Tuesday 3 September 2013

Does anyone read a blog?

I'm beginning to wonder if spending so much time writing blog posts for this  blog, and for guest posts, is actually worth the time and effort expended. When I have a guest on my blog I've had a satisfactory amount of hits but when I put up something less exciting I get no comments, and few visitors.
In order to drive people here I am obliged to Twitter/Facebook/comment on all my loops– which takes up another hour or so of my writing time. So each blog post can use three hours of my writing time – I can produce 3000 words in three hours if things are going well.
I belong to 5 or 6 writing loops and the general consensus is that blogging is no longer an effective way of achieving visibility for yourself and your work. So why do we still do it?
Publishers have been known to turn down debut writers because they don't have sufficient online presence. All writers are expected to have Facebook and Twitter accounts/author pages on Amazon and smash once/and all the fan page on Facebook/actively participate in several forums/put interesting pictures on pinterest/maintain an interesting and up-to-date website plus write a regular blog.
Although I try and limit the time I spend on social media I know that I write far less than I did before I got involved in indie publishing. Three years ago I was writing five books a year; now I am lucky to write one. Of course, I am also editing my backlist and publishing that on a regular basis, and this is certainly time-consuming.
I have a close friend who can write a full-length historical novel in three weeks – and often does so. This is impressive but must leave her very little time for a life outside her writing. I make sure I go out with my husband two or three times a week, see my new grandson twice a week, visit the gym twice a week, and still spend four or five hours at my desk working seven days a week.
If all this time was devoted to writing and not social media I would definitely be writing three books a year.
The big question is, has all the time devoted to blogging et cetera increased my sales?
The answer is a definite no; sales of individual ebooks have dropped dramatically in the US and even sales of my box sets are not as good as they were a few weeks ago. My two mainstream historical novels, Barbara's War and Hannah's War, are the only books that are showing an increase in sales. I believe that this is because word-of-mouth is kicking in and not because of any promotion that I have been doing.
Why do I continue to spend (waste) valuable writing time when there is no demonstrable increase in my sales? I enjoy participating in my writing loops so would not give those up – but like many other writers I  am seriously considering abandoning this blog.
 What do you think? is it better to spend as much time as possible writing the next book or continue to spend a third of my time on social media?


  1. I still blog but very infrequently and I can't think of any I read regularly although I do pop over to interesting looking writers blog if I see them on Facebook. I think it was another good idea of the that got overworked.

  2. Jean, I only read a blog when someone gives me the link -and then never go back to that blog unless another link is given.

  3. I have been blogging across the web universe for a couple of years and still wonder why.

  4. Michael -I'll stop if you will! We could compare notes - but not until the new year -have three blog tours set up. :)

  5. I like preparing for and writing my blog, but feel guilty if I don't keep up with my aim of at least one entry a week. I don't have to relate it to book sales. It's time consuming because I over-prepare. I write a London blog based on cultural, mainly literary, events and I add photos. I always have two or three posts half written. It's hard to balance going to events and finding time to write them up. I'd hate to stop blogging. It inspires me, and makes me practise observation, note-taking, research and presentation skills. It's an extension of writing reviews, which I used to do a lot. I flag up posts on an online writing group (WriteWords) and on Facebook -I'm fairly new to Twitter so I'll try to remember to use that, too. I don't go in for blog tours or guest interviews (so far).

  6. Sheila, I've just had to write six posts in a row for a book tour for Barbara's War that Orangeberry are doing. They gave a list of topics and this was far easier than thinking of a subject for myself. I'm glad someone still reads blogs and enjoys writing them.