When I got my first contract to publish back in 2012, my editor told me I had to have an on-line presence.
Wait, my mind protested. I'm blind. I have just figured out how to make my word processing program work . How am I going to show up on-line?
For most sighted writers this is not that big of a deal. A twitter account. A facebook page. An author websight. These were all offered as good ways to make your books, and your voice/face known in the greater world.
"If you have a blog," my editor said. "You can use it as your author page."
"What's a blog?" I asked.
Yes, its true. Even as recently as 2012, I was hopelessly behind with modern technology. When my editor wanted an on-line presence, I set out to get one.
Now blind people in general are very well versed in computers, smart phones, technology and just about every modern convenience sighted people are. Some of them are even better than their sighted counterparts. I, though, am a "twidiot", a facebbok freak, and a techno-moron. I learned some of these skills, and I'm getting better, but the one that always made sense to me as a writer was a blog.
A page where I write, tell stories, laugh at myself, and connect with my readers. Being proficient at other social media outlets may make the rest of you still shy away from starting a blog though. The following are a compilation of tweets, blog posts, interview, and articles listing the top five reasons agents recommend having a blog.
-#1. Practice--One important facet of having a blog is consistency. You don't have to post every day, or every other day, but you do need to be predictable and consistent with your readers. Posting on your blog when your in the middle of editing, having writer's block, or just feeling burned out, will keep you writing regularly.
-#2.Platform-- Even before your publishing contract or first published article, professionals in the publishing industry want to know where you are, what presence you have, and what your credentials are. A blog is a quick way to post pictures, publishing credit, or just make your voice heard.
-#3.Superfans-- To take a regular fan and make them a super fan you need a place to call home. The normal fan will follow you on twitter, facebook, and other social media, but your fans will become devoted to your work when they feel they can connect with you personally, regularly, and leave you messages or comments on your blog. It is also a great opportunity to give them back story, and hidden secrets about your characters making them fall more in love with your work.
#4Networking-- Some of the best opportunities to meet other authors, publishers, agents and professionals are through blog tours, goodle posts and links to your blog on twitter. It expands your knowledge and experience as well as spreading your contact information to readers outside of your network. You have access to more writers, readers, and professionals when you expand beyond your little world.
#5. It's free and easy-- There are a lot of helpful articles, books, and classes you can take to set up your blog and make a difference in your career. It doesn't take a lot of time and it doesn't cost any money. You can get a domain for your blog free with blogspot or wordpress and its not much more to buy your own from either site.
Not every writer, agent, publisher or publicist will tell you to blog. A lot can tell you why its a waste of time. For me blogging has expanded my horizons, my circle of friends, and my view of the world. Read a few blogs of writers you admire and see what the blog buzz is all about.