Monday, 10 June 2013
Do Writers' Blogs Work?
I looked up a few statistics, which may or may not be accurate, after all we have all heard that 96% of statistics are made up, or that there are lies, damn lies and statistics, but here they are anyway.
Apparently, 46% of people read blogs multiple times a day, and another 32% read them at least once a day.
These figures don't specify what sort of blogs these refer to, and writer blogs tend to occupy their own niche, so this may render them totally inaccurate - but I have to begin somewhere.
But do they work, in that does a writer's blog sell more books?
Also, are paid blogs any more effective that free blogs? Not easy to quantify that one, so I shall avoid it. A blog is a blog is a blog. Even if you are diligent and blog once a day or once a week, does the magic happen and thousands of people spot your blog and come back to read it regularly? Not necessarily.
What's the magic formula to draw readers and then get them to buy your books? Do you write about the genre your books are about, or stick to personal anecdotes, including your progression from hobby writer to published author? Bearing in mind that particular journey could be a protracted and depressing one - how many of us write a novel, send it out to agents and published and Yay - someone picks it up and it suddenly appears in the bestseller lists? Writing as a long term career is not that simple for most.
Do we hope someone will notice our hard work—and reward us with an endless supply of traffic that converts readers into book buyers, fans and a stream of positive reviews?
It's logical that the more time you spend working on something without seeing quantitative results, the harder it is to continue doing it. We all begin with the best of intentions but sometimes blogging gets in the way of the real 'job' as it were - the writing. Then there is always the problem of what to write.
Do readers really want to hear about how cute your cat is and how he nudges the keyboard as you are trying to work? Difficult to say - there are plenty of cat lovers out there-but how many of them are likely to progress from 'cute cat anecdotes' to buying your books?
No one knows, which is exactly the point, and deserving bloggers can easily become demotivated, so the next time you visit their blog, you notice the last post is dated months before.
According to the marketing bods, creating too much content can be a death knell - not everyone can keep up with writing daily blog posts never mind reading them. Apparently, adding more content to blogs which have a small number of readers doesn’t help get more readers. I suspect the effectiveness of blogs, including author blogs, is that there are so many 'out there' we couldn't keep up with them if we tried.
One blog marketing company says:
“You don’t have to create content, day in, and day out. You just have to work on getting the content you already have… in the hands of more people.”
Good advice - I think - but how?