Writer's can often times been seen huddled around their laptops getting a solid UV tan as the pour over their latest manuscript. So deeply committed to their art as they are, often times they overlook the ways their skill could, and SHOULD, be used to self-promote. Let's face it, the times of a publisher falling all over themselves to scoop up everyone's unpublished manuscript are long gone. These days, why thank you overcrowded world, if you want to be seen you MUST be the loudest, biggest, letter in the slush pile. If you can figure out a way to email an agent a neon flashing sign, you let me know. Until then, here's quick list of WHY authors, and wannabe authors, NEED a blog.
YOU BUILD A TRIBE<<<------
Being a writer can be isolating. Typically not a 'team player' personality, most writers thrive on that same isolation because within the unburst bubble of their imagination the key to creativity can fully unlock the universe. However, good writers, GREAT writers, venture forth and create an inner-circle of OTHER writers. Insider Secret Folks: Creative minds explode with ideas when exposed to OTHER creative minds. People who do what you do, love what you love, and help shape you as an artist. I've said it before time and again, if you want to be a good writer you must HONE your craft. Part of that is by associating with OTHER writers, of all genres, who understand the unique dilemma's you will face. "want to not starve and die, but can't leave laptop til I figure out how to murder this villain." Most normal non-writer types would think that is a no-brainer. But your tribe....YOUR tribe....will uniquely understand why you need to order pizza and tip the driver an extra 5 to literally walk into your office and set the pizza between you and the laptop.
"So," you ask, "what the heck does a blog have to do with my tribe....or my pizza?"
Well I'll tell you! In the social media world we live in you are no longer limited to associating only with the few random gems of authors living in close proximity to you. With the internet, quite literally, the WORLD is now your playground. You can create a following, a readership, of other authors, indie writers, and more who get your style just by reading your blog. Moreover, every blog post you do has the potential to draw in even more people. You read their' blogs, they read yours. Iron sharpens Iron my friends and the blog is a GREAT way to attract your kind of crazy and then IMPROVE as a writer.
SO GO ..... FIND YOUR TRIBE!
YOU TOOT YOUR OWN HORN<<<------
Now that you see the value, creatively, in a blog....allow me to enlighting you further still. Even if you are an amazing writer; like Stephen King, JK Rowling, William Shakespeare, or Tom Clancy kind of good. No one will EVER know if no one EVER shows them your stuff. Now before you go and get all kerfuffled over the idea of slipping pieces of your masterpiece to the masses, SIMMER DOWN! I'm not about to suggest you leak your genius to the internet....but rather use the blog as a platform to FURTHER showcase your writing style. Are you a darkly twisted mystery novelist?
Then use your blog to pose short stories, random QnA, and write within intense alter egos. Is your style more the Adult Self-Help section? GREAT, write your book about a cooking style but use your blog to write up blogs on nutrition, food lists, etc. Infuse each blog with your unique STYLE of writing. Then, with a little self promotion (I'll get to that later), you can begin spreading the word of how awesome you are. What's more, your TRIBE (see, I told ya) will be so supportive of your work THEY will share your work around FOR YOU! Whereas before your only fan was the cat you occasionally DIDN'T forget to feed, you now have a private army of writing cheerleaders just waiting to share your work around. Your readership is now WAITING for your book to publish, sometimes even PRE-PURCHASING it before it launches. Did you win some minor award, BLOG on it. Did you obtain a new literary agent, BLOG on it. Your blog is your mouthpiece to the world all about the awesomeness of YOU. And THIS brings me to my best point.
YOU CONTROL THE NARRATIVE<<<------
It's tough to really put a good spin on every angle of your life, but boy is important to always try to
put your best foot forward. If a literary agent or publishing house decides to google your name, what will they find. A facebook page where you shared yesterdays overused Meme? Perhaps a Linked In Profile showcasing your "day job" career. All good, no judgement. But if you want to be found higher up on the search engines as a WRITER of merit, a BLOG is a great way to put that vibe out there to find. You control the voice, YOU control the message. You have ALL the power at your fingertips and for little to no money you can have a website up and running in a weekend. I know, I did it! No lie. I started out with WIX cause Wordpress made me feel dumb (don't judge, I'm a WRITER not a ROCKET SCIENTIST!). WIX was super easy, point and click, and DONE! I went from "hmmmm, I think I'm gonna make a website." to "LOCKED LOADED AND LIVE BABY!" in literally one weekend. I started Saturday after breakfast and by Sunday night I was uploading my first blog post. Now did I continue tweaking the looks after that, sure, but my initial web presence was there and beautiful and functional and I could just get moving.. I was putting my voice out into the ether and I was the one controlling the message. What I wanted to show, what I wanted people to see FIRST. If you are a writer hoping to one day be published I can't express enough how critical this can be for you. Do you want the lame meme's your weird brother posts on your facebook page to be what potential agents see when they google your name? No, I think not. So go....see WIX.....GET A BLOG!
STAY TUNED for the next article in this series.......
So that's it for now. My big three on why ALL writers NEED a good working, ACTIVE blog. I'll follow up soon with information on just HOW to get blogging (like simple ABC steps folks) and even ways to grow your traffic, but for now I encourage you all to JUST KEEP WRITING!
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