One was a Sisters in Crime survey showing that blogging led to very few book sales.
Another was an offer from someone who was looking to be my social media consultant: “We all know that social media is a huge resource for obtaining buzz about our books - but keeping up with Twitter, Facebook, blog comments, online book tours, etc can be a lot of work! Especially when you're smack in the middle of edits, out doing book signings, or busy writing your next manuscript. That's where I can help. I've been a blogger for almost 9 years now. I've been on Twitter for several years - having joined when it was still in its infancy. I've ghost blogged and ghost Twittered for a variety of companies. I know how to grow your followers. I know who to follow, who to talk to, and how to do it.”
Here’s what I see wrong with both of those scenarios.
You shouldn’t blog because you think it will lead to more sales. You should blog because you love it. If you don’t love it, it’s going to show. If you hire someone else to do it, that’s going to show, too.
And don’t hire someone to ghost Tweet for you. Yes, if you are a company, you might hire someone to be your voice. But if you are a real person, only you can be you.
Sure, I think it’s fine to have someone help you get up to speed on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. I think it’s more than fine to hire someone to design your website - a website that reflects your personality.
But at the end of the day, I want to have real conversations with real people - not their paid mouthpieces. And I tune out people who are clearly all about selling their books.
Back when I worked in PR full time, our department had a slogan: “We build relationships.” That’s what it all comes down to, I think, when thinking about blogging and Facebook and Twitter and whatever else: you build relationships. And if you’re too busy, give your real life and your real writing priority. If you find you don’t enjoy it, stop.
Build relationships. Don’t buy them. Don’t frantically try to turn a relationship into a purchase decision. Build relationships.