Time to start a blog?

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and promoting your book on the Internet

Time to start a blog?

Postby ladymarella » 19 Feb 2012, 17:21

So, when is the best time to start a blog???????????????????????????????

I am almost finished the first draft of my first novel; I am also trying to do some freelance article work and thinking of starting to enter some short story competition. Seeming I have now finished high school, now seems to be the time to begin to be thinking about "serious" professional writing.
So, would it be too early to start a blog, and if not, any advice on what hosting service, what to start putting up there. I know it takes a while to build blog traffic, so should i be starting early?
Currently composing a sprawling family saga set in 19th century England
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby Quill » 19 Feb 2012, 18:00

Do you actually want to blog? If not, why contemplate doing so? If so, what do you wish to blog about? To what purpose? Will you aim it at your readers (promotion) or other writers (networking)?
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby ladymarella » 19 Feb 2012, 22:45

Good questions Quill. I have been thinking about blogging for a while and it IS something I want to do. I'm just afraid of jumping into it a little prematurely.
The networking vs. promotion thing is interesting. I guess I'd be wanting to do a bit of both. And, what to blog about: probably a mixture of my writing, reading and history interests.
Currently composing a sprawling family saga set in 19th century England
The world may be divided into people that read, people that write, people that think, and fox-hunters.'- William Shenstone,
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby Falen » 20 Feb 2012, 11:14

If it's something you want to do, then go for it. There's no "starting too early" with blogging.
If you're looking to connect to the blogging writer community, then i'd recommend blogger since most everyone uses that and it's fairly straightforward and simple to use. But really, if you make friends, they're not going to care which hosting service you use so just go with whatever's easiest for you
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby Sommer Leigh » 20 Feb 2012, 11:44

Blogging is not a piece of the Professional Writing resume. Blogging is a personal decision and something you should do because you really want to, not because you think you need to. Blogging is time consuming and sometimes difficult, but it can also be very rewarding and a lot of fun if it's something you're actually passionate about.

It seems like your question is more like - should you blog if you've decided to persue writing as a career and the answer is, no. You don't have to blog to build toward writing as a career. You should only blog if it is something you really love doing.

And in that respect, you can start any time!

Spend plenty of time thinking about what sort of blog you want to run, what your content will be centered around, what sort of people you want as your audience. This will help you build your blog. Decide how often you want to blog and make a list of topics that covers 4 months. You don't have to use them all and you can change your mind along the way, but if you can't think of enough topics to fill in once, twice, three times, or five times a week for 4 months, you're going to have some trouble updating your blog reglarly. Then start researching the different platforms and services. They come in all shapes and sizes. Most are free, some are not. Figure out what you can afford right now and what you want to afford in the future.

Make a list of all the blogs you love to read and seem to be pretty successful. Figure out why they are successful and what you love about them. Put that information to good use for yourself.

Once you start your blog, if you can keep up a regular schedule of posts and you keep improving your content, you can expect to start gaining followers around the 6 month mark. It takes a lot of leg work on your part to find followers and bring them to your blog and lots of time and effort into giving great content. But it'll happen if it's something you really want.
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby ladymarella » 20 Feb 2012, 13:49

Thanks Sommer!!! Some really good stuff to think about there. I really do think it is something I want to do, just wondering about taking the plunge.

I'll sit on the idea for a week or so, make a list of topics and the such, see if the whole idea is viable, because I do think it would be a lot of fun. Have to see how it goes!
Currently composing a sprawling family saga set in 19th century England
The world may be divided into people that read, people that write, people that think, and fox-hunters.'- William Shenstone,
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby Ryan » 24 Feb 2012, 12:38

Think about it a little but not too much. Make it fun. Somer pretty much has it dialed in. Eventually if you'll probably want a pro-grade site for your future books but for now a blog is great for "publishing" whatever content your heart desires. I have a fishing/surfing blog that I love posting to and people have found my book through that blog. I also have a general writing blog for essays that I need to update but people have also found my book through that site. Then there is the book's site. Whew.....

Blogging in a traditional sense (posting very often) is hard but just do what you can have fun with it. Once you get some writing up, it makes easy to share and when you are down in the dumps it's nice to go back and see all your work. Good luck!
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby nielsencl » 25 Feb 2012, 19:25

For a writer, I think a blog should be mandatory. Something like requiring Lance Armstrong to own at least one bicycle.

Now it is true that a blog can be a ball and chain, if not a straight-jacket, so some care should be taken. But unless you are one of us who are not writers, it should be like a bird learning to fly. You may flutter around a little, but it was what you were born to do and there shouldn't be too much to think about.

Aside from just using it to show off, communicate with your public, and rant about how the old publishing industry can't die off fast enough to suit you, a blog can be an effective marketing tool that costs little, reaches many, and works to promote you and your stuff 24x7.

If you are not ready you can wait. But the sooner you start, the more content your blog will have and the more traffic it will get as time goes on.

Blogger is fine and I used to have 70 Blogger blogs at one point. WordPress is also good and since you mention hosting I would like to ENCOURAGE you to get a REAL domain name ($10 a year) and hosting account ($2 - $20 a month). I had to move away from Blogger about a year ago because of a policy change and after much research I decided to standardize on b2Evolution. I really like it and while it can be a little more confusing than Blogger, I feel it works as well as WordPress and is powerful enough to provide all I need.

I highly recommend getting a blog that permits you to post via email. Blogger does this and does it well. You just create an email for your blog post, send it, and bam! Your blog is updated.

I hope this helps. Good Luck!
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby writersink » 28 Feb 2012, 08:53

(How do you even get followers with a blog?)

Write a blog when you want to write a blog. (Yeah I know, I'm awesome at giving advice.)
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby macklinvinger » 25 Jun 2012, 23:07

Hello friends ,
I writing in my free a blog .this is great work to use in free time.
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby embox » 27 Jun 2012, 08:06

Traditional advice is that nonfiction writers should focus on platform first; fiction writers should secure their publishing deal first and worry about platform when you get there. But ... If you ask me, if you want to publish or create a platform to share your work with your tribe directly, now is the time to start a blog. I actually just wrote a post on this for Mystery Writing is Murder in which I explain why I'm platforming without even a completed manuscript: http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot. ... st-by.html

Hope it's helpful!
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby Shipple » 26 Jul 2012, 18:37

I've looked into this a lot, and it sounds like the earlier the better (I actually only just started my blog a few weeks ago).

But it is a really good idea to know where you want to go with your blog. I started one blog over a year ago that I just completely abandoned. I didn't know what I wanted to write about in it, who I wanted it to appeal to, or why I was writing it (other than the fact that I felt I should and wanted to do what I was supposed to do to start putting myself out there as a writer). You do need to WANT to write the blog (and it sounds like you do, so congrats).

One reason why you can never start too early: it will take time to build readership. Like I said, I just started my writing blog, and I've only had a few pageviews. I've posted once a week for about four weeks (I decided to start small so I don't get overwhelmed), and I think I've had like thirty page views and zero comments. But I'm not too surprised and I'm just going to keep plugging along. These things take time.

But if you want your readers to go out and buy your book, you need to get the readers first, and to have any real number, you should definitely start your blog soon.
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby Shipple » 27 Jul 2012, 05:51

Also, from one of the other posts in this Forum, I found out about Sommer's (see her response above) "School of Blogging" series of posts on all things to know about blogging. It's at http://sommerleigh.com/college-of-blogging.
"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." - J.K. Rowling (an awesome opening line)
Me: http://sarahhipple.blogspot.com/ and http://shipple.tumblr.com/
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Re: Time to start a blog?

Postby parker102 » 30 Aug 2012, 23:24

in my opinion it is never too late or too early to start a high risk merchant account blog or in fact do anything. post your links to your blog
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