My first blog was on a long-deceased social media site called Xanga. It was a lot like MySpace, except the focus wasn’t moody early ‘00s songs, but rather the moody rantings of its teenage and 20-something authors.
My Xanga contained a lot of music references, passive aggressive remarks directed at various anonymous people, and comments about how much I disliked different classes.
Apparently, it never occurred to me that my professors or anyone else might see my Xanga (fortunately, they did not).
My other attempts at blogging were slightly more professional— both were aimed at sharing my thoughts about writing and advice for other writers, not just sharing whatever was in my head.
I’m not saying you can’t use blogging as a way to share your thoughts on the world. Plenty of people do that and maintain successful followings.
But one thing that gets lost a lot is that blogging is first and foremost a marketing tool, and it works best when you actually have something to market.
And if you’re a writer, your product is yourself, your expertise, and most importantly, your own writing.
Maybe you’ve just recently started a blog, or maybe you’ve been blogging for years. To that, I give a hearty congratulations.
But there’s a chunk of you readers out there who are either new to blogging and wondering why you are even doing this to begin with or you are curious about the wonderful world of blogs, but aren’t sure if it’s worth your time to dive in.
Before we go any further, let me address that issue of time. Maintaining a blog requires a lot of it, and one concern you might have is that it will take too much time away from your actual writing, which is already crammed in between various daily responsibilities.
No worries. Even if you can’t publish every week, it’s still worth it. It’s okay to start small and work at your own pace to develop your skills—especially when there is so much to be gained from this process.
Blogging is an art, and you need to allow yourself the space to create and experiment.
You also might have a lot of questions about blogging in general…
…stuff like, what do I write about, or how do I get people to read it?
I’ll have more posts about those topics coming in the next few weeks, but for now, let’s talk about four reasons why writers need to have their own blogs…
Blogging builds authority.
Blogging is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
“But wait!” you might be thinking. “I don’t feel like an expert in anything. I just write stories on my lunch break.”
Do you have tips for other people writing on their lunch breaks? Do you write in a particular genre? Do you have other ideas to share about writing during a busy life? If so, congratulations—you’re an expert in writing on your lunch break.
Everyone has something to share about the writing process and how it works for them. Even if you are writing about your own work and what is currently happening for you as a writer, you can still give suggestions and encouragement to readers.
Nobody writes like you or has your particular experience, which means that expertise can look totally unique for you. And that’s how you introduce yourself to your audience.
It’s a tool for networking
People talk about social media as a great place to network, but your blog can be an even better hot spot for meeting like-minded people.
I have several people who have never signed up for a service with Inkling, but every week, like clockwork, they’re clicking the link in my newsletter to the latest post. (Yes. I know what my subscribers do. It’s called magic…just kidding, it’s called tracking).
Those readers may not have spent any money (yet) but they are just as valuable as the people who have…actually, moreso. Loyal readers are among the best people you can have on your email list (more on that later).
Blogging is also a great networking tool because it’s an easy way to immediately let people know who you are and what you’re about. Because blogs by definition are down to earth while still being professional, you can give people a taste of who you are and what you have to offer in terms of your expertise.
It can help you promote your writing
This is the biggest and most obvious reason why you as an author need a blog. The majority of your posts won’t be about your books for sale or to get people to read your work published online—but by including carefully placed calls to action in the post, you can provide helpful information while giving a friendly invitation to check out your work.
Remember, the goal of a blog isn’t to sell things. It’s to provide useful, expert information to your audience’s questions. The more you can meet real needs your readers have, the more curious they will become about your writing.
Let me tell you a secret. Those people who have been reading my blog for the last year, but haven’t signed up for a service?
A couple of them recently became clients.
This blog provides real value to readers while also showing the value of the services Inkling offers. How can you use a blog to meet the needs of your readers while promoting your own work?
You can repurpose blog posts as other content.
Content is any text, videos, images, graphics, or downloads that promote a business or individual. Content is where it all happens—it’s how you build relationships with people and educate them about who you are and what you do.
But not all content come hot off the press, totally original, and fresh from your brilliant mind.
More often than not, content comes from…well, other content.
Repurposing content is a process where you take one type of content and turn it into something else. For example, you might make a TikTok video that you also use as a Facebook ad, or take a blog post and turn it into an infographic.
The more blog posts you write, the more source material you have to develop even more content. Written text is a great jumping off point for other genres of context, which can help you reach even more people.
So there you have it—a quick primer on why authors need to have blogs.
But obviously, one blog post can’t contain all the answers.
That’s why on Tuesday, January 25 at 7:00 PM EST, I’m hosting my webinar, How to Build a Killer Blog.
This free one-hour event will teach you how to create a blog that spreads your message, gets more viewers, and builds better relationships with readers.
Plus: get access to useful content in advance of the webinar and special offers exclusively for attendees.