To Blog or Not To Blog…
… that is the question I’m asking myself these days. Being an indie author is the cat’s pajamas, no doubt about it. Total freedom. Total control. And total responsibility. The buck not only starts here, it also lives and dies here. Self-pubbers like me are ultimately responsible for everything: writing, editing, designing, marketing, finance, promo,… the list goes on and on. Sure, we can sub out just about everything, but for most indies, what we hire out is primarily based on two things: what we have time to do ourselves and what we can afford to pay others to do.
Time Management 101
Each and every day is a necessary exercise in time management. How much time should I spend writing? Editing? Can I spare the time to take an online class in craft or marketing, or check out promo options? Can I really afford to spend three hours a day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? And when am I going to get the time to put together a newsletter, which also includes setting up sales and creating graphics, giveaways, swaps…
Making Good Choices
Seriously, the list is never-ending, which brings me to the question behind this post: is writing a weekly blog a good use of my time? What even is a blog?
(In case you’re wondering, here’s what Dictionary.com says about blogs)
The guy at GoDaddy said I should I should blog weekly, because it increases traffic, keeps my website active, and raises visibility to search engines like Google.
That sounds good, right? But do any of those things actually benefit me as an indie author? Does it increase my presence in an oversaturated, competitive marketplace? Does it translate into increased sales?
Is Maintaining a Regular Blog a Smart Choice for Me?
I truly don’t know, but I suspect the answer to those questions is ‘not really’.
Still, it would be worth it if I was reaching readers or fans, but I don’t think I am. Yes, I am generating more website interaction, but most of it seems to be in spam or porn site phishing. (For the record, I’m not interested in receiving either of those things).
As an example, I thought readers might be interested in my post-RT blog post where I talked about some of the things I experienced and the people I met at the RT Booklover’s Convention in Atlanta. The post generated 0 reader comments, and it did garner at least a half-dozen spam replies (and not the funny, Monty Python kind of spam, either)
I know there are analytics and pixels and things I can probably use to optimize efficiency, targeting, and reach, but here’s the rub: learning how to do those things and acquiring the tools requires… wait for it… more time and money.
I like sharing my random thoughts when I feel I have something worth saying, but it takes time. I write blog posts like I write my books: the first draft is always crap, and I re-work and re-work it until I’m semi-satisfied with it (usually a couple of hours later).
To write a blog just for the sake of writing a blog seems like a waste of valuable time that could be better spent interactively engaging with readers and authors on social media, learning that new thing that’s going to shoot me into the indie author stratosphere of success, or (* gasp *) writing my next book.
Bottom line: I will continue to blog, but only when I feel like I have something I think is useful or worthwhile to say. There are plenty of bloggers out there who are so much better at it than I am, and they actually have people reading their blogs.
Hello? Is anyone out there? Is this mic on?
(* crickets *)