So far in this series on Author Blogging we’ve looked at many aspects of setting up and operating an author blog.
Now I want to switch gears a little bit. This is more about your mindset when you’re over the excitement of your first few blog posts, you’ve maybe struggled finding readers, attracting comments and getting traction.
People often say to me, “Well, that’s okay for you, Joel, you’ve already got a popular blog and everybody knows you.”
True, but it wasn’t always that way, was it? Every blog starts with a readership of 1: you.
Lessons from Publishing
As many self-publishers have no doubt realized, it’s pretty hard to make any significant impact, or much in the way of income, with just one book.
It’s not that it doesn’t ever happen, because it does. But it happens rarely, and it’s not something you can plan on or build a business around.
Successful publishing is a long-term business. It requires you to find a viable market with needs that you can address with your books. You have to learn everything including how to create books, how to package them, and how to market them.
Blogging in support of your publishing is a bit like that. Sure, there are blogs that appear from nowhere and suddenly have thousands of readers. I’ve seen it, you probably have also.
But you can’t plan on lightning striking you, and you can’t build a business with money you find in the street.
Both blogging and publishing take time: time to learn, time to practice, time to get right. Maybe everything worth doing is the same.
Blogging and publishing are, to my mind, similar activities. Hey, there’s a reason why the button on my WordPress blog doesn’t say “Post” or “Submit” or “I’m finished, let’s go.” It says “Publish.”
The Profit in Persistence
Here’s what I can tell you from experience, and from watching lots of people dive into blogging. Many of them will post wildly for a few weeks or months, then flame out.
Some will pound away for months, head down and gradually becoming more lost and dejected.
There are only a few in each niche, from what I can see, who really have a plan, stick to it and prosper. That’s what I want for you.
When I started blogging near the end of 2009, I had 1 reader: me. Jill read a few but, you know, she’s not that interested in book design.
But I dedicated myself to one full year on a regular schedule. There just didn’t seem to be any way to find out if this blogging thing was going to work for me in less time than that.
Maybe it’s because I’ve had many jobs over the years, but a year seemed the minimum it would take just to find out if people really wanted to read about what I wanted to write about.
Over the years since, I’ve talked to and watched hundreds of bloggers, some successful, many who just quit. There are differences between the bloggers who make it and those who don’t, from what I can see.
You can tell when someone has the right idea, that they’re going about it in a way that’s more likely to be successful. They’ll have some of these qualities. Maybe not everything on this list, but a majority:
- They have a posting schedule and a subject focus, and stick to both
- They network with other bloggers in their field
- They have a connection with their readers that grows over time
- They experiment and track the results of their efforts
- And they market their blogs regularly to receptive audiences.
And most of all, they persist. You know they’ll be here next week, and next month.
This persistence works in your favor in many ways. Links accumulate over time. Your authority, page rank, traffic and influence will continue to slowly build, so slowly you might not notice. But a year later, or two years later, your blog will be a whole different animal if you keep at it.
Showing up counts for a lot. In blogging, it may be one of the real keys to success.
Hit the comments and let me know what you think. Is your author blog stuck? Have you thought of just giving up? Does it seem like more work than it’s worth? I want to know.
“Author Blogging 101: The Power of Persistence” – Click to Tweet
Photo by familymwr