- Email me
- Nail Your Novel: books
- FAQ: I’m a new writer: which book should I read first?
- FREE Nail Your Novel Instant Fix: 100 Tips For Fascinating Characters
- My writing process: the picture tour
- Nail Your Novel: A Companion Workbook
- Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and how you can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence
- Reviews of Nail Your Novel
- Who’s tweeting about Nail Your Novel …
- Writing Characters Who’ll Keep Readers Captivated: Nail Your Novel
- Writing Plots With Drama, Depth & Heart: Nail Your Novel
- Who am I?
Posts Tagged why blogging is brilliant
How can authors use blogging and social media effectively? How should they get started? How much time does it take to build an audience? Will you like it?!
That’s what we’re talking about this episode.
A caveat! These shows are a few years old now. We recorded this episode in 2015. Some of the platforms might not be so fashionable or useful for authors now. On the other hand, Facebook and Twitter are still going strong and are still the main places I meet readers and writers I want to know better. And blogs? We must have been through several periods where everyone declared blogging was dead – but you are here and I am here and this is a blog and none of it is dead at all.
Moreover, social media have been the entire mechanism by which I built a career as a writer under my own name, without a publisher (in case you don’t know, I have a big secret career writing books under other names). The finer points might have changed – and might well change again. But the methods and principles will still be the same. So I’m hoping this show will still be a useful primer.
Asking the questions is independent bookseller Peter Snell. Answering them is me!
Stream from the widget below or go to our Mixcloud page and binge the whole lot.
PS If you’d like more concentrated writing advice, try my Nail Your Novel books. If you’re curious about my own creative writing, find novels here and my travel memoir here. And if you’re curious about what’s going on at my own writing desk, find my latest newsletter here and subscribe to future updates here.
audio, author-bloggers, authors and Twitter, blog mistakes, blogging about your book, blogging and publishing, blogging for authors, blogging for literary authors, blogging for novelists, blogging for writers, blogging schedule, facebook for literary authors, free podcast, free podcast for writers, how to do social media, how to use social media successfully, how to use Twitter, So You Want To Be A Writer, social media for authors, social media for writers, social networks, Twitter names, why blogging is brilliant, writers and social media
This time a decade ago, I was starting a blog.
I was rather surprised to be doing it.
I was not an online person. I did not tweet or Facebook. The internet hardly touched my daily life. I was fully and gainfully occupied without it. It might as well have been a separate and mythical dimension, like hyperspace.
But on a wet evening in February 2009, I was with a friend who had a worldwide reputation in his creative niche. He ran this thriving empire through the ether, from five well-visited blogs.
When he said ‘let’s make you a blog’, I said yes.
I was suspicious of the blog thing, because I am never an early adopter (see above) and also because I disliked the word ‘blog’. (Still do, if I think about it.) But I’d just come out of a mind-whirling experience (you’ll know this if you’ve read Not Quite Lost).
My blog helped complete the transformation.
Before the blog, I was an author in limbo. Skip this paragraph if you know my origin story, but in 2009 I’d just found an agent for my first novel. Before that, I’d ghostwritten novels for other people. Now I hoped I’d be published as me and start my proper career at last.
Alas, publishers wanted New Real Me to be like Old Ghostwriter Me because that was profitable. (Psst…. if you want to be like Ghostwriter Me, you might like my professional course )
And so I remained, both published and not; an author but not really – unless I denied my own creative drive.
That changed when I became a blogger.
- On my blog, I could be whoever I wanted, and I would decide who that was.
- On my blog, I did not have to wait for anybody’s permission.
- Once I had a blog, I had a place to invite people to, a room of my own, a gallery to say who I was. I could go to other blogs and chat – anyone’s I liked.
Through my blog, I made many friends. I grew confident in my own aesthetic judgement as a publisher. I gained the confidence to publish books on writing, my novels and to vary my genres because I could bring readers along on the journey. (Contemporary fiction, speculative fiction, travel diaries… what next? Whatever I like.)
Bloggers have a gung-ho have-a-go mentality.
Because of this, I discovered I could speak on podcasts without microscripting everything first. As I am a fanatical polisher and editor, speaking off the cuff was squarely in my discomfit zone. Eek! Spontaneity! But bloggers feel the fear and do it anyway. This became professional speaking and teaching gigs both in indie world and beyond. Which I discovered I rather enjoyed.
So this blogging anniversary is significant. A marker of big life changes.
Now in 2019, is blogging still as powerful for authors starting now?
Maybe, maybe not. We still need ways to gather readers and discover common ground, but I think much of this now happens in the speedy, flitty public spaces such as Twitter and Facebook. I think blogs are still read because subscriber numbers are still growing (thank you, guys!) but the commenting is no longer as fervent – if I look back at old posts I’m astonished to see hundreds of comments on one topic, which now seems inconceivable. I feel authors still need a website as a home base and a blog to show they’re alive, but the more settled communication now happens in email newsletters (psst … here’s mine).
(And is that a new book you see there? Indeed it is. Hop onto the link to find out, straight from the horse’s mouth.)
What do I expect in another ten years? I have no idea. I’m not a goal setter, except for individual projects where my goal is simply to finish them well.
I could never answer that question in job interviews. ‘Where do you see yourself in x years?’ A truthful answer would betray that I hoped to have graduated far beyond their job, doing something that was much more ME. Though I couldn’t have said for sure what that was.
Now, though, I’d say that in another x years I hope to be doing this, or something like it, and doing it better, and finding other related activities I can add around the edges.
I’ve found what I was looking for. Creative integrity, confidence and independence.
Which I think shows that 10 years of blogging has been a jolly good move.
Do you blog? How long have you blogged for? If you’ve been blogging for a while, have you noticed any general trends? What has it brought you?
- What is writing talent? A bookseller and author-publisher discuss. Ep 34 FREE podcast for writers June 5, 2020
- What is a holiday read? A bookseller and an author-publisher discuss. Ep 33 FREE podcast for writers June 2, 2020
- The book or the film? How storytelling differs in prose and live action. Ep 32 FREE podcast for writers May 29, 2020
- Devils for detail – dictionaries, grammar and editing considerations for authors. Ep 31 FREE podcast for writers May 26, 2020
- How to master back story – professional course at Jane Friedman May 25, 2020
- Your first pages – 5 more novel openings critiqued by a literary agent (and me!) at @Litopia May 24, 2020
- Live critique – Peter writes a story. Ep 30 FREE podcast for writers May 20, 2020