Last Updated on August 23, 2022 by Ben Oakley
Authors will come up with many reasons not to write a blog. The reasons tend to develop out of a need to maintain focus elsewhere like actually writing books.
Even well-respected authors and blog owners conclude their pieces of a similar nature by saying it’s ultimately up to the author themselves whether they want a blog or not.
The excuses go something like this:
- “My blog is a distraction.”
- “I can’t keep up with it.”
- “I don’t know what to write about.”
- “There’s no time left to write a blog.”
- “It’s too much hassle.”
- “It seems pointless.”
- “No money in it.”
- “No one visits, so what’s the point?”
I’m here to tell you that you absolutely should run and maintain a blog – and not necessarily for the purposes you think.
An author blog is not all about updating readers
Let’s look at why you are told repeatedly to write a blog AND maintain it. Mostly, this derives from the fact that you should be updating your readers on your work, new releases, and ultimately, your life.
Well, that’s not entirely necessary. Some authors have enough readers to warrant the time to update and post information they might up.
Most of us are not so fortunate. Why spend precious time updating a couple of readers when you could be out pulling hundreds, if not thousands more?
You don’t need to write a blog to keep your readers updated, that’s what social media is for. I’m a twitterer, and I far prefer to update news there. It’s easier, quicker, and shorter – perfect for 21st Century life.
If you’re being told to run a blog because you need to update your readers, then poppycock to that. Readers may find you on your blog and some may even stay for the newsletter and regular updates, but most will run with you on social media.
It’s that disheartening feeling of firing off thousands of words into the internet that neither get read or feel like they’re landing anywhere. Once that feeling sets in, your blog’s dead in the water.
That’s when you won’t be able to keep up with it, struggle what to write about, and find it becoming a bit of a hassle.
Write what you want to write about and don’t struggle under the one-subject trap
Let’s get the ‘I don’t know what to write about’ malarky out the way. You’re a writer, even if you struggle to find the context of a blog post, you know you can write.
Keep ‘Microsoft To Do’ open or a document somewhere, so that when you think of an idea for a post while writing something else then drop it in there for later reference.
Don’t get dragged into the trap of focusing on one subject as your be all and end all. It works for some authors and kudos to them but most of us need to spread our wings a little further and write – what we want to write about.
This is why I say there’s no real concern about updating readers as such which sees your blog go down one route only. Most of those posts, though helpful, are not evergreen and tend to be irrelevant a few months later.
What if your author blog could be something more?
Another thing that puts authors off blogging is that there is no money it anymore. There is but not in the way you might think.
Your author blog doesn’t have to make on-page money via ads or affiliate links – and for an author blog, it shouldn’t be the reason to run one.
BUT your author blog can make you a living without ads or affiliate links.
There’s no secret to it. It’s called traffic. Before you skip on back to social media to read about the latest publishing horror stories, hear me out.
My own blog is two-fold. One, I have little demons in my fingers that propel me to tap on the keyboard as fast as possible to produce more work than I could possibly publish
It means I love to write, and love to write articles and blog posts. It’s the creational and experimental side of it that gets my juices – and little demon fingers – into the flow.
Thus, my blog is an outlet for my articles, thoughts, and a place to share knowledge freely with others as it has been shared with me.
Two – and perhaps the biggest reason – traffic; getting people to visit my site. I little bit of SEO knowledge goes a long way – especially when you don’t have to pander to affiliate links or their terms and conditions.
Every post I put out can pull in organic visitors to my site via the search engines. Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s basically Google and a little bit of Bing.
I have posts from two years ago that are bringing in a steady amount of traffic into this site, and it’s not always the posts you expect, which is why it’s good not to stick to one subject and to experiment with what works and what doesn’t.
An author blog can help drive visitors to the site that can result in book sales
When an author says there is no time to write a blog, it’s too much hassle, it seems pointless, or that no-one visits, it bugs me all to hell. I know it works and I’ve seen the results of having a blog over the years.
And that’s just it – time. Like publishing itself, a writing career takes time to build up, just like a blog, with or without followers. I could have given up after post number two when I had no visitors, but I didn’t – and nor should you.
When I wrote this, I had 260 posts and articles on my site. Many were left to be workhorses of the darkest corners of the internet, bringing in residual – but automatic – visitors on an irregular basis.
But some rise above their station and hit over 10,000 users per month, some more. And it’s those that we learn from, the risers, the traffic funnels, and the winners of all the posts.
This is why evergreen content is so good. One of my true crime posts rocketed after 12 months purely because the story was in the news again and because I was already on the front page of Google with that post, it got hits – lots of them.
Blogging isn’t an immediate win, it takes time, patience, and dedication. Authors should have blogs and should have their own websites.
Not least to list their published works but to create more content that will drive visitors to the site who might ultimately purchase one of their books.