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Why Blog?
by Carol Shenold

First, does everyone know what a blog is? A web log is an interactive website with chronological entries. A blog site can be used for many purposes, a daily diary, a journal, a shared forum or a sounding board. It can be used to promote your business. If you are famous, you can use it to become more famous. Many well known people have blog sites, Jeff Bridges, Rosie O’Donnell, Dave Barry and the Dixie Chicks to name a few. I won’t even go into the number of politically oriented, campaign blogs that are luring out there. Businesses like Writer’s Digest have a blog on their website. Many authors have a website, a MySpace.com blog site and another blog site as well. It’s all about advertising and self-promotion.

Why? To have a presence on the web without having to have a website and webmaster. All those sites have links back to the original sites as well as to other blogs and websites that are related in subject and interest. If you have a product, link to where that product is sold. I have a writer friend who doesn’t have a book to sell yet, but she also writes copy for t-shirts, tote bags etc. and links to that online store on her blog site. She writes about writing and posts writing exercises. Try http://relliott4.wordpress.com.

“But,” you say, “I can’t set up anything like that. I have no idea where to start.” Go to http://blogger.com.

It’s free and easy and anyone can do it. I can say that because I did it. If even an old lady can set up a site, complete with pictures, links and a couple of little bells and whistles, I know you can do it.

“But,” you say again, “I don’t have a book ready to sell or a product.” Well, get one. Create one, sell short, e-book style writing courses, or sell advertising space on your site. If you can show a track record of multiple hits on your site, a commercial website may be willing to pay you any time someone links from your site to theirs and buys something.

But enough with the “buts” already. Write that blog, get your opinion out there, talk about issues, promote yourself, your expertise, make the “about you” section useful as a short resume of your accomplishments. Bring traffic to your own website.

Another use for the site, besides promotion is self-motivation. See http://carol-carolsinkspot.com. On there I have my daily word count posted along with a visual showing my progress writing the first draft of my book. I was afraid having a blog would be too distracting, too much trouble and take time away from writing. For me it has worked as a motivator.

So come on, join the blog generation. Create a free and easy website for yourself and have some fun. Make money from it or get motivation. Set one up with several friends and take turns blogging. See http://witchychicks.blogspot.com. Chicks is an example of several writers with the same space. Have fun and come up and see me sometime.

© Copyright 2007, Carol Shenold

Carol Shenold is a nurse and freelance writer living in Oklahoma City. Her newest anthology is Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul: 2nd Dose, published in November. Her cozy mystery, Privy to Murder, was released in October of 2007 from www.eternalpress.com.au. Fairy Dust, an urban fantasy, was released this month and the sequel to Privy, Bloody Murder, will be released next spring. Please visit her blog at http://carol-carolsinkspot.blogspot.com and see the new Fairy Dust review from Simply Romance.

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