I’ve been blogging consistently for several months now (as opposed to posting whenever I felt like it), and the results have voided the saying, “If you build it, they will come.” Because despite Tweeting about old posts and new, and many of my Twitter friends Retweeting very helpfully, not many readers are coming.
Not many are buying books, either.
I’ve been following a discussion in a writer’s group about the benefits of blogging for promotional/book sales purposes, and the others have come to the same conclusion I have. Blogging doesn’t sell books.
There are less tangible benefits to the activity, though. If nothing else, it encourages the habit of consistency and provides practice working under a deadline, even if that deadline is self-imposed. For a writer who struggles to find time to write regularly, it’s good practice–even if you’re not working on your WIP, you’re at least writing blog posts. And the more you write, no matter what it is you’re writing, the better you’ll get. Think of it as homework.
I’ve had people tell me they enjoy the posts. Bringing pleasure to others, and perhaps the occasional inspiration, is a worthy purpose. Sure, my ramblings aren’t for everyone, but those who don’t like them don’t have to read them. (Since I have so few subscribers, there must be a lot of those “don’t like thems” out there!)
But in a world that presents so many demands on our time and offers so many activities to distract us from our purpose, we should frequently evaluate what we squeeze into the inflexible hours allotted to us. Is the time I spend blogging worth it? Should I continue to posting three times a week, or should I cut back to one or two? Or less?
It’s not so much a matter of not having anything to say. I have a running list, in fact, of potential topics. But they aren’t all things I can whip up in a few minutes, and sometimes I don’t want to take the time, so I post meandering stream-of-consciousness that nobody cares to read. (Today’s offering, for example.)
To blog or not to blog, and to what degree? Those are the questions. I won’t be making any decisions today, but the stew is simmering on the back burner of my brain. Here’s hoping it doesn’t scorch. Wait a sec – okay, I just turned the heat way down. It should be okay now.
When it’s done, I’ll let you know how it turns out.