Thursday, June 27, 2013

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/

A week or so I reached a milestone on my blog: I published my 100th post. Woo hoo.

I started writing blog posts 3 years ago, however, only started publishing them on my website in September last year. So in fact I’ve actually written about 250 posts but only 100 have seen the light of day.

My US distributor had encouraged me last year to become an active blogger writing two or three posts a week so I could build a community of readers who might then read Angelguard. But writing and publishing blog posts doesn’t necessarily get you readers. Readers, firstly, have to find your blog.

For six months or so I published two or three posts a week on various subjects: 
  • my publishing journey
  • some perspectives on spiritual warfare and prayer as that is what Angelguard is about,
  • my musings on what I’m studying and reading,
  • book reviews.

I don’t have many readers and that’s okay for now. It’s a journey which I’m enjoying.

Fiction vs Non-Fiction

The majority of fiction authors I read don’t blog. I read mostly in the suspense/thriller genre in the Christian market. There is one author who has published eight novels who now blogs consistently each week. However, this is uncommon amongst the authors I read.

That’s not to say other fiction authors don’t blog. There are a number of authors that share a blog so each author only writes once a week, fortnight or month depending on the number of collaborators.

It makes a lot of sense for non-fiction writers to blog. I read a lot of non-fiction and many of these authors blog consistently. They are able to share their “expertise” in blog posts.

However, for a fiction author it’s more challenging for a number of reasons:
  1. Writing time is precious so when we do have time we want to be working on our manuscripts, not blog posts,
  2. What do our readers what to read from us? Our stories. Certainly there is related material we can provide, for example, our publishing journey, character insights, deleted scenes, and so on. However, unless you have a lot of material this soon runs out.
  3. There are alternative mechanisms for building one’s tribe of readers: email newsletters, Facebook, and so on.
  4.  Lack of enjoyment from blogging.

Successful bloggers feed their readers. That’s why people keep coming back.

So why blog?

Agent Rachelle Gardner wrote a magnificent post on the subject late last year. I’d encourage you to read it.

Reasons why I continue to blog:
  1. I enjoy it. I’m keen to establish a second writing voice, not just my novel voice. This helps me when drafting posts for ICFW, Christian Writers Downunder (CWD) and ACFW that I contribute to on a regular basis.
  2. I love promoting other authors. So I now interview authors and promote their work with giveaways and such. This week I’m featuring Tosca Lee and Ted Dekker on the release of “Sovereign”.
  3. It helps me explore aspects of my faith. Writing helps me crystallise my thinking. In addition, having others contribute to the discussion aids my thinking and I hope theirs.
  4. I plan to add additional information that is relevant to the Angelguard Chronicles that I trust readers will enjoy.
  5. I hope this experience will enable me to develop more guest spots on other relevant blogs. What is clearly evident in the non-fiction world, guest posting is very important in building one’s tribe and/or expertise.

Do you blog? What tips do you have for we novice bloggers? Would you like to blog? Did you blog but have now stopped? I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on blogging.

Take care and keep up that writing.

Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Northern Sydney. Ian's first novel, Angelguard, was released recently in US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter


  1. Interesting comments, Ian. I'm a three-year weekly Aussie blogger and have kept for the most part with my subject, ie romance and marriage. Sometimes it's real life stories, sometimes advice...not always from me. Sometimes authors & how they met their future partners plus their books.

    OK, if you're married and are willing to share your personal story with me, I can also feature your book Angelguard. check out:


    1. Thanks Rita for your kind invitation. I'll check out your site and make contact.


  2. Blogging brings out the double minded part of me. I have several blogs, but do not post regularly any more.

    Ephemera Captured is my fleeting thoughts that almost got away. Posts are very random here. I truly mean to make it more regular, but somehow life seems to intervene. (58 posts)

    As Grandma Says was created to support my devotional gift book and give people a glimpse into the woman who inspired the book. (22 posts)

    Garment of Praise is my devotional blog. (436 posts) For the year 2009, I posted daily devotions from the Chronological Bible. Then I dropped to weekly, and then it became very sporadic.

    I don't know the answer to the "to blog or not to blog" question. I'm still trying to decide myself.

    1. Hi Judith, I think your final comment is a common assessment for many authors. One of the things that makes life so fascinating is nothing stays the same for long. Perhaps blogging will have less of a role to play in the near future and be replaced by email newsletters, Pinterest visualisations or whatever.

      Always keeps life interesting.

      All the best with your writing.

  3. Ian, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm a fan of blogging although it requires commitment to post on a regular basis. I'm planning to start my author blog in August :)

    1. Thanks Narelle. I'm looking forward to sharing in your blogging journey.


  4. I've been blogging for about eight years. It was much easier at first as it was pre-Facebook and pre-publishing-journey. I just blogged for my friends several times a week, mostly about my writing. Once I began getting serious and entering contests, I couldn't blog as freely about my writing and it became harder to find topics to blog about.

    In recent years I've slowly focused my blog on "where food meets faith." Now that I've contracted a 3-book series that revolves around local food, blogging is once again easier—not just to promote my books but to talk about the farming lifestyle portrayed in my stories, which is my own lifestyle. Hence I can blog about gardening, farmers markets, food preservation, beekeeping, farming, etc. All while keeping in mind how it connects to my Christian beliefs.

    However, I've gone from a 5 times a week (or more!) blogger to 3 for quite a few years to 2. Considering dropping to 1. I'm also blogging once a week at on writing related subjects. Plus I have 3 regular "columns," one here, one at (on being green) and one at (on the simple life).

    I'm about blogged out.

  5. Valerie, you're a blogging machine. Interesting how you describe the evolution of your blogging experience over the years.

    Congratulations on your 3-book series, wow. Amazing. God is good. I'm enjoying your "towriteastory" tweets, I must check out the blog.

    Blessings to you Valerie.

  6. I see blogging as another means of conversation with people. May as well open any door you can to connect because that's what it's all about anyways. Connect, care, concern yourself. Continued success to you Ian! I probably will only read blogs instead of creating a personal one. I don't get many hits on a website I've had for over a year and for me one frustration is enough. LOL

    1. I love your statement, Sumite, that blogging is another means of conversing with people. I agree.

      Keep conversing...


  7. Hi, Ian. I followed you over here from your blog after you left a comment on my blog. How do you like that route?

    When I started blogging in April '11 I did it out of a sense of reacting to the push to grow an internet presence as a pre-published author. Truthfully, I didn't expect to enjoy it. I'd even been cautioned that it would take too much time away from the little time I have to write. But, this is one major change in my life that I have no regrets about. Since I do not co-blog with anyone else, I've been sort of a maverick, making my own schedule (only 1x a week) and choosing the format (featuring weekly guests). I don't know if I'm doing it "right" or "wrong" or what future publishers will think, but this has become a passion of mine. It's my way to meet other writers, authors, and readers. I've ben encouraged. I've seen others emotionally & spiritually lifted. Have even seen one viewer who has contemplated an extreme measure in her life write to say she's been inspired to think otherwise. And it gives me the opportunity to not only pray for others, but to "get beyond myself and me."

    Just my 2 cents.

    1. Elaine, I love your blog & your passion for exploring the heart of authors, not just their novels.

      Who knows maybe you could e-book a selection of them?

      You serve this industry in such a wonderful selfless way which I'm sure makes our Lord smile.

      Keep up your writing.



    2. Ian, you're making my eyes tear with happy tears. Maybe I'll explore this suggestion. Hmmm...

  8. Ian, I blog once a week, which is quite enough for me, and began in July 2009, so I'm up to Blog Number 211--plus any I write for ICFW and CWD and sometimes elsewhere. Yes, I do think it helps promote my fiction and non-fiction books, but primarily, I just want to say something worthwhile that encourages both writers and non-writers in their Christian journey. I probably should narrow down my focus to one or the other, but can't bring myself to do that! To me, coming from a pastoral background, it's like having a little 'congregation' out there--and I want to lead and feed them well. Yes, it does take time to write these blogs, but I think it's good discipline for me to create them regularly--plus I find I learn so much myself from writing them and that God ministers to me as I do. I hope this encourages you to keep going with your own.

  9. Great perspective, Jo-Anne. I too enjoy the discipline & what I learn from the Lord as I prepare blog posts.

    Thanks for popping by.