Blogging for Authors: Why You Need To
I know this is kind of Meta, blogging about blogging, but, hear me out. Blogging is one of the most crucial elements to building your brand. There is no better way to drive people to your site and prove to them that you are an expert. Not to mention the great practice you will get writing. “But, what am I supposed to write about?” you may ask, or “What does blogging have to do with fiction writing?” Ok, let’s start at the beginning. You just need to set up a blog and link it to your website, if you know stuff about computers, this should be easy. If not, then ask the person who is running/designed your website to help you with this, because if you don’t know anything about computers you should have someone running your website.
Make sure that the blog design looks professional and looks like you. Just like anything else in the book promotion game, you want your website and blog to reflect your personal style, as well as your subject’s style. For instance, if you write about organization, you wouldn’t want to have loud, and busy theme, even if that might reflect your personal style. Or, if you write devotionals for adult women you want your blog theme to look feminine, but not juvenile.
Next, think about your target audience, and what it is that they need. If you are a non-fiction writer, you are trying to establish yourself as an expert in your field so that your audience will know that your book will help them. A good way to do this is to offer your audience helpful resources through your blog. Blog about subjects and problems that your target audience faces. Blog about the solutions to these problems. Show your audience that you care about them, that you understand what their needs are, and you know how to help them.
Blogging can be more difficult for fiction writers, especially those who are unpublished, but it isn’t impossible. This is a chance for you to show off your writing skills, though your blogging voice will most likely differ greatly from your writing voice. You can share short stories that you have written. Blog about your subject matter, not fiction itself but the sub-genre that you write in. Show your target audience that you know the subject that you write about, and that you are interested in it too. For example, you aren’t just a science fiction writer, but you are also a science fiction fan. You audience will like that you aren’t just trying to sell them a book, but that you genuinely care about what they care about, and you just happen to write about it, and well.
Once you know what you are going to blog about, and have your blog set up, just start writing. Make sure that you do it consistently. If posting a blog every day seems overwhelming to you at first, start with once a week. Set aside the time once a week and write a post. It doesn’t have to be long, 500 words or so, and post it. Just make sure that you post consistently; don’t post on Tuesday one week and Saturday the next.
Make sure that you have a place for your readers to subscribe to your blog via email, so that they will never miss a post. And, don’t expect your blog to grow like wildfire. It takes most bloggers a year, yes that’s right a year (don’t faint), before they have a decent following. Promoting your blog on your social media pages is a good way to grow your readership, as is guest blogging for other blogs. Get your name out there, produce consistent quality content, and be patient. You can also check out Michael Hyatt’s advice on how to structure a blog post and how to fit blogging into your schedule.
Just remember that blogging should be enjoyable, after all, you are a writer, and there is a group of people out there who you want to help, entertain, inspire, etc. That is what you are doing through your blog, with the bonus of drawing them into, and trusting, your book.
Which author blogs do you follow? Share with us in the comments section below.