How Important is a Blog

I am sitting here, trying hard to think of something to write about. It’s been another busy day and maybe I just need to sit back, relax and come back a little later. However, my writing schedule is packed into a fairly hectic family life, and so here I am. But do I need to blog? Could I not just continue to work on my novel.

The answer, I think, is both and neither. Yes, I need to work on my novel, but to do that I need to be in a certain frame of mind, and so a good old-fashioned – if something like blogging could possibly have gained the status of being old-fashioned – blog post is just what the doctor ordered.

This then got me thinking about blogging, and the role it plays in the grand scheme of things.

I enjoy blogging, whether I am just purging my mind… much like at this very moment, or if I have something useful and or (hopefully) interesting to say. However, what role does it play in my writing.

I cannot say for certain, but I do not think I have sold any books from my blog and have only seen a couple of links through to Amazon where it is sold. However, the numbers are probably a little higher than that.

I digress,

As writers, building a platform is key, it was one of the first things I remember reading about when I entered the world of blogging. Now, I don’t know how one gauges the size of a platform, nor the position of it. I would hate to have built mine facing the wrong direction.

A blog is a great place to start, a strong foundation which you can then build upon. That is how I see it at least. I have been going just over a year now, and have seen my stats increase every month. I have hit a sort of steady pace this year, and while the figures are not astronomical, they are consistent.

However, I have noticed that there is a big difference in my number of daily visitors on days when I post, compared to days when I don’t. I don’t mean a handful, but many multiples of ten. This fact sticks in my mind, and as a result, I feel that I am pressuring myself to write a post every day in order to keep my stats up.

I am not saying that this is detracting from my writing, but it does eat into my time to a certain extent, but I am more in a quandary over how much I should be pressuring myself to blog.

Is it necessary to post every day just for the sake of keeping stats high, or should I just blog about something when I have something specific to say?

What do you think? Are you sick of my random ramblings and wish I would keep my trap shut until I have something to say. Kind of like an If you can’t say anything nice kind of deal. Or do I entertain you enough with my random musings and brain farts to keep you coming back for more?

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9 thoughts on “How Important is a Blog

  1. Alex I think everyone gets something different from a blog. I am not a big fan of blogs that are like textbooks. “How to do this, how to do that” But a great many people like informative blogs. I enjoy reading short stories, poetry and essays but that’s me. I may be in the minority but that’s how I like my blogs and blogging.. I just started up my own blog and really all it is, is a bunch of rambling, poems and short stories I more or less see as outlines for other stories. But that what I like to do, the pressure of others looking in puts me in a different state of mind regardless if people are reading or not. The idea of at least one person seeing it helps me focus on the work more. Why doesn’t really matter, that it works however does matter. Do what you have to do just keep those fingers tapping.

    1. Thank you Tom. I agree with you when you say if but one person reads when I have to say then it was all worth while. Indeed, blogging does seem to help my writing in more ways than just platform building so maybe I will just keep on doing what I am. Although I will remove the pressure by posting when I feel the need to write. Not forcing an post, and not following a strict schedule. Apart from ROW80 that is. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I agree with Tom Poet. I enjoy blogging also-but only when I have something to say. I also have to be in the mood for it. I do it for myself because I feel like more of a writer when I’m actually writing, so I think if it helps with your creative process-go for it!

  3. Hi, Alex. I used to agonize over what to post. In the end, I spent all my free time dreaming up and writing the things that I had no time for visiting the blogs of others. Late last year I began posting once a week on Mondays. Now I have all week to stop by the posts of others. My hope is to drop by periodically enough that the folks come back to me. In the six to eight months that I have been doing this, my stats have risen dramatically. I get tons more comments and a heck of a lot more visits. And I have a lot less stress, trying to think of things to discuss.
    Good luck to you, Sir.

    -Jimmy

    1. That is very interesting Jimmy. I must admit I am a terrible blog reader. Maybe I need to start reading the blogs of others more often. That has given me something to think about, and rather ironically given me an idea for a blog post.
      Thanks for dropping by, your comments are always appreciated.

  4. Hi Alex – first and foremost don’t stop rambling! Posts like these are great fun to read and they always strike a cord with me.

    Secondly, you have been at the blogging grindstone far longer than me but I have noticed a couple of things from oggling my own stats and reading some very successful blogs on wordpress. From my own stats I know that my views always spike when I do a review and then tend to come down over the next couple of days. As I want the authors of my reviews to get the full benefit of the exposure I try to keep the review posts front and centre for 2 days before posting something new. So I’d imagine when you have a new short story up the same would apply – leave it there long enough for people to find it without having to browse through your categories etc.

    The thing I’ve learned from wildly successful blogs like Sweet Mother is that high quality, daily posts and replying to comments afterwards may make for a very successful blog BUT they take up an awful lot of a writer’s time and energy. For novelists who blog for fun or in order to build an online profile, some kind of compromise is essential. For people like you who have a young family and a job the need for compromise is even more vital. I think the quality of your posts is high enough to keep people coming back even if you only blog every second or third day. Your rise may not be meteoric but it will be consistent and in the meantime you will also be able to do the thing you are /most/ passionate about – writing your stories.

    Thanks for another interesting and thought provoking post!

    1. Thanks Andrea, once again your comments have made me smile and got my day off on the right foot.
      I do think a compromise is needed, a daily post is just too much for me. Although I have ROW80 updates (when the round is running) and a new Six Sentence Sunday post. So maybe 1 or 2 other posts a week would be fine. Ami for one and if inspiration strikes I have put two out there.

      Thank you so much for dropping by, and I am glad to hear that your blog is also going well. It is interesting to hear from others about the patterns of the visitors in line with the posts they create.

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