Are Blogs Important for Novelists?

I was at a conference a few weeks ago, and I ended up meeting a couple of other writers. We chatted about all sorts of different writing-related topics, and eventually, the topic of blogging came up. One of the authors I talked to had written two novels, but she didn’t have a blog. It surprised me. But what surprised me even more was when she said, “I just don’t know that blogs are that important for novelists.”

Are Blogs Important for Novelists

 I wanted to say, “Hey, wait a second! You don’t understand!” But then I realized that I used to think the same thing. Are blogs really that important for novelists? What can authors of fiction even do with a blog? Is it worth investing time in when you’re already busy cranking out fiction?

What a Blog Can Do for You

Many authors underestimate the importance of a blog. They don’t consider themselves the “blogging type”, saying that they prefer fiction. I get that. I’ve been there. But I have a few things to say about the value blogging can bring to up and coming novelists.

1: A Blog Helps Readers Find You

One of my favorite bloggers, Michael Hyatt said, “If you don’t exist on the web, you flat-out don’t exist.” And today, that’s true.

If you want readers (and potential publishers) to be able to find you and learn about your work, you must have a website. Social media is a good thing to invest in as well. If you want to share your work with others, this is vital.

2: A Blog Will Help Readers Connect

Never underestimate the value of a personal connection. It’s so important. Readers don’t just want to see your stuff—they want to see you. They want glimpses of who you are, not just as an author, but as a person. That’s how you build a loyal following, and not just a fan-base, full of people who will come and go with the trends.

3: Blogs Are Great Marketing Tools

This is the part where writers (including me) cringe. Are we talking about self-promotion? *sputter* Yes. But not the slimy kind. The way you promote your work on a blog is through the connection you’ve made with your audience. Believe it or not, once they’re loyal to you, they actually want to hear about your work! So don’t be afraid to share it with them.

4: Blogging Helps You Hone Your Voice

This is one of the most important parts about blogging—and why it is absolutely vital to novelists. Having a blog keeps you writing. It constantly pushes you to get better; to be brave and share your work.

Blogging can teach you a lot about writing, which will in turn help you to write better, more compelling stories. Not only does it help you understand writing better, it helps you to realize why you write. And that is the key to a strong voice.

But What Can Novelists Blog About?

So maybe you’re starting to see the value of a blog, but what if you aren’t sure what to say? What’s the point if you don’t know what to talk about?

I’ve been there. Until recently, I considered myself more of a novelist than a blogger. Fiction was my main genre of writing, and I had no clue what to say on a blog. For beginners, the idea of blogging is probably a scary one. But I have a few suggestions for blog posts topics that would be good for novelists to use.

  •  Talk about why you write
  • Talk about what got you started writing in the first place
  • Talk about your projects and the progress you’re making
  • Talk about why stories (specifically yours) are important to you
  • Share tips and lessons you’ve learned through your writing (hint: they don’t have to be about writing—life lessons are cool too)
  • Review books
  • Occasionally share short snippets of your work
  • Talk about your writing process; your struggles and successes
  • If you do NaNo, document it

These are just a few ideas. There are so many things for novelists to blog about; I could probably go on for another couple of pages. If you’re a novelist, don’t bypass the value a blog can bring to your readers.

 Do you have a blog? If so, what do you write about? Feel free to share a link in the comments! I’d love to check out your sites!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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34 thoughts on “Are Blogs Important for Novelists?

    • Honestly, I don’t know if blogging /every/ time you have a remote idea is worthwhile, because eventually, unless you follow through on all (or most) of them, you might start to gain a poor reputation for finishing things. However, there’s more to blogging as a novelist than just talking about book ideas you’ve had, as I mentioned in the post. The two posts you had on your blog were good examples of that, actually. They were both topics that I think a lot of writers identify with, so that’s great!

  1. I made it a goal to blog twice a week after going to a writing conference a few months back. I’ve had a blog for a while but now I actually have a reminder in my phone to blog every Monday and Thursday. I blog about what’s going on in my writing world. I talk about the tools I use, things I’ve learned from my writing buddies and how writing buddies can be a benefit to all writers, I keep myself accountable during NaNo (Camp NaNo as well), and I occasionally post “Shouldn’t You Be Writing” memes that I’ve found. My blog is linked to all of my social media as well.

    Here’s the link: http://whitneydaniellewriting.wordpress.com

  2. I totally agree with you on this! I just got a blog a few weeks ago (memoirsofataleweaver.wordpress.com), and, after a few posts and some redesigning, I LOVE it! I’ve honestly found it to be really fun. I’ve still got a lot to learn about it, but that’s just part of the adventure!

    Thanks for this post, Emily! I really enjoyed it! 😀

  3. I have a writing blog called From Novice to Novelist: https://fromnovicetonoveslist.wordpress.com/

    Most of my posts have been about what works and doesn’t work for me as I journey to become a writer, but I did post an original short story there as well. I love having my blog because it makes me write, and practice makes perfect, right? I really like your blog, thanks for the post!

    • your weblog is really very good. It was very nicely authored and easy to codherpenm. Unlike additional blogs I’ve read which are really not great. I also found your posts extremely intriguing

  4. Hmm… I used to have a blog, but it relied more on other people than it should have, and it kinda lost steam. This is a good article, Miss Tjaden. I especially liked your assertion that it’s good to have a blog simply because it forces one to write; consistency is something I have yet to develop… Thank you for this article!

  5. I put up a blog a year or two ago. I’m not on Facebook or any other big social media network, so I’ve had an awful time growing my audience. I originally created it to be my author blog for a sci-fi trilogy that is finally coming out in August. About then it should get much more active, posting wise, as I’ll have an easy subject to talk about. So far, I’ve mainly used it as a fiction-writing advice blog. Here’s the link. https//stardriftnights.blogspot.com

  6. I started my blog last year after my first book was published. Up until recently, I just posted about what was going on in my life (I’m in grad school), writing, updates, and now I’ve started a serial story and participating in weekly flash fiction contests. They’re really fun and I’ve met a lot of new people through them!
    Great article!! It’s nice to hear I’m doing it right. 😛

    https://clairembanschbach.wordpress.com

    • The serial story is an awesome idea! I’ve actually thought about doing something like that before, but I’m not really that type of writer. So I don’t know how it’d work out. 😛 That’s really neat, though!

  7. Blogs. Are. So. Important.

    I’ve been blogging for a year now, and it amazes me how many people/potential readers I have met through it! Yes, blogging is great for platform, but I also try to remind myself that I should enjoy doing it, too. Otherwise it’s just a lot of work. :p
    Just yesterday I had the idea for documenting NaNo as I go (I want to write my whole novel in the month of November, which could easily be 90-100k), so I’m glad you posted it as one of the ideas. That means that at least someone will find it interesting. 😉

    Katie Grace | A Writer’s Faith

    • Yes, Katie, I agree! Blogging should definitely be an enjoyable thing, because if you don’t enjoy it, your blog will not be the real you. And only the real you will have a long-term impact.

      Thanks for commenting!

  8. I’ve recently considered starting a blog, but I’m not 100% sure how to go about it. This article is very helpful and I’ve been gathering some good ideas. But there are just a few things I’m a little unsure about. (A proper title is one of them). Why did you name your blog what you did? What did your first blog look like? How did people respond to it? How did you publicize your blog efficiently?

    • Hi Jenna!

      Yeah, starting a blog can be a little intimidating; I understand. My first blog was hosted on a free wordpress theme, and was called “Dreaming Hobbit”, just because I liked it. It was pink (which I wouldn’t recommend, haha), and mostly my family and friends read it. I didn’t really start publicizing my blog until after about two years of blogging (another thing I wouldn’t recommend), but I did it by getting out on social media and developing a presence on FB, Twitter, and most of all, Instagram.

      If you’re looking into starting a blog, the #1 resource I’d recommend for getting started is the ProBlogger blog, by Darren Rowse. He has so many great tips and insights all the way from beginner level to advanced. You should check him out! https://problogger.com/