Can blogging help get you published?
Blogging is often discussed and sometimes misunderstood, as it relates to academic publishing. Some people feel it takes away from valuable book or article writing time. This can be true, depending on how disciplined (or not) a person is. Others feel the format is so free form that it does not help hone the skills of an academic writer.
I think blogging can be a valuable addition to your writing life. The blog can be professional, like my relatively new blog on scholarly publishing, or personal. Regardless, here are some reasons to consider blogging and how doing so may help get your work published:
- Hone your writing skills. Almost any regular, focused writing will help improve your writing skills. Writing and editing are skills that need to be practiced and repletion helps make improvements.
- Stay disciplined. Any regular writing commitment like a blog, will increase your adherence and reliance on schedules. Those writers that commit to writing each day or throughout the week are successful in the long run. Nobody just runs a marathon one day. They practice using a set timetable over months leading up to the race.
- Promote your ideas and work. Blogs are a big billboard for your ideas, your work, and you. They help promote all things associated with your academic or research life.
- Build your name recognition or brand. Many scholarly writers blanch at the word brand. But whatever term you use, blogging can help people recognize you and your work in your circle or specialty.
- Find your tribe. You likely know many people in your field. Blogging becomes one more way to meet people in your tribe, specifically those interdisciplinary people on the edge of your work. Reach out to everyone who comments on your blog and engage them to see where your interest intersects.
- Establish your author platform. A big term used by publishers when considering book proposals is what resources the author brings to marketing their work; or what kind of author platform they have. An established, successful blog with followers can be a big inducement for a publisher to approach a new, potential author.
- Get noticed. Well read blog posts or ones that stake some ground on controversial discussion points in a field can generate buzz or traffic to your site. These types of posts (and they all can’t be that way), can you get noticed outside your immediate circle, and sometimes, by publishers.
- Make connections. Most importantly, well written and thoughtful blogs can be a source for acquisition editor to find up and coming authors.
If establishing a blog seems too big of a commitment, then try guest blogging. Many blogs (including this one) welcome occasional guest writers. This smaller step may help you understand how it compliments (or detracts) from your writing and publishing life.
Dive in and let me know your experience. You may not know until you try.
John Bond is a publishing consultant at Riverwinds Consulting. He works with individuals on publishing and writing projects. Schedule an initial complimentary phone call at Publishing Fundamentals. In his career, he has directed the publishing of over 500 book titles and 20,000 journal articles. He is the host of the YouTube channel “Publishing Defined.”Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.