We hear a lot of statistics thrown around about how many blogs are started each year. We hear less about how many are abandoned—60% to 80% within one month, according to Caslon Analytics, an Australian research, analysis and strategies consultancy. I don’t think the same holds true if you begin blogging to write, publish and promote your book on a blog.
Why Bloggers Let Blogs Die
Many people start a blog with the thought that blogging will be fun. Or maybe they want to impart some knowledge or become experts. They soon find that it turns into an unglamorous job, especially if they don’t have many readers. They have to show up every day, or regularly, and, in most cases, they aren’t even getting paid. They squeeze the writing in between other commitments, and, for most bloggers, no one does the blogging for them when they are sick, have an emergency or go on vacation. (What’s a vacation?)
No wonder they give up or stop updating their sites. Caslon noted that The Perseus report indicates that 66.0% of surveyed blogs had not been updated in two months, “representing 2.72 million blogs that have been either permanently or temporarily abandoned.” Notably, 1.09 million blogs were one-day wonders, with no postings on subsequent days. The average duration of the remaining 1.63 million abandoned blogs was 126 days.
Why Book Bloggers Have a Higher Success Rate
If you begin blogging a book you have a different goal in mind than most other bloggers and, therefore, you are less likely to post infrequently. You want to get your books written and promoted at the same time. You want to test-market your book idea. You want to get published. The end goal—become a published author—holds great meaning and worth to you than general blogging for fun or because it seemed like a good idea at the time or a way to make some money. Thus, as a book blogger you are more likely to continue blogging to reach your goal: a finished book with a built-in readership.
And, as you blog you see your book taking shape and form. Your manuscript grows, as does the readership for your book. You actually have early readers for your book–your blog readers–who give you feedback (comments) and inspire you to keep writing. Not only that, your author platform grows as well; your traffic becomes an enticement to publishers and a solid foundation for self-publishing your book. All of these things keep you blogging…
Plus, as a book bloggers, you are less likely to let your blog die. If you do, you book dies with the blog. Or so it seems to blog visitors even if you continue off line.
Each blog reader, even if it is just one or two or 20 or 30, becomes your accountability partner. As they wait to “turn the page,” to read the next post, you feel compelled to continue writing the book and publishing it in post-sized bits. This keeps the blog alive at least as long as the book is being written.
What About Once the Manuscript is Done?
Most bloggers give up early when the going gets tough. They become disenchanted. If you can stick with blogging long enough to get in the rhythm, get past the tough spots, gain some readers, you are more likely to keep going. And blogging a complete book takes time—usually more than a month (although some writers do choose to blog a book in a month during National Book Blogging Month or National Nonfiction Writing Month). Typically, it takes at least 5-12 months to complete a full-length manuscript. By then you are in the rhythm and should have some readers. This keeps you going long term.
Once the manuscript has been completed on the blog, you have achieved a milestone. Not only have you proved it’s possible to stick with blogging past the typical failure rate of a month, you now have built up the stamina, commitment and blogging practice to continue on. You can create a blog plan to help you support your book and possibly even a business around your blog and your book.
By this point, you’ve developed commitment to your blogged book and, therefore, to your blog—where you created the book and the fan base for it. You are less likely to give up on the blog and let it die. If you do, you lose all those potential readers and the ability to successfully promote the book upon release.
So if you are a writer considering starting a blog, think about blogging your book. It might mean the difference between a blog that you keep alive and one you let die.