Today I want to take the time to itroduce a friend of mine that I had the pleasure of meeting on LinkedIn. Her name is Sharon D. Fiberesima, and she is an author, ghostwriter and blogger for the site http://www.fictionblueprints.com. Today she is doing me the honor of guest blogging for me, and its great to have her today.
Take it away Sharon!
As writers, it’s easy to think that blogging should come naturally to us; after all, blogging is writing, right? Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly), most writers have a hard time blogging. It’s not like we don’t know how to write, it’s more than that. There are many things involved when a writer decides to become a blogger. Some issues we face include:
– What do I write about?
– Do I blog about my writing or about me?
– If I blog about me, do I focus on just one thing or blog about everything
– I really don’t have time to blog, I’d rather be working on my book anyway
And it goes on, really.
Now I want to take a moment here to state that a writer does not need to have a blog. You really can do without one. You can spend your time writing instead and promoting your books. So what is this post about then?
Well, I’d like to share with you my experience with blogging; how it has helped me as a writer and what you can do to make it less painful and more successful, if you choose to go down that road.
How Blogging Has Changed My Life
I began blogging in 2008 (probably before that, really) and I’ve been through several transitions since then. Even though my current blog, Fiction Blueprints is only a year old, I have been through different stages in order to get to where I am now. I don’t have a large readership on my blog, but I have a minimum of 80 readers every day. Just the other day, I had 187 readers, and that’s not my highest.
Since I started blogging, I’ve learned the power of networking. This is very important and it doesn’t matter if you fit the archetypical writer; solo and introspective, you are still going to need a strong and powerful network if you want to be really successful as a writer.
I’m a ghostwriter and I write romantic fiction for people who run small publishing houses. However, last year I decided to try my hands at self-publishing; kindle publishing to be exact and I wrote and published a short novella. A week after it was approved, I signed up for the KDP Select Program and made my book free. Then I went round my network, the bloggers, and the social media connections I’d made mostly through blogging and let them know my book was out.
In two days, I had close to 2,000 downloads. At the end of five days of promotion (broken into two segments), I’d had over 5,000 downloads and over $100 in royalties. Now I know this isn’t very much, but this was less than a month after I’d published the book. I’m not sure it would have done that well if I didn’t already have a network.
By blogging regularly, my writing improved. There is something about writing for an audience, which is different from writing in your journal where your eyes are likely to be the only ones that get to read what you write. Actually, writing for an audience can make you freeze up so that your writing becomes wooden and your voice doesn’t come through, but I’ll address that later.
If you’re serious about overcoming the fear of people reading your stuff (and you’re a writer hey, so you’re probably very serious), then blogging each day will help you flow, which in turn will improve your writing. I found it easier to express my thoughts in a way my readers would understand. I have grown and matured as a writer.
Blogging helped me connect with readers in a way that would have been almost impossible without blogging. I’d been blogging for close to a year before I began to notice any real reader engagement. That didn’t just happen by the way, there were specific things I did to get readers to engage with my blog and I’ll share them later.
Slowly, but surely, people came to my blog, read the posts and commented. Then I noticed they came back and commented and then came back for some more. I was building a community on my blog! I got to know what they wanted to read (they told me); what they thought of my fiction; and how I could really help them. If you really want to get into your readers’ minds, a blog is a good way to do that.
Some issues you might have with blogging
I’ve chatted with lots of writers over time and I found out that the issues most writers have with blogging are recurring ones. Issues like:
– I don’t have time to blog
– What do I blog about
– No one reads my blog anyway
– How do I get people to comment
You might have other issues with blogging – I’m sure you probably do – so please feel free to leave a comment.
I’ll answer these issues briefly here.
I don’t have time to blog: If you think of blogging as writing long winded 2,000 plus words, then yes, you might not have the time to blog. But that’s not blogging. Well, yes it is, sometimes, but only if you want to blog that way. I have posts on my blog that come close to 2,000 words. But I have others that are just about 300 words. I know a popular blogger who posts inspirational quotes on her blog and that’s it for a blog post.
Blogging is about sharing your love and passion for the subject you’re blogging about, and passion can be conveyed in one sentence.
What do I blog about? It’s easy to want to blog about your life and your books and your writing and anything else that comes to mind. Cool down. While it’s okay to add bits of your life to your blogging, your blog needs to be about something. So if you’re a writer of Christian romance, put posts relating to that. You don’t have to blog about Christian romance all the time, but it should make up the bulk of your posts.
No one reads my blog: well, how many people’s blogs do you read? If you’re not out there reading other people’s stuff, how do you expect them to find you and read yours? Bloggers are avid readers and are always looking for new blogs to read. And when you think of the fact that a lot of readers have their own blogs, you’ll see the need to go out and find them.
How do I get people to comment? There are two things you need to do. First you need to ask for comments. Hmm…it probably didn’t cross your mind did it? It’s quite simple and straightforward (like how I asked you to let me know what your issues were). Just casually ask a question and let your reader answer it in the comments section.
Second, you should comment on other blogs too. You reap what you sow (unless you’re a politician), so you need to make out time to comment on other blogs.
Blogging can be hard work, but it doesn’t need to be tedious. And the benefits are more than the effort you put into it.
If you’re stuck for what to blog about or you want to learn how to put up personal posts without sacrificing your privacy, you need to sign up for the free instant download of 30+ Blog Post Ideas for Authors, brought to you by Sharon D. Fiberesima, author, ghostwriter and blogger. Get the free instant download here. (http://www.fictionblueprints.com/bpiw/)
Again I want to thank Sharon for sharing, and I am encouraging all my followers to give her blog a look see its a great site!
Until Inspiration Tuesday!