1 – It’s Your Property – No matter how much control you have over how your books are created, you’ve very little control over the platform they are sold on. If Amazon decided tomorrow morning that half of your reviews looked like they were paid for, changed the category you were in, or decided that under the new terms and conditions of the Kindle Unlimited program that your pages are only worth half of what were worth today, there’s very little you can do about it. Playing in someone else’s garden means that they can pick it up the ball at any time and take it with them leaving you with nothing. Although some of the above may never happen, and are worst case situations, having your own blog, content, readers and subscribers, means that there’s a cushion for you to fall back on.
2 – Test Out Ideas Quickly – Although it’s easier and faster than it used to be to test out a book idea, there’s nothing like posting the first chapter of your book on your blog and finding out what your fans think of it. Like your own team of beta readers they’ll quickly tell you, either through your blog stats or comments, how that idea was received. If they’ve been following you long and reading your work, they’ll be an audience you can trust before you go further with your idea. Testing ideas like this also makes them feel part of the creation process. It’s been said that most people would love to write a book in their lifetime. Your readers mightn’t have the confidence to write theirs, but by taking part in the building of yours could be the next best thing for them.
3 – Blog Readers Are Your First Fans – When asked, where are your readers? What would you answer? Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the Apple store? But what about your blog? Blogging on a regular basis, means you’re always putting yourself in front of new readers every day. These readers, as I wrote earlier, are more than just that. From your regular posts, they get to know you better, decide if you’re worth following, and in the long run are more loyal to you than a reader that’s just read one of your books. Imagine for a moment that a reader followed you from your very first article, followed you as you wrote about yourself and your first book, and then got to have some input in the finished project. Can you see the strong bond that’s there now? We all would love a huge and loyal fan base. Think maybe a blog would help you build it?
4 – Build A List – You’ve probably heard the mantra, build a list, build a list, you must build a list. But have you? You know it’s useful to do, but let’s face it, the back of a book is probably one of the weakest places to get someone to sign up for your list. There’s distractions. They may quickly move on to another book. They’re reading on a device that’s not connected to the Internet. They’re closing your book before going to sleep. In all of those cases, the chances of that person signing up for your list are slim, unless their next book is one of yours and you’ve got another chance of a sign up. Having a blog however, means you’ve another chance of building that list of readers. You know anyone coming to it, is online, prepared to read, and you’ve got more than one chance to ask for a sign up. Whether that’s a sign up form on entering your site, a subscription box on the right hand column, or an exit pop up, the ways you can ask and test for are numerous. Unfortunately, once a book’s out there there’s no taking it back to fix that broken hyperlink, or put a better call to action in it.
5 – It’s Your Social Hang Out – Let’s face it, you’re never going to have the time to write, promote, and hang out in all the best social media places. Five minutes on Facebook, suddenly becomes an hour as you get lost down more and more rabbit holes reading posts, that frankly are doing nothing to help you or your books. Who cares, if so and so got a new car, had a holiday, or is posting pictures of cute cats. Plus, is posting content there time well spent? Not only are you building a property that you have no control of, but that content is being used by social media companies to make money off of. Wouldn’t it be better to build your own? What if you spent that time writing content for your platform and interacting with the people that really matter, your readers. Sure, you might pick up a few stragglers on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But with those people running down rabbit holes of their own, are they really any better than homegrown fans?
There you have it, 5 reasons why you as an author should be building your own platform through blogging. Will you do it? That’s up to you, but I’m sure after reading today’s post you can see that having something under your own control means there no limits on what you can do with it. It’s all yours after all.