I'm waaay late to the party on this one, but since it's a topic that likely won't go away for a long time, I think it's okay for me to weigh in.
A few weeks ago, the blogosphere exploded on the subject of, well, blogging. Awesome author, Roni Loren, gives a nifty list of links to the debate here. Also, you should totally follow her blog because she's one of the best out there. She's always on top of what's going on. Whereas I am not, as you can see. (Hey, I was sick that week, then my blog was booked up with awesome guest authors and Halloween fun. In my universe, Halloween takes precedence over current events...unless it's the zombie apocalypse)
Anyway, two of the main debates are: Should an author bother to blog? If so, what should they blog about? An agent caused a furor over this advice: "Don't blog about writing."
Anyway, here's my opinions on these matters:
AUTHORS SHOULD DEFINITELY BLOG
A) To connect with other authors.
I've met the greatest people through blogging as well as found valuable information on all aspects of the journey.
B) Blogging may not equal BIG sales, but it does equal sales. I have bought books because I liked the person's blog.
C) Book giveaways and contests are the BEST!
Who doesn't like winning free books? If authors stop blogging, then those awesome giveaways stop and that will make this poor smut-writing-janitor very sad. Also, these giveaways do equal sales and connections in miraculous ways. Here are some examples:
- I have a very limited budget so I am careful on who I buy. If I win a book and love it, I will buy the next one and be a customer for life. AND I spread the word to my friends, who then buy the book as well.
- An author once ran a contest in which she awarded a full manuscript critique to the winner. I won and her critique made the book awesome enough to get my book deal.
- Through blog tours and giveaways I have made friends and valuable connections. They promote me to their readers and vice-versa
Pretty cool, huh? And all of this came from author blogs.
Now to the next point:
WHAT SHOULD AUTHOR'S BLOG ABOUT?
My short answer: Anything!!!
As for the "don't blog about writing bit," I say, go ahead and blog about writing, just don't be boring. I think Chuck Wendig has one of the most entertaining blogs out there...and it's all about writing.
However, the whole "not blogging about writing" admonishment was a bit of a relief to me. For the longest time I had believed the opposite and felt guilty for my nothing-to-do-with-writing posts. But now that I figured out how to track my most popular posts...check it out! Most of them have little-to-nothing to do with writing!
Then there's the advice to write about a niche. I simply can't do that. I have too many interests, which is why you'll see everything from cats to rock stars to movies on here. And ya' know what? When I let go of the guilt and let things be that way, my traffic went up exponentially.
The summary? Blog about whatever you want, as long as you be yourself.
And finally, if you hate blogging, (and it's pretty obvious if you do since your posts are probably sporadic or dry as burnt toast) then DON'T do it. Find some other way to connect to readers. The options are limitless.