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The pros and cons of blogging as an author

28 September 2016

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Blogging has become almost ubiquitous on the web. Thanks to John Deere-inspired content marketing techniques, blogs have successfully made their way from the sole domain of the bedroom columnist to world-conquering marketing plans.

With the right strategy, a blog can position a business as a thought leader within its chosen field and draw in a sizeable crowd of expectant readers. Those very readers should then engage with this free material until they spot that the author is, in fact, the supplier of something they’d very much like to purchase.

It’s a magical way of promoting goods and services, but can blogging really benefit authors?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of blogging as an author.

Author blogging - the pros

Blogging is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing, but it has other compelling benefits for authors.

1. You’ll reach a larger audience

Self-publishing is a fantastic route for anyone who wants to avoid the traps and hassle associated with leaning on the services of a big publisher, and blogging can support your sole endeavour superbly.

As we’ve established, businesses use blogging as a tool to reach larger audiences. There’s no quick win - it takes time to build a following - but as yours grows, you’ll have far more eyes on your hard work.

2. You can provide a taste of what’s to come

Bear with us on this one, for the idea of publishing excerpts from your latest masterpiece for all and sundry to read without paying a penny for the privilege may sound like madness. But think about the excerpts we still see regularly in the press from big-time authors. Granted, they’ve got deeper pockets, but the trend of providing a sneak peak of a forthcoming novel shows no sign of abating.

As an author, you can use your blog to showcase forthcoming work. All you need to do is publish tantalising sections that hint at a particular character’s arc or plot point, and which end on a cliffhanger. As your blog audience builds, they’ll read these previews, share them with friends and almost definitely put their money where their mouth is in order to find out what happens in the rest of the book.

3. A blog doesn’t have to be a blog at all

It could, in fact, be your website and your only presence on the web. And that’s fine - you don’t need a glossy multipage website to sell yourself - as a writer, a blog is the perfect website for your craft.

Author blogging - the cons

Blogging isn’t for every author. Here’s why:

1. It doesn’t offer ‘quick wins’

As noted earlier, achieving any form of success with a blog takes time. You need to nurture your audience and post regularly if it’s to grow. If, for whatever reason, you need to reach a large audience quickly, blogging isn’t the way to go.

2. You simply don’t have the time

Anything that can be described as a ‘long game’ requires time and effort to get right. If you’re already stretched with your writing responsibilities and everything else that goes into living life in the modern age, a blog will likely be nothing more than a distraction.

3. You’re a purely a fiction writer

Above, we mentioned that a blog can be a great tool for providing snippets from your latest novel, but fiction can be a bit trickier to blog consistently about compared to non-fiction.

With non-fiction, you can blog about the topic in question, but fiction usually only offers the opportunity to write about the characters and plot. Inspiration may, therefore, dry up relatively quickly and you’ll struggle to build an engaged audience.

Have we tempted you to start a blog? Or have we helped you justify the decision to leave this particular method of promotion to those who can afford the time? Let us know what you think by getting in touch!

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