Wednesday, March 23, 2016

To Blog or Not to Blog - #MicroWorkshop 1

Greetings and welcome to the first installment of my Maddie James' MicroWorkshops. I call them that because seriously, these are teeny, tiny, little workshops wrapped up in a blog post. Basically, I'll be offering a short article about a subject relevant to the writer's world, which can include writing/craft, marketing, publishing, and more. Often they are geared to the beginner, but some may be more advanced. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged! Topics come generally from questions I've been asked. I will consider requested topics.

So let's get started... The first few topics will be about, eh, guess what? Blogging.


MicroWorkshop #1 - To Blog or Not to Blog

OMG! That was my question!
To blog or not to blog, is often the question. Authors are sometimes told, “You must blog.” And so, you set up a blog, and you post, and no one comes. What good is the blog then?

Blogging can be beneficial to authors in many ways. It can help make your website fresh and current. New content triggers new visitors, and new visitors often push your blog/website higher in search engines. It doesn’t happen overnight, so remember that baby blogs have to grow over time—just like your writing career.

Blogging can also keep you in the writing game -- giving you an excuse to keep up the habit of daily writing. Blog posts don't have to be super long. In fact, it's okay if they are super short. Just make them work for you, and write!

But sometimes having your own blog is not the best thing for you. You're not really into it, and it's not your thing. That's okay. Maybe you don’t want to waste words on a blog everyday—you need to be writing that book! In that case, try out a group blog. This is where several authors together “own” a blog, and each author is responsible for one or two posts a month. Keep in mind that with group blogs, you share in the other work, too, like helping design the site, keeping content current, uploading sidebar items, and so forth. It is a group effort, so expect to do your part. Be sure that on the group blog, there are opportunities for everyone to link back to their own websites, so that visitors to this group blog, know where they can find out more information about the blog authors.

How ever you decide to blog, whether on your own or in a group, be consistent. Don’t drop the ball, especially on a group blog. Everyone counts on everyone else to deliver.

Summing it up. Blogging can be an asset to you, the author. It keeps your website fresh. Fresh content can help search engines find you. If you don’t want to blog on your site, perhaps seek out a group blog. Make sure to link back to your site. And always be consistent.

Here are two examples of group blogs that I contribute to, if you want to check them out:

Gems in the Attic
Wild & Wicked Cowboys

Some future topics in this #microworkshop series about blogging:

Guest blogging
Commenting on blogs
Content for blogs
Choosing blog titles
Basic blog set-up
And more....

And last, what are your questions about blogging? I'd love to know.

Writing for over thirty years, Maddie James has been published in romance fiction since 1997 with 40 novels/novellas published to date. She has dipped her toes into more than one facet of the publishing business, having owned her own small publishing house. A traditionally published author turned indie, she also likes to fool around a little with cover design.

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