Is blogging worth it? 10 reasons why…

One from the vaults:

10 Blakey Topping (48)

‘Build an author platform’, we are told. As an author platform, is a blog economically viable?

If everyone put a penny in a virtual pot, one for each article they had read in August on Daily Echo, and if I added in any royalties from book sales attributable to the blog, there would be a grand total of £126 in there this month. Divide that by the hours spent writing, researching, finding and editing photos, posting and reading other blogger’s work… and the associated time on other social media, not to mention the writing of the books themselves … and the legendary riches of the author with the cushy job comes to a grand total of rather less than a halfpenny an hour in ‘wages’. From that deduct the electricity, internet subscription, the not insubstantial cost of maintaining the blog itself… not to mention the necessary supply of coffee… and you have to ask yourself… why?

Especially as this pot is imaginary, there are no pennies and thus the vast majority of the ‘funds’ disappear into thin air…

Why would anyone with a modicum of sanity spend so much time and effort on creating a blog in the first place, let alone writing for it every day?

Of course, the first thing that comes into question is that little phrase, ‘sanity? We are writers…

But that is always a purely subjective definition…The sanity, that is.

What, however, can possibly justify that kind of expenditure of time and effort for so little monetary reward? It isn’t as if it is a hobby… not something you are just doing for fun, even if you do enjoy the whole process.

If you blog as advertising, then it is not cost effective. You might as well invest the cash elsewhere…

With walls lined with books, it isn’t as if you are stuck for something to read and with other time consuming irons in the proverbial fire, plus a job to hold down, a dog to walk, or children to mind and a garret to maintain.. all whilst tearing your hair out trying to fit in some decent writing time…it certainly isn’t because you are bored…

Of course, there are the friends you make through blogging. But if you had never blogged, there would still be people to meet… and you might actually get out into the fresh air to do so. Which also brings the added health benefits in terms of exercise too…

…and less caffeine.

And more sleep.

So why would you blog? What is the answer to that eternal question, ‘What’s in it for me?’

10 Blakey Topping (45)

I can’t speak with any certainty for anyone else, of course, but there are a number of things that, to me, are priceless and worth every unpaid moment invested…especially for writers.

Find your voice. – It may be little more than a timorous whisper to begin with, but blogging is a public exercise and you have a different writing voice than you would use in the privacy of a journal, even though you write with the same honesty, from the heart. With its use, it is honed, toned and takes on a richer tone.

• Grow in confidence. Honestly, where else would you find a worldwide network people willing to read and comment on what you have written? Even, perhaps especially, when family are loath to do so!

• Learn. From your own mistakes… from other bloggers…from reading, writing, from the information shared by others who have walked this way and learned before you…or who have the technical know-how that you lack. Learn about editing, proofing, formatting and book covers… all those things the Indie needs to know…

• Share. There is a whole world of readers out there with whom you can share your work, your ideas… odd bits of amusement or sparks of inspiration that wouldn’t fit into a book.

• Preserve. Ideas get lost. Usually on the scraps of paper stuffed safely in a pocket and put through the washing machine…or eaten by the dog…A blog is a notebook full of ideas, not just a phrase long but expanded, explored… and written.

• Practice. When I started learning to paint the best piece of advice I was ever given was to paint a sky a day. Not a masterpiece… but a ten minute sky to explore techniques, adding daily to the knowledge of how to manipulate paint. Writers work with words. A blog post is not a magazine article or a masterpiece of literary art. It can be… but it doesn’t have to be. But it allows us to practice the way a musician practices their scales. Words are the notes of our song and the colours of our sky.

• Play. You can have fun with a blog. There is no pressure, no deadline… no requirement to stick to a single theme or topic. You can post a gratuitous picture of a llama if you wish.

sheffield book weekend 346

• Experiment. If the llama wasn’t enough, you could try a random chicken… or a sheep… or maybe let the romantic novelist write a chilling bit of flash fiction, the thriller writer pen a poem… try something new, see where it leads and broaden your skills.

• Build. If you are going to write a book, you are likely to want someone to read it. Eventually. Possibly. You could just hope that someone will stumble across it on Amazon… or you could try and build at least a possible readership… (Yes, I know, this is where the author platform thing comes in…) Just be aware that numbers don’t matter. You can have as many followers as you like, but only a small proportion of those followers will actually come to your site, read your posts and take notice of the fact that you have a book… even fewer may read in your genre… fewer still will choose to buy the book. But when Amazon tells you that you have sales after writing a promotional piece, or you see the ‘pages read’ count reach the end of that e-book… it all seems worth it.

• Find inspiration. Inspiration can be found in anything and anywhere… but it often comes from the words you read or write. The more you read of others’ work, the more words go down on ‘paper’, the more likely they are to spark off a string of ideas… There is a sub-point here of value to all writers: Procrastination. Blogging is an excellent way of wasting time usefully…particularly when the book is reaching the editing stage….

And then there is the other side of blogging… Not the side that looks at what it can gain, but the people. Blogging is an excellent way to meet and engage with people. The other bloggers… the writers, poets, reviewers and humourists. The ones who make that moment when you press ‘publish’ feel like a worldwide party. The ones who leave that surprise review that makes you feel like a million dollars. The ones who ‘get’ what you are saying. The ones who share your stuff unannounced and give your flagging belief a lift. The ones who rally around to help when things are tough and who celebrate the high points with you. The community that over and over shows it has a heart of gold.

Blogging may be part of a writer’s promotional toolkit these days. But without people, we might as well put down the pen and disembowel the keyboard. People are our listeners… our readers… the ones who hear what we write and bring it to life. Without people, our words are dormant, our efforts mute…The most important part of your book is the person who reads it.

Is blogging worthwhile? Hell, yes!

September 2015

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Friendship, Photography, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Is blogging worth it? 10 reasons why…

  1. bercatliz says:

    Wow this article is so inspiring, uplifting, encouraging. Thank-you for sharing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hell, yes. I agree. 💕

    Like

  3. Jet Eliot says:

    Well written, uplifting, and all true. Thanks Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. PHS says:

    Reblogged this on Archer's Aim and commented:
    Yes, I think blogging is worth the effort and here’s 10 good reasons why! Love the llama…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. A comprehensive list, Sue. Plus, in my case, I can’t get to housework 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on ladyleemanila and commented:
    yes, it’s worth it! thanks, Sue 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I think my hubby thinks I’m mad that I spend so much time blogging. But this is why, you’ve said exactly my thought exactly. . I’m so glad I began blogging and continue to grow as both a blogger and a writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Micki Peluso says:

    Thanks Sue. I get depressed when I work hard at blogging, writing diverse, funny pieces along with book prom, only to get plenty of hits but few comments. You have inspired me to keep plugging away at it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Keep on plugging away, Micki. The comments and community are wonderful… but even if you’d never had a single comment, look at what you are achieving for yourself 🙂

      Like

  9. Mary Smith says:

    Excellent post, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Blogging is all the things you mention and it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. 😀
    I have met and carved some fantastic relationships, made wonderful friends and learned a multitude of things I wouldn’t have otherwise. Yes, it IS worth it. I wish I had less trouble pushing away from the screen. ❤ ❤

    Like

  11. Just as good and relevant as when I first read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. dgkaye says:

    I loved this Sue. You have it covered! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mick Canning says:

    All of that very true, Sue. I have to agree with every point.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes, it’s worth it, Sue. I certainly wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t. I’d go as far as to say that Blogging saved my writer’s life.

    Like

  15. Eliza Waters says:

    You hit all the points, Sue. I say, “Hell, yes!” as well. 🙂

    Like

  16. Thank you for this wonderful post

    Like

  17. chubaoyolu says:

    Agreed. Blogging is a great way to meet some fantastic folks, and it isn’t geographically limited. It’s hard to do, but certainly worth it.

    Like

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