To Blog or Not To Blog – That is the Question

APE_Cover_20130118I truly feel that blogging is a good tool – to build reader relationships, to build a platform to grow your fan base and to establish you as a player in the writing world.

Blogging is one of the most powerful things you can do, if you do it right. The word BLOG is short for Web Log – and that’s what this is. A journal entry. YOU decide what you want to journal about, but for this application, I’m going to suggest you journal about the topic you write about, or the character or world you’ve developed, something that will help readers get to know you and your books.

Now, all that said, I know people who use their Facebook fan page to keep their fans updated – so, if you want to do that, maybe adding a formal blog isn’t necessary. Are your readers FB people or bloggers? If they seem to be both, you might bet away with using your Facebook fan page for your blog.

I have a website (professionally designed and maintained now – but not when I started!) I have a Facebook page that is linked to my blog. I use WordPress for my blog, but Blogspot and Blogger.com are also very popular. I’m sure there are many more. If you search or “Google” the term, How do I set up a blog, a multitude of narrative and YouTube entries will show up.

YouTube tutorials show you what to do – the others tell you what to do.

Now, keep in mind, there are hosted and self-hosted blogs. Mine is hosted by WordPress and that works just fine for me. I don’t pay them anything and I don’t care that I don’t have my own domain name – I always put in a live link when I refer to my blog. I don’t earn money from my blog – it is a service I provide to give value to writers whether they are clients or not. I do self-host my website because I want all that control for my Internet “store” if you will. But for the free information that I put out in hopes of helping others, I don’t need the added expense.

When you see the term self-hosted, this refers to you owning the name and paying for the hosting of the blog so that it is live on the Internet. I don’t recommend this for beginners unless you’ve got some good, tech-savvy framily members!

Just to offer a few ideas, I’ve provided some links here. I’m not endorsing these folks, only the information they provide.
http://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Blog

https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/1623800?hl=en

http://bloginstructions.blogspot.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSOeIKKUMB4

I do believe that setting up a free, simple, but nice website, establishing a very basic Facebook account and fan page and blogging are the cornerstones of your professional Internet presence. Posting valuable and regular posts via your blog will enable you to build your reputation, gain relationships and fans, and get started on your way to a successful writing career. Is it the only way? Certainly not!

One last thing – keep in mind that NONE of this means instant or overnight success. You need to be diligent, your posts need to be professional, friendly and useful, and you need to visit and support other bloggers, too (this is called Following.) But if you do these things, in time you’ll see your fan base grow – and readers translate into sales if you’re writing good books!

Keep reading and writing – don’t blog so much you aren’t writing that next book! Nancy Q.

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About NL Quatrano

Award-winning author, speaker, editor and ghost writer, Nancy owns a full-time editing, writing and specialty publishing business: On-Target Words/WC Publishing. Volunteer/member of professional writing organizations including Florida Writers Assoc., Sisters in Crime, and AWAI. 2010 Professional Woman of the Year by the NAPW. Linked in Editor Pick May 2013. International Women's Leadership Association nominee for Outstanding Leadership 2014.
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