To Blog or Not To Blog? That is one question every writer must ponder.
I have a love/hate relationship with blogging. It’s not that I mind doing it, but I resent the time involved that takes me away from writing, and I’m not sure blogging has been worth my while. What I am sure is that I haven’t gone about it in a very systematic or effective way, though I try.
My big project for this year is to launch a new website and blog combining both of my writing names into one site, for easier maintenance. In the meantime, I’m still learning as much as I can about author branding, platforms and the use of blogs.
In January, I read Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World by Kristen Lamb, the well-known blogger and social media maven. The first chapter, The Changing Paradigm, was fascinating. She talks a lot about technological change in general, often quoting from Neil Postman, author of several books, including Technopoly. His contention was that technological change isn’t “addictive or subtractive but ecological”. Advances in technology change everything, including the way humans think, certainly changes the way we talk and write. Hashtags, emoticons, text speak… You all know what I’m talking about, like the changes or not.
Lamb is a big proponent of blogging, and while I value her advice, I’m not sure I can manage to do everything she recommends. But after reading her book, I think I have a better notion of what to do and, perhaps more importantly, what not to do. Some of her advice includes:
Be present on social media, at least some of the time; don’t automate everything.
Your name is your brand; use it in some version. Don’t tweet with a silly handle that no one will recognize.
Be careful what you share, esp. where politics and religion are concerned.
I wish her book had been available eight years ago when I started blogging, but as Kitty Bucholtz said in her time management class, it’s never too late to hit the Restart button. I’m hoping to do better when I get the new, better blog later this year, and I’d love to take a branding class from her some day.
In the meantime I have finally joined Triberr, the “Home of Influencers.” If you’re not familiar with Triberr, it’s a blog amplifier. Bloggers ban together in tribes and tweet each other’s blog posts, giving everyone an enhanced range. Since I joined, my blogs are getting tweeted more often, my page stats have shot up, and I’ve picked up new followers at Twitter. I’m still not getting a lot of comments, but I think that’s somewhat normal. Unless there’s a giveaway or a controversy, people are not inclined to comment a lot, esp. where the dreaded Capcha is involved. Personally, I hate those things. So does Kristen Lamb.
So to blog or not to blog? What is your answer. Leave a comment if you can get past the Capcha!
And if social media generally has you befuddled, OCC’s own Elena Dillon will be teaching an online class on Social Media for the Confused and Terrified from April 14 â€“ May 11, 2014. I’m not terrified, but I often find myself confused, so I’ll be taking the class.
Linda McLaughlin / Lyndi Lamont
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