Dispatch from AWP: Four Ways Blogging Benefits A Writer

blogThere are four ways that blogging benefits you as a writer: creation, career, promotion, and conversation.

That’s according to the panelists Isla McKetta, Rebecca Bridge, Elissa Washuta, Ann Hedreen, and Jack Remick, all of whom have vast blogging experience.

But let’s skip the “how it benefits” part and get right to the “how to blog” part, because, let’s face it, writers need to blog, and if you’re not doing it, you should consider starting ASAP. Come back to the benefits later. For now, check out the handout that these panelists put together. It features their contact information at the bottom.

Quick lessons for you:

Elissa Washuta, who blogs here says “useful information is what got me a lot of hits.” This may seem obvious, but equally obvious is the fact that there’s a lot of useless information on the Internet. Do not add to that pile of uselessness.

Another blogging benefit: One panelist says that, in general, “agents are lazy,” and they like blogs that feature a variety of different guest bloggers. By checking out these blogs, they can sample several writers in one place.

Jack Remick, who blogs here , says that “Instagram is an index of what’s happening in the culture right now.” He also says that Facebook is on its way out.

Jack also mentioned that, in his book contracts, the publisher listed the following clause: “The author will maintain a web presence.” It seems wise, then, to start building that web presence now.

“Publishers have quit doing what they used to do for writers,” Remick said. “You must become the best at promoting your own book.” This means you must blog!

One panelist also said that her blog was featured as “Freshly Pressed” by WordPress because her blog was tagged “memoir.” So, for fun, you may want to guess how I tagged this post.

If you’re interested in guest blogging on the craft of writing and how the workshop environment can contribute to the writing process on this blog, please do contact me.

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