Blogging 101 For Authors

 Why an Author’s Blog Matters

Franck-Boston iStock photo

Blogging should come naturally for an author…You know about voice, perspective and you know how to engage your readers. Your blog is your chance to do that for your readers as you give them some insight to your life as an author. The most important thing to remember about blogging (or any kind of social media) is…

(Don’t have access to the rest of this blog? Join The Publishing Club now so you can keep reading!)

 [DAP]…that the blog needs to entertain, educate and share information. It is so important to remember that your blog is your eye contact with your reader. It’s where they will become excited about your writing and want to not only buy your books, but share about you with their friends as well.

Your author blog is also a way for you to network with other writers, bloggers, reviewers and the people who may help you with your publishing and promotion. Your blog is a way for you to connect current events with your book’s topic, run contents, publicize events and get your readers excited about your book. It is your best connection with your readers and one of the best marketing tools you have for effectively promoting you, your work and your events.

Your blog is part of your home or your storefront. It is the world’s window into your life. It is the way you connect, inspire, and excite your fans. It is the way your fans stay in touch with you and have that important “eye contact” with their favorite author. But more than that, your blog is a great tool for the “business” of writing. It provides visibility for you online and in searches. It showcases your writing and your books. It makes you look professional. It is your home base where you send everyone you email or connect with in person or online. It may even help you get found by a traditional publisher (if that is your goal).

Think of your blog as a way to have coffee one-on-one with each of your readers, but more efficiently.

A good blog will propel you forward helping you quickly meet your goals and dreams. A bad blog will do the opposite quickly. Having no blog reduces your internet presence and makes your readers quickly forget about you.

Although blogging should come naturally, it is a new way of connecting with your readers. It is automatically public–in a big way–giving you no time to stuff your writing away in a drawer while you wait for someone to discover you.

That may become an obstacle for a writer as many of us like to be private. However, being a published author precludes your desire to be private. When you publish your book you are a public figure. With that authority, your thoughts count. Your opinions matter. Being a published author means you now need to be a public writer.

So starting now, think of your blog as a way to talk with your readers and fans individually all at the same time.

They want to hear from you because they care about what you are doing.

They like your stories.

They even want to hear more!

So you want to know how to blog? The tips below will help you on your way. Let’s start with this:

  • Write something to your readers at least once a week, preferably two or three times each week. Every week. (Be Consistent)
  • Write things to inspire, entertain, inform and educate your readers 99% of the time (writing about things like the writer’s life, things that inspire you, things that frustrate you, things you are working on…)
  • Talk about your book directly just 1% of the time
  • Use an editorial calendar to plan and a posting calendar to stay consistent
  • Keep your writing three weeks ahead of your posting schedule–and schedule your posts to automatically appear on your scheduled days
  • Link–to your social media, to posts within your blog and to other websites (readers and search engines like this)
  • Use good keywords to make you more easily found by searchers

As you go through the content on The Publishing Club, and as we go through this month, I will be discussing these tips in more detail.

Until then, my challenge to you is this: If you haven’t started a blog yet, set up an account at WordPress.com and get familiar with their dashboard. (I suggest using WordPress because it will easily integrate into a website when you develop one so you don’t have to start from scratch when you reorganize your online presence.) Don’t worry about blogging yet. Just get familiar with how things look and work, and check out what other people are blogging about. Take some notes on what you like and what you don’t like that other people do.

We will continue our blogging discussion in the next PubClub post! [/DAP]