Should authors have a blog? — Tim Grahl
One of the fundamental problems with the question “Should I start a blog?” is that you’re starting in the wrong place.
Asking yourself if you need to start or continue a blog is definitely the wrong place to start. It creates excuses and roadblocks for you and your readers. Sure you might have plenty to say about many different topics, but there are other people writing about the same thing. What makes your content fresh, new, and noteworthy? Time is precious with plenty of others things to do like household chores, work, kids, sleeping, eating, and having fun. We also live in an information age where our brains are oversaturated. Attention spans are shorter than ever before.
People need a reason to tune in. You create that motivation by sharing your knowledge, experience, and research with an easily identifiable voice. (Jeff Goins has a list of the 5 most likely ones.) If you don’t have an identity for your blog, then you are more likely to set it aside. Especially when your words echo back at you in the silence of no one leaving comments or the lack of hits on your web statistics platform.
In the article, Tim talks about using the blog as a tool and making sure it the right one for the job. According to him, blogs are great for content, sharing things, and getting the search engines to notice you. They aren’t good for outreach and getting the attention of your existing fans.
Tim goes on to say a blog shouldn’t be the only tool in your tool box. I totally agree. You need to build a platform that includes an author’s website like this one and a social media presence. The key thing to remember is that platform means community, not pulpit. In other words, engage people and share your why. This will help them understand who you are and make it easier to identify with your motivations, so they believe in your cause. Don’t preach at them and spend all your effort cramming the what down their throats. Their gag reflex will definitely kick in.
The last thing Tim links to is his post on Email Marketing 101 for Authors. It follows the same thinking of other experts on author platform, you need an email list as another tool. My marketing person has even gone so far to say that social media is dead and email marketing is the way to go.
I’m a little hesitant to go down that path, honestly. As a web developer, I have many reasons, which I will share on Monday. The post also contains some great insight on the subject for both senders and receivers.