Blogging, the series: The Cost of Blogging

Hello, and welcome back to our little series on blogging, blog tours, and publicity.

Today I wanted to explore the cost of blogging with you. For those of you who have spent any time in the blogging world, you understand that the primary cost of blogging is time. Blogging and reading blogs can be addictive. Not to mention that to maintain readership, you must be somewhat consistent in posting. My friend Craver’s recent post is a prime example of what it takes to be active in the blogosphere.

And staying active is what bloggers expect and require in order for you to remain a part of the community. I have taken links to friends’ blogs down because they rarely post. While we all understand a hiatus for a time (like Charity, who – as you’ll notice – still found time to blog every 1-2 weeks), we quickly tire of returning to a blog only to find the most recent post occurred months ago.

So is the cost of blogging worth it?

The majority of publicists and marketers I interviewed responded favorably, but did recognize it ultimately depended upon the author. Here are their most common responses:

1) Blogging provides readers access to the author and builds the relationship and connection between them. Jeane Wynn of Wynn-Wynn Media explains, “We encourage authors to take advantage of the huge opportunities they have in blogging because it enables an author to connect with their readers and peers with immediacy.”

2) Blogging and blog tours can create a viral buzz, which is particularly useful in building excitement about upcoming releases. Kelly Blewett (WaterBrook Press) and Liz Johnson (Multnomah Books) shared, “Even if an author blogs just a couple times a week, fans will appreciate the time, and the author gets the chance to begin building excitement over upcoming projects.”

3) Blogging and blog tours typically cost less than other forms of marketing and PR. Jeane Wynn points out that previously authors had to invest a lot of money in mailing lists and direct mailing campaigns in order to receive the same kind of contact blogging offers. Running ads, writing and distributing press releases, traveling or calling long distance for interviews can also add up to greater expenses than running a blog tour.

I must add, however, that these benefits must be weighed against the cost for the author. Blogging detracts from time that could be spent writing or editing your manuscript, proposal or article; time that might be too valuable, especially when you’re up against deadlines. Additionally, I’ve found as I’ve consulted with people interested in blog tours that they consider a blog tour to be the main (if not only) component of their marketing strategy. As I’ve shared with them, blog tours are not proven to be predictably effective when it comes to book sales. Just because the benefits of a tour are attractive does not mean that the tour is an adequate substitute for all other publicity efforts.

So let me stop here and ask you – do you find that blogging is worth the cost?

Hear from bloggers (Randy Ingermanson, Mary DeMuth, Camy Tang, Dillon Burroughs, LL Barkat, and Marcus Goodyear) about their experiences with blogging, blog tours, and publicity. The first publicist interview is also up (Jeane Wynn, Wynn-Wynn Media). To read the interviews in this series, click here.

To read all of the posts in this series, click here.

Rob Eager of Wildfire Marketing has also written a post worth considering here.

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