.

    It does take up time, but it’s worth it to me right now. I am writing something everyday and my posts are sorted and saved for when I want to retrieve them.



  28. RumorsOfGlory on October 7, 2008 at 9:34 AM

    >Thanks to you I’ve been blogging and reading blogs for 9 months.

    Seriously, I thought the only people who blogged were grandmothers who wanted to post pictures of their grandchildren, and people who had too much time on their hands.

    My experience has been exactly the opposite. It has opened me up to a brand new world of professionals who share similar interests. I love blogging.

    My site offers “help for hurting people.” It has helped me hone in on my focus as a writer, and gives me daily practice in trying to get my message across. It’s probably been the most beneficial tutor for my writing.

    Another thing I did was to join “All Experts” and I am able to integrate the two: Blogging and my answers to the questions people ask. I find it puts me in touch with where people are really hurting. Thanks for your advice Rachelle.



  29. Cheryl Barker on October 7, 2008 at 9:19 AM

    >I started my blog to help me grow as a writer and to have a way to connect with readers but quickly found what a great ministry tool it is. I post only twice a week but do it faithfully.

    Since I don’t have a book published yet, I don’t have a website so consider my blog my online presence right now. Until I have a need for a more official website, it’s probably a good idea to keep the blog going. I’m sure it’s helping me hone my skills as a writer.



  30. Jennifer F. on October 7, 2008 at 8:52 AM

    >This is one of the most clear-headed takes on blogging I’ve seen in a while. Thanks!

    I’m a big fan of it, needless to say, since I got contacted about writing a book based on my blog (exciting news: just signed with an agent)!

    But, like you said, it wouldn’t be worth it if it were true work. For me it’s a labor of love, a stress reliever, and an enriching hobby. There are some downsides to it (negative feedback, the temptation to obsess about stats) that would make it not worth it if I didn’t genuinely enjoy it.

    Thanks for yet another great post!



  31. Karen Witemeyer on October 7, 2008 at 8:48 AM

    >Whew! What a relief to have permission not to blog. LOL. In all honesty, I dreaded the idea of having to come up with something new to say 3-5 days a week in order to have a site that would attract a reader base. Too much pressure. I have a full-time job and three kids 10 and under in addition to my writing career. And for a person who is completely inept when it comes to small talk, the idea of maintaining a blog (which to me is the electronic version of small talk) left me drained before I ever began.

    I do enjoy blogging with others, however. There are several writing-focused blogs, like this one, that I visit each week as well as research-oriented blogs for the historicals I write.

    For writers like me who don’t have the time, energy, or desire to maintain their own blog, there is an alternative. Authors often will go on “blog tours” when a new book comes out, being a guest blogger on other blog sites discussing their book or some item of interest that pertains to their story.

    Also, there are several theme-related blog sites that group together a number of featured bloggers. This way, no one person is doing all the work. a group of 6-10 people form a team blog and share the load. The blog is updated daily or every other day, but each person only has to blog a handful of times a month. That I could do.

    There’s more than one way to skin this blogging cat.



  32. Mark H. on October 7, 2008 at 8:47 AM

    >I started blogging last year as a way to have a little fun, practice writing, and keep family & friends updated on the family. But then I offended close family members with a post (poking fun at Banana Republic, of all things–long story). If it had been total strangers, I might have kept going, but to me, it wasn't worth it if I was going to hurt my family relationships. So I shut it down.

    Also, I work for the state government as a public official, and it's been pointed out to me that my words from the blog could have been twisted and used against me in my career…so that's something to consider as well.

    Something tells me the world will go on with 112,999,999 blogs still active!



  33. JC Lamont on October 7, 2008 at 8:29 AM

    >Blogging is fun, but as Rachelle and others have said, it does take time. But the reward is as Cecelia said, when someone knows who you are just from your blog. Some guy (who still only lurks and refuses to leave a comment – hint! hint!) at the ACWF conference asked me if I was the Shaydenite Princess. That was bizzare but totally awesome.



  34. Cecelia Dowdy on October 7, 2008 at 8:22 AM

    >What measure should an author use in order to consider their blog successful? Is there a certain number of hits or pageviews per day which would be a “magic number”?

    I’ve been blogging for a couple of years. I mostly talk about books that I’ve read. I figure, I’m going to read books anyway, so I might as well talk about them on my blog.

    It was kind of nice at the ACFW conference that 2 editors knew who I was because of my blog. They said they visit my blog sometimes.

    However, I guess it would have been nicer if they’d known me because of my published novels!



  35. Pam Halter on October 7, 2008 at 8:14 AM

    >I’m thinking about starting a blog for Christians who write fantasy – more focusing on teens who want to write fantasy. I met three teens this summer at the Philly conference and they are excited about a blog that will talk about the fantasy writing process and discussion on whether Christians should be writing it.

    I haven’t start it yet, but have made a list of topics and want to get myself a little more together before I go with it.

    My question on it is: is it okay to do this before my fantasy is published? I’m under consideration by both a publishing house and an agent. I don’t know if I should wait or go for it now.



  36. Chatty Kelly on October 7, 2008 at 8:13 AM

    >I do blog! I love the sense of community I’ve discovered on the Christian blogging circuit. I’ve made friends and gotten a lot of real support. It has helped me hone my style and gotten me in the habit of regular writing.

    And I found the reason I blog in the bible: “My purpose in writing is simply this: that you who believe in God’s Son will know
    beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life.”
    1 John 5:13 – The Message



  37. Katy McKenna on October 7, 2008 at 8:08 AM

    >My then-21-year-old son got me started blogging 8 years ago when he said, “Mom, you’d be good at this. I think you could really monetize some dynamic eyeballs.”

    I love it when he talks techie to me! 😉

    I have many readers and we have great fun together. And yes, I’ve learned the topics that work for my audience. Forgive me for saying so in this space, but the number one most popular subject I’ve ever blogged about (according to my comments section) is underwear.

    I try to throw my readers an underwear bone as often as necessary to keep them coming back! Ha.



  38. Chris Brauns on October 7, 2008 at 7:53 AM

    >I’ve written a non-fiction book on forgiveness. I’ve found my blog a very effective way to gain feedback from readers, especially through a quiz that I am currently hosting.

    I think your summary is pretty much dead on. It takes a lot of time. You have to enjoy doing it in order to make it work.



  39. lynnrush on October 7, 2008 at 7:51 AM

    >I love blogging. I’ve been able to meet many people and hope to meet them in person at conferences.

    Thanks, Rachelle, for showing the pros and cons objectively. I had no idea there were so many blogs out there.



  40. Bryan Allain on October 7, 2008 at 7:48 AM

    >I’m writing a non-fiction book about the frequent collisions of sports and faith. about a year ago i started a blog to support the book, and it has grown a lot in the past year. You’re right in that it takes a lot of time and energy, but it is rewarding to be building a readership in the process

    Prayers For Blowouts



  41. Mary DeMuth on October 7, 2008 at 7:43 AM

    >The truth is: blogging takes time and building a readership takes discipline. It’s not a magic bullet. If you blog, it’s very important to blog consistently.



  42. Susan Helene Gottfried on October 7, 2008 at 7:36 AM

    >I've now got two blogs: one is my writer's blog, where I post the backstory involving my characters (and a number of other folk I've since created for one reason or another). It's a great community and great fun. It keeps me on my writing toes.

    The newer blog is aimed mostly at book bloggers (although I wish authors would make greater use of it). I post the giveaways that book bloggers are hosting, often in conjunction with publishers doing publicity. As I see authors' names over and over again, when I encounter them in interesting guest blogs, Q&As; etc. I post the links.

    With sales so vitally critical to an author's continued career, not just his/her success, I am trying to do my part to help bring different authors to my readers' attention. Be the solution and all that; I've seen too many good writers lose contracts because some number-cruncher didn't think their sales were high enough. (Yet we can give Tina Fey around $6M that very well possibly be never recouped!)



  43. Rosslyn Elliott on October 7, 2008 at 7:21 AM

    >I totally agree on the importance of choosing one’s topics carefully! There are several draft posts on my blog that will never see the light of a monitor because they don’t meet my personal standards of discretion. It takes some thought to remain authentic while also keeping one’s conversation “polite.” When in doubt, don’t post! If I wonder whether a post is appropriate, I save it in draft form and give it a 24-hour cooling-off period before I publish it.

    I do enjoy the discipline of having to post every day, and I’ve also met some wonderful people through my blog.



  44. Timothy Fish on October 7, 2008 at 7:10 AM

    >Numbers can be deceptive. To compare the 113 Million blogs to the 400,000 published books is ill advised. It isn’t really comparing apples to oranges, but it may be comparing apples to crabapples. Granted, if a blogger doesn’t post regularly the blog (or a regular website) will not do well, but there is still room for Controversial topics actually draw traffic to blogs, but bloggers must be cognizant of which topics will help their cause and which will not.

    A faithful readership is nice, but what the author really needs is search engine traffic. Our goal is to attract people looking with a need and then show them that our book will help meet that need. Just like with books, successful blogs are about platform. Why should I listen to you? We have to find a niche were we are the most relevant voice out there. One of the most popular pages on my blog right now is something I wrote about using forms of the word be. I didn’t write the article thinking it would do all that well, but there turned out to be a large enough gap in the coverage of the subject that I could interest people in what I had to say.

    I plan to write a series of posts about the Book of Hosea, though that may go on my regular website instead of my blog. I have a book that should be out later this month that is a retelling of Hosea’s life. Those posts may not be the definitive guide to Hosea, but they will attract a few people who are interested in the topic and some of those people will be interested in buying the book.



  45. Richard Mabry on October 7, 2008 at 7:05 AM

    >Extremely timely topic. I was asked just this past week by a well-known Christian author if I found blogging “worth the time and effort.” In concrete terms, probably not–but it has made me feel more a part of the writing community, and I’ve made some friends in the blog-o-sphere. I track visits using Site Meter and sometimes the numbers depress me, but then again, numbers don’t say it all.



  46. Tami Boesiger on October 7, 2008 at 5:54 AM

    >Like Susan, I blog for the discipline. It’s good practice to post a few times a week whether I feel inspired or not. Also, it’s easy to keep track of hot spots with people. When they end up at my blog because of a search for a specific topic, I know what subjects are timely.



  47. Mike Dellosso on October 7, 2008 at 5:42 AM

    >Great post, Rachelle.

    I began my blogging adventure focusing on writing topics and such. It wasn’t very focused, wasn’t very regular, and I averaged maybe 4 or 5 visitors a day. A real bummer.

    Then cancer came knocking and I changed the focus of my blog to more of a journal, recording my thoughts, feelings, and activities while battling colon cancer.

    My visitors jumped to about 40 a day and what a blessing it has been. I’ve made so many new contacts, have been encouraged in countless ways, and I hope am encouraging others via my blog.



  48. Susan on October 7, 2008 at 4:51 AM

    >I’m with Kim, addiction-wise; I’ve been blogging for four years altogether with a few breaks.

    Discipline was the reason I started, and what keeps me going. I’m lucky to have regular readers that I genuinely like and I enjoy their comments, which keeps me posting, and that keeps me writing…I suppose it’s something like a virtual support group!

    That’s great advice, to avoid blogging unless you love it. It does take time, and there are lots of ways to market books these days.

    Still, I’ve bought several books because they were written by a fellow blogger whose writing and outlook I’ve enjoyed. So I think it does work as a marketing tool.



  49. Martin - TheUniversityBlog on October 7, 2008 at 3:22 AM

    >There may be over a hundred million active blogs, but only 1.5 million have been updated once a week or more. As you suggest, a committed blog should be updated at least three times a week. I’m sure the numbers dwindle even further if that’s the case.

    So there’s hope in becoming established through blogging, but only if taken seriously. A half-hearted approach doesn’t work. That’s why many of the well-known bloggers have been doing so for years already.



  50. ML on October 7, 2008 at 2:33 AM

    >Thanks for the great post on the pros and cons, something I debate on a daily basis!

    I recently started my own blog, as a basis for a novel I’m writing on my experience working as a receptionist in a five-star spa in London.

    I’ve found it a great way to bring back anecdotes I’d long forgotten, but I often wonder if I’m expending too much creative energy best spent on my novel.

    London does have a great group of bloggers on all aspects of the city, and it’s great to feel part of a creative team when I’m often going crazy in the solitude of my flat!



  51. Kim Kasch on October 7, 2008 at 1:11 AM

    >Thanks for this post.

    I’ve been curious about blogging/branding and actually find it sort of addicting. It is a time-eater. But, I’ve also made cyber friends, people I’ve actually met in REAL life – after “chatting” with on line. And it’s been fun.

    I even went to a blogging conference last weekend and will get together with some of the people again in about one month.



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