I, myself, had previously tried a blog attached to my website. At first I thought I’d blog a couple of times a week. Pithy articles and insights into the life of a writer. How hard could it be? Thirty minutes each time. An hour a week. What kind of commitment was that? None at all.
I did try. And it wasn’t that I didn’t have good ideas for blogs.
But the days slipped by and I didn’t blog. It became like that exercise bike you once bought and parked in the corner of the dining room. You were sure you’d use it but week by week it gathered cobwebs and then turned into a giant hand pointing a finger of reproach at you.
Wracked with guilt I would blog diligently for a while. I would feel good about it. It became a kind of barometer of my general attitude to work. If I did blog then all was well. If I didn’t then I became disgruntled at my fictional output.
There was another problem with blogging. Who was I reaching? I sell a few books but I don’t have a hungry band of followers awaiting my every word. I began to wonder what was happening to my words of wisdom. Who was reading them? I began to view it like a message in a bottle which I had tossed over the side of a boat. I was sending my words, my thoughts into the blogosphere and I had no idea who was actually receiving them.
So I gave up. It was a great relief and I carried on my daily business.
Then I saw the article in the Bookseller. I decided then that the only way for a blog to work for lesser known writers was for them to join together and pool our words, out time and our contacts. As a single blogger I had X contacts. As part of a joint blog I had X multiplied by the number of bloggers. My post would be seen by many more people. It was a bit of self promotion that seemed worthwhile.
I belong to the Scattered Authors’ Society and I know a lot of writers. I contacted them and we started off with about ten people. We blogged about three times a month. Every day (apart from Sunday) we had a fresh post. It meant that other writers reached my contacts and I reached theirs. We were timetabled and the fact that we knew in advance which dates we had to blog gave us deadlines that were easy to fulfil.
The blogs improved and we increased our number of followers. The blog itself was eclectic and this, I think, is the secret of its success. It’s not just a self promotion tool but it genuinely acts as a forum for discussion, a chance to reveal more of ourselves not just as writers but as people AND it tells readers about what we are working on.
Individual blogs are great if you’ve lots to say and lots of followers. A joint enterprise like ABBA is better, I think, because with very little imput you can reach a much bigger audience.