In our most recent post about blogging for authors, ALLi members posited many great reasons for blogging, from finding your voice to giving readers insight about you as a writer. But assuming you have decided to blog, how much time can you afford spend on this form of writing, without eating into valuable book-writing time? And how often do you need to post to make the activity worthwhile? ALLi author members continue the conversation below…
Best Use of Blogging Time
One successful strategy is to ringfence blogging time and post ahead as US novelist and screenwriter Pauline Baird Jones describes:
I think one mistake writers make is that they think blogging isn't writing. It is actually writing. But I do not let it take over either. I keep my blogging confined to one day, plan my posts and if I know I'm going to be offline, I schedule ahead. Which also helps me become more disciplined as a novelist. At first I blogged twice a week, but now do it three times a week. But my Friday post is always very light-hearted. Mostly I share a photo from my husband's Flicker feed. I am always surprised by what will suddenly get a lot of traffic. It's never the posts that I think will do it.
US author Anna Castle‘s attitude is both ruthless and disciplined:
I will blog like a madwoman for a few days, filling it up for a couple of months, then ignore it, apart from responding to comments.
Whenever you write your posts, publishing them regularly is a great discipline, and helpful to your audience too, who will soon start to know when to expect your next post and look out for it. Here on the ALLi blog we post almost every day, but on my own author blog I aim at a weekly post (I use #WritersWednesday as a useful reminder that my post is due). Once I've posted for the Wednesday ahead, I can forget about it and move on to other tasks with one thing less to worry about.
Finnish novelist Helena Halme agrees, reporting:
I try to put something up every two weeks at least, and am now trying to speed it up to once per week.
British author and self-publishing podcaster Tim Lewis came up with a good rule of thumb:
Spend time to do it sensibly and consistently.
Substance Over Frequency
Other authors prefer to take their cue from their message rather than the calendar. Says British author Jill A Harris:
I only blog if I've got a) the time and b) something brilliant/useful/ to say. Which means I don't do it very often. I sometimes get anxious about this, but I'd rather spend my time working on the books or learning about marketing.
US author Christine Frost agrees:
Finding a regular schedule is nearly impossible with life's curveballs. I blog when there's something substantive and relevant to say, and I don't let the lack of routine bother me.
But not everyone wants to blog, and British writer Melissa Addey is one of the no-blogging brigade:
I have very little time to write and my top priority is to get a back catalogue out. Blogging would just eat into my writing time.
And that's fine too. As with any marketing activity, if your heart's not in it, you're not going to do it well, so focus your time on what you enjoy and do well instead.
As with so much in the life of the indie author, there are no absolute rights and wrongs – just do what you feel makes you a better writer and self-publisher.
OVER TO YOU So what's your take on blogging? Join our conversation via the comments box!How often should #authors blog? @DebbieYoungBN curates the conversation Click To Tweet
IF YOU'D LIKE TO READ MORE POSTS ABOUT BLOGGING FOR AUTHORS, TRY THESE: