5 Myth-Busting Reasons Why Blogging Is The Bomb by Molly Greene

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I love working with Molly Greene. Molly is an expert, guru and the Queen of professional blogging. Her book Blog It! earned a 5 star review ( http://bit.ly/12941kH ) from me for its conciseness and quality of information provided for its readers at a really nice cost for the author or new business owner on a serious subject.

 

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5 Myth-Busting Reasons Why Blogging Is The Bomb

 

MollyGreene.headshotAfter years of insisting a blog is a “must-have,” lately industry experts are speaking out against it as a standard for every author. I disagree. Sort of. Because although I don’t believe blogging is necessary across the board, the majority of authors will reap huge benefits from maintaining one, if they have a plan.

 

Unfortunately, the slew of so-called rules defining the “right” way to blog can be a major obstacle. Potential bloggers read these myths and decide it’s too much work and blogging isn’t for them. Although best practices do exist, there is no right way to blog. What works for one may not work for another. The myth-busting counterpoints below demonstrate what I’ve gained from blogging, and what a blog can do for you.

 

Myth #1: Blogging takes too much time.

Counterpoint: If you look at blogging as a stand-alone activity, this statement may be true. However, when blogging is viewed as one important tool in a well-appointed toolbox, the perspective changes. Yes, it takes time, but you can be well rewarded for your efforts. A blog can …

1.      Improve your writing, both fiction and non-fiction. Over time, writing weekly blog posts helped me become a better, faster, more confident blog post writer. That translated into being a better, faster, more confident and well-rounded writer overall. Writing blog posts has improved my fiction.
2.      Help you build a community of colleagues, supporters, and readers. You’ll meet readers, authors, and other bloggers as you write, publish, promote your blog, and invite guest bloggers to set up shop on your website. As you connect, this group will support you, educate you, and help you promote your blog and your books. And vice versa.
3.      You’ll learn all about the online world. Your blog can help you learn about social media, blog promotion, and website development on a small scale at your own pace, as you build your blog and learn how to distribute posts via social media platforms.
4.      Help you write a non-fiction book or two. That’s right. Even authors of fiction have areas of non-fiction expertise they can explore on their author blogs. Start with real-world topics you include in your novels. Plan a series of posts and morph those posts into an e-book to sell or give away. (Traditional publishers may frown on this, so check first.)
5.      Flex your creative muscle. Before I started blogging in 2011, I felt I didn’t have much to say. I literally did not know what to blog about. Since then, I’ve learned to approach it creatively. Everything I think, do, and learn has the potential to become a blog post with the right spin – maybe even ultimately a part of another book. If you need writing prompts, check out my post, 101 Fabulous Blog Topic Ideas. LINK: http://is.gd/QhhLrd 

Myth #2: Blogging is a fad. Blogging is dead!

Counterpoint: As a marketing tool, blogging has proven more than effective for many businesses. And you’re in the business of writing and selling books, correct?

 

Consistently adding good content via a well-written blog remains one of the best ways to attract traffic to a website. While on your site, visitors see that you have books for sale. That’s the point, along with encouraging those visitors to subscribe to your email list so you have the chance to notify them – without being aggressive – when you launch new titles.

 

According to online marketer HubSpot’s 2012 Marketing Benchmarks report, businesses that post new blog content even once or twice a month get much more traffic than those that don’t blog at all. Every post forges another path to your site. Attracting readers is one of the best reasons to blog.

 

Myth #3: If you haven’t started blogging by now, it’s too late.

Counterpoint: I’ve heard the argument that gazillions of great blogs exist and a new blogger can’t compete, and if you start a blog now, your voice will be lost among the millions already on the Internet.

 

Poooey. Not if you’re determined and persistent. Not if you have staying power.

 

Just as there are millions of books and authors you must go head-to-head with, your unique voice and interesting approach can stand out in the crowd of bloggers. Fact, not fiction: Even in a competitive blogosphere, you can attract attention and produce results.

 

Myth #4: Post length and publishing frequency rules are too demanding, and the commitment will make you crazy!

Counterpoint: Experts used to insist bloggers post a minimum of three times a week to be successful, but that myth is dead. I’ve proven it for myself on my own blog. Author Anne R. Allen calls it “slow blogging,” posting just once a week. Much more than that and eventually you’ll struggle to keep your quality high, or have a nervous breakdown and give up.

 

People are overwhelmed with info in their inboxes, and bloggers who over-share can drive them away. They’ll unsubscribe. So post less, be consistent about when you publish new posts, and make the content top-notch. It works.

 

As for article length, one argument says you should write short posts because online readers have no attention span, another debate says posts should be long. I say do what works for you. Deliver your thoughts as concisely as possible, and take as many words to do it as you need. My posts are typically 1000+ words, but I’m not opposed to shorter lengths if the topic calls for brevity. The goal is to be consistent, helpful, entertaining, inspiring, or educational, and not to wear your readers out.

 

Myth #5: Your time would be better spent writing for pay as a freelancer.

Counterpoint: Whoa-ho! I disagree wholeheartedly. Writing for others may put $$ in your pocket in the short term, but writing on your own blog can become a source of revenue if you have a plan. I blogged my book Blog It! into reality, and have now outlined two more nonfiction books I plan to blog into existence. I’ll continue to do this going forward. My posts have turned into a source of income. I’m building an annuity.

 

Readers, what’s the biggest blogging myth that either keeps you from blogging, or that you’ve proven wrong and wish would go away? Leave a comment and share!

 

Hello readers! I’m Molly Greene, a blogger, blogging coach, and author of Blog It! The author’s guide to building a successful online brand. My fiction debut, Mark of the Loon, is available at major online retailers, and my second novel, Rapunzel, will launch in December, 2013. I blog about life and self-publishing topics at Molly-Greene.com. Visit and subscribe! Need more ways to get in touch? Follow and Friend me on TwitterGoodreadsFacebookGoogle+

 

 

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Comments

  1. Oh, this is timely. As a fiction author, I think there are better ways to find eyeballs. Because once you’ve sold your book (assuming you don’t have multiple titles) you’re doing a lot of work to maintain a (much appreciated, smart, lovely, delightful, did I mention appreciated?) following. It’s like maintaining a billboard on a street where only your proven customers can drive by. No argument that all the benefits you listed (honing your writing skills) are true, but the ROI is higher, in my experience, from authentic engagement (not selling) on Twitter and Facebook. Thoughts?

    • Thanks, Lynne…

      In my humble opinion (and I hope Molly jumps in here too), I really love blogging because it allows a deeper connection than one gets with twitter and to some extent Facebook. One is much more visible with blogging too. It is easier to find the blog with SEO which isn’t present with FB or Twitter. On Facebook, your target audience must be on Facebook to find you. Numerous people are backing away from Facebook and even more aren’t on Twitter.

      I like to call Twitter/Facebook “snapshots”, while I call blogging a motion picture.

  2. Don’t know if I was clear. I meant I think blogging isn’t a great way to find new customers. And I have evidence: my blog is going nuts lately! But sales chugging along as normal or slightly slower.

    • I think as with any sales cycle, one has to look at are you simply in a low cycle (or temporary slump) and your blog moving and being as active as it is, is simply a way to keep the interest generated, so when you start to head into an upswing again you will see an uptick again in sales.

      Being in the business development arena for over a decade a “slump” was as expected as the sun coming up in the morning. That is when we did a whole lot of housecleaning so that when the upswing came we weren’t running around like chickens with our heads cut off.

  3. The deeper connection is wonderful, but I’m talking about actual sales. And as for Facebook, you don’t have to be a member to access an author’s Business Page (what they used to call Fan Page). But you do to comment.
    And my Alexa numbers are going thru the roof right now at the same time as a weird dip in sales. So purely for sales, I’m not seeing it. Wish you were right. I’d be rich.

  4. That’s encouraging, Naomi, thanks!

  5. Also, remember all of these are simply tools in your marketing “tool belt”. It isn’t that you rely only on one thing. That would be like only having a screwdriver in your toolbox and trying to use it when a hammer is needed. It is using a combination of tools. As to your numbers, that is very common in sales dips. Sales have natural cycles. If you were seeing everything decline, I would be concerned.

  6. Hi Lynne and Naomi! I agree Lynne, blogging does NOT sell books. And that’s not its purpose, really. What it does is make your name recognizable, builds a community that you “own” (not Facebook), delights Google (and we all know Google rules), and, over time, brings visitors to your blog so they can see what you have for sale. That said, it does take time to build traffic (and you have to work at it), and you should have your book covers front and center on the home page of your website.

    As I mentioned in the article, if you’re repurposing your blog posts, ROI goes through the roof because posts are moving other projects forward. Even so, blogging isn’t for everybody, but after two years of hard work, I am delighted that I spent time on Twitter and writing blog posts. Anne R. Allen agrees and has a great post about it here: How to Blog your Way out of the Slush Pile and onto the Bestseller List http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2013/08/social-media-secrets-part-ii-how-to.html

    On the other hand, if your book sales are high, why worry about a blog? And a disclosure/confession: I am not a Facebook fan (yes, I said it!).

    And thank you so much Naomi, for hosting me!

  7. Uh-oh…now I have to say that I disagree with both of you! I think that blogging allows the author or any small business develop a relationship with its followers. It is natural that people want to do business with those that they consider to be friends or have a positive impression of. A blog helps to accomplish that and that “relationship” helps to correlate to sales.

  8. Let me add that even Fortune 500 companies are including blogging in their marketing/social media platforms because they see the correlation between having that direct relationship with customers and customer satisfaction, which leads to customer loyalty.

  9. We’re saying the same thing. Yes, even big companies are blogging, and that’s why I agree that we should, too. But I will add that blogging is not a direct-sale tactic. It’s a value-added tactic. It builds credibility (which you’ve already said, Naomi). Sales will eventually come as a result, if the blogger puts in time and a community is successfully built.

    Holly Robinson said it beautifully here: Does Blogging Sell Books? Not Exactly, but Here’s Why You Should Do It Anyway http://www.huffingtonpost.com/holly-robinson/does-blogging-sell-books_b_2706943.html

    • Oh, that I agree with, but really if push comes to shove, no social media outlet can truly be said to lead to direct sales. SM is about the relationship building tactics that lead to a customer base. That is one of the key reasons why ROI is so difficult to determine on such marketing initiatives.

  10. Very true. And I’d rather build my own website than give the power to Facebook, which could change the rules or kick us off any day … and then where would we be? No platform, no community, no nothin’. Thanks for the great convo!

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