Monday, September 28, 2009

How to Blog

Today, author Nicola Morgan posted a very interesting and informative piece on how to blog successfully to build an author platform on her blog.

You can read her post here.

The thing that got me thinking is WHY we blog, and what makes other blogs interesting or good reads. Are we doing it for ourselves? Other writers? Both?

I know for myself, I started blogging because I wanted to reach out to other writers and a) pal around, and b) help folks learn tips and tricks to getting an agent, and eventually, being published. I wanted to take everything I've been learning around the web, and discuss it with other writers and, ideally, create a writer community where knowledge could be pooled and friends made. Who said riding the Query Train couldn't be fun? ;)

For those of you who blog, why do you do it? Like Nicola said, are you giving back 60% and taking 40%, or is it all promotion? Then again, is it all giving and not enough promotion? Where is the line?

I want to open the floor up to you guys: Why do you blog, and what makes a good blog you want to read?

What kind of blogs are you attracted to, and why?


christine said...

What a great thing to ponder...I started blogging as a way to meet like minded writers. And I have - tons of them who are wonderful and fascinating and amazing.

I keep blogging because I guess I still have something to say. My readers are such a source of support - the same I would like to be for them.

Great post, Rebecca!

Lynnette Labelle said...

Well, since I'm not published, I'd have to say it certainly isn't about promotion for me.

This is my way of writing almost every day and getting to know other writers.

Lynnette Labelle

Lisa and Laura said...

I blog because I love it. I know it's nerdy, but I've always wanted a blog of my very own to showcase my rants and observations. I'm so happy that we've actually met some friends who read and comment because otherwise it's pretty lame. Blogging and the people I've met through our blog make me very, very happy. Eventually being able to promote our books is just the icing on the cake.

cipherqueen said...

I blog to know that someone- anyone- thinks my stories are decent and interesting, and to inspire other young writers to push themselves towards higher education.

B.J. Anderson said...

I love blogging to meet people! And I try to give as much as I can, although, all my time lately has been going to editing. I am drawn to blogs that give me some information that is useful, and also some encouragement. I can't read blogs that are negative.

Yunaleska said...

Why do I blog? Good question. I blog book reviews because I love sharing my excitement over books with others. I blog about my writing life, just because its nice to have an outlet, a connection with others who are at/have been at similar stages.

Promotion - ok, a little :) And why not? For various reasons I probably wouldn't do heaps of signings when I'm published (always be optimistic), so an online presence is a must.

Amanda Acton said...

I can't help but what to be heard. It's a curse really. I started off submitting articles to a citizen journalist news site, unfortunately, it wasn't successful enough to pay for itself and the publication shut it down when it was barely a year old.

I've just started myself a blog again. It's very new and a bit navel gazy at first, dipping toes in the water you know, but I'm gradually moving away from that. :)

Scott said...

I started my writing blog to track the progress of a project I was working on at the time. The blog slowly changed into something else. The blog, in many ways, still tracks my progress, but also opens up discussions with other writers about the writing process.

I've done a bit of platforming on my blog, but not a lot.

I think I give 100% of myself on my blog, the knowledge I have, and the knowledge I glean from all the other wonderful writing blogs out there in the blogsphere. I think knowledge should be freely shared, and not hoarded. If somebody can learn something from the writing mistakes I've made . . . woo-hoo.

Great post. A little bit early for my brain to be thinking this morning, though. : )


Abby said...

I blog as a way to express myself and meet other writers. I love the community we have here and the support we all give each other. I will admit that I get all excited every time I get a new follower, but I think that's as much a numbers things as anything else--the pitfalls of being a math nerd. :)

I'm attracted to blogs where I feel the writer is genuine and I have something I can connect to in their writing, and if I can get a laugh out of it, it doesn't hurt. :)

Badass Geek said...

I started blogging because I wanted a space that I could write the thoughts I had going around in my head, where no one knew who specifically I was, where there was no pressure.

I keep blogging because I feel the need to write to stay sane sometimes. I like the connections I've made, the friends I've gained.

I like blogs (or bloggers) that are honest, aren't afraid to bare themselves emotionally, those who speak their minds.

Rebecca Knight said...

Christine: that sounds like, me, too :). I'm so glad to be able to talk to so many cool people all in one place!

Lynnette: good point! We are probably seeing benefit just from the habit of writing so often!

LiLa: that's so funny that you've always wanted a blog! :D You rock at it, so kudos!

Cipherqueen: inspiring others is always good!

B.J: I totally agree about negative blogs. They're not helpful to me!

Yuna: Totally! But who says platform building can't be fun ;)?

Amanda: Navel-gazy! LOL. Good luck to you and your blog!

Scott: I totally agree about passing on the knowledge. I've learned a ton from reading the journeys of other writers :).

Abby: I get all excited, too :P! We can't help ourselves. It's nice to have more cool people to meet!

Badass Geek: Your blog is the most fiercely honest blog I think I've ever read. Hats off to you, Sir!

ElanaJ said...

I'm going to hop over to that post after I comment here. I like to read blogs that make me think about something in a new way--or if they're funny. I like to read blogs of those who are farther than me in the publishing journey and those who aren't as far. I think we all have something to learn.

I blog because I love it. I love writing my thoughts down and hearing what other people have to say about them. I learn something about myself when I blog, and I learn something about someone else when I read blogs.

Michelle Gregory said...

i blog because way back in 1996 when i had AOL 2.0, i thought it would be cool to have a website. but back then, you had to know html and i had 2 little kids and no time to learn anything like that. now that blogger and wordpress are around, it's so much easier. when i started my blog 4 years ago, it was just about life, then it was about writing, and now it's a mix of both. i love meeting friends in the blogging world.

Kat Harris said...

Hmmm...I just blog. :-)

I started blogging as a way to express my own thoughts. But then I started reading other blogs and getting to know other bloggers. That's fun.

Plus, each new follower and new comment is like getting Jolly Ranchers when you're expecting broccoli.

Simon Kewin said...

I blog for several reasons. I think I have two audiences in minds - other writers and then, hopefully, readers. But of course writers are readers too so I'm sure there's an overlap.

For me it's also great fun. It's liberating to write a quick blog post after labouring through some tricky scene in a short story or novel.