Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Blogs - What Are They Good For?

by Mindy McGinnis

And I apologize to everyone who now has Edwin Starr stuck in their heads. I also apologize to Edwin Starr for yet another horrific Edwin Starr ripoff.

But to answer the question - what are blogs good for? Hell, I don't know.

Not only do I post six days a week on my personal blog - Writer, Writer, Pants On Fire - but I also contribute to six group blogs. Yes six. Our own From the Write Angle, as well as Book PregnantFriday the ThirteenersThe Lucky 13sClass of 2k13 and The League of Extraordinary Writers. Last fall I had the experience of having an aspiring writer who doesn't blog say to me, "You're using all your time for blogging and not actually writing."

Which is kind of funny, really, since she has absolutely no idea how much time I spend (or don't spend) writing. 

I blog because I like to. I think that's the step that a lot of people are missing. I read a lot about blog burnout (it happens) as well as the burning question of whether blogs are a form of social media that actually help to sell our books.

But here's the thing - even if you could tell me for a fact that blogging will sell ZERO copies of NOT A DROP TO DRINK, I'd probably keep doing it anyway. There are more than enough words rattling around inside my skull to fill up monthly posts on group blogs, daily posts on Writer, Writer, plus a couple of short stories and at least one novel a year. 

People ask me fairly often what my secret is. How do I find the time to do all this blogging?

I don't find the time - I make it. I make it the way anyone with hobbies makes the time to read, scrapbook, knit, or play the piano. My secret is that I actually like to do this.

But I won't mind if you buy my book, either. 

If you're thinking about jumping into the blogging world, or would like to revitalize your blog and / or your love for it, check out some of these articles below.

Do Authors Need A Blog? - Irene Watson
Do Author Blogs Sell Books? - Nathan Bransford
Does Blogging Really Help Sell Books? - Jody Hedlund
Mindy McGinnis is a YA author and librarian. Her debut, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, is a post-apocalyptic survival tale set in a world where freshwater is almost non-existent, available from Katherine Tegen / Harper Collins September 24, 2013. She blogs at Writer, Writer Pants on Fire and contributes to the group blogs Book PregnantFriday the ThirteenersFrom the Write AngleThe Class of 2k13The Lucky 13s & The League of Extraordinary Writers. You can also find her on TwitterTumblr & Facebook.


JeffO said...

I think the 'liking it' part is the key to the whole thing. Does it help sell books? I figure that unless you commit such a grievous sin in your blog that no one wants to have anything to do with you, it can only help, not hurt. There are many other benefits to blogging, such as the connections and potential friends you can make, plus the act of crafting posts can improve your writing.

Charmaine Clancy said...

I think without blogging, I wouldn't have written a thing. Bloggers keep me motivated, informed and challenge me with my writing.

I love it, blogging is my favourite form of social media :)

Matt Sinclair said...

And I remember when you wanted nothing to do with blogging ;-)

Mindy McGinnis said...

Jeff - yes, the liking is the biggest thing. I think it's a good general rule!

Charmaine - It's a relief to hear that you enjoy blogging, and like reading them. I hear a lot of people saying that blogs are dying, that everyone wants smaller, more digestible forms of social media like Tumblr or Twitter. They serve their purposes, but for blogging, I'll take long form, please.

Matt - What a polite, "I told you so." ;)

Gina Gao said...

Blogging helps me stay motivated. I love blogging and see my followers as my support group.

Kelsey Beach said...

I don't have a blog, but I do have a list of potential blog entries for if/when I decide to start one. Bloggers sometimes worry about running out of things to say. If you jot down potential topics whenever you think of them, you can pull from your list if ever you're struggling for something to say.