June 24, 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog, That is the Question! - Lynn Dove

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When I published my first book, "Shoot the Wounded" I was a rookie in the market place.  I had absolutely no idea how to develop a platform, how to market, didn't have a Twitter account, Pinterest hadn't been established, and I did not have any idea what it meant to blog or to be a blogger.  As I have stated in a previous posting, I was mentored by some wonderfully successful writers and I very quickly learned that the best way to get "noticed" is to have an established blog.  Most readers will check out new authors by reading their blogs first before they buy the books.  It's a good way to see if an author can actually write!

In fact, two boys from my church's youth group, Mike and Daniel Blackaby, who are both best-selling authors now, were "discovered" by someone reading their wildly popular blogs first.  I'm sure being the grandsons of "Experiencing God" author, Henry Blackaby, may have attributed to some of their success, but their blogs have definitely launched their writing careers.  I am so blessed and honoured to have been their Sunday School teacher ...I can always say, "I knew them when...!"

Blogging.  Who knew that I would enjoy the experience of blogging perhaps even more than I do writing books!  In fact, if I were totally honest, I am sure I have more people following my blog than have actually read my books.  Blogging has become a way for me to connect with people on a personal level and the feedback I receive from readers makes me very aware that this is way more than a writing platform for me, it has become a ministry.

If you are an author, it is vitally important to have a blog.  Write from the heart and write often. 

A good rule of thumb when blogging:
1.  Write at least 1 - 3 times a week.  (Yes, it's a lot of work sometimes, but the more you write, the more engaged you are with your readers.)

2.  Write what interests you and what will interest your reader.

3.  Don't be long-winded.  It's hard to tell a writer to keep it brief, but readers who read blogs want "short and sweet" articles.  Think about your blog like a devotional - brief and to the point.
I would highly recommend to those authors and writers who are contemplating starting a blog to go to Michael Hyatt's blog for suggestions on how to set up a blog, what to write about, etc. etc.  He is a "professional" blogger and has some common sense advice to seasoned and rookie bloggers alike.



Lynn Dove calls herself a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a teacher and a writer (in that order). She is the author of award winning books: The Wounded Trilogy.  Her blog, Journey Thoughts won a Canadian Christian Writing Award - 2011.  She has also had essays published in LifeWay magazines: "HomeLife" and "Parenting Teens", "Mother of Pearl: Luminous Lessons and Iridescent Faith" and "Chicken Soup for the Soul - Parenthood" (March 2013).  Readers may connect with Lynn on Facebook, Twitter and on her blog: Journey Thoughts and on her website: www.shootthewounded.org


4 comments:

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Hi Lynn ~ I enjoyed reading your post -- I felt the energy and enthusiasm as you shared your thoughts about blogging.

I, too, love blogging and your tips are good reminders.

Thanks for sharing....

Janis Cox said...

Lynn,
Exactly right. As writers we need to engage our readers. I started blogging in 2008 - changed sites and names a number of times. Finally did a self-hosted last year and feel at ease when I write. Blogging gave me the platform for my new children's book.
Blessings,
Janis www.janiscox.com

Tracy Krauss said...

These are excellent suggestions, Lynn. I, too, find that I enjoy blogging for its own sake, despite the work involved.

Sharon Espeseth said...

Thanks, Lynn. I got behind on reading InScribe Writers Online, so I decided to stop and make this my devotional time for today. Reading from the top down, you three writers packed a real punch for me--"how to"s, "why to"s, accomplishments, affirmations. . .

I also like Janis Cox's comment that she started on different sites until she got it right! You mean I'm not the only one with an abandoned blog in my past!

You've got me thinking, Ladies. Thanks.