Monday, April 4, 2011

What Will You Do With Your Blog Once You're Published?

Blogs -- did we really think them through when we started them in a bid to establish ourselves as writers?

Samuel Park recently transitioned his blog, called Daily Pep for Writers, into a more cohesive, author web site-blog platform that reflects his forthcoming book being published in July. I’ve always enjoyed Samuel’s blog and thought a little about his choice in the grand scheme of bloggy things.

Some of us (maybe most of us) are blogging with no clear outcome except the whole murk of getting followers (which by now you know really should be "engaging with other writers" -- you know this, right?). I’m going to go ahead and assume that most unpublished writers who start blogging really don’t start with the idea of where the blog will go once they reach the shang-ri-la of being a published author.

Here are some possibilities:
  • Ditch your old blog and start a new one around your forthcoming book. Pros: built-in marketing. Cons: limited to your book and doesn’t, in my opinion, look down your career far enough because it is about your book and not you.
  • Transition as Samuel Park did to an integrated blog/website. Pros: one stop cohesive shop. Cons: can change the focus of your blog. If you were writing about your trials and journey to publication (as many writer blogs do), then what will you write about now?
  • Subtly shift the focus of your current blog. This would be probably be what I’d do. Pro: you get a mix of the old while getting some new. I don't know what that means yet. Con: you might bore your loyal existing following of readers.

Case Studies

There are many ways to handle your role of published author and blogger. Here are a few authors who have handled blogs in different ways:

  • Tawna Fenske, Roni Loren, and Jody Hedlund. Both Tawna and Roni have debut books forthcoming, but have continued to blog about writing topics. Tawna specifically incorporates her writing style so readers are familiar with her humorous type of writing--she's essentially writing a humor blog around writing. Roni writes posts about writing topics, which made her very popular. Both Tawna and Roni have given no signs of ditching their writing blogs, and while it isn't known whether the blogs will speak to their actual readers, Roni did a very interesting poll about whether blogs sells books. (Ladies, feel free to chime in here with thoughts.)
  • Catherine Ryan Hyde incorporates her blog on her web site as well, but uses it for both personal and official author business.
  • Janice Hardy maintains two blogs: one for writers (a very well-indexed, well-topiced site) and also one for readers that speaks to appearances and book news.

I'm interested to hear from any of the names mentioned above on this subject, plus everyone else--have you thought about what will happen to your current blog when you publish? What do you think you'll end up doing? For those of you who have blogs with anonymous names, what will you do?

And finally, here's a guest post on editor Victoria Mixon's blog about why you shouldn't abandon your writing blog. It's not written for people who have gotten book deals, but rather the beginning writer, but the points are still relevant.

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