Has Blogging Helped You as a Writer?

I've been a blogger for a dozen years now--I started blogging in 2008, as a daily writing practice. Daily (w)rite has grown since then--from the initial days of crickets to the more than thirty thousand followers today.

That sounds like a half-decent number, but engagement is always much lower than the number of followers. It took years of blogging to build the small community I have today-- of all my followers, I possibly have about 200 bloggers who I regularly/ semi-regularly interact with on the blog and over social media. Others drop by less often, and my interactions with them is sporadic at best.

The best thing about blogging was the amount of information exchange. The guidance on book marketing and the writing life has also been invaluable. I follow blogs by other writers and publishing professionals, and the generosity of their sharing has made it possible for me to carve out a path for myself as best as I could, learning from others' mistakes, and hopefully, making fewer of my own.

Here's what worked for me:

1. Visiting and commenting on tons of posts by bloggers and writers, over years. I learned a lot from this, and made lasting connections.

2. Sharing posts on social media, and also connecting with blog friends on the various media I'm active on: mainly, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

3. Hosting writers and publishing professionals on my blog. The inputs from them is widely seen as useful by my audience.

4. Participating in blog events in order to connect with other bloggers and writers.

5. Starting my own writing newsletter, where I collate top-notch info on the writing life, writing craft, the publishing and book-marketing journey, call for submissions, workshops and classes.

Blog-friends, whether writers or not, have taken it upon themselves to be supporters of You Beneath Your Skin, my debut novel.

Among them, I've found beta-readers, critique partners. They have helped me do book cover reveals and shared info on pre-orders. They have purchased the book, and dropped in reviews.

I've gone on a blog-tour of more than 20 blogs, courtesy these same friends. Over the last few months, the book has turned into an Amazon bestseller.

 I do not know if the amount of time I put into blogging has been justified by the help I received. At the end of the day, I've kept up with blogging because I enjoy it--the interaction and camaraderie, the insights, the commiserations and congratulations.

What about you? Has your blogging led to good things for your books? Has it helped you as a writer?


Griselda Heppel said…
This is so impressive. Blogging is fun but my goodness, to get where you have got requires a huge amount of input. Writing something DAILY, along with your other writing and presumably many other tasks shows firm discipline and creativity. So glad it's paid off well, giving your debut novel a headstart in publicity and support from all your readers and social media contacts. Congratulations on becoming an Amazon bestseller! And many thanks for all the tips.
Umberto Tosi said…
Kudos, Damyanti! I admire your prolific energy. I've started several blogs, but never kept them up. I found they took too much time and energy away from my other - (I hope, more creative) - writing. Also, it always felt like I was writing into a vacuum. I do blog here regularly, of course, where we DO have a readership, as well as promote on social media - and guest blog often, and find it stimulating to meet deadlines and connect with readers. Thanks for a stimulating post. Perhaps you could follow up with one elaborating on how you expanded your readership so successfully. BTW - I just read the first two chapters of your novel on Amazon and look forward to acquiring a copy. Gripping!

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