7 Ways Starting a Blog Will Up Your Writing Game
Emily Tjaden, Guest Contributer
I’m a big fan of blogs. Anyone who knows me will tell you as much. In fact, blogging is one of my favorite things to discuss, and I’m excited for the opportunity to talk about it with you guys here at One Year Adventure Novel.
Now, I know what you might be thinking: “But I’m a novelist. I don’t blog.” Fair enough. For a long time, I felt the same way. Blogging was for people who didn’t—or couldn’t—write fiction; why should I bother with it? Well, the truth is, there are a lot of reasons you should bother.
1: Blogging helps you learn to write consistently
If you hope to make something of yourself as a writer, you need to develop good habits. Sitting down to write five-thousand words won’t matter if you don’t do it on a regular basis.
Starting a blog will push you to exercise your writing muscles consistently. When you start adhering to a weekly blogging schedule, it teaches you the discipline you need to create truly amazing content.
RELATED: HOW A DAILY WRITING HABIT MAKES YOU BETTER
2: Blogging develops your voice
By writing consistently, you have a chance to explore—to dig deep and find your own rhythms. Here’s a secret: you’ve already got a voice; you just have to use it. So practice. Challenge yourself to look at writing from another angle.
Sometimes you’ve got to push out of your comfort zone in order to fully unmask your voice. Having experience outside the world of fiction can help you pull back the layers of fluff and define your style, so you can channel meaning through your words to impact your readers.
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3: Blogging gives you a place to connect with your readers
Books are excellent—don’t get me wrong—but they don’t offer a way to connect to the author, and we live in a world where people value connection. Connection builds trust, and trust leads to loyalty.
Blogging nurtures a personal connection with your readers. It gives you a “home base” where you can be available to engage with them, and few things will endear you more to your audience than being approachable.
RELATED: 16 BLOG POST IDEAS FOR NOVELISTS THAT WILL ENGAGE THE RIGHT AUDIENCE
4: Blogging connects you with other authors and influencers
Let’s be honest: there’s a lot more to being a successful writer than putting words on a page. (Some of you might remember Torry Martin’s talk from the 2015 Summer Workshop about networking.) Success isn’t just about what you know, but who you know.
You need a place where you can begin to connect with other authors and influencers, and blogging is where it’s at. Blogging develops mutually beneficial relationships with other authors, and gives you an opportunity to get your work in front of potential publishers, agents, and people who can put a good word in for you.
RELATED: THE UNFAIR TRUTH ABOUT HOW CREATIVE PEOPLE REALLY SUCCEED
5: Blogging gives you a platform from which to market your books
Now before you run away, because ewww, self-promotion, I hate self-promotion. A lot. Maybe more than you. But marketing—while important—doesn’t have to be sleazy or slimy or self-promo-y.
In fact, when you develop a loyal base of readers (or a “platform”), you’ll find they actually want to be marketed to. They want to know what you have to offer, and they want to buy it, because they trust you to deliver something valuable. (See how important connection is?)
6: Blogging gives you a place to share things you’ve learned
One of the best ways to stay sharp with something is to teach it. Blogging gives you an opportunity to share your knowledge with others, whether about good writing technique, or how writing impacted your life. (And who knows? You might just learn something yourself.)
Be generous with your knowledge. This is the key to building that valuable connection. Don’t hold back. Sharing your knowledge will not only build trust, it will also increase your credibility with your readers.
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7: Blogging helps you break into the Perilous Realm of writing for an audience
Showing your writing to others can be intimidating. Will they like it? What if they don’t? Is it even any good? Questions like these darken the recesses of our minds when we consider putting our writing “out there.”
And blogging doesn’t make the uncertainty go away. What it will do is teach you to be brave; it’ll push you past the uncertainty into that Perilous Realm over and over until you no longer feel so intimidated. Because after all, courage is one of the most vital parts of being a writer.
So tell me—do YOU have a blog? What do you write about? How have you learned and grown as a result? How has blogging shaped your writing voice? If you don’t have a blog but you’d like to start one, you can learn how in 20 minutes or less by going here.
If you’ve got your own blog, feel free to share a link in the comments! I’d love to get connected with you.
Emily Tjaden is a long-time member of the OYAN community, currently using her knowledge of writing to explore the mysterious realm of non-fiction. She is an avid fan of good stories, exploring the magic of wonder, and investigating real-life Perilous Realms. Emily writes weekly on her blog, This Incandescent Life, about personal development and designing a creative and intentional lifestyle. She is also extremely gifted in the art of coffee-shop detection. You can connect with Emily on her blog, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
* Please note that links on The One Year Adventure Novel Blog to other websites and blogs do not constitute an official endorsement. We are not intimately familiar with all the writing and opinions contained in outside links.
Thank you, Emily, for the advice on blogging! I just started a blog a few weeks ago and I really needed the encouragement. Thanks again! http://www.priscillakrahn.blogspot.com
That’s awesome, Priscilla! I’m glad this post encouraged you. (:
Great post, Emily! I’ve found benefit from all of these things you’ve listed!
Thanks, Victoria! I’m so glad to hear that! And I can definitely see that it’s working for you. Keep up the good work! 😉