Why do I blog and post on social media?
As a budding author it may seem like an easy question to answer. Why else but to build and audience for that book that will one day (in March 2020!) hit the shelves? People like to buy books from people they know, voices they’ve heard before. It’s hard to limit yourself to just that little blurb on the back cover and feel confident that your money is well spent.
But entering my third year of blogging and social media for business, the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you can’t sustain the self-promotion at the heart of wanting purely to build an audience.
It’s boring to write, and it’s boring to read.
I feel myself zone out as soon as that friendly tone on the page winds into promotional mode. Oh! I say, I get it. You want to sell me something.
And I switch off.
Blogs that are adverts in disguise are the online equivalent of those late night (or mid-morning) infomercials on TV. They sound like they’re talking to you, but they’re not really.
I’m not going to pretend I don’t want people to buy my book. I wrote it to be read. My publisher has invested time, money and faith in me to get it out into the world hoping people will like it and it will be a commercial success. I want to write another book.
But I don’t need to write a blog just to sell books. Lots of authors don’t.
So why then?
As I ran through a series of prompts designed to help me understand why I blog, it struck me—communicating online is separate to my work. At its core I blog, post on social media, share photographs and this year (yay!) will start a book podcast with one of the most fabulous women in the world all because…
I want to talk to people.
Many of you will know about my early career as a veterinarian. It’s a social job. Vet nurses are hilarious. Other vets are equally weird and clients come into the room with raw emotion and concern for their beautiful pets. You spend a lot of time talking, consoling, explaining and reassuring people. You talk for twelve to eighteen hours a day (depending on the luck of your shift, or if you’re called in after hours).
Then one day, I wasn’t a vet anymore.
I was at home, pregnant and lost. Then I had my daughter, and less than two years later my son and I was still at home. I went from spending every minute of the day talking in an action-packed, highly skilled job to spending years where I was by myself ninety percent of the time.
It made me go strange (honestly).
Now that I’m out the other end, I’ve realised that I don’t blog to sell books. I don’t blog to get followers. I blog to talk to people. To share ideas. To connect. All for myself (a bit selfish really).
Ideas are the thing that make me most excited. Whether it’s a great idea from a story, a science article about a new way treating arthritis or an amazing new business that is changing the world. It doesn’t matter.
For me it’s about sharing ideas, engaging in a conversation with the world about books, story, images and each other’s lives.
That is my why.
I dont’ want to talk into the void for the sake of speaking. Instead, I would love you to join me in an exchange of ideas.