Everyone knows that no one reads blogs anymore. They’re just like, so yesterday. Well, that’s one of the biggest myths of the day and let me tell you why you need a blog. It’s not about prestige or popularity it’s about becoming…yes, becoming…
If you have any intention of ever publishing a book then you should begin to make your presence know SOONER rather than later. Perhaps you’re just beginning on your writing journey and don’t see yourself actually writing anything for a few years. Well, that’s a few years where you could connect with many potential readers–aka, future customers.
About three years ago a very stuck up writing professional told me I had no platform. See, I was seeking representation for a non-fiction book idea I had. He patted me on the head like a good little girl and told me I should go start a blog.
Well, I didn’t. He pissed me off though because I asked him which would have more exposure a blog or a column. He chuckled in his condescending manner and said…”Well, a column of course but you’ll never get a column…” I emailed him a month later with the premier column of Auntie Says… which is a bi-weekly column for Black Press. Here’s the link if you want to take a look.
What does any of that have to do with a blog? Well, I’m gonna tell you of course.
It all comes down to getting your work out there. I got my column and began to garner some loyal followers but the subject matter was unique and niche which limited me. So…I went back to basics and started a blog.
The birth of My Twisted Writer Brain came from the fact that I am in fact a writer and I embrace all that title says, means, and represents. I love to create stories. I also love to engage and assist writers. We all need to start somewhere and I remember being scared to put my hand up and ask anything.
What’s a query letter?
How do I get an agent?
Should I self publish?
What’s a passive sentence vs. an active sentence?
What’s a speech tag?
Oh my goodness so many things to talk about but the question I want to answer now is: The Five Reasons You Need a Blog
Your blog is an extension of your writing life. It provides a sample of your writing capabilities and shows them to the world. Anyone reading your blog will be able to hopefully see that you know how to string more than two or three words together in a professional sense. This is important for industry professionals who will google your name when it crosses their desk. To have samples of your writing and personality online is great. Now that doesn’t mean you throw crap up on the blog and call it a day…no sirree! You need to polish each one to the best of your ability.
Your blog is a reflection of who you are. While this may seem obvious in that the blog has your name on it and you’re the one doing the writing, but it also showcases the personality of your writing. Do you allow spelling mistakes? Are your sentences clear? Organized? All of these things come through in your blog and can tell a potential professional contact that you know what you’re doing. Always write like a professional is going to read it because in all honesty–you never know who’s reading your stuff.
The content of your blog is a part of you. When I began doing my column Auntie Says… it came from a place of love and knowing the subject well. Then, when I started my blog on writing it became more about my personal journey in the writing world. I’m an author, I have an agent, but I’m still waiting for my first sale. It’s a long process and you must keep writing.
As a writer you must have a professional presence online and in the real world. This is known as your platform. This includes things like social media, blogs, YouTube, podcasts, live streaming, freelance articles…Anything that gets YOU out there. All of these things can be linked back and forth and create an even stronger platform that highlights your talents, artistic abilities, and how you present yourself. The easiest things to begin of course is social media. The big ones being FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram. For me, the next move was my blog. I try to be as consistent and current as possible. What you see on the page is me–Faye E. Arcand, the Writer or Auntie Faye–depending on which you’re reading.
Another really good reason to start a blog and keep it going on a regular basis is that you will be expected to do much of your own marketing for sales etc. If you are waiting for a traditional publishing contract it’s vital you have a place to convey your message and sell your products from. It’s the same, and perhaps even more so, for self-published authors. It’s a lot of work to consistently sell, sell, sell. With a blog you may be able to discuss your book or showcase a part of it. By having the blog in place BEFORE the publication is best because then you already have a following and hopefully an audience for your product.
Blogs are a great tool to get yourself out there. Why are you hesitating? Chose a name and get yourself going. There are sites out there that are free and others that are inexpensive.
If you’re unsure of where to start then start with the name. Don’t get fancy. Use your own name so that you’re easy to find. If you don’t know what to write about–keep that simple too. Blogs don’t have to be long and laborious. In fact people like a short, quick, interesting read.
Look at your life and write down ten things you like. It could be cats, chocolate, beer….whatever.
Now, take those ten things and write ten reasons why you like it for each one. I like cats because: they’re curious, they rule the house, they’re cute, etc.
You know have ten subjects with ten reason why you like each one. That’s a start. Go!