It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging

Should writers blog?

illustration by editorial cartoonists Cox and Forkum

Note from Jane: This provocative guest post is by L.L. Barkat (@llbarkat). If this topic interests you, I also recommend reading Please Don’t Blog Your Book: 4 Reasons Why and Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers, especially if you think blogging is the right choice for you. While my views don’t mirror Barkat’s (see the comments for my take), her perspective is refreshing and helps to dispel a few platform-building myths that are pervasive in the writing community. Blogging is neither a requirement nor the best marketing and promotion tool for a huge swath of writers, regardless of their experience or level of accomplishment.

I look forward to a lively debate—offer your view in the comments. You should also read this counterpoint from Dan Blank, 2 Strategic and Compelling Reasons to Keep Blogging—and When You Should Stop.

“Blogging is a waste of time.”

The panel burst into protestations. Jana Riess, Lauren Winner, Cindy Crosby, and Andy Crouch were at the Calvin Festival, discussing social media in 2006, before it was a foregone conclusion that if you were an author you should have a blog.

Andy Crouch was being a bit bald-faced in making his proclamation. After all, he wasn’t a blogger. He didn’t have much of a social media presence. Remember, these were the days before Twitter, super-charged Facebook, and LinkedIn. And forget about an author claiming to be the Mayor of the Library of Congress in a game of Foursquare. What’s more, nobody was going to pin Crouch’s statement on Pinterest or pheed it to Pheed.

Was Crouch right?

I decided to find out. Especially because I’d recently met the Director of Marketing and Promotion from Simon & Schuster, who’d told me flatly, “We ask all our authors to start blogs.”

So in 2006, I started blogging. Over six years, I wrote more than 1,300 blog posts, garnered over 250,000 page views, helped establish a large blogging network for which I later became the Managing Editor, test-marketed five books and wrote and sold them. I watched blogging colleagues get book contracts. I hired some of these  bloggers as editors for the network where I managed. I was a true believer in the blog world.

But on Saturday, November 10, 2012, I suddenly did the unthinkable. I myself stopped blogging.

I had finally decided that Andy Crouch was right. Six years later.

Last spring, an author approached me via Twitter to get my advice about blogging. How could she make it work for her? Was it worth it? Should she move to WordPress, get a new design? What did I think?

I told her to forget about blogging. And one week later, after a Skype conversation about writing and platform-building, I hired her as an Editor for Every Day Poems, a publication of the site where I currently serve as Managing Editor. “How many people are visiting your blog per month? One hundred?” I had joked gently. “Work with us and serve a much larger audience. This will be more worth your time.”

Does this mean I would recommend that everyone stop blogging? No. I encourage new bloggers, just the way I always have. It’s an excellent way to find expression, discipline, and experience. But if writers already have experience, and they are authors trying to promote themselves and their work, I tell them to steer clear. If they’ve already found themselves sucked into the blogging vortex, I suggest they might want to give it up and begin writing for larger platforms that don’t require reciprocity (an exhausting aspect to blogging and a big drain on the writer’s energy and time).

Someone will disagree with me and point to a case like best-selling author Ann Voskamp, and I will point them back to the facts. Yes, Voskamp made it big largely because of the power of her blogging platform, but she had the power of being first. Before blogging was a “thing,” Voskamp was already blogging quietly and steadily in 2003. Before blog networks came of age, she was writing for one of the few women’s sites that also had the power of being first. Time cannot be turned back. Few authors can make of themselves what Voskamp did—not for lack of talent but for lack of timing and sheer cyber-longevity.

If an author shouldn’t be blogging, what should an author be doing? This is up for discussion. It is a current trend to use Facebook as a writing venue. One of my top colleagues just got invited to write for 99U, as a result of her Facebook-writing activity. This same colleague connected with Lifehacker via Twitter and got a regular writing gig as a result. And she is not a writer with an otherwise large platform. As it turns out, intelligence can be expressed in strings of 140 characters, and big outlets will pay attention.

For myself, the same has been true. New writing assignments, some even international, have come primarily through Twitter. Likewise, I myself publish poets I meet on Twitter and Tumblr, while I am far less likely to do the same for bloggers. It’s not a bias. It’s a matter of simplicity. I can see at a glance how a writer expresses. Remember the old elevator pitch? It’s alive and well on Twitter and I depend on it. Apparently others do too.

Is blogging a waste of time? Crouch was ahead of his time in saying so. For the experienced writer, my answer is yes … in 2013.

Posted in Guest Post, Marketing & Promotion, Social Media.

L.L. Barkat has served as a books, parenting, and education contributor at The Huffington Post blog; is a freelance writer for Edutopia; and is the author of six books for grown-ups. She’s also the author of a magical fairy tale, The Golden Dress, and the beautiful A Is for Azure: The Alphabet in Colors. Her poetry has appeared at VQR, The Best American Poetry, and on NPR.

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I note that there are a lot of successful authors who DON’T blog. Of course, many were successful long before blogging became a thing, but certainly they are active in other areas. New authors need to approach blogging carefully. It can be a huge time sink–if you let it become one, but so can Twitter and all the others, if you’re not careful. It’s also not going to pave your road with gold and book deals and mega-advances. The problem is most new writers end up blogging about…writing, and that interests other people who are at the same stage in… Read more »


Blogging. My Facebook page is exclusively personal–and relatively underused–and I’m not on Twitter at all. I think I’m lulled into the sense that there’s more ‘meat’ or more contact through blogging and forums than Facebook and Twitter, which encourage brevity. It’s silly, because there’s plenty of fluff and plenty of meat in all of them, but I think my personality is more suited toward blogging than the others.


It seems more people are touting Twitter than just about anything else. I’ll definitely be taking another look, but I’ve largely been underwhelmed when I’ve poked around there.

A. Celestin-Greer

If you think it depends on why you’re blogging, then I feel like your post should be a bit more specific. I read it, as an inexperienced (or at least fairly inexperienced) writer as, don’t bother to do it. At all. But the reason you give isn’t very clear either. Is it because it’s a time sink?

A. Celestin-Greer

Interesting, and certainly interesting to see all the views here. I feel kind of like I’ve done things bass-ackwards then, because I’ve started writing for other websites for the past year and just now I’m thinking…Hey I should get a website as a portfolio. But I’ve been wondering on whether or not to blog. If I did it, it’d be more of a place to express my feelings on the things I normally write about more freely (yet still professionally I hope) but reading this at first I took it as, don’t waste your time. But, I think I understand… Read more »

A. Celestin-Greer

Well yes, I’ve got a tumblr for all the stuff I’d rather no one see haha, but yeah I was thinking of making a WordPress website that I’m designing myself mostly and blogging there, using their plug-ins. I’m guessing I’ll be able to do that anyway.

A. Celestin-Greer

Haha, good to see I’m not the only one who has tumblr as a guilty pleasure. And hey, thanks for the advice and interesting blog, I’ll keep you in mind once I get around to finishing the site 🙂

Carrie C

Exactly! It can be a huge time commitment, but if you’re dedicated and engaging with your audience it will be well worth the time! Interacting and communicating with your audience then they’re likely wanting to follow you and eventually read your books! On the Speaking of Wealth show we talk to several authors and they would gain real value from blogging, if they stick to it and develop that relationship with their audience.

Beth bates

Hallelujah, amen. I’m taking this post as gospel and going to finish my book now. Also, please define “experienced.”

Jane Friedman

As someone who has been blogging since 2008—and pulled back in summer 2012, for various reasons—here’s my perspective on what I see as a fairly multi-faceted issue. 1. There are a million blogs out there, and it’s tough to get attention. So I agree with Laura that people who get into the game today must contend with a very different dynamic than people who got into it 5 or 10 years ago. However, that’s not a reason not to do it. If it were, then why bother writing fiction or poetry or memoir or essay? Thousands upon thousands of writers… Read more »

Jane Friedman

I really don’t know where it’s easiest to be found. I’d say it depends greatly on a writer’s genre, voice, and fondness for particular mediums. I never thought Twitter would be the place I would get found, but that’s what happened. If writers are able to approach whatever they do online as partly experimental, a place to try on ideas, that helps. And, not to get too froufrou, but: online relationships/engagement have a lot in common with Zen. The more you try to gain something out of it (use it as a means to an end), the more you stunt… Read more »

Beth Bates

I think I only blog when I want to write about something I don’t feel like going through the rigamarole of submitting to journals or pitching. But maybe I ought to.


What a jolly (and timely) debate! Like most, there’s no tidy “right” answer. And with time tick, tick, ticking away, the answer is changing every day. So rather than wading into the fray I say, follow your passion. And — from time to time — change it up. Blog for a while. Stop blogging for a while. It’s a bit like scotch and bourbon. Or wanderlust and homelust… Thanks for a provocative post, Ms. Barkat. 🙂

Dina Santorelli

I love this comment. Agreed.

Amy Sue Nathan

I’ve been blogging since 2006. I can’t imagine not blogging. But I do suggest to new writer or author bloggers that they blog less about their book or writing and more about their interest, or what their writing is about. I don’t think that blogs that are just a book or even a personal life (unless it’s awful or awesome) will get through all the noise that is out there today. But a special interest blog—about gardening or toddlers or cupcakes just might. And there area always ways to also make it about the writing and/or the book.


As a newer blogger (just passed the one year mark in February) I am encouraged by what each of you said in your comments. I had originally blogged as an easy way to keep family and friends updated on my daughter who has special needs but picked it back up with more of a focus on writing about my personal journey so that I could encourage others who find themselves walking a similar path. (I’m hoping this falls under the category of a special interest blog and that have more of a chance!) L.L., I found your post very thought-provoking… Read more »

Monique Heard

I’m interested in blogging in the near future and I think as long as your readers can connect to whatever your blog is about and get a feel for who you are, and I mean passed the words on the screen, every blog has a chance to reach their audience. Good luck!


The whole “build a platform” thing is overrated – it mostly just takes time from writing. I blog and use Facebook and Twitter. That’s it. I blog because I enjoy it — I was blogging before I was publishing — not necessarily to build an audience for my books. If that happens, it’s great, but if not, that’s okay, too. I’m fairly new to the publishing world (less than a year) but I took some early advice to heart: only do the things you enjoy and forget the rest so you can focus on writing.

Richard Mabry

I’ve addressed this before with those who read my tweets, Facebook posts and blog. Each audience had a different view, but apparently all of them agreed that they spent much more time on Facebook than either of the other two venues. I’m probably where most of my published-but-still-working-to-maintain-platform colleagues are: I’m afraid to stop what I’m doing. Thanks, LL and Jane, for triggering further discussion.

Richard Mabry

Because, as you know, authors want to sell books–it’s how they make royalties and get new contracts. And to sell books, we need to help potential readers discover us. We can all say “write the best book possible and it will sell,” but deep in our hearts, we wonder what else we could/should be doing to further our cause.
Thanks again for a very thought-provoking post.

Anthony David Jacques

I find that blogging was good experience, and I even did a short story a week for an entire year on my blog back in 2010. But I realized not long after that blogging was the gateway drug to better writing and it was time to move on bigger things. I have been a contributor and editor on a couple online zones since then, have published a few short stories and am waiting to hear back from my editor on my first novel due out later this year. The time I saved no longer blogging made all this possible. But… Read more »

Kurt Brindley

If someone has a blogging niche, a speciality, a unique voice, then blog it. A problem I see is, many writers’s blogs, mine included, are all over the map, not focused nor are they regularly presented. On the other hand, there are way too many writers out there with “how to succeed as writers” blogs. I tend to expect highly established writers, the NBAs and Pulitzer Prize winners, etc., not to have a blog or much of a social presence. Call it a personal bias but to me blogging seems rather blue collar. Nothing wrong with that – life is… Read more »

Jane Friedman

There are many high-profile writers who have social-media presences, though many of them tend to be in the genres (young adult, romance, scifi, etc), such as John Green, Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, etc. If you look at major literary-award winners, it’s true that they tend to be rather reserved/quiet/absent from online. I think this is a symptom of (1) this “ranking” thing—it’s beneath them as “literary” writers and (2) they made their careers before the online world became what you see today. HOWEVER: Just about every literary author I know writes for online venues at some point. But there’s a… Read more »

Porter Anderson

@be8d09308a2cfbf806c5cfdb9d6a93b4:disqus @janefriedman:disqus All good points. But I think literary writers also have a much harder row to hoe in social media — inclusive of blogging — because they, by definition, don’t “niche” easily. Some may be seen as holding themselves “above the fray” if they don’t get in there and sling the tweets with everybody else and blog their breakfasts and whatnot, but their hesitance may have to do with the difficulty of the “non-genre” nature of what they do. If they want to blog, it might HAVE to be breakfast they talk about because there’s a lot less chance… Read more »

Jane Friedman

Thanks for jumping in, Porter! Thought provoking. I’ve always loved the Julian Barnes quote, “Never read at a reading. They’d rather hear what you had for breakfast.” For writers we idolize, reading about the ephemera of their life isn’t so bad—we get a glimpse of their greatness, mystery, humanity, ordinariness. But addressing your point—that literary writers don’t have the temperament—one thinks that they must lack imagination if there’s not a single thing they can imagine themselves doing that’s tied to online media. I can understand lack of time, less so temperament, though I suppose there’s a segment of the writing… Read more »

Nina Amir


Adelaide Shaw

I am one of those older writers (literary type I like to think since my work doesn’t fit any genre) who is not on facebook and who does not use twitter. I have two blogs, one for my previousely published haiku and other Japanese short fortm poetry and one for writing, I’ve had 27 years of experience writing short stories and have had over 50 published in print and on-line, have written three novels which have not found a publisher. I’ve earned next to nothing with my stories as most small literary journals don’t even send a contributor’s copy any… Read more »

Kurt Brindley

As with all good discussions and debates, this is one where there are really no wrong answers; only ones that are right according to one’s values and taste. I have no expectations that who I consider/value as a high-profile writer will align exactly with anyone else – maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Just because someone hits it big doesn’t automatically or even necessarily make him or her high-value writer in my book, so to speak. In fact, most of the authors I read are dead and the living ones, while award-worthy in my eyes, are, generally speaking, hardly making… Read more »

Nina Amir

I remember getting publicly slammed by a writing newsletter with 70,000 subscribers when I asked the editor/owner/writer to provide me with a free guest post for my Write Nonfiction in November event. She was appalled that I would be asking any writer to provide writing without pay. And she let everyone know. LOL. She wasn’t aware that most bloggers were providing free guest posts on a regular basis just for the promotional bio. Now we do so much of that online–everything from a 500 word blog post to much longer articles. But I can see how someone might see that… Read more »


When I was very young, I decided I wanted to be a writer, and somewhere along the way, I stopped writing and stopped believing. In 2008, I started working at losing weight and started to blog about it. (I lost 145+ lbs and went from morbidly obese to a healthy BMI.) I was approached by the editor of a magazine to begin writing regular articles for them and that lasted for over a year. In that time, I started blogging, on separate blogs, about other things that interested me, including writing. Through blogging, I found my voice again and remembered… Read more »


I think the trend for bloggers, right now, is to write frequent posts because they think this is the only way to build a following. I don’t post as frequently, so maybe I could have a lot more blog followers if I did, but I do have a slowly growing group of blog followers and even more followers through my blogs’ Facebook pages. I try not to worry about it too much. If I write when I have something to say, my posts are more likely to be enjoyable or informative to read. If I force myself to write just… Read more »


I will add that, of my followers, maybe only 1% leave comments on the blogs, so reciprocating by visiting their blogs is not very time consuming. Most of them comment to the blog posts on the FB pages or in the FB groups, and I usually respond there as well. I suppose if I had a larger following, it would become more difficult.


there are some great anonymous blogs out there – hilarious!

Dina Santorelli

I started blogging in 2010 as a way to fight my way out of a writer’s block. My theory was that writing something — anything — was the ticket to getting my novel completed, and it worked. Rather than sapping my energy, blogging invigorated me, connected me with other writers who were having similar problems or who had helpful advice. I completed my first novel about five months after I started my blog. So as I wrote my second novel (I’m editing it now), I figured the same technique would work — it didn’t. And hasn’t. Blogging didn’t seem as… Read more »

Dina Santorelli

That is a good question. I’m not sure. But I think I looked to blogging as being a vital part back in 2010 — as a way of connecting and interacting and, as you say, crafting my voice and getting it out there. Now, I’m connected. And interacting. And have established my voice (or at least I’ve tried to). Have I outgrown blogging? Or has it shrunk in importance? I’m fascinated by everyone’s experiences here. Thank you for initiating such an interesting topic.


This is a really helpful post because I think it cuts to the real goal that many writers have with their blogs: reach a large number of readers. In many cases, guest posting for other websites with large readerships is the way to reach that goal. Having said that, if you can find a sustainable way to use a blog to reach your audience, that could still work. I think this post helps attack the assumption that a blog is where it’s at, when guest posting and writing for high traffic sites will bring a greater return for your time,… Read more »


Writing for some larger venues helped. I’ve been blogging since 2005, so my blog did help me get my first book deal in 2007, even if my blog was tiny. I’ve found that I need to both host guest posts and contribute guest posts in order to reach new readers so that I can get more subscribers to my blog and newsletter. I think most bloggers new to publishing don’t understand the sheer scale book selling requires. If I’m launching a new book and I get 1,000 page views in a day, I’ll only see maybe 50-100 click throughs on… Read more »

Nina Amir

My blogs helped me land my first book deal–and my second–as well.

Nina Amir

@Ed_Cyzewski:disqus, I agree that test marketing ideas on a blog is a super use of the medium. It’s one use of the blogging-a-book idea. And it’s a reason so many successful blogs have gotten book deals and boggers have ended up booking their blogs. I am currently blogging bits of my new book and carefully watching the stats (and my publisher gave me permission to do so). As for guest blogging, I’m a huge advocate. I went on two blog tours with my last book and this helped sales tremendously. I jump at every opportunity to guest post for other… Read more »

Valorie Grace Hallinan

I’ve grown to love my blog and I don’t plan to give it up any time soon, whether or not I become extensively published. I like it because of the art form itself, the mode of expression, the sheer pleasure of creating something that is meaningful to people. I like it because I’m offering something readers who find me value – and I’m giving it away for free which, I have to say, isn’t what I wanted to do at first. But now I find that free giving satisfying and something important in my life. (Not that I would give… Read more »

Valorie Grace Hallinan

For me the discovery process – discovering my voice, and what I really want to say. That is, what do I really want to say that is going to be of value to people? To keep going with a blog, you really have to think about that. It’s not just about self-expression. It’s, what do I want to put out into the world? For others? Experienced and published writers, of course, are further down that road – they have more fully developed voices, they are more sure about what they want to say, and they have more venues. Thanks for… Read more »

Shirley Hershey Showalter

Laura, you have named what I have suspected in the last year or so. Many of my most admired blogger friends are ready to move on. How much of your own decision is due to your own development as a writer with an already-established platform who has more choices now and how much is due to new conditions in the blogosphere (too many other bloggers)? Also, after so many years, was burnout an issue? Your point about the expectation of reciprocity and (Kurt’s point in the comments) the tendency for blogs to build a community of other writers instead of… Read more »

Shirley Hershey Showalter

I’ll have to go read that last post. I like melodramatic swan songs. 🙂

Dan Blank

L.L., Thank you for the thoughtful post. I tend to agree with Jane’s comments here. To me, this topic is important because it asks a question of WHY? Why blog? Why write? Why use Twitter? When you don’t understand your goals, you can’t adequately make decisions about how to manage your writing life. I see far too many blog posts that try to remove thoughtfulness from the process of becoming a writer, and becoming a writer who gets READ. So much out there saying: YOU HAVE TO BLOG! YOU HAVE TO BE ON GOOGLE+! YOU HAVE TO WRITE MORE BOOK!… Read more »


L.L., This is such a good discussion! I am a very minimally published writer, and I’ve just started blogging, but not because I want to build a “platform.” I blog because it’s fun for me; it is a creative outlet, as you mention it was for you. I love to write about writing, and I feel I have something to offer other writers, not that they have to listen to me. But I have no delusions about being “found” through blogging. Also, blogging is about staying connected to other writers and keeping up to date on what is happening in… Read more »

[…] If writers already have experience, and they are authors trying to promote themselves and their work, they should stop blogging.  […]

Tracy Staedter

I started a blog last spring about writing. It was mostly a way to help me crystallize certain craft ideas. And perhaps readers got something out of it, too. By fall, I had to stop. It was taking up precious time that I needed to devote to actual writing. I still have the blog and I will return to it, I’m sure. But in the meantime, I’m devoting my time to writing writing writing writing.

Well L.L. Barkat thinks many writers shouldn’t blog but I’m not sure I understand why she feels that way, I have seen nothing here that convinces me that– I’m not sure, does she feel it is detrimental somehow or just a waste of time? She really doesn’t explain why she stopped blogging and why she feels that others should as well. This article leaves me with more questions than answers. I followed some of the links here: don’t blog your book might be more appropriately titled don’t try to book your blog, or perhaps don’t think that one should automatically… Read more »

Shauntelle Hamlett

I don’t think it’s as simple as “it’s time for writers to stop blogging.” It seems to me it’s more that… it’s time for writers to stop jumping on bandwagons and thinking there’s a one-size fits all solution to marketing and connecting with their audiences. A blog with no clear purpose doesn’t attract readers and doesn’t build a platform… but the same can be said for any marketing tool. My hunch is that if you look at writers who have found success on any particular platform, it’s because they found their sweet spot… they knew what they wanted to communicate,… Read more »

Hart Johnson

Well said. I think each of us has different tendencies. I, for one, suspect a person needs to be on crack to follow Twitter–not my thing. But I like blogging and facebook a lot, so that is where I put the effort.

Paula Cappa

Most successful authors who don’t blog already have a readership and probably don’t need to keep exposing their work or skills to the reading public. Blogging is important for new and indie authors who need a vehicle to expose themselves as authors, thinkers, dedicated to writing and reading. I blog weekly because, yes, I have a book I’m promoting, but more to the point, I’m really having fun and learning with my blog because it’s related to my novel. I blog about the classic short stories written by the master writers (horror) and my book is horror (and I write… Read more »


As a reader, I think we are looking for ways to connect with authors. For me, blogs are the way to do so. It’s interactive, not with the story, but with the storyteller, and I’ve probably bought more books after getting into an author’s blog than from any other way. For example, I saw many comments by Laura Resnick on various blogs I read, and decided that I needed to read something by her, so when I saw her book on the shelves at B&N, I grabbed it. Had I not recognized her name from those many comments, I wouldn’t… Read more »


Maybe I check in on 20 or so over the course of a week. Maybe a few more. I don’t read every single article or entry obviously, but I usually do follow book related entries and follow up with visits to Amazon (too often probably)…

Farhan Mosavi

All you have said is:

Bloggers should stop blogging because six years ago someone said that and six years later you said the same to a Twitter fan. The end.

I thought I was about to read something which will contain strong arguments and well researched statistics. There’s really no content in the article except for your personal viewpoint.


Test it (blogging)… try it. If blogging doesn’t suit your purposes, stop doing it.

Even if you’re experienced, it’s worth testing. Steven Pressfield blogs, even someone else I follow (Jane Friedman) blogs… why stop?

But keep this in mind, if you stop blogging, were your objectives set correctly? Did you have the right goals for blogging in the first place?

There are many different reasons to blog, have you explored them all?

Experienced or not, it’s not necessarily time to stop blogging.


And good writers, like you L.L. Barkat, know how to push just the right button for discussion 🙂 1. The blog world, for you, might be less of a force than Twitter etc… but for me, blogging has brought me clients (directly, as in they read a post then contacted me for business). Twitter and Google Plus have a different purpose for my writing business, and are good tools for networking and building relationships (I don’t use Facebook). 2. Since what you’ve tested proves to be true, for your business (website, whatever)… that’s what works for you… and that’s GREAT… Read more »


Yep, I have a writing business. 😉

You have a business too, as an author, L.L. Barkat (sorry, don’t know if I can just call you L.L.). Unless you write as a hobby, which implies you’re not doing so for the purposes of making a profit.

So, you essentially just said “I think a blog can be vital for a business.” Then, I’m going to challenge you a little here, for purposes of expanding this discussion…

Why would it be time for many experienced writers to stop blogging, if they too have businesses?

And yes, that was a compliment. 🙂

Elaine Lipson

On any given morning I can find an article that tells me to start blogging, stop blogging, get off Facebook, quit Twitter, use only Twitter, turn it all off, use social media differently, use Tumblr, self-publish, return to print, whatever. It’s exhausting. The truth is that nobody knows and the target is moving every day.

Jane Friedman

To reinforce Laura’s point, my analytics:

1. Google organic search
2. Twitter
3. Facebook
4. Mentions by other blogs

Important, though: If those are my key traffic sources, what are people looking at? For me, it’s overwhelmingly blog content (old and new).

Jane Friedman

Pinterest contributes a tiny speck of traffic; I’m so rarely active there, though I did start a board devoted to publishing statistics.

Many of my publishing students love and use Pinterest daily, and based on their activity, I’d say it’s a more important source of traffic/readers for cooking, crafts, home decor, fashion, and other highly visual niche sites.

Elaine Lipson

I think people who care about intellectual property rights should be very concerned about Pinterest. It’s terrible for artists, and another place where the promise of “exposure” is exploitative.

Nina Amir

I love Pinterest and pin all my blog posts. I have not, however, really checked to see how much traffic I’m getting from it.

Kari Neumeyer

I’ve been blogging since 2002, never as a means of getting anywhere as a writer, but because I enjoy it. Lately, I’ve been trying to attract more readers as a way to build a platform for my memoir. I still enjoy it, but feel less free to blog about whatever topic strikes my fancy.

I’m confused about the advice to use Facebook as a writing venue instead. What’s the difference, other than having less control over design?

Tina Barbour

A wonderfully thought-provoking post and discussion, and a wonderful illustration of what blogging can be! I started blogging in order to write about a subject near and dear to me that I didn’t get to write about in my day job (newspaper reporter). It’s “my own” writing. I have met many others who write about/read about/experience the same things, and the relationships I’ve made with them have made my life better. I feel like I’m making a contribution to the subject matter. I’ve become an advocate in my field, with a focus on helping and encouraging others. So blogging has… Read more »

Lorrie Porter

This is a very insteresting discussion. Thank you for bringing it to the fore. I agree writers can find a lot of their time consumed by blogging. I write a blog called: This Craft Called Writing, which I started to help my application for Arts Council funding (which was successful). It’s been running almost a year now and even though the funding period is almost over I think I’d like to continue with the blog, despite the time it takes. I suppose it boils down to what value a blog has for both the writer and the reader. As my… Read more »

Lorrie Porter

Thanks for the advice. I’ve never been asked to do a guest blog, though, and I’m not sure I have the courage to suggest it to anyone. However, I will have to put my brave face on and get on with it.

Lorrie Porter

Sounds like a good idea. Thanks.

[…] Is it time for authors to quit blogging? Probably. […]

Darrelyn Saloom

I enjoy blogging because of the conversations it can spark like this one today. But it is a time drain, so I only post once or twice a month. I think the problem is over-blogging. If you post every day (or even 3 times a week) you risk buring out, and buring out your readers.

Darrelyn Saloom

Ha! It’s a pleasure to write for Tweetspeak. Did I meet you on Twitter or right here on Jane’s blog? I even enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate in Dublin with your lovely associate and photographer Claire Burge on my book tour in Ireland. So you never know where you’ll end up or who you’ll meet when you guest blog and tweet.

Nina Amir

Given that I’ve written a book about blogging, I had to get in on this discussion. LOL. I’m still a firm believer that a blog will help an aspiring or published author in a variety of ways, not the least of which is by building a platform. And the large publishers require a platform and indie publishers need one to succeed. A blog forms an effective foundation for connecting with social networks and provides an easily manageable and discoverable website for most writers. A blog will also help writers build a brand and expert status. These will help them succeed… Read more »

Nina Amir

I agree that a blog with a small audience won’t help them much, @be8d09308a2cfbf806c5cfdb9d6a93b4:disqus. They need to build something reasonably sized and engaged. Speaking is huge! I sell more books and make more great connections (who read my blog and buy my books and services) at conferences. And writing for great publications online and off is a tremendous boost for platform and book sales for sure. I think writing for an online site in your niche is a great idea as well, since a writer gains the credibility and audience of that site. However, a blog, which serves as your… Read more »

Nina Amir

I’m not sure how that would work. People need to subscribe to your blog to get your posts in their email box via RSS. Or they need to subscribe to your email list to get either your broadcasts (newsletter) or blog broadcasts (posts) in their email box. Either way, you need to be sending them “home” to your site and encouraging them to sign up for something. That’s why a blog, IMHO, works so well. You can get readers to a blog and then get them on your list. Then you can communicate with them. If you are blogging or… Read more »


Oh miss L.L. – how I’ve missed you!

Recently I was told that I need to build a platform and spit-shine my SimplyDarlene blog, so I’ve been busy looking for nails, plywood, and collecting saliva in the creases of my cheeks… 😉

Can’t we just go back to smoke signals and telephone party lines? My old-fashioned, ‘n simple country heart would be fine with that.



Thank you, ma’am, for the interesting idea.

Wendy Russ

I don’t blog as much as I used to because I’m more focused on writing for “production” (i.e. either a book or short stories/essays/poems that might improve my byline). I have found no value (yet) for blogging as a marketing tool. However, I have found it INVALUABLE for several reasons: Building my community: I have met other wonderful writers this way who have helped me improve as a writer, who have been champions for my writing passion. In turn I have done the same for them. Building my courage: I have posted pieces I wasn’t sure “worked” and have gotten… Read more »

Wendy Russ

Nope! You sort of made that point anyway. I was reiterating. Your post was great and well-reasoned. In fact, an author friend and I were just talking about this very topic yesterday, so I had to send the article to her right away. A lot of people get swept up in the blogging debate as if it’s an either-or and it’s really not. I was just adding more fodder to ruin the day of anyone who might like to think it’s that cut and dried. Because I’m just evil that way!

Kelly McClymer

Interesting perspective!

I agree that blogging may not be for everyone (nothing is). But for fiction authors, it provides a chance to answer some reader questions with an archive of blog posts that can be accessed if and when the author comes across the curious reader’s radar. It also offers an opportunity to pass along hard-learned tips to other authors (although I agree that is best done on a larger format, but cross-posting couldn’t hurt).

Theresa Milstein

I must confess that I’ve been feeling blog fatigue. The reciprocity and frequency is what gets me. I like to promote other authors and to put up poems, and even still write the occasional essay-type post. And I have my faithful readers, but much needs to be done on my end to get other people to read my blog. And it’s a commitment to read other blogs. I feel bad to skim. It’s so much easier to keep in contact with people through Facebook and Twitter. While many of my favorite writer relationships began with blogging, we spend way more… Read more »

Brooke Warner

This is thought-provoking. I appreciate it, and I just post on my site once a month and call it a newsletter. So often I’ve felt like I “should” be blogging more, but the fact is I just don’t want to and I would rather save the content I have for social media. Smart stuff. Thanks, Jane! Pleasure to meet you at AWP.

[…] Friedman guests hosts a blogger who suggests (most) authors should stop blogging immediately. The short version: hard to get an audience, better ways to spend your time, who cares what you […]

Tom Bentley

L.L., I think you make a good case that writers who have a thinly attended blog (thinly disguised me) should look to venues with higher readership for exposure and attention. But as well as writing fiction and journalistic pieces, I’m a copywriter too, who sometimes uses the blog to talk about copywriting (in the thinly veiled hope of attracting copywriting clients). But suffering from lack-of-blog-clarityitis, I also blog about all manner of writing topics, from how pruning trees is an editing metaphor to how writing in an Airstream rounds out your thoughts. Nine-headed Hydra blogs might not find anyone to… Read more »

Tom Bentley

Oh, damn, that means I need to blog about poetry too.

Hart Johnson

My themes are goofing around and writing. I think people come visit me for voice, too–to chuckle a little. My #1 tag is writing, but #2 is pure insanity. I’m coming up on half a million blog hits on that.

Marcia Richards

I’ve been blogging since 2004. It has helped me develop my voice and writing. I began learning to write fiction 2 yrs ago and have finished a novella and half of another novel, though they are unpublished because, frankly, they stink. I’m currently writing a new novel. So, I’m not an experienced writer by your definition but, I am cutting back on my weekly blogging. My reason: While I have established my ‘brand’ through blogging and made wonderful connections I wouldn’t have made otherwise, I’m running on empty for topics. I suppose I’m just not enjoying it as much as… Read more »

Victoria Noe

I started my blog a little over two years ago. It was part of my author platform strategy – part of it. The purpose of my platform work was to build credibility and awareness of my topic (grieving the death of a friend). Sometimes it’s a burden, sometimes it’s not big deal. The awards are nice, but not something I seek. What’s important, I believe, is to put blogs into perspective. “I need to blog to build my platform” is only part of the answer. As I said about, I had two goals: credibility and awareness. I’ve achieved them. But… Read more »

Nina Amir

Great points, Viki. Market research is so important. You have to know where your readers are and what they like–tweets or posts or both. Of course, a link to a post makes a great tweet! Value is the main thing.

Hart Johnson

I am the rare bird who actually got my book contract through my blog. I began blogging about 4 years ago, have made a large group of friends that is ‘dense’–in that we have also become friends through Facebook, Twitter… the cross pollination is going. But one of my early friends recognized a cozy mystery voice in me–a genre I’d never tried… and then she referred me for an audition opportunity. That said, I see it’s function for NEW writers as 1) the best place to solidify VOICE (no better way to learn what YOU uniquely bring to the table… Read more »

Hart Johnson

I think because people feel compelled to send the same short message again and again instead of trusting the relationships they’ve built and letting other people do it for them. Maybe the ‘right way’ still happens on Twitter and Facebook–in fact I know it does–I see people share other people’s stuff all the time–but I think because of the brevity, it is ALSO easier to do it WRONG.

Amy Shojai

The issue I see with publishers “demanding” an author blog is they offer no guidelines about WHAT to blog. So the poor author defaults into blogging about writing–which attracts other writers or wannabes (maybe), but few readers. If it’s true that readers want to know ABOUT the authors they read (and I believe that’s the case) but not be hit over the head with writing how-to-do-it, it’s a no brainer. Blog about what you love. Yes, it’s easier for nonfiction authors–but you can do it with fiction, too. If the PV continue the same as the past week, my blog… Read more »

Porter Anderson

Just came across an #AWP13 tweet that I think has some relevance here. 🙂 (And I’m not sure I’ve ever tried getting one to render in a comment, seems that it sort of works, lol, just not real well graphically.)

#awp13 there are way too many blogs about writing that aren’t good enough. – Priscilla Long— ann_oconnell (@ann_oconnell) March 7, 2013

Jane Friedman


Cyd Madsen

Proof. LOL

Tom Johnson

Great post. It made me rethink using Twitter but I have a question. I cant really seem to wrap my head around Twitter. I would like to use it to have fun, joke around and express my opinions but I worry I will look “unprofessional” to potential clients because I’m a freelance copywriter as well as an unpublished fiction writer. I’m unsure of what to talk about. Should I be giving copy writing advice, spit balling story ideas or is it safe to just relax and be myself? Any input would be appreciated.

Jane Friedman

IMHO, there as many different ways to use Twitter as there are people. Probably some of the most popular Twitter feeds are those that offer witty commentary, so it’s unlikely you’d be found unprofessional as long as the Twitter bio more or less states your general purpose there (to have fun).

Highly recommend that you relax and be yourself.

Porter Anderson


Tom, I agree with Jane below, and I’d recommend a couple of folks to look at on Twitter for examples of primarily witty-commentary streams. One is a colleague, Chris Kubica ( @ChrisKubica ) and another is Will Hindmarch ( @wordwill ).



Joe Bunting

Interesting point, Laura. I’ve thought a lot about blogging and my place in it over the last year. Creative writers, fiction writers especially, have a hard time building traction with blogs, and so many of us end up starting writing blogs, which rarely convert to readers of our fiction. So you’ve nailed something here, I think. Still—and I’m hesitant to say this in such astute company but—the best tool to sell books online that I’ve found is email, and one of the best ways to build an email list is through a blog.

Joe Bunting

That IS a high compliment (and two of them in one reply). Thanks Laura. I’m excited to read your as-of-yet unwritten business book. 🙂

Joe Bunting

Ha! You’re so funny. Still, I would be very interested in a business book from you. You certainly love to jump around genres though, don’t you?

Shauntelle H.

I’m late joining in on this cause I take my weekends offline mostly… but I had to chime in and say HEAR, HEAR to you Joe! I adore that you understand your writing as a business and I LOVE that you also understand just how important having a list can be to selling your books and engaging with your readers (I’m extrapolating that bit because I feel pretty certain you get this.). I think this is a point that many writers with blogs don’t understand… Most of the fiction writers I know don’t think about adding email subscription options (or… Read more »

Joe Bunting

Thanks Shauntelle. You and I are on the same page. 🙂

Jordan Monson

Joe, I believe you’re right. Almost every blogger-turned-book-writer who is successful is writing in the non-fiction or inspirational or self-help genre. Your Jeff Goins/Michael Hyatt type of inspirational self promoting characters. For fiction writers, blogging doesn’t make much sense. I’m surprised I’ve read so little about this. Am I missing the articles? Does Jane cover this, or one of the other writerly or agent bloggers? Thanks for speaking a truth that many see but few talk about.

Joe Bunting

We’re experimenting with how to do this over at, Jordan. You should check it out.


[…] there’s L.L. Barkat’s () assertion that It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging on Jane Friedman’s blog. They key word in the title is “experienced.” The post is not […]

Rodney Savary

“The power of being first” is what I connected with, because I have been aware of the phenomenon, but not the exact phrase. In many areas I have had to decide whether to commit to certain things because they were tried and true, or if I should devote time and effort into another direction because the wheel had already been invented and rolling it would only get me where others have already gone. I have to stand out if I am to be successful and continue to enjoy writing, and that won’t happen if I follow in another’s footsteps without… Read more »

[…] Barkat/Jane Friedman: It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging. Excerpt: “Today’s provocative guest post is by L.L. Barkat. While my (Jane’s) views […]

Katla Sieltjes

Something I didn’t see addressed in the article or comments – is your blog adding to your output? I write novels and short stories in the Amsterdam Assassin Series, but I find I’d like to write more about Amsterdam and Assassins than I can put in the novels and short stories, which is why I have a blog. More information on Katla’s Amsterdam gets articles on my blog, but it’s not ‘fit for publication’ in an ebook.

Jane Friedman

Wonderful point, Katla. A blog works well for that type of content. You might also consider putting that content in a periodic e-mail newsletter (if you don’t already) so fans can be sure they don’t miss any of the extras—plus you get a valuable and direct communication path to your most loyal fans.

Katla Sieltjes

I don’t put out newsletters or use mailchip etcetera, and my blog doesn’t have much traffic, but I enjoy making articles on parts of Amsterdam that appear in the Amsterdam Assassin Series that would take up too much space or drag down the pace of the novels. Plus I add my own photos and Googlemaps to the articles, so people who enjoy my novels can study the locations from the book more ‘in-depth’. I also post samples from my WIP, so people who read the novels can anticipate on the next novel in the series. Martyn V. Halm, author… Read more »

Amanda Socci

This blog post is of timely consideration for me as I approach my one year mark of blogging consistently. I am extremely proud of everything I’ve accomplished in one year. I’m proud of saying that I’ve cut my teeth in blogging on my own blog. After attempting a blog for the first time 5 years ago and giving up after 2 blog posts, my 1-year accomplishment is pretty good. With that being said, I am starting to feel a strong calling towards getting back into regular full-time freelance writing, which is a far cry from the informality of blogging. If… Read more »

Helena Halme

But how, oh, how can one stop blogging? Is there a Bloggers AA ?

Helena Halme

I do, but I’m afraid I’ll lose my readership if I do. Is Twitter and Facebook enough to keep a writing platform going?

Helena Halme

Do you have email or could I Dm you on Twitter?

David Rupert

First, you have to admit you are powerless