Should You Blog Before Publication? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

How much time do you spend online?

Last week, I ran a poll asking readers how many hours they spent doing online “platform-building” activities each week.

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The (currently) winning choice on this poll?

Are you kidding? I don’t track my time online! I don’t even want to know.

It prompted an interesting discussion in the comments, where you all raised a lot of excellent questions about the social media versus rest-of-writing-life balance. Readers asked questions such as

  • Does my blog reach my target audience (that is, the people who will purchase my products or services) or only my peers?
  • Am I spending so much time platform-building that it’s taking time from book writing?
  • Should I set a timer for my online activities?
  • Or should I set online-free zones?
  • Do blog challenges sap too much of my creative energy?

Have you ever been plagued by these sorts of questions? I know I have!

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How Much Time Do You Spend Online?

There are lots of great reasons for writers to spend time online.

  • To build a platform
  • To engage with readers
  • To give back to the writing community
  • To relax and connect
  • To learn more about writing, publishing, and marketing
These days, I find myself spending more and more time online, though, and I still don’t manage to visit and comment on all my favorite blogs or spend enough time on Twitter. And don’t even talk to me about Google-Plus. I’m not even going there yet!

It’s made me wonder, though: how does the rest of the writing world handle this? How much time do you spend engaging in conversation, writing blog posts, and otherwise keeping up your presence online?

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It can be challenging to balance the amount of time we spend interacting with others online with the amount of time we spend on other types of writing. Any suggestions? I’d love to hear from you–please add your thoughts to the comments!

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