Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Promotion - Why blog?

by Vivian Zabel   

            As far as we are concerned as an author, illustrator, editor, or publisher, a blog is a way to build an audience who will purchase our work, another way to promote ourselves, build our platform.

            Blogging creates excitement. It’s a way to get people interested in what we have to say. As we begin to generate the excitement, we begin to be recognized as a possible authority in the field we write about both in our blogs and in our books. People want to know more about us and our creative endeavors.

            Many of us begin to blog to attract people to our work, readers to our books, clients for our illustrations. However, we can begin to enjoy the process of blogging, since it is a creative way to show ourselves to others.

            Quoting The Internet Writing Journal’s article called “The Authors Dilemma – To Blog or Not to Blog”:  “The business of being an author has changed considerably over the last ten years. No longer is it sufficient to write a brilliant manuscript and manage to get it published. Authors now need to be excellent promoters of their own work. And for the intrinsically shy, that can be problematic. But an Internet trend has the potential to revolutionize author marketing, even for those who despise public speaking: blogging.”

            A few questions pop up, such as how often should we post on our blog, what subjects should we use, or how much advertising should we do?

            Let’s look at how often first: We should blog often enough to keep people interested, but not so often that we allow blogging to take the place of our other creative endeavors. Some people blog once a week; some every day. One suggestion for authors is to use a short blog post as a warm-up for the day’s writing.

            What subjects should we blog about?
  1. We can write about an arena in which we excel or know much about. I can write about writing because I’ve studied it for most of my life and taught the subject for nearly 30 years.
  2. We can write about a work in progress. We don’t want to give too much away, but enough so that people would be interested.
  3. We can share excerpts and/or reviews of a published work. Illustrators can give samples of art work.

      How much should we advertise ourselves or our work? Any advertisement should be subtle. The majority of any post needs to be about something that might lead into promoting a particular work. Aidana WillowRaven and Ginger Nielson explain how they create something, which indirectly promotes a book – the main topic is the creation of the art work. The post should generate an interest in what we’re selling, not make people tired of our “hard sell.”

            Now, where do we find a blog site or platform?

Blogging Platforms

Blogger – (free, and they have a paid option)
LiveJournal – (ad-supported & paid options)
MySpace – (free, not recommended for professional blogs)
Typepad – (paid)
Vox – (free & paid options)
WordPress – (free & paid options)
Xanga – (paid)

            Once we have site, how do we add some of the site visits and such, track activity on our blogs?

Blogging Tools

Blog Catalog –
Technorati –
Digg It –

            Yes, we need a website and a blog, unless we have a website that has a blog option. Remember we need to promote ourselves and our work, build and maintain a platform.

Vivian Zabel, author of Midnight Hours 


  1. Thanks Vivian. I think a well managed blog is one way of letting people know who and what you are about. I like to ask questions, occasionally,
    from my readers and the responses are always a great mix of ideas and opinions. Promotion can be achieved with links to Facebook, Blogger Followers and through links to other sites that promote artists and writers.

  2. I totally agree with the need for a blog. Besides the fact that people are naturally curious, and always like to learn more about a work, whether it be art or a book, critiques are crutial for an artist. And once out of the college realm, there needs to be another way to get them. A blog is perfect for one on one critiques.

  3. Great points. Maybe if I hear enough reminders I'll remember to post to my blog. I keep forgetting how important it is.