fcmalby

writing

Is Blogging Worth the Time and Effort?

30 Comments

blogging

I have just received a second ‘Sunshine Award’ for my blog. Thank you to fminuzzi and to KirkyKoo for the earlier award. Both are much appreciated. It made me think about the naysayers who tell you that blogging is not worth the time and effort, especially if you write fiction. The argument goes that if you write non-fiction it is important to write about your topic and to build a following but that if you are writing fiction you are wasting your time, especially if you decide to write about the craft of writing itself.

Well, I beg to differ.

Firstly, I don’t just blog to build a following, to increase my social media platform, or to sell books or to raise my profile as a writer. These are words you’ll hear media savvy writers using but I’m not keen on them.

And here’s the thing…I blog because I love to write.

I love to write short stories, I love writing novels (despite the frustrations and the hours involved in creating carefully crafted sentences) and I really enjoy writing blog posts. My blog is an outlet for the hundreds of ideas that are sparked as I speak to people, or read other posts, or hear something that I want to comment on in more than just a thread.

Here’s the other thing (never use the word, ‘thing.’ It’s as good as using, ‘like,’ ‘just,’ or ‘somewhat.’ Don’t use those words)…

I blog because I like to connect with people, to link to articles and to provoke discussion.

I really appreciate the comments and feedback. Some of the suggestions from blog readers have been really helpful to me. I enjoy the engagement with you, my blog readers, and I appreciate the range of ideas. It is important to me that you are enjoying the posts and finding a nugget of useful new information.

Of all the social media sites (and there are many, too many to keep up with to any great extent) blogging is my favourite for it’s sheer freedom and for the more personal interaction with people. Anyone else with me on this?

Here’s the other thing… blogging gives you a blank canvas that (don’t use the word ‘that’ either) is shorter than a novel but long enough to express an idea succinctly, adding images, links and graphics if you wish.

I enjoy posts with images, videos, book trailers, statistics and links to other useful posts, either on the same blog or elsewhere on the web. Blogging is a great way to raise the profile of other bloggers, to share interviews or book reviews, to encourage others and to share useful information. I have purchased several books recently, purely because they have been mentioned on the blogs of people who I like and trust.

I read blogs written by book reviewers, publishing houses, photographers, travellers, self-published authors, marketing experts (despite their use of terms such as ‘platform,’ or ‘sales’). There is a huge range of topics. Some are highly specific, others are more general, but if you took blogging away from me there would be a dimension missing.

There are those who would argue that blogging takes up valuable writing time. Really? What do you do when you are not writing? Watch TV? Read? Go out? Well, I have an evening of writing ahead of me just because I am on a roll and because I have the time, but I wanted to write this post FIRST to say that blogging IS absolutely worth the time and effort. It is worth it because (and I run the risk of beginning to sound like a l’Oreal advert here) I enjoy the writing and because I learn so much from others.

Please, don’t let anyone stop you blogging if you enjoy it.  

Here is a list of brilliant blogs which I read regularly. They are by no means exhaustive, I do read many more, and blogs are about sharing so here you are:

Authors:

Mystery Writing is Murder

Marianne Wheelaghan

Tom Gething

Aliventures

Anne R. Allen’s Blog

Rebecca Bradley

Short story authors and links to journals/competitions:

Paul McVeigh

Tania Hershman

Book bloggers and author interviews:

Pam Reader

A Little Blog of Books and Other Stuff

Therapy Through Tolstoy

Strange Alliances

Literary agents:

Books and Such

Carly Watters

Industry news and general interest:

Brain Pickings

Writer Unboxed

Jane Friedman

Do drop by and let me know if you blog and what your gain from blogging, or add to the list of good blogs to share.

And have a lovely weekend.

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Author: fcmalby

Award winning novelist and short story author. Debut novel, Take Me to the Castle, winner of The People's Book Awards 2013. Short fiction published in various online journals and anthologies. Hearing Voices (Kingston University Press, Summer 2015). Unthology 8 (Unthank Books, Nov 2015). www.fcmalby.com

30 thoughts on “Is Blogging Worth the Time and Effort?

  1. I have been blogging for years, because I just love to write and share stories. But recently I published an article on LinkedIn and I have to say I was a bit stoked to see how many more people saw my writing there than I ever had on my blog, which people generally would have to stumble upon. I write to share. So, I want to be where the eyes are. I have been thinking about not really bothering with the blog and just working on established outlets like LinkedIn or Psychology Today or Lifehacker or Forbes, (If I can be accepted by them). I wonder if blogging on my own blog, where it really is not seen by anybody, is worth the effort. The goal of a story is to share it. I also wonder if there are other good outlets to write for.

    • I think you need to go with what you feel is right. If you feel you can publish work with magazines, that’s great. I wish you all the best with your blogging.

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  5. On Facebook, a group I’m in having been having a discussion about if blogging is worth the effort. Most of the people in the discussion are indie writers, and I think they expected that people would find their blog and immediately buy the books, which hasn’t happened. Instead, we’ve all pretty much watched as people wander away from apparent lack of interest. So some of the writers have been questioning if it’s worth it.

    One of the problems is that, despite all we hear, it is darn hard for a fiction writer to establish a platform. I’m a fantasy writer. What’s my platform? Unicorns?

    So I essentially threw platform out a few months ago and started blogging for two purposes: 1) To produce writing on a regular basis, 2) and to get my name out there. Curiously, since I threw platform away, the blog has been getting more interest. I also know I’m enjoying writing the posts more than when I was trying to write to platform.

    • I think it’s a mistake to blog, or to use any form of social media, just to sell your work. It has to be about building relationships and writing and communicating for the love of it. If somebody wants to read your work as a result of your blog posts or any other writing, that’s wonderful but it should never be your main aim. People don’t appreciate being sold to, they want to communicate and to share ideas. People who love blogging will keep going. It’s interesting that you have seen more interaction now that you are not focusing so much on sales. Good luck with it all and thanks for commenting.

  6. Congratulations on your award. I am researching writers blogs for inspiration to begin mine again. I would love to blog. In Jan 2013, I began a blog but gave up as it did not feel right. Now I have finished my degree I need to try again. Your blog about blogging will spur me on. And I will check out your list of good blogs. Thankyou.

    • Best of luck with it all. Blogging is not for everyone but I find it really good writing outlet and a great way of connecting with people.

  7. Congratulations! Also, thank you for the mention 🙂 During the last year of writing my blog I’ve gained so much, and I certainly agree that it’s worth the time and effort. I’ve found that my blog has allowed me to improve my writing, but also to connect with others and learn more about areas I’m interested in. I’d definitely recommend it to others! Best wishes.

    • I can see from your blog that you have enjoyed it. Your insights are always enlightening and I enjoy your posts. Thanks for the congrats.

  8. Congratulations on your award. I have been thinking about this very topic for quite a while and have decided to dip my toe in to the blogging pool. As a writer and artist with disabilities I do think that I’ve got things to say, but I was worried that it would take up too much of my time. However, working alone and not connecting with others can be a lonely experience and that is why I’ve decided on doing a blog. I’ve also enjoyed reading your blog and Marianne Wheelaghan’s blog. Marianne was kind enough to let me do two guest posts which has helped me make up my mind. My problem is I’m not technically minded at all. So need someone to give me a bit of help in setting the actual blog up in the first place! Great post! Congratulations again!

    • Thank you, Ruth. I enjoyed your posts on Marianne’s blog and would be more than happy for you to write a guest post for this one if you would like to. I would be happy to help you set up a blog. It’s less complicated than you would expect. Thanks for your comments.

      • I would say yes to both those things – thank you! I tried to set one up on WordPress but then found I couldn’t add artwork or newer items etc. I really want something easy to manage and looks ok. Do you think you could help me with that? As for a guest post, I would love to, so thanks, and more thanks!!

      • Look forward to helping on Mon and I’ll email you about a guest post. Thanks, Ruth.

  9. Brilliant heartfelt post, Fiona, and yes to all the things you said, especially that thing – yikes, that’s twice now i’ve said ‘that’ and ‘thing’ 😉 – about the blogging community. I find writing a lonely business and it can be easy to get disheartened, but being part of a positive supportive writing and reading community really makes a difference, whether its for the writerly advice, the up-to-date information, sharing ideas or the general chat. Like Pam, I look forward to checking out the blogs on your list I don’t know. And a big thanks for the lovely mention 🙂

    • Pleasure! I agree that a writer’s life can be really isolating and, as we’ve said before, the online community is a great support and source of ideas and inspiration 🙂

  10. thanks for the encouragement. I love my two blogs
    Two different purposes and styles – both help my writing a great deal 🙂

    • It’s good to separate topics into different blogs. Glad to hear you are enjoying blogging and I look forward to seeing what you’re up to.

  11. Yes, yes, yes! I love blogging because I love writing, and unlike books, which come out months and sometimes years after you finished the MS and moved on to other projects, with blogging you get instant reader feedback. You can write about whatever interests you – in my case, the psychology of creativity and dreams – and attract readers who are interested in the same things. Plus you get to give each other lovely awards. Congrats on yours!

    • The time delay is a real issue. The immediacy of blogging I think is, in part, what makes the form so popular. Reader feedback is important and the communication in the comments is really good. The psychology of creativity and dreams is really interesting. Many thanks, Jenny.

  12. Congrats on the award. And thanks for being so passionate about blogging. I enjoy your posts and love tweeting or sharing them in my Saturday round ups. I think this is a classic example of there being no single answer for everyone. I think what Jane Friedman and others are saying is more along the lines of “don’t force yourself to blog unless you want to, and that’s a very different message than the one that was being tossed around a few years back. Times change, but passion will always find an audience!

    • Thank you and thanks for sharing the posts. I agree that there is no single answer and Jane Friedman is always wise in her posts. There is rarely a right or a wrong way and I think that if you are passionate about something, as you say, there is always an audience.

  13. Congrats on the award. I love this post and how passionate you are about blogging. I recently began writing and I really enjoy it. The community is great and very supportive. Thanks for sharing and best of luck with everything.

    • Thank you. I do really enjoy blogging and an increasing number of articles I have read recently, which suggest that blogging is a waste of time for writers, prompted this post. It is a very supportive community and I have learnt so much from others.

  14. Wow, congratulations on your Sunshine award and thank you so much for the mention. I love blogging too, for many of the reasons that you have stated. Blogging regularly can help you hone your writing skills and it’s a great way to connect with others who write for the sheer love of it, in a generous, supportive environment. There are a few blogs in your list that I haven’t checked out yet but I will do now, thank you for that!

    • Thank you. I agree with what you say about honing your skills. Although blogging is a different style of writing, it really helps to free your words and thoughts. Connecting with other writers is a wonderful bonus of blogging it certainly is a generous group of people. Hope the list is helpful and thanks for popping by, Pam.

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