Are You An Author/Blogger Or A Blogger/Author?

In clicking over to read this post, you’re probably wondering what the difference between an A/B and a B/A is. I’ll start by saying it’s more than simple word order.

I had an epiphany a few weeks back whilst discussing blogging with another author. He was telling me how blogging felt like a chore, something he only did because it would promote the sale if his book. I, on the other hand, love to blog. It’s fun for me. My first experiences in writing for public consumption came by way of my humor blog, which I started a year before I even considered writing a novel.

My epiphany was this: my friend is an author/blogger, whereas I am a blogger/author. Realizing this took a lot of stress – stress I didn’t even know I had – off my shoulders.

I released my first novel just over four months ago. Up to the moment I hit “publish”, my public image was entirely my blog (tied to a Facebook page and Twitter account). I have a smallish but interactive following that has grown significantly in the past year, and even with the larger readership, the blog has a “family” feel to it.

Enter the book. I used the blog for initial book promotion, of course. I’d be crazy not to. But I wanted to get back to “normal” blogging quickly, which felt strange. It seemed everything now revolved around my book and trying to get people to notice it. That’s where the dissonance occurred. “How does this post promote the book?” I started asking myself. And it sucked.

It wasn’t why I started the blog.

My epiphany was freeing because it allowed me to compartmentalize. I can just be a blogger if I want to, not a constant book peddler. I can write posts about teaching or parenting or random funny occurrences, which have zero to do with the book, and not feel like I should be promoting. My purpose in blogging is different than that of the author/blogger. I’m not an author who blogs. I’m a blogger who wrote a book.

I’m writing this to encourage other blogger/authors. It’s easy to let our published books take control of our writerly lives, but if you’re like me and blog for the fun of it, take joy in that.

And the good news is, in being ourselves and openly sharing our craft, we might also manage to sell a few books.

How would you answer the question in the title? 

43 thoughts on “Are You An Author/Blogger Or A Blogger/Author?

  1. Pingback: Friday Roundup – 5th January 2018 | Stevie Turner, Indie Author.

  2. I started blogging BEFORE publishing to “build the platforn”. I enjoyed it (felt like journaling) so l kept doing it as regularly as before. A Monday vignette, a Writer Wednesday (for my writing and books), a Random Friday (for ally other hobbies ot interests) and sometimes Sunday Surprise (usually guests, sometimes sales, not regular)…
    My blog keeps finding new followers while my Facebook page is drowned in their algorithms… So l guess blogger/writer/artist here! 🙂 since October 2009 and dozens of books later still enjoying it! 🙂
    happy blogging! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think your definition of author/blogger dooms your friend to failure on both counts. If all an author’s blog does is talk about his or her own books, then unless the author is spectacularly successful with their books already, it isn’t going to help sell them. In fact even for the spectacularly successful author (e.g. Val McDermid, Elly Griffiths), the blog reinforces the fan feeling, rather than sell more books. The blog has to offer behind the scenes information to secure fan loyalty.
    If an author/blogger wants people to find them and their books (which is what a promotional blog would do), they have to blog about stuff that interests potential readers… which seems to be more what your definition of blogger/author would be. Then it’s just a case of finding the right material, and blogging regularly (not necessarily often). The trick then is spending enough time on the blog to bring in the readers, and enough time on writing new books to have something interesting for them to try.
    When I’ve cracked that, I’ll let you know!
    Happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree! A blog that *just* promotes books isn’t effective. When I had a publisher, I was required to have a blog at least six months ahead of the projected release date (which I obviously had way before that). I think it was to have some kind of “platform,” as that’s the kind of blog I see from authors most often – a landing page and links to buy books (though many have newsletters), which won’t sell books unless whoever landed there was looking for that already. Tbh, my blog doesn’t sell lots of books either, but I keep at it because I enjoy it. Sometimes it translates to a new book reader. 😊

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for this thought-provoking post. This is a question which I have mulled over from time to time. The vast majority of posts on my blog consist of my poems. My website is, I find a great way of sharing my writing. In addition I have published several books of poetry (many of the poems originally appeared on my website). Consequently I don’t see a dichotomy here. I am both a blogger and an author/poet. However, if you pushed me, I would have to say that I see myself as a poet and my blog is, ultimately a great means of sharing my poetry. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m an A/B as I had at least 2 books out before I started blogging. But although I wanted to sell books, I wasn’t comfortable screaming ‘buy my books.’ So split my blog into 3, a nonsense history piece, a bit about my travels and then a bit of news at the end about my books, promos etc. Then I noticed I didn’t have space for other people’s so I started a second blog on a Thursday with guest authors. It’s a lot of work, but I try to do it in large batches so I can free up time to write the next book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, that does sound like a lot of work! But you hit on a key point – we need a strategy that evolves over time. It can be as simple as “post once per week,” specific content on specific days like you’re doing, or something else entirely. I think a lot of bloggers quit because there isn’t a plan.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for introducing this to your new followers, Allison. Very thought provoking. I’m a random blogger who also has books he wants to sell. I blogger (on a different platform) long before I produced my first book. It was a place where I ‘published’ my thoughts on current events. Then I began researching for my third book which was about real historical events and I created a blog to share that history – the people and places involved – which was a way of promoting that book. I still had only a handful of visitors. More recently I’ve started to share content from other people’s blogs whilst continuing to blog myself about issues I’m passionate about whilst also posting about whatever subject I’m researching for my current WIP, plus the occasional short story. I’m not sure it’s possible to separate writing for the blog and writing that will eventually end up in a book. The bottom line is that all my writing is about sharing my passions with an audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good analysis. I think I fall into the category of author/blogger, or rather writer/blogger. Almost all my blog posts are short stories, short plays, or novel excerpts. I rarely blog in an extemporaneous way about random subjects. Mostly I treat my blog as a showcase for my work.
    This does lead to fewer blog posts and probably fewer readers, but I would rather remain true to my vision and accrue readers that way.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Reblogged this on Allison Maruska and commented:

    As I pondered an end-of-year type post, I realized our number of followers has doubled every year since the blog started. That means many posts “in the archive” haven’t been seen by most of you, and instead of expecting you to dig for old gems, I thought I would occasionally share my favorites. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am definitely an author/blogger. I chose blogging to build an author platform, and get to know some other awesome folk who are also persuing a writing career; but to be honest I’m not that good at it. ^-^ I struggled with my blog posts all last year, which in turn caused me to flounder a bit with my normal writing as well. Finally I realized that part of my problem was trying to emulate other awesome folk who post all kinds of writing craft advice, and on a really regular schedule. I had to remind myself that writing stories is supposed to be my top priority, so it’s okay to be a mediocre blogger. I gave myself permission to stick with posts that are more about sharing rather than teaching. I’m so much happier with writing posts now, it doesn’t feel like a burden anymore. ^-^ And my new, odd and totally Jenn-tailored, posting schedule has really helped me get some breathing space and time to work on my other writing as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Excellent points about doing what you love first, and the rest will (hopefully) follow. As a writer of poetry, fiction, and essays, I started a blog years ago. Now, as an author with a forthcoming novel, I revamped my website to reflect that. I still enjoy blogging about things from the “Dude” who sold me a futon to the time my mother freaked out when I drew a picture of a naked horse, to the death of my son. Life is bewildering, funny and tragic all at once, and we learn from sharing.

    See you in the twitterverse, Allison!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I completely agree. I think if readers seek us out on our blogs, they’d appreciate knowing we’re real people with real lives, not just authors. You never know how we’ll make a connection. Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂

      Like

  11. Terrific topic, Allison. I solidly love both. Gotta have each one. They fuel one another. I find I have a lot to say that isn’t material for my fiction novel-in-progress, and working on my blog jazzes me up to work on my novel. And vice-versa. Kind of like warmup exercises! Since I’ll eventually be promoting my book via my blog, and like you, don’t plan to give up the other topics I write about, I’m pretty happy I’ve already got the blog established. In a wonderful way, blogging for a few years has improved my writing skills, and helped get me closer to finishing my novel. Thanks for raising this point.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. What an awesome post. I’m not entirely sure that I’m either at the moment. I have been writing lots of blog posts and people seem to like them (at least I hope so). But I tend to think they are a bit more on the creative writing side of things rather than a typical blogger or writer. Maybe I just thought I had something to say and blogging is a vehicle to get it out.

    I’ve certainly found a really welcoming community and am enjoying it but must admit have started thinking about the possibilities of publishing.

    Sorry for the long rambling rant. I guess it speaks to how much I enjoyed your post. Very thought provoking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and commenting! I was a blogger only for nearly three years before I had a published book out. The good news is if you do decide to publish, you already have an audience! 🙂

      Like

  13. In a similar way to Dan above, I actually started my blog after being told – a MILLION TIMES…! – that if I wanted to sell books I needed a ‘platform’.

    So it started out as a kind of means to an end, but I’ve really started to enjoy blogging now. As my subscriber list/follower count has gone up, and more people are commenting and connecting with me, I’m finding it genuinely enjoyable.

    So I’m definitely an A/B, but I feel much prouder of my B than I used to…

    😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I enjoy blogging. It’s another way for me to do what I enjoy most in this life–telling people what to do. 😛

    Seriously–I’d still say I’m an author/blogger. I was talking to a friend about writing one day, and he mentioned that I obviously DIDN’T have writer’s block, as I was claiming…I’d written two blog posts that day. It never occurred to me that blog posts might count towards a daily word count. I just never considered them as writing.

    Like

  15. C, all of the above.

    I put out a book before I ever thought about blogging, so I was an author/blogger. I was told I needed a platform, and that I needed to blog. So as my book sat on Amazon and Smashwords not selling, my blog was one way to promote it.

    However…

    I’d been extremely active on Facebook for years before my book came out. I wrote all sorts of funny stories about my baby daughter and being a new parent, (which was the genesis for the first book) and people loved them. Friends wouldn’t start their day without checking in.

    It was a de fact blog.

    So I took whatever was the best story from the prior week on Facebook and posted it to my blog. That didn’t do much, since my blog had even less traffic than my book sales. Facebook, however, had always been huge for me.

    You can guess what happened. My Facebook following dropped, my blog sat stagnant, and book sales were weak at best. Okay, they were nonexistant.

    Wait, it gets better. I started a Twitter account! More of me doing all this forced social media crap I wasn’t enjoying. and less me doing the stuff I actually liked.

    But being the smart guy that I am, I shucked off Pinterest and Instagram and refocused. I wrote, made friends who helped me figure out ways to get books sold, and I really let the blog go. I had no Twitter followers so they didn’t miss me.

    A friend who shall rename nameless (okay it as Allison), suggested a few changes to a few things. Don’t be your book on your Twitter account, be YOU. People want to know more about the author, and they book is an inanimate object… I coupled her advice here and there with some ideas of my own, since have a business background and tend to be analytical, and things started to change.

    I enjoy blogging about writer oriented stuff, to help new authors. That change alone probably doubled my traffic. (It went from non-existant to existant.) Tweeting about the helpful authorey stuff helped blog traffic AND Twitter traffic. Book sales increased.

    And all the while, successful authors kept saying thigs like, don’t do any social media you don’t like to do.

    I finally listened.

    And I started doing the media the way it worked best for me.

    I like helping people. I don’t know why; I’m an incredibly selfish person. Ask my daughter what were watching on Tv. She’ll tell you. Spongebob doesn’t stand a chance. In my blog and in my tweets, I try to help. In my books, there’s a joy of life, and in my upcoming books there’s a fun, adventurous feel.

    Cos I’m a fun guy. A big kid. I can admit it. And it comes across in the stories, posts and blogs.

    Which brings me back to the biggest component of the question asked in the title of this piece. I answer C all of the above (with an asterisk) and I give a big THANK YOU to my friend Allison for smacking me very nicely in the virtual noggin and saying stop doing it wrong, dummy.

    She apparently likes to help people too.

    Liked by 5 people

    • LOL. I have to go to the actual post instead of notifications to read your comments because they’re mini blog posts themselves. 😉 But it works. Blog for blog. Why not?
      I’m glad you found a social media happy place, and I’m glad I got to help you find it. 🙂 Enjoy your success!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s tricky because many publishers these days require their authors to have a blog (mine does, but no worries for me as the blog came first). The implication is we’ll use the blog to promote – and we do, but we can easily lose sight of why we blog.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Great thoughts and great question. Hmm … Can I answer A&B instead? Because I am primarily author of fiction, but I honestly do like blogging as well, and I don’t enjoy making “promotional” posts nearly as much as just talking about writing and reading and nerdy things on my blog.

    Liked by 2 people

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