For those starting out in self-publishing, it seems that the only way to get an audience to promote your books to is to blog. You hear some authors who blog and seem to have great success with it and you figure it can’t be that hard. You think, “Maybe I should take up blogging to help build an audience before I publish?” The short answer is you shouldn’t. There’s a but in there, which I’ll explain.
Blogging is hard. It doesn’t look like it, but you’re essentially writing a book 500 words at a time every day for the rest of your life. This is on top of the product you’re trying to sell: your book.
Bloggers who are successful have put in the time to make it successful. Your time should be going in to making your book successful because that’s what is going to make you money.
Not only that, but blogs aren’t nearly as popular as they used to be. Good, informational blogs, that is. Tumblr blogs and sites like Buzzfeed are brain junk food. You could start a Tumblr blog and fill it with funny things, but that’s not going to help you sell books. It’s going to get you blog followers. They’re two different people.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start a blog. It just means you shouldn’t expect anything from your blog. I’ll give you a personal for instance:
I started this blog because I had something to say. I wanted to share my publishing journey with whoever wanted to read it. Let me tell you, I’ve been blogging for two years and while my page visits have increased, I don’t think I’ve sold a single book because of it.
Let’s look at my content. It’s geared toward other authors and focused on the publishing industry, more specifically independent publishing. General readers aren’t going to care to read my blog.
I’m okay with that.
Not only is this blog a resource for other indies, it’s also like my personal publishing journal. I can organize my thoughts by writing them out. It helps keep me in line.
What I did do to try to get books sales from this blog was put together the posts from my first year in publishing into a book. But still, the purpose of this blog isn’t to sell books, I simply refer you to my nonfiction book for further detail and reflection on the topics I cover on this blog. As far as my fiction is concerned, this blog drives zero people to my books about witches.
If you’ve got something to say, say it. But keep your expectations low. If you find you’re spending more time and effort into fixing up your blog and less on your books, maybe you should change course. Unless books are no longer your passion. You decide. You might like blogging better. For the general author who wants to write fiction, I’d say keep your words to your books.