There’s a lot of talk about blogging and that we should all be doing it. But why? Won’t you just become one of the thousands of other bloggers out there who are only read by three people?
But here’s the thing. As a writer, you need to step up and create a body of work and a following in order to get your work read. For a publisher to take you on, or for bookshops to stock your books, you need to have an online presence of some kind. This is where blogging can help.
Aside from the hopeful rise in your author profile, blog writing is a good discipline to improve your writing. Think about it. If you are writing an article every week for 50 weeks and each article is around 500–1000 words, you are effectively writing a whole book. This practise will see your writing improve rapidly and it will become easier. It comes down to good writing habits that will also translate well into your other writing.
Aside from that, you are putting your thoughts out there and learning how to articulate those thoughts. It might feel a bit forced or fake at the start but after a while you will find your groove. Who knows, you might start to inspire other people with these thoughts and create your own network of like-minded people. This is really important in terms of raising your profile because your aim is to have people comment, interact and share your work. This will take time because it takes time to build relationships. Be patient. Your blog may only have two readers in the early days but keep at it, and keep telling people that it’s there through your social network platforms.
All of this constant writing of content, while forming good writing habits, will build up your writing muscles and you will gain confidence in your writing ability. At the same time, you are building up a body of work. Your collection of articles (blog) can be used in other ways such as articles pitched to magazines and journals or collected together and published in a book.
If you stick at it consistently and for long enough, you will gather a following. Who knows, it could take on a life of its own and you could earn money from your blog in the future. In the meantime, see it as an apprenticeship to becoming a better writing. The payback will be that you gather fans and get your ‘real’ writing into their hands.
On the technical side, the constant uploading of content onto the web will mean that you are appearing often in feeds and your SEO (search engine optimisation) will improve.
In my next blog, I will look at ways to set up YOUR blog.