This week I received a message from a writer who wants to start a blog, but she feels that blogging is "writing for free". Why write a blog when she could be paid for the writing she's doing?
I don't know anything about her, and she doesn't mention how long she's been writing, but from her words I'd say around three years. She wants some reasons she should blog, so here we go.
The effect of a blog depends on the stage of your writing career.
When you're just starting out, a blog helps your writing because you're writing. It helps you to develop ideas and themes for your work, as well as prompting you to respond to people who comment on your writing.
For a beginning writer, however, the biggest benefit comes from eliminating self-consciousness. I can always estimate how long a writer's been writing, from just a page. For the first five years, some form of self-consciousness is always there - it's hard to get rid of, it comes through in the words, and a blog will help you to write yourself free of it.
For an experienced writer, a blog is about self-promotion. I've just written a post on my Fab Web Writer blog about the benefits of self-promotion, so I won't go into it here. Suffice to say that once you're selling, your income depends on your marketing efforts.
More on blogging:
* My Blogging For Dollars Blog