Why do you need to stop writing about writing?

to blog or not to blog

Because it’s going to kill your author career.

This week I did four platform checks for new authors.

Plus, I stalked a few author websites after they posted questions about their books or blogs.

In all, I checked out about nine author websites.

All of them were novelists, by the way.

You know what each of them had on their sites? Blog posts about writing craft and book marketing.

You know who doesn’t care about writing craft and book marketing? Readers.

And when I say readers, what I really mean is their reader. Your readers. At least if you’re a novelist who’s writing about writing.

I get it, you’re an author. Your inclination is to write all about writing.

But you have to stop. It’s going to kill your author career.

Why writers shouldn’t write about writing

Your existing readers don’t care. At best. At worst, it annoys them.

Annoyed reader

Photo by Marcelo Chagas from Pexels

Your fans want you to write more of what they love. More of what you’re supposed to be writing. Your books. The next book. Then the one after that.

Your new, potential readers will be confused. Do you write novels, historical fiction, cookbooks? Or do you write books for writers?

The bottom line is readers don’t care about writing craft, and it actually might turn them away.

What’s worse than a writer writing about writing?

Writing it on their website.

Their website that’s supposed to be about their books.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating…

Your author website has one purpose, to get readers to buy your books.

Maybe not on day one, but if they don’t buy then, they need to get on your email list.

If they don’t get on your list immediately, they need a reason to come back so you can try to hook them again.

And they are not coming back for more writing craft.

Even if they did, it does no good to lure them back with writing about writing when you don’t sell writing about writing.

It does no good to get another writer on your list because it’s unlikely they’ll buy your books.

Okay, maybe one will. To be nice. But one doesn’t even buy you a latte.

Your website has one purpose

To sell books.

how to sell books

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Most potential readers will visit your site just one time.

You have one chance to hook them on your books.

What do you want them to see?

A post about writing craft?

Or, a post that hooks them on the first book in your series?

It really is that simple.

“I’m not listening. I’m not listening!”

Again, I’ve been there, too. Solidarity.

“I love writing so much.”

“My best friends are writers.”

“Writers are so sexy.”

It is legitimately hard to not write about writing under these circumstances, but resist. You’re better off not doing it at all.

But if you do anyway, which you probably will, don’t put it on your author website. Use Medium.com.

What about that whole sharecropping thing?

Not renting space on another person’s platform? Isn’t that what Medium is?

I know, you’ve been told NOT to use Medium, and while that advice is spot on for your business, it doesn’t apply to stuff that’s off-brand for you, anyway.

No, Medium is not your own space. It’s rented space that you can lose at any time.

Yes, you own your blog. You don’t own Medium.

That doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re not turning readers away from your site.

Lest you think I’m speaking out of both sides of my mouth, I write on my blog and on Medium.

Medium is a great place for things that matter to the world, but don’t matter to your business, like your personal feelings about politics or Star Wars, some random poem you wrote that is not on-brand for your book writing genre, or writing about writing.

Good stuff for your blog (if you need to blog at all, which you don’t)

  • Short stories in your genre (good) or your own universe (better)
  • Posts about books in your genre that you know your ideal reader would enjoy
  • Posts about your books, events, and appearances

Good stuff for Medium (if you just can’t stop yourself)

  • Off genre writing that would confuse a potential reader
  • Your thoughts about… stuff
  • Writing about writing

And Medium doesn’t have to be a secret, just not in your reader’s face

Blogging isn't a secret

Photo by Noelle Otto from Pexels

It’s okay to link to Medium on your website, to tell your readers, and to tell your friends.

It’s fine to have a little thing that’s fun for your superfans, but it’s not going to sell books.

And, at least if your off-brand writing is on Medium, it won’t stop you from selling books, either.

Talk soon,

Roland

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