View Full Version : I need a little Blog 101: Why promote a blog?

09-14-2006, 10:32 PM
Hi expert bloggers.

I don't have a blog yet, because I would like to understand a few things about them first.

One question I hoped you all could answer for me is why promote a blog? I've learned two reasons: 1) the blog is a means to becoming recognized as an expert in a particular field, therefore the more hits, the more recognition; and 2) making money by having people clicking on ads at the blog-site (is this called "affiliate links"?)

But I think there may be other reasons, and I'd like to know what they are - in terms of writers keeping a blog. For instance, I wonder if posting your writing for free on a blog helps or hurts the possibility of having an editor want the material. Would they think of it as paying you for something you're giving away for free to others?

Any help understanding this is greatly appreciated! (whoops! passive voice. bad, bad me. :o ) I LoVe those smileys.


09-14-2006, 10:38 PM
With very very few exceptions, (mostly in geek publications and smut), having a blog isn't going to attract an editor or an agent to you. They don't have time to read all the stuff that's sent to them; they're not likely to go looking for more.

If you're a writer with published books, or books in press, a blog is a useful way of providing information to current and future readers. It's not crucial and it may be more trouble than it's worth.

But the casual, almost free-writing, style of most blogs can serve as a warm-up excercise for the "real" writing. Just don't let blogging stop you from your more important writing, if in fact you have more important writing . . . the blog may be your "primary" publication.

L M Ashton
09-15-2006, 07:46 AM
Don't count on making much money from adsense or affiliate links. Most people I know are lucky to make enough to cover the cost of a couple of coffees a month.

Having a blog or other site with a lot of traffic can mean increased sales when a book does get published, so it's a part of your platform.

Sorry, still have a headache, so not enirely coherent and such today. I'll add more later.

09-15-2006, 07:59 AM
Having a blog or other site with a lot of traffic can mean increased sales when a book does get published, so it's a part of your platform.

This is exactly why I created my blog -- to build up a bit of an audience and to get my name out there. My book is nowhere near being published, but I'm hoping that, by the time it does come out, I'll be able to use my blog to generate interest and boost sales.

09-15-2006, 05:40 PM
That's one reason many of us blog - just to get our names out there. I certainly hold no illusion that someone will see my blog and offer me a book deal. Heck no. OTOH, since I do a lot of freelance work, my blog shows that I can construct a coherent sentence - at least after I've had my coffee! ;-) (Clearly, I need more coffee this morning!)

09-17-2006, 03:10 AM
Okay, thanks all. I think I'm getting a clearer picture.

I was reading a thread about ways to get others to link to your blog and how to attract readers by other various means. For a commercial venture - be it book promotion or bagel-making - I can understand clamoring for a readership.

But I can also see now that building up a readership can be valuable even before you have something to promote.

Plus there's that "They like me! They really like me!" factor, I guess. That's understandable too. :)

L M Ashton
09-17-2006, 05:20 AM
*laughs* Yeah, the ego factor helps, too. :)

09-17-2006, 07:31 PM
Okay, in case anyone is looking for a lively discussion on this topic, I just discovered it in another thread!

I'm sorry for starting this one when that one was already going. It is labelled "What is your Technorati rank." I had no idea what Technorati was - nor that the conversation would veer off into whether blog-rankings will net any real profit.

So, again I apologize for the redundant thread. This is where you go to find out more than you ever wanted to know about it: :)



09-20-2006, 08:35 PM
Why promote a blog?

To get readers. If you are just planning to blog so that friends and family can see what's up then there is no real reason to promote it. If you are blogging to put something out there that "others" can read, then the only way you are going to get those "others" is to do (at least a little) promoting.

A second reason to promote your blog is revenue. If you plan on using advertisements on your blog to either help pay for web hosting or provide a small revenue stream you will need to have a fair amount of hits on your site to even so much as pay for hosting.

Why should a writer promote their blog?

If you plan on becoming published, and you are blogging about something that "others" might want to read, not promoting your blog is missing a good oppurtunity. People buy more Stephen King books now than when he put his first book out for one simple reason: Name recognition. People knew who he is. If you promote your blog to even marginal success you will have an (albiet perhaps small) number of repeat users that are interested in your writing, and thus you have some people who might be interested in buying your book. (Obviously, the more popular your blog is the bigger this audience base will be.)

Why might it be a good thing to tell an agent/publisher about your blog?

They probably aren't going to go read it, and unless you are one of the extremely popular blogs you aren't likely to have an agent hunt you down. But, in my most recent query letters to agents I am definately mentioning my blog for one reason: Writing a blog and promoting it gains a writer some experience in how to market their writing. And that's pretty much what I say in my query letter. I don't even think giving the blog's address is needed.

It is certainly not going to hurt a writer's chances to mention that they have a blog in a letter to an agent/editor/publisher. Or, if it does, that same person is likely to be turned off because you used too many words with the letter 'a' in it in your manuscript. (i.e. it is a very silly thing to be nitpicky about considering the immense popularity of blogs these days and considering that writer's write and blogs are writings.)

And, while it isn't going to make them want to sign you (only your manuscript can do that), it can be a positive note in the bio section of your query letter.

Anyway -- all of this is just my opinion of course -- but those are my thoughts on the subject.