Marji Laine: Faith~Driven Fiction

. . . Authentic and Intense

Blogging – What’s the Point?

28 Comments

I’ve been hearing lately that blogging has little effect on a writer’s career. Really? Because when I started this journey, the first few media gurus I encountered insisted that a regular blog was essential.

Hmm.

Now, I’m hearing from authors with thousands of followers on their blogs intimating that all of that work doesn’t really help much. (Jody Hedlund is one – her article is here!)

I’m rather torn about this topic because I really enjoy blogging. I love connecting with folks and I love having an avenue to share insights and glean interesting viewpoints from others. But do blogs sell books? That’s not a question I can answer. Jody certainly has more experience than I do on the subject.

But I bought her first two books because of her blog. I don’t think I would have given them a second glance if not for the introduction she gave them. Not because they aren’t good – they ARE! But they aren’t in the genre I usually read. In fact, as I look at my Nook (what I used when I first started this writing journey) I see several books there that I purchased due to hype on a blog. Sandra Bricker, Elizabeth Goddard, Julie Lessman, and Mary Beth Whalen all received at least one sale due to a blog entry.

Again, not that the books aren’t good. Some of these authors have become favorites, but besides Elizabeth Goddard, who happens to write romantic suspense, I doubt I would have even noticed these gals’ books otherwise.

That said, though, I don’t read blogs as often or with the dedication that I had in the beginning of my career. So I am indeed of two minds on the subject.

Your turn: Where do you fall? How often do you blog or read other blogs?

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Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a homeschooling mom with teenage twins left in the nest. She spends her days transporting to and from volleyball, teaching writing classes at a local coop, and directing the children’s music program at her church. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

28 thoughts on “Blogging – What’s the Point?

  1. Pingback: This Week in Favs… | Melinda S. Collins

  2. I do love blogging. I only do it once a week because of my schedule. I do love reading other writers blogs. It’s like visiting in the writing neighborhood. I always learn something new.

    Great thoughts, Marji!

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  3. Well, Marji, I’m glad to have found your BLOG via twitter! I do think blogs are important, and there are still plenty of agents and publishers who will verify that. But the main benefit is that we connect with each other on blogs, as well as our potential readers. I understand the draw of NOT blogging, believe me…esp. when we’re trying to breakout as a debut author and don’t want to make time to blog. HOWever, I love having a real “home site” for people to get to know me and talk about stuff that’s important to my books. So the blog is a go for now.

    I think once you have published books, it’s far easier to retreat and just do a website with links to your books, info on your books, etc.

    I am finding that a FB author page is a great way to connect, sometimes with more readers. So that’s something I’ll definitely be keeping up with. AND…I just went over and liked your FB author page with my FB author page! And I’ll follow your blog, too!

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  4. Marji, you bring up some great points, as do your commenters. I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a blog for months now. I’ve even begun a list of topics I could write on. My biggest fear is that the few hours I have for writing each week will be eaten up with maintaining a blog well. I’m torn at this point. I definitely want to aim toward readers, and my goal with it would be to encourage others.

    I’m still thinking on it. 🙂 Loved your perspective here.

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    • Glad you’re thinking of it, Jeanne. I have to tell you, while I spend time searching for just the right pictures and links to add to my blogs, I only spend a few hours per week setting them up. Usually I write them way ahead, when the thoughts come to me. I’ll set them up with graphics and editing as the pub date nears. I do at least 3 per week, but just starting out, if you did one great article (about 600 to 800 words) regularly, you’d be surprised how simply you can keep it moving.

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  5. Hi, Marji. I’ll start by telling you that Twitter works to get people to visit your blog. That’s how I found you. I also popped over to Jody’s post.

    I’ve been having this discussions with other authors a lot lately, not just about blogging but about social media.

    Do they sell books, probably not directly. But the problem today with so many new e-books out there every day, is visibility. Great novels won’t get read and the word of mouth won’t get started until some readers find your books. That’s where all this blogging and social media comes in, to get your name and books out there in the public eye.

    But it definitely is a major time-suck. I’m going with the slow-blogging model, rarely posting more than once a week.

    I also try to resist the temptation to blog about writing. That only attracts other writers (which is good for community building but is not necessarily reaching your reader market). I think the most successful bloggers/authors are those that blog about what they write about. Stacy Green writes about true crime on her blog and writes thrillers. My mystery series’ protagonist is a psychotherapist so I blog about psychological topics (I’m a retired psychologist).

    But it’s still slow going, finding that reader base. Thanks for this post, Marji!

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  6. I see my blog more as a discipline to get me to write every day…which sounds relatively egotistical. Dare I say my blog is about me?!

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  7. Marji, you raise some good points. I’ve found that in almost 100% of the cases, blogging only works when it’s done correctly AND judiciously. By correctly I mean, the blog has a focus to connect with the author’s audience. By judiciously I mean, it doesn’t claim too much of the author’s time. It’s a great place to make valuable connections, but it should never be a time hog. I spend about 30- 45 minutes per day on Social Media, and one, two-hour chunk of time writing my blog posts for the week. I also have a schedule for the blogs I visit regularly. Like you, I don’t get to as many as I want, but with a schedule of reading 3 or 4 per day, I get to a LOT in a month. I also make an effort to answer all the comments left on my blog and visit the blogs of those who comment. Even with that, I work hard not to exceed my 30-45 minute rule. I can say that, without a doubt, blogging has helped build my career.

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    • Oh THANKS for that point for the positive side! I do enjoy blogging and it’s good to know that there is a possibility that continuing will help me some day! So glad you stopped by!

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  8. In the “to blog or not to blog” discussions lately, the one thing that’s pointed out is to do what you enjoy. If you enjoy blogging…great. I have a number of blogs on my Google Reader (like this one). I go through them each morning, but I don’t comment much.

    Like you, Marji, I got started blogging because I was told it was a must. But on my blog, I like promoting Christian fiction. Otherwise, I’m not sure I’d have much to say. 🙂

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    • I think you’re right Sandra! It’s like it says in Ecclesiastes about working after the wind. We should enjoy what we’re doing. And I do like blogging!! 🙂

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  9. I don’t have a lot of readers reading my blog, but I like interacting with my writer friends there. I met many of them in the blogosphere. I wish I had more time to visit blogs, but, alas, like so many, I have to limit myself.

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  10. I share sentiments with Victoria and Jackie. Though sometimes I feel that it’s a chore, I too, enjoy exploring my thoughts–or others–on any given topic. And how might I have made so many online acquaintances, people with whom I truly enjoy interacting?

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    • Oh and that’s a major plus! I love getting to interact with folks online. I’ve gotten to meet Keli and Jackie! So much fun to put actual faces to the folks I’m chatting with!

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      • I really enjoy my online friends. The relationship may be a virtual one, but it’s as real as those I know face to face.

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  11. The topic of selling books aside I feel like my blog has helped me grow as a writer. All the post I’ve written about the writing process have helped me examine, improve the quality, and quicken the pace of my writing. That’s why I like my blog, and why I continue to write it. 🙂 Lots of comments have been useful too for that purpose!

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  12. Hi Marji,
    I blog because they said it’s good to help build your online presence. Sometimes I like it.
    Like you, I don’t visit other peoples blogs as much as I’d like.
    It comes down to time management and priorities.
    Glad you shared this today!

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