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Why Are You A Book Blogger?

Day 7 of the A-Z challenge.

G is for Goals

Answer me one question.

Why do you blog? 

It’s a simple question. But one that many new bloggers never think about. They’re too busy writing that first post and designing their site. 

And that’s a mistake. Because if you don’t know why you’re blogging, you’ll lack the focus needed for a successful book blog. 

You’ll end up writing anything that comes into your head. Random thoughts that may have nothing to do with your initial posts. Or you find you’re not writing very much at all. The result?  Your readership drops off, comments dry up and you lose every ounce of enthusiasm and motivation you once had.

That’s why so many blogs (maybe as high as 80%) fail. Some after only a few months, others go through a long and painful decline.

Clarity Of Purpose = Success

The book bloggers who stay the course are those who have a clear purpose. They know what they’re trying to achieve with their site. 

They have a goal.

Don’t panic. I don’t mean the kind of goal you’re probably used to in your professional life. The kind where you say “I’m going to achieve X by date Y”. Some of the mega bloggers probably do have the kind of goal, that says they will aim to get 100,000 visitors a month or X number of sign ups for their coaching courses.

I’m talking about something far simpler, but just as effective.

Book Blog Goals

Your goal could be to have fun while talking about all the books you love to read (BookishBeck) or to connect with people who share your reading interests. Or your intention might be to journal your progress through a reading project (just as Sheree does at KeepingUpWithThePenguins).

Some book bloggers want to build a profile to attract opportunities from event organisers. Others like Lisa at ANZ litlovers view their blog as a way to shine a light on literature from a specific country or authors from an under represented group.

An alternative approach is to adopt the approach used by Lori at EmeraldCityBookReview and say what goal you are not pursuing.

This is a forum for whatever I feel like writing about that relates to books in any way. I’m not in it for free review copies, ad revenue, or anything else except the challenge and fun of expressing my thoughts.


Changing Goals

Our reasons for blogging can evolve over time. That’s certainly been my own experience.

When I started Booker Talk eight years ago, my goal was to have a journal of my project to read all the Booker Prize winners. But I’ve since broadened my scope to include a focus on literature from my home country of Wales.

As Sue from Gums explains, the reasons why you started a blog and why you continue to blog, may be different. I’ll let Sue explain for herself. She doesn’t like having her photo displayed in social platforms so we’re using a plant from her native Australia instead…..

Flowering Gum Blossom

Why do I blog? Well, there are two ways of looking at it.

The first is why I started blogging, which was primarily give discipline to my reading journal, to make me document my thoughts more coherently. However, I also hoped it would help me keep up with communications technology, which I see as essential to my life as I age.

The second is why I keep blogging. Again I have two reasons.

First, blogging enables me to engage with a wonderful worldwide community of readers who stimulate me intellectually and support me emotionally, just by dropping by and showing interest in what I write. The other reason relates to the prime focus of my reading, Australian literature. I keep blogging because I want to support and encourage interest in Australian literary culture, from its origins to now.

Pick Your Goal

If you don’t already have a goal, and don’t know how to decide what it should be, try this exercise. It’s called the elevator pitch exercise.

Imagine you are at ground floor in a lift, sharing the space with a work colleague. They’ve heard you have a book blog. As the doors close they turn to you and ask: Why are you blogging?. What’s all that about?

You have only the time it takes to reach your destination to give them a clear answer.

Don’t worry if it sounds ‘so-what’. You’re not aiming for a prize-winning piece of text. Nor are you committing yourself to those words for all eternity. You just need a simple, common-sense type statement.

Truly effective bloggers know that having a goal – imperfect as it might be now – is better than no goal at all.

Join The Discussion

Why did YOU decide to become a book blogger? What goals do you have for your site? Do leave a comment below to share your experience or to ask for help. This article is part of the Book Blogging A2Z series. Follow #A2Zbookblogging on Twitter.

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