I know a number of writers. And by that I mean writers of fiction and poetry, in addition to copywriters, technical writers, editors and bloggers.
Writing a blog, you might think, would be an attractive option for writers of every persuasion. As evidenced by all the blogs in the world, and the many new ones that come online daily, that appears to be true: But not every writer is a blogger.
Since blogging is more than writing and since the online world does not represent the traditional media that may have gained the attention of some writers for the majority of their lives, it has still not been embraced by some.
One way I represent blogging to such writers is to differentiate the activity of blogging from the purpose of writing. That might seem counter-intuitive, since blogging primarily IS writing.
But the differentiating feature can be emphasized by that little button that is clicked for every post which says “publish.”
One could argue that clicking a button does not truly warrant the distinction of being a “publisher” in the traditional sense of the word – and it’s not.
The American Heritage Dictionary describes a publisher as, “One that is engaged in publishing printed material.”
Of course the “printed” material, in the case of blogging, is completely bypassed to publish online, so a modern publisher is certainly differentiated from a traditional publisher of books, magazines and newspapers through the ease of that “publish” button.
Regardless, it would serve a writer better to consider him or herself as a publisher, instead of a writer.
Here are some additional responsibilities to consider when transitioning from writing to publishing:
- Deciding whether to display advertisements, or not
- Building readership
- Marketing one’s blog
- The presentation of one’s blog
- Developing other forms of monetization (or not)
By establishing greater responsibility for the process of getting one’s written work conveyed to others, one is more effectively completing the purpose of why a writer is setting ideas to words in the first place.
Regardless of any mental hurdles that might need to be overcome by some writers, to commit attention to learning a few simple technical things (blogging really is pretty simple), the advantage of thinking oneself as a “publisher” in addition to, or instead of a “writer,” represents a fundamental opportunity never before generally available to writers.
Blogs and social media are the greatest opportunity for writers that has ever existed, in terms of exerting control over one’s own connections to readers.