3 Reasons to Start Blogging Before a Book Contract

I don’t believe every writer needs to blog, especially unpublished writers. I’ve discussed my views on this in a previous post: How Important Is Blogging For Unpublished Writers. Of course, having a web presence is important in today’s media-oriented culture. But ultimately, every writer needs to find the social media presence that works best for them.

With that said, I do highly recommend blogging. And now that I’m on the other side of the publication mountain and hiking up a new cliff, I can honestly say, I’m really glad I have a blog AND that I started it months before getting a book contract.

I’ve noticed 3 huge benefits to having started a blog well in advance of publication:

1. We can network with genuineness.

When we begin blogging early (before getting a book contract), then we can form genuine friendships with other writers—without strings attached. If we wait to start networking until we have a book in the publication pipeline, we risk being perceived by others as self-serving, as using them and blogging simply for marketing. It would be somewhat like knocking on our neighbor’s door just when we need something, instead of because we truly care to know them.

Effective blogging isn’t about building our platform and marketing—although that can be an aspect. Like all the other social medias, blogging is most fulfilling and beneficial when we socialize with others (especially early in our blogging efforts). When we begin blogging well before publication, we’re able to relate with others without asking for anything but their friendship.

2. Our writing friends become our biggest supporters.

If we’ve made the effort to know others and form relationships through blogging, then those friends get excited for us when we succeed. They know how hard the journey is. They’ve watched us struggle along the way. And so when we have a moment of success, whether a contest final, landing an agent, or getting a book deal, they’re there cheering for us.

My blogging friends were some of the first to step up and offer to be Influencers for The Preacher’s Bride. They’ve helped spread the buzz, written reviews, and hosted me for interviews. They’re willing to go the extra mile because we laid the foundation for our relationships long before publication. We want to help each other because we care about each other and want to cheer each other on toward success.

3. We can save ourselves time and effort later.

I can honestly say I didn’t realize how much work and effort my writing career would require, especially the closer I got to the release of my first book. Recently, I’ve been juggling all of the marketing of The Preacher’s Bride—planning the launch party, writing up online interviews, doing giveaways, etc. Besides that, I’ve been in the middle of some very difficult rewrites for my second contracted book as well as the beginning stages of planning my third book.

While I still make it a priority to write up and post my blogs, I’ve had to temporarily let go of my ability to visit the blogs of friends. I try to pop in to various blogs on occasion, but because of the intensity of all that’s going on right now, I can’t socialize through blogging the way I could earlier in my writing career.

However, because I started blogging early enough, most blogging friends can extend grace to me right now and hopefully know I still care about them, but realize it’s almost physically impossible during this busy time to keep up with visiting. If I’d waited to start blogging until now . . . I shudder to think of the additional stress it could have involved.

~My Summary: If we’re considering blogging, we need to evaluate exactly when the right time is for us to plunge in. If we start too fast and furiously we risk burnout. But if we wait too long, we could lose out on the benefits I’ve listed above.

When do you think is a good time for writers to begin blogging? What are the other benefits to blogging early? And are there other drawbacks to starting a blog too close to publication?

The winner of last Friday's Release Party Giveaway is: Liza Carens Salerno. She wins a copy of The Preacher's Bride and a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Congratulations, Liza! Thanks to everyone for stopping by and joining in the party! Your warm wishes meant the world to me!

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