Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thoughts on Blogging

blog15 Blogging is one of my favorite activities. Whether I’m reading blogs or writing them, or tweeting about them, I feel like I’m learning an incredible amount from the process.

I blogged daily from last May until late January (when I started opening up the blog to guest posts). So now I’m blogging on average about 6 days a week.

The good thing about blogging daily, if you can swing it, is:

It’s a good writing exercise. It’s a great way to establish a writing discipline. It’s excellent for developing a readership.

The bad thing about blogging daily:

It’s time-consuming. That’s really the only downside I see.

Blog Reading:

I’m completely addicted to blog reading. Yes, I do have a problem. And I would love to be able to read everyone’s blogs every day…because they’re that interesting! Even if you have nothing to say I think it’s interesting because it’s a window into another writer’s world.

But I don’t have the time I wish I had.

I subscribe to 700 blogs in my Google reader. I know…it’s a little crazy. I didn’t think I had that many, so I double and triple checked, but I do. I have them divided up in folders to help me keep track of them.

I have some that frequently feature really excellent resources for writers. I file those blogs under “Tweet Sites” because I’ll tweet the contents—but I frequently don’t comment on the blog…it’s a time-constraint thing, since I do send out a lot of tweets in a day on Twitter. But I tweet the link to the post and sometimes the poster’s Twitter tag, too, if I have it handy.

I divide up other blogs by days of the week to help handle some of the reading and commenting. And I tweet many of these posts, too. 98% of the time, if I’ve read a friend’s post, I comment. My comment may not add much to the discussion, but I want to be a part of it anyway.

If you start dividing the blogs you read by days of the week, you might want to make sure you haven’t put a blogger in a Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday folder when they only blog on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. There usually is some tweaking that has to happen until the method gets smoother.

Why blogging is fun:

There are so many benefits to reading blogs and blogging that it’s hard to know where to begin. The biggest for me is the support, friendship, and inspiration I get from the writing community. Next are the ideas and resources that are in such great supply online.

Promotional benefits of blogging:

Yes, they’re definitely there. First of all, you’re getting your name, and your book’s name out there on the internet daily. This really helps when someone is looking you up on Google.

It does help to introduce potential readers to your book, too. There are so many books out there. If you can help increase awareness of your own novel, then you’ve really helped your publisher out.

There is definitely some networking that goes on in the industry between writers, editors, and agents. And networking, in any career, isn’t a bad thing.

Blogging Tools:

I use Microsoft’s free Windows Live Writer application for writing and saving blogs. It’s easy to learn and is an organized way to write blog drafts, organize pictures and text, etc.

WordPress vs Blogger? Well, Blogger is free. :) Blogger completely infuriates me several days out of the week, but at this point I’m not planning a move. I’ve heard lots of good things about WordPress, though.

What do you love or hate about blogging? And do you have any tips to add for managing your blogging habit? :)

Please come by and visit tomorrow as Hart Johnson, AKA the Watery Tart, will be guest-posting on pre-writing!