Sunday, September 2, 2018

September 2018 - How to Start a Blog (why and when)

For 2018, all the monthly topics have been submitted to me by writers and readers of this blog.

The question posed for this month is — 
"Should I blog before I finish my first book or after?"

The reality is that you should have begun blogging before you wrote the first draft. Why? Because you need a readership to tap into when you do publish or are published. The experts say that for success, you'll need a following of 1,000 people before you launch a book. That's a truly daunting task if you wait until after the book is out in cyberland.

The most popular blog venues are Blogspot and Wordpress. For the record, I prefer using Blogspot ( ) which, thankfully, ties into my hub website ( I also have a Wordpress blog but I don't like it as well as the Blogspot one. The reason I ended up with a Wordpress blog is that someone had already taken the name Jewels of the Sky ( at Blogger. Which brings me to advising you to google your name and the name for any blog you want to set up so you can find out if it has already been taken.  

When setting up your blog, strive to keep the name for the blog as short as possible. Doing so cuts down on typing the link as well as enabling your followers to find your blog as fast as possible. 

As to frequency of blogging, that's a quandary. Two things to consider are: 

1) how much content can you produce and on what time schedule? What happens when you run out of topics (if writing a daily blog, that's 352 days a year and 352 different topics).

2) who are your readers? Will they love or hate being pestered daily, weekly, etc.? So, when is the best time to engage with your followers or your potential followers?

Choices in frequency of blogging are daily, weekly, bi-weekly, tri-weekly, monthly, quarterly, only on the first (or fifteenth) of a month, only on Tuesday and/or Thursdays, etc. It's up to you, the time you have available, and who your audience will be.

One other aspect about blogging to consider is becoming a Guest Blogger, that is, you become the "guest" and are featured on other people's blogs. That I enjoy doing. [And, yes, if you would like me as a guest at your blog, feel free to contact me.]

The sooner you start blogging, the sooner you work the kinks out of the process and gain loyal followers who'll help sell your book when you do have it published.

Of course, blogging isn't for everyone, but it is a basic necessity for an author. It also counts as "social media," which editors, agents, and publishers consider part of an author's platform.

Blogs and blogging is a broad and controversial topic, so I can't go into great detail with this post, but here is a link to a post that I found very informative and which mirrors my own views on blogging.

****October 2018 — Is it a matter of talent vs. craft in becoming a published writer?
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