We recently looked at whether having a blog is mandatory for authors hoping to sell their work. For many authors having a blog is a great way to get in the writing habit, reach more readers, receive instant feedback, network and increase SEO. Decided that blogging is for you or keen to give it a go? Here are 6 tips to ensure that your blog is working for you.
Start it Imperfectly
Say goodbye to getting everything right and get started instead. Your blog will not be perfect to begin with and there will likely be very few people reading your blog in the beginning so it’s a great time to experiment with layout, content, images and adding links. Instead of striving for perfection in your posts aim to learn from them. There will always be someone who dislikes or criticizes your writing, work on developing a thick skin that will serve you well throughout your writing career.
Work out Your Goals
Know why you are blogging. Defining your overall objective will give your blog strategy and direction. Do you want to raise awareness of your books? Increase book sales numbers? Grow your email list? Network with other authors, publishers and people in the literary community? Consider how your blog will enable you to achieve these goals. How will you measure your results? Through website traffic numbers, book sales, increased inquiries or a growing email list? How will you know that the time you are investing in your blog is worthwhile? Setting out your goals and desired results from the onset will ensure that your blog is focused on what you want to achieve.
It is about Your Readers
Unless your blog is purely for yourself it should revolve around the needs of your readers. If you haven’t already then now is the time to identify your ideal reader. Where do they currently hang out on online? What appeals to them about your books? What type of content will entice them to visit your blog? Think about how you can best offer your readers value through your blog posts and keep them coming back for more.
A successful blog is a consistent blog. Be consistent with the type of content you are creating and how often you post. Stick to your niche and know your readers. Post regularly. Make it sustainable. Rather than a rash of daily posts followed by deafening silence commit to a realistic schedule. Whether once a week or once a month, find a blogging schedule that works for you. An effective way to organize your posts is by having a content calendar. This can be a wall calendar, spreadsheet, app or bunch of post-it notes, whatever works for you. Set out what you will be posting, when you will be posting it and stick with it. Take some of the stress out of posting by writing and scheduling your posts in advance. This way you can take advantage of the times you feel like writing blog posts and take time out when you don’t.
Connect with the Writing Community
Networking can be daunting for introverted authors, yet it’s an invaluable way to draw attention to your work, build a supportive writer network and generate publicity. Contact fellow authors, in your genre, to offer guest blog posts and extend the offer to feature their posts on your site. Interview fellow author on your blog and join in book blog tours and joint promotions.
Like all book marketing blogging is a long-term game. Readers are not going to roll in overnight. By having a motivating goal and a strategy for achieving that goal (hello content calendar!) you can take some of the stress out of blogging and enjoy the process.