The Value of Blogging

Blogging is becoming increasingly important for self-published authors.  Developing and maintaining an online presence is an integral part of self-marketing; it offers a way to get noticed by showcasing your writing, a chance to get feedback on your work before you invest in self-publishing, and an opportunity to make contacts that can help you publish and market your book.

Blogging for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one way to get noticed; this is the process of increasing traffic to your blog by having it appear earlier in search engine results listings.  SEO is a slow process that requires consistent, regular effort, so don’t wait to start your blog until after you’ve published.  To blog for SEO, you’ll need to produce a minimum of two articles with a minimum of 500 words each per week.  Posting to your blog on a regular basis also helps maintain subscriber interest.  Most writers have no trouble coming up with potential topics, but if you’re having trouble finding the time to write and publish blogs, hiring a professional blogger can help.  This usually becomes a more attractive option as a blog increases in popularity, because maintaining the blog becomes proportionately more time-consuming and technical.  A professional blogger can also assist with link building, a necessary part of SEO.

Receiving feedback on their work is a frightening prospect for many authors because they are emotionally invested in their writing, but the opportunity to learn from constructive criticism prior to publishing is invaluable.  You can consider reader response to your grammar skills, concepts, and style when writing on any topic.  Even if you hire a professional blogger at some point, you can “guest-write” on your blog to test new ideas, themes, and techniques.  The expense of self-publishing makes blogging an excellent marketing value.

If well-managed, your blog will attract the attention not just of casual readers, but of other authors, editors, publishers, and reviewers.  No matter how well-managed it is, it will also attract a fair number of spammers and online hawkers of get-rich-quick schemes.  However, these tend to decrease proportionately over time; if you’re maintaining your own blog, you’ll also become adept at quickly recognizing and deleting them.  The value of the networking opportunities gained by blogging far outweighs this annoyance.  Online communities tend to be close-knit and people often form online friendships faster than they would face-to-face.  If you intend to self-publish, those who have traveled this path before you can offer advice and support.  You might also locate resources that are scarce or more expensive in your geographic area.  To connect with these individuals, you’ll need to subscribe to and comment on other blogs, participate in discussion groups, and post links to your blog in online groups.  Though this also requires an investment of time, it’s important for SEO as well as networking.

Starting a blog can be intimidating, but it’s a worthwhile effort for writers, especially those who intend to or have self-published.  Don’t wait; start your blog today! (Click here to see how PPG can help you with that!)  

Rachaelle Lynn
Organic SEO Campaign Manager, Content Writer, and Editor

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