My rule of thumb is don't blog unless you have something to say. JA Konrath blogs about the world of publishing on a regular basis. Sarah Weinman reviews books and blogs about industry news. The Outfit Collective is a team of Chicago authors (since a daily blog was too much of a commitment for any one writer). All of these blogs are clear, focused, and updated regularly. Therefore, they are effective marketing tools.
When I started this blog three years ago, I did it because I had something to say. I had just started reviewing books, recently graduated from college, and had lots of thoughts and musings about writing. Now, I have become more focused, using this blog as a way to promote talented writers, especially those in Chicago, and to help aspiring authors write better books and get published. Full disclosure, this blog is also a great place to promote my clients and my business. But promotion isn't the only reason I blog, which is why, I think, The Chicago Contingent works.
For the authors still unsure whether or not they should start a blog, ask yourself the following:
- Do I have something to say?
- What would my focus or angle be?
- Do I have time to blog? (Depending on length and speed, posts can take up to an hour)
- Would people be interested in reading it?
- Gives readers a preview into your writing style
- Expands your name recognition and Google-ability
- Helps you hone your craft. The more you write, the better writer you become.
- Is an outlet to market your books and interact with your readers.