Sunday, February 28, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog

Hi Everyone,

This week the hot topic has been whether to blog or not. Much of the consensus is that blogging is a time suck. I’ve even had people tell me they don’t read e-books, and therefore wouldn’t buy my book regardless of whether they read my blog.

I usually spend anywhere from an hour to four hours a week on my blog by the time I write it, tweak it a few times, and then send out e-mail to friends, Yahoo loops, Twitter, Ning, MySpace, Facebook, etc.

So today, I’m going to ask my readers what they think. Do you think writing a blog is unnecessary? Would you buy my books without reading my posts? Have any of the people who read my blog ever read one of my stories? Does reading my blog convince you to buy my books?

Have a good week.

Sandy
http://www.skaymarshall.com
http://www.eirelander-publishing.com/addiction.htm/

34 comments:

Sandra Sookoo said...

Yes, blogging is a time suck. But, I like to blog. I think it's a great platform for an author to showcase their voice and style of writing, make a stand for things they believe in and get people talking.

Granted, some blogs I have no interest in whatsoever. And that's okay because it's a great big world.

Sometimes I think I'm talking to an empty void and no one comes. Maybe no one cares what I have to say, but there's always the chance I've reached out to one or two people who really need to read what I've written.

It's up to you. :-) Happy writing ;-)

Hales said...

I like to blog however I only blog once a month on my personal blog. I try to find a topic I think fits well with an issue s a new author or just something that Inspires me. I enjoy blogging for my week at Q andT though, so even if no one bought. I'd still blog for my peace of mind.

K.T. Bishop said...

Blogging is our air time and we need to do a lot to promote our books. We don't have the radio and television medium to ''pimp'' our books. I'm booked for at least six blogs this month to promote Curling Up. Oh, Sandy, by the way, can you add me to an interview....

Rebecca Royce said...

I would buy your books without reading your posts but I enjoy reading your posts regardless! It is a good way to get name recognition. I actually like blogging in a group. It means we have a constant blog going and we're all only responsible for one day without having to write every day. All in all, you should be writing more than blogging. So if you're spending too much writing the blog that your not writing--quit the blog. If you think the time crunch is okay, keep up the good work.

Anastasia Rabiyah said...

Blogging takes time, true, but so does writing, editing, posting to networking groups, organizing chats, editing, designing cover art and on and on.

I think the best advice to any blogger is to blog because you want to, not because you have to. Blog about things that matter to you, and for us authors that may not always be our books. There is life outside our characters despite what our spouses may think about that!

I enjoy gardening, keeping unusual pets, volunteering in events that make the world a little better, and so many other things.

Nevertheless, my blog has become more of a place for authors to hang out. I tend to write articles about writing or topics that go along with writing like promotion. Sometimes I'm random. Most times not. Does this sell my books? I seriously doubt it. Fantasy Romance is pretty niche. Erotic romance will sell itself in most cases if it's put before the target audience.

I don't consider myself a successful blogger, but I post on mine when I want to. I just reorganized it and cleaned out some outdated posts.

Maybe a good rule of thumb is to treat your blog as if you're writing for a magazine. Keep posts relevant, informative, make them teach rather than use them to advertise. Or if you must talk about your book, talk about why you wrote it, how it relates to your life, etc. When selling your book, you are also selling a part of your soul.

Dark, I know, but so true.

I always enjoy reading your blog posts, Sandy. I think part of success in blogging (other than making interesting posts) is to reach out to your target market. Get them to sign up as followers so that at least you know you have a potential audience watching.

Blogging is something you really have to love to make it worthwhile as a marketing tool.

Anastasia Rabiyah said...

Notice I mentioned editing twice. Haha.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Sandi. I think you're so right.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Hales. I guess I really want to know if people who read my blog buy my books.

Sandy said...

Thank you, K.T. Write to me privately about an interview.

Celia Yeary said...

SANDY--hi! I haven't heard form you in a long time. I love my blog, and I'll read just about anyone's blog. all Iknow is I've built a little base with a themed blog--Texas stuff. But I can whip out a blog in no time. The thinking part takes a while, but by that time I can write it and post it very quickly. Good luck with bunches of sales--Celia

April Ash said...

Keeping blogs interesting for readers is important. I also read blogs for people I know, or when topics are announced that seem interesting.
I don't blog as often as I should for my own blog. But, I blog once a week on another blog and we get great hits there.
Do blogs sell books? I don't think so, but your name will be out there and that's what is important.
Marianne/April

Christie Craig said...

Hi Sandy,

I look at blogging as PR. And like PR it is very hard to say how much it helps. That said I also think PR is more important when you first start up. I love blogging but if I ever find myself having to chose between making a deadline or blogging, the blogging will have to go.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Becca. I try to make my blogs interesting for readers rather than writers. I do enjoy doing it.

Sandy said...

Ana,

I liked your comment. I'm not sure if I'm actually using blogging as a promotional tool. It's more like I'm using it for people to know me. Maybe, I should write about my writing and why I choose to write the books I do.

Thanks, Ana.

Sandy said...

LOL Yes, Ana, I saw that you said editing twice. If only that was all the editing I had to do. Wink!

Sandy said...

Thank you, Celia. I like to blog, but it does take time.

Sandy said...

Thank you, April. Yes, I agree that it's hard to keep blogs interesting. I tend to write my blog for anyone and not just for writers.

Sandy said...

Hey, Christie, I agree with you that blogging would have to go in order to make a deadline. Even while doing edits it would have to go.

Thanks.

Desiree said...

Though I have never read one of your books I would still say go ahead and blog I do not read as many ebooks as I do other media forms but just finding this post makes me at least check out your work and see if I want to read it. Being a user of multiple social media myself I have found that blogging especially when connected to the other media really works in getting the word out so keep doing what your doing as long as someone is reading it.

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Hey Sandy

It's true that we're not sure how much of our efforst are really bearing fruit. This applies to blogging and promo too. I do know that presence is necessary, and in the online world, it is blogs and other social media that give us these avenues.

But I do agree on another thing - blog if you want to, not because you have to. When it becomes a chore, you better rethink it.

Hugs

robynl said...

I enjoy your blog very much Sandy as I do others. I really like blogging and reading what authors have to say.
But I do understand the time issue with authors. Blogs are just one other way to get to know an author and his/her works; for me anyway.

EmilyBryan said...

Hi Sandy,

I use my blog not only as a way to keep in touch with readers, but also as a writing warm-up each day. Getting words to flow from a writer's fingers is always good.

I know I should probably focus my blog on a niche topic, but I range all over the place with whatever tickles my imagination each day. Probably also accounts for the chatty flavor of my blog. I'm just sitting down with my coffee and talking to friends.

About controlling the time issue: I work on my blog from the time my DH leaves the condo until he instant messages that he's reached his office--usually 30-45 minutes. When he's at work, I have to hit the WIP too. And I don't blog on weekends, though I have been known to brainstorm topics then.

I enjoy your blog. Hope this helps you with your decision.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Desiree. I really appreciate your comment.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Z.

Really, I enjoy blogging, and I never have a problem coming up with a topic, or not very often. lol

Sandy said...

Thank you, RobynL.

I always enjoy your comments. I have felt like I have been getting to know you since you've been visiting my blog.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Emily. I blog all over the place, too. lol There are just so many things that I have an interest in. Smile.

Anonymous said...

I think the answer is probably yes, any advertising is good. What is it that professional sales people say, that a 5% success rate is a pretty good value?

Roy

Sandy said...

LOL Thank you, Roy. I never thought of it that way.

Paris said...

I think blogging to connect to your readers and let people get to know you as an author is important. It's kind of like watching an interview on television. Do they sell books, I don't know if they do but I think they do build reader recognition.

Would I buy your books if I didn't read your blog? Seriously, I rely on blogs to tell me when authors are having books released so the blog actually alerts me when you have a new one out. Sometimes I have my head down, concentrating on my own work and don't "get out much" on the internet but I always watch for the alerts on your blog.

Happy writing!

Sandy said...

Thanks a bunch, Paris. It's nice to know that someone watches for the alerts on my blog.

Judy said...

ah here it is. Found the commentbox. Yes. I totally agree with everyone. Blogging is time comsuming. Butlike a phone call or letter to friends, it is contact be it cyber contact with friends which is priceless today.I think sincerity shows here more than most things too and Sandy, you are a dear soul. Keep blogging.

Sandy said...

Smile. Thanks, Judy. I will.

Charisma Knight said...

Hi Sandy ~ It has been quite some time since I've visited anyone's blog I'm ashamed to say.

I will be honest Sandy, I have not read your books. They are on my list of "to buy" books. If I had all your books, I still probably would not get around to reading your blog. I guess with me, I could easily get sucked into jumping from blog to blog, then I would accomplish anything.

I think it is very important to have a blog to post your thoughts and feelings. There are readers there even if you think there arent. I post what is going on with me, my writing, books, WIPs, etc.

See, you have so many folks paying attention to your blog. You have close to 40 comments!

Take care.

CK

Sandy said...

Thank you, Charisma.

I agree it is hard to get to other blogs, and we only have so much time in a day. I try to.