Does blogging build a writing career?

Abha from Writtenroad.com asks several travel writers HERE, “How important is blogging in building your career as a travel-writer? Has blogging ever got you any work with print publications?” She included part of my answer, here’s the rest:

As far as advancing my career as a writer, blogging has been every bit as important as dumb luck.

It was dumb luck when Literary Agent A stumbled upon my blog, www.whereamiwearing.com and asked me if I had considered writing a book about the subject. This was before I had even left on the trip the blog was about.

When I returned from the trip I went to a writer’s conference in Muncie, Indiana, (not exactly a hotspot for meeting agents) and asked Agent B about pre-contract etiquette dealing with Agent A. Agent B asked about my book and was darn near more enthusiastic about it than me. Agent B, Caren, became my agent and a few months later sold my first book, which shares a name with my blog.

In the year I’ve kept the blog, I’ve spent over 72,000 minutes (50 days) writing it, but never considered myself a blogger until the Publisher’s Marketplace listing of the sale was released:

Non-fiction Narrative: www.whereamiwearing.com blogger Kelsey Timmerman’s WHERE AM I WEARING?, in which the author learns about the garment industry by following the Made In China/Bangladesh/Honduras tags of a complete outfit and goes to the countries to visit the factories that made his clothes and talk to its workers…

I started as a blogger and, with a little dumb luck, I became an author.

As for print publications…

I rarely direct editors of newspapers and magazines to my blog, for the simple fact that they might visit on a day I write about shaving my tongue or farting on airplanes. However, I have adapted blog posts that eventually ran in print publications or aired as essays on NPR. In this way, blogging is more of a personal writing tool for me than an eye-catcher for editors.

 
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