Is A Writer's Blog For You?

If you know why other writers blog, you can make an informed choice about whether or not you should blog as a writer.

There are two kinds of blogs I'll talk about here -- the author's blog, the blog about writing or the blog about a writer's work, and blogs on other topics besides writing.

An Author's Blog

A writer creates a writing blog for one of four reasons -- or a combination of those reasons.

1. Blogging to build a community. This type of blog is a marketing strategy. Reader loyalty builds and bring increased sales. When readers feel they know a writer, they are more likely to buy that writer's books.

Sometitmes the writer tests ideas in the blog. Reader feedback allows the writer to target the market more effectively than if he wrote in isolation.

Sometimes a writer has writing products or services to sell. This is the case with my own blog. Although there is no direct line from most of my blog entries to paid editing work, the blog does provide readers and potential clients with insight about me that helps them to feel comfortable with me. When it comes time to choose an editor, it's probable that I'll be on the short list.

2. Blogging to showcase writing. Please, please, please understand that anything you write online showcases your writing. It's so easy to google a writer's name that potential publishers can do it without missing a beat. So no matter what you write online, make it good.

Writing a good blog shows any potential publisher that you can sustain a topic.

3. The blog as portfolio. I've come across sites that allow writers to publish their portfolios online in a blog format. The writers can then send potential publishers or clients to their page to view clips.

If this is your purpose in blogging, I suggest you create your own independent blog/portfolio, a place where people can't click easily from your portfolio to that of others.

4. Blogging to practice writing. Since the best way to become a better writer is to write, many beginning writers choose to practice by blogging. Creating and posting to a blog are relatively simply. The fact that the work will be public encourages some to do better work than they would if they were simply writing alone in a journal.

Topical Blogs

A topical blog could be about writing, but is most likely to be about another topic altogether. This is the sort of blog that I would call a self-publishing venue.

Here are reasons writers give for creating topical blogs.

1. Money. When word hit the street that bloggers could be paid to write, writers created blogs with money in mind. A few writers are paid to blog for someone else. Many more write a blog on a topic and count on advertising revenue to pay the bills.

2. Passion. Some writers write blogs simply to inform the world about a passion. Political blogs often fall into this category. Writers are like other people in that we care about a whole range of topics. Blogging gives an outlet in a public forum. The online world is a huge potential audience.

Coming soon -- articles on the pros and cons of blogging. Put Editor's Blog into your RSS feed to learn when new articles are posted here. (Don't worry if you don't know know how. Simple step-by-step instructions are provided.)