Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Writers and Social Media - Blogs

I decided to combine these two topics because they're not as big as the previous two - Facebook and Twitter.


There's been a lot of debate in the past about about whether it is necessary or relevant for authors to have a blog. To be honest, I think it's up to each individual whether they want to upkeep a blog or not. It's challenging, that's no secret. It's hard to know what to write and how often to post, it's hard to find the time between the writing and for many of us, the full time jobs. One thing I would say is that if you're going to have a blog, it's important to use it. You don't necessarily need to post every week, but it's helpful if you can try to have something published on your blog every month.

For those who are committed to maintaining a blog, it's a great idea to get involved in the online writing community. I've posted in the past about how incredible and supportive they are, and there are plenty of writing and reading blog hops to participate in and you can really get to know some of the other bloggers out there and develop some great friendships. (I'm assuming most of the people reading this are already part of the writing community anyway already know how great you all are ;-) )

But what do you say on a blog? What do you write about?

Of course this is entirely up to you, but there are many ways to develop your blog, and this can depend on where in the writing cycle you are.

You can talk about books you've been reading, you can study the reading and writing news and provide a social commentary on it (almost like an editorial), you can talk about your book or your writing process, you could talk about how you edit a book or how you formulate ideas, you could talk about what motivates you and gets you in the mood. You can see what others are blogging about and provide responses or, particularly if you've had a book published, you can blog your tips and tricks for writing. A person who I think has done this particularly well is Veronica Roth, who regularly blogs with great advice about ways to write a novel and ways to edit. Of course these tips won't work for everyone because this very much depends on the type of person and writer you are. Whereas for me, Veronica's personality and creative process is very similar to mine, so when I first began to get into writing I read every single post she had published on her blog and took on board all the tips and tricks she was sharing with her followers.

Another way to use your blog is to run competitions. I've come across many writers running competitions from their blogs and it certainly is a great way to discover new writers. One person who has done this particularly well is Jessica Khoury. In the lead up to Origin being released she ran a competition through her blog (smart because you can't run them through Facebook) and she tied it in with real world events - The 2012 London Olympics. She called it the Origin Olympics. You had to complete tasks which would see those entering the competition to change their Facebook and Twitter profile picture to the cover of Origin. This meant the picture of the book cover was all of social media. She also had people tweeting about the competition - getting the name of the book and the link to the competition out there, and she had people posting about the competition and the upcoming release of the book on their blogs. Jessica is an avid Pinterest user, and she had a folder of great images which she then had those entering the contest to write short 500 word stories to go with the picture. Such a great idea. The competition spanned over all the social media sites and got Origins name out there into the great wide world of Cyberspace.

So there are various ways you can utilise your blog. Again, as with Facebook and Twitter, I would recommend you ensure you have the comment section turned on on your blog and to respond to comments that come through. It's nice for people to hear their words are being heard. Similarly, go to other blogs and comment on what others are posting about. Not only will it expand your knowledge in this industry, it will allow you to make connections and may give you some ideas of what you can write about on your blog.

There are of course other social media sites you can utilise to your advantage - Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram, however they're all pretty self explanatory. Use Pinterest to develop photo boards of your story. Find inspiration from the images that come up in your photo feed. Use YouTube to post small clips of your life or you talking about your book, or answering fan questions, and use Instagram to document the noteworthy things that happen in your daily life.

I hope all this talk of social media has helped and given you some ideas of how you can run your own social networking sites!


  1. I've definitely been struggling lately to come up with new and fresh blogging topics (or even not so new and fresh :/). It actually kind of feels like a lot of people are slowing down on blogging these days. Even so, I still think it's important to maintain my blog, and I try to post at least once a week. (Which is weird to say, because at one point I was posting almost every day in a week! Yikes!) :)

    1. Haha I'm the same to be honest. I was posting twice a week and now it's a combination of trying to find time and content to get the posts up. Because of my timezone now I find it hard to participate in RTW too. It sucks!