Stress-Free Blogging for Authors | Deep River Books

March 2018

The key to stress-free blogging is to find what works for you. There is plenty of advice around the web about how frequently you should blog and what hosting to use. Much of it is good advice—but most of it isn’t for everyone. Don’t let what you’re “supposed” to do overwhelm you to the point you can’t begin or sustain blogging. Instead, experiment a little. Consider the perspectives and tips from the two authors quoted below—one who is approaching her new blog in a way that better fits her introverted needs, and one who has discovered a sustainable approach through trial and error over the past nine years.

Blogging as an Introvert

Publisher and author L.L. Barkat walked away from blogging in 2012 and didn’t return until just this month. She argued that blogging wasn’t necessary for writers, especially experienced ones (still true), and that there were other ways for writers to be discovered. She mentioned how blogging required reciprocity, “an exhausting aspect to blogging and a big drain on the writer’s energy and time.” It took over five years before she returned—and she’s come with a refreshed view of blogging, one that keeps the current trends in mind. She explains all this in her guest post “Why Blog—From the Writer Who Said Goodbye to Blogging” on Jane Friedman’s site.

One of the important pieces Barkat highlights is that reciprocity is no longer necessary. Commenting on and linking to others’ blogs—which could turn from fun to burdensome—is no longer as important as it used to be.

Barkat further expands on the current “introvert’s advantage” in her post:

My blog does not have comments enabled. It does not have pictures on every page. It does not even have prominent promotion elements (not even a free newsletter signup). In short, it is a peaceful place for me and for my readers.

A peaceful place. Now that sounds appealing.

She refers to “blogging as a playground.” She explains, “The voice is casual. The topics are variable. The tone is quietly humorous. It’s a place to play. And, at least to this publisher, the writers who know how to play are the ones whose work tends to be most vital.”

If you visit her blog, you’ll find it reflects the exact attitude she approaches it with: It’s peaceful, it’s clean, and it serves readers and potential readers by showing who she is and what she’s written. It’s a pleasant place for her to write to her readers. And if they want to contact her, she gives them a way—just not through comments that she’d have to monitor or respond to.

Blogging on Your Terms, as an Author

Author Anne R. Allen has been running her blog for nine years, and she recently published a book on the topic: The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors. She has learned many lessons over the years. Many of these add up to this: an author blog is very different from a business blog, and it must be treated differently.

“Author blogs… provide a platform for your writing and a way to communicate with readers and fellow writers,” she writes in her post “Easy Blogging for Authors: 10 Tips for a Successful Author Blog.”

Some of Allen’s tips include “Don’t define success with numbers” and “Never sacrifice your WIP [work in progress] for Your Blog.” She adds, “An author doesn’t have to post more than once a week…. You can post less when you’re on a tear with your WIP.”

Make sure to check out her full article for all 10 tips and additional commentary about why blogging can be both valuable and doable.

Some Final Tips

Blogging isn’t for every author. And even the authors who do blog regularly have found different ways to make it work—so different, in fact, that if you read both articles quoted above, you’ll find the authors hold different opinions on subjects like reciprocity. But they do, at least, agree that blogging can be doable, even for an author who is also plugging away at their next book.

Here are five final tips to keep in mind:

  1. Before you start blogging, consider your goal. Consider whether blogging is the right platform for your voice.
  2. Keep your goal in mind in the months and years ahead: Ultimately, is your purpose to gain views? To sell your book? To reach even one reader with a message they really need that month? To raise awareness about a matter that is important to you? If you remember your purpose regularly, you’ll remember why blogging is worth the time and energy—or you may reevaluate and decide your goal is best accomplished through other means.
  3. Explore other authors’ blogs for inspiration. DRB author bloggers include Jessica Ronne and Roy Goble.
  4. Give your blog a solid chance—at least six months, preferably a year or more. Don’t expect to gain a large readership overnight. And, again, keep in mind that your primary goal may not be to reach thousands of readers.
  5. Build a queue of posts before you start. That way, if you’re too busy to post one week, you can simply post one of your drafts.

Stress-free, effective blogging is possible for authors—be they working on their next book, running a large household, or continuing their day job. Hopefully, armed with the tips above, you can feel confident enough to give an author blog a try.

Further resources:

Starting a Podcast or Blog

Gauging Your Blog’s Growth

How to Start Blogging: A Definitive Guide for Authors” by Jane Friedman (December 2017)

Quoted above:

“Why Blog—From the Writer Who Said Goodby to Blogging” by L.L. Barkat (March 2018)

“Easy Blogging for Authors: 10 Tips for a Successful Author Blog” by Anne R. Allen (December 2017)