The First Question a Blogger Should Answer: Why?
I talked recently with an author who believes she should be blogging to get the word out about her book but wasn’t. At first, she said she had just been too busy, which is probably partly true. But often, there’s more to the story.
“Writing comes easily for me so I don’t feel that there’s much of a point to it,” she explained. “And I have so much to say but then I wonder is anyone even interested? I don’t want this to be all about me.”
As we talked, it became clear that the problem was a lack of focus. She didn’t really have a good sense of why blogging might be important or to whom she should be writing. As a result, she wasn’t doing it all.
The obvious point of a blog for her would be to raise awareness about and generate interest in her book. But that’s not enough to drive a sustained blogging effort. You have to dig deeper to find the driving motivation.
She knew, at least, what she didn’t want – a blog that was all about her. She’s likely right to think that this type of a blog wouldn’t be much of a draw. Do you care what I had for breakfast? (Instant oat meal and yogurt with chopped peanuts in case you do).
A good blog is rarely about the writer. It’s about the reader.
The question then becomes if it’s not about her what is it about and for whom? She wants to reach the same sort of people who would be interested in the book. What are they interested in? Once she knows those answers, she can narrow it down based on her expertise and what she wants to write about.
Audrie Wright’s book, A Rare Book, is a philosophical-fiction novel about the meaning of life. It asks us why we want to know others and be known ourselves. It’s the story of a girl who turns into a book, a transformation that unexpectedly forces her to confront her own assumptions about human existence. As she passes from reader to reader, she sees that she is deeply connected to a greater story than she had previously imagined. By immersing herself in the lives of her readers, she learns to reevaluate herself and her world, and ultimately begins to understand the purpose of the life she’s been bound to live.