Blogging is a really useful answer for people who like to write, but who perhaps are not getting published as often as they would like.
So, if blogging is the answer, what are the questions? The questions, some of them, are:
How can I get other people to read my work?
Whatever you write – fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, kid-lit – it isn’t going to reach anyone if it is in a file folder in your desk or on your computer. Blogging gets it out there.
But isn’t it difficult?
(Pardon me while I laugh. If I’m doing it, it isn’t difficult, trust me on that one.) You go to WordPress (my favorite, and the one I’m using here) or Blogger, pick a title, pick a theme – which is the visual layout of your blog, and start writing. It’s that easy. you don’t have to pay anything, although WordPress does have a more complex version that costs a small amount.
But maybe my writing isn’t that good yet, and I’m no good at grammar.
Writing, and knowing other people will be reading your writing, is great motivation to improve. If it’s just grammar, do some research and write yourself a few simple rules covering basic mistakes like their/there and its/it’s. And if your writing isn’t ‘that good’, believe me, writing regularly will improve it.
Can I make my fortune putting ads on there?
It’s called ‘monetizing’ and I’ve heard that some people have earned money that way. Personally, to me, it looks like a lot of work for not much reward. In the beginning just concentrating on writing. Focus on making your work high quality so people will return time after time for more.
What if people steal my work?
It’s unlikely, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Unless they are re-publishing blog after whole blog of yours under their own name I’d just take it as a compliment. (I’ve written books that were plagiarized big time on two occasions. Having an occasional blog sentence stolen is not going to get me excited.)
What should I blog about?
What are you interested in? What can you talk for hours about? What do you believe in? What do you wish other people know more about, or wish they would do differently? What is your ‘thing’? What turns your crank? That’s what you should blog about.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a popular topic like cooking pasta or something unusual like shoeing Icelandic ponies. You’ll find people who are interested and who want to read your thoughts on it. Your take on it is unique.
But what if I don’t really know much about anything?
Can you write in an amusing way? Can you inspire people with ideas. Can you motivate people? Have you overcome an illness or personal tragedy so you can guide others through that? Do you want to share your faith or a way of life you have discovered?
Blogging is a direct route to readers. It removes the gatekeepers – the publishers who must publish what sells most or what the advertisers want. This is just you and the reader. No gatekeeper.
What a marvellous opportunity. Take it.