Too many experts say writers must blog, but that may not be good advice
As writers, we’re told that if we want to be successful at publishing our work, then we need an author platform. Yes, this is true. Publishers expect writers to have a platform. In fact, it seems, the platform may supersede writing quality. After all, a publisher can fix our writing much easier than they can build up our author platform.
A common example of building an author platform is blogging. At one time blogging was held up as an essential requirement if a writer wanted to land a publishing deal. I think this has moderated somewhat in the past couple of years, but there are still many voices saying that writers need a blog if they hope to find success.
So, do you need to blog to build your author platform?
Since I am a blogger, it may surprise you to hear me say the answer is no. As a writer, you do not need a blog.
- If logging will distract you from writing, then don’t blog.
- If blogging is something you dread, then you shouldn’t do it.
- If blogging will rob you of joy or suck the life out of you, then you shouldn’t do it.
Don’t let someone guilt you into blogging if you don’t want to do it. Readers will know your heart’s not in it, and they won’t follow you. When this happens your blogging accomplishes nothing. However…
- If you like to blog, then maybe you should.
- If blogging serves as a creative outlet, then go ahead and pursue it.
- If you enjoy connecting with readers through your blog, then blog away.
A couple of years ago, I gave a presentation about blogging at a writer’s conference. A few months later I ran into someone who heard my presentation, and she was quick to thank me.
She said because of my talk she decided not to blog. I was devastated and felt I had failed her. But she was quick to clarify. She said that in listening to me, she realized she didn’t want to blog but felt she was supposed to. My words gave her the freedom to say, “No,” and she was grateful for it.
If blogging is a burden, you shouldn’t do it. Focus on writing first, and worry about the platform later.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.