Wendy Lawton has a good post about marketing books, in which she suggests that blogging to gain a following and ultimately sell books is not effective. Wendy writes:
"I wouldn't recommend a writer start blogging in order to publicize his book in today's climate. It would be tough to picture a scenario where the outcome would justify the means."She's probably right. I've been blogging for two years or so and have 204 followers.If I published a book in the morning, would all these posts equal 204 sales? Of course not. I'd feel honoured if 10% of you guys bought my book. Hell, I'd feel honoured if three of you did (Zoe and Paul have to, you see, because I knew them pre-blog, so we can assume at least two).
Wendy essentially feels that blogging is not an effective way to stand out, and on this she's right too. Everyone has a freaking blog.
Roni goes on to say that the blogosphere is 'glutted', that she's noticed herself skipping more and more blogs as the legions of writing-and-book bloggers are, naturally enough, producing very similar material.
She goes on to say:
Does that mean I'm giving up blogging? Hell to the no. I love blogging. It makes me happy and I feel blessed that you guys are still reading me after two years, lol. (Thank you!) And I really do love reading others' blogs.
That's how I feel about it. At his point, I have read probably dozens of posts about writers' block, making characters likeable, balancing writing with family/work, self-publishing vs. traditional. . . but I keep coming back.
The reason why? You guys. I read blogs because I like the blogger's voice, whether they're personal, detached, funny, engaged, highbrow, lowbrow, giggly or serious. When I meet up with my friends, we don't sit around producing new 'content' in the form of new and exciting topics. I don't think 'Ooh, coffee with Writer Friend later, I hope to hear lots about something completely new!' or 'Oh great, Paul is online, maybe he can tell me something amazing about South African politics.'
When I meet up with my friends, we talk about the same things over and over - our lives, work, writing (some of them talk back about this, others listen politely while I drone on about it), hobbies, whatever. But I don't go to them for innovative new subjects.
I go to them because I like them, regardless of what we talk about.
Likewise, I read blogs because I enjoy them. They may not always give me fabulous new insights, but I like knowing how you guys are doing, even if we're not sharing anything deeply personal. It's about connection, and it's about enjoyment.
Derek has an excellent post about how blogging connects us, which is an excellent take on a subject that's really doing the rounds at the moment.
By contrast, and as is so often the case, I have nothing much new to add today. I'm not contributing to the sum of human knowledge here, I'm not creating enormously valuable content. I'm just saying 'Guys, I'm here because I like to be here. And I enjoy reading what you all write.'
I'm not here to market myself, or build a following. I'm here to write, to read and to enjoy both. And it's going really well, regardless of how saturated the blogosphere is. Depending on your intentions, blogging has different things to offer and different levels of benefit. For me, it's fulfilling exactly what I want.
Why do you guys blog? Has the answer changed since you started? :)