You hate blogging. You tried it, no one read your blog, and so you ignored or deleted your blog. Years ago, I heard a story called the “acre of diamonds.” It’s a fable. A similar story is: “inches from a vein of gold.”
Here’s the diamond story. A man inherits some land. He tries to grow several different crops and they all fail. The ground’s too rocky. Finally he gives up, and sells the land. The man to whom he sells it studies some of the rocks. He discovers that the rocks are studded with rough diamonds.
Perhaps you’re treating your blog like the man who planted his fields, couldn’t get a crop, and complained about the rocky ground. You may be ignoring your acres of diamonds too.
If you hate blogging, you’re crippling yourself as a writer
Last week, a Team Up student said to me: “I hate blogging. I never know what to write, and I don’t have the time anyway.”
It’s sad. Many writers feel that blogging is somehow a kind of add-on to a writing career. To them, blogging is optional. They blog when they want something. Maybe they’re about to release a new book, or maybe a client cancels, and suddenly — hello? No money coming in.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Blogging is central to your writing career” quote=”Blogging is central to your writing career” theme=”style1″]
Listen up. Blogging isn’t an optional add-on to your writing. If you’re smart, you’ll look at blogging as being central to it.
As I’ve been saying since the late 1990s, your blog offers you instant publishing. Please stop thinking of your blog as if it were an ATM machine, although it can be. Start thinking of your blog as publishing. At the click of the “Publish” button, you can reach millions of people who could buy from you, one day.
Your blog repays you for the time you invest in it. Blogging helps you by:
- Showing you what works, and what doesn’t work for your writing;
- Helping you to write better, faster;
- Winning readers and fans;
- Making you accountable: it’s all too easy to push off “deadlines”;
- Building a writing habit;
- Increasing your network — it’s always who knows you that builds your career.
And yes… blogging can help you to sell books, and get clients, and achieve all the goals you have for your writing.
You’re building an audience via your blog, so decide who you want to attract
Think about the goals you have for your writing.
Let’s say that you’re building a self-publishing empire. You’re just starting out, or maybe you’ve published dozens of books already.
You want your blog to help you to sell books.
Start by working out who buys your books. Initially, you’ll be guessing. The more you blog, the more you’ll learn about your readers.
Writing fiction? Work out who reads your genre. Most genre fiction readers cover a broad demographic, and it can be a real challenge to know who’s reading your books. Start by doing the obvious. Use Google. Type “who reads (your genre) fiction” into the search query box in Google.
I typed “who reads romance fiction” into Google, and got a fascinating list of results, just on the first page.
Make a list of your readers’ attributes. Age? Income? Reading habits? Kids? When you start blogging, and have few readers, you’re guessing about your readership. Later, when you have many blog readers, you won’t need to guess, because you can watch what they do, and learn who they are.
Everything starts with your blog however.
If, as in our example, you’re writing fiction, post excerpts from your fiction, create freebies, and grow your mailing list. There are endless ways to sell all the books you want to sell via your blog… But you can’t even begin to do it if you’ve decided that you hate blogging. 🙂
Give before you get: when you give on your blog, you will receive
Want to achieve your goals for your writing?
Here’s what to do:
- Work out who you’d like to attract as readers to your blog;
- Blog consistently, for six months.
During those six months, think about your readers.
I’m sure you have many reasons not to blog. And yes, I know that you hate blogging. 🙂 No one can force you to like blogging, or to do it. When you muster your courage however, and develop an interest in blogging, in six months your writing life will change. You’ll be a better, more competent writer, and you’ll be well on the way to achieving your goals.
What do you think? How would a blog with a few thousand readers every month help you to achieve the goals you’ve set for your writing?
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