Blogging 101

Three Big Benefits of Blogging

blog by vladru @iStockphotoI know how focused an author can be; when you are deep into writing a story it is hard to force yourself to come up for air…to rejoin the world outside of your story.

Connecting the world (specifically your readers) is just what you should be doing–now, before your book is finished.

“But, I’m writing,” you will tell me. “I won’t have a book to publish if I don’t finish the story.”

I hear you. But I will also remind you that people won’t buy that book if they don’t know about it. And if you don’t blog, it will be harder for people to learn about you and your work.

The reason I encourage a writer to begin blogging even before the book is finished is because…

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[DAP] …it takes time to build a following online. At least three to six months. So if you start now, you are ahead of the game!

Blogging is good for you and your writing. Beyond giving you extra writing practice, blogging gives you three big benefits:

  1. It helps you get found through topical internet searches
  2. It helps you make “eye-contact” with your potential fans
  3. It helps you build your brand and your platform as an author

The 3 Big Benefits:

Getting Found:

The more you blog about yourself, your passions, your book and your “topic”, the more online searches will find what you write. Why is this important? Here is a simplified example: Say you are me and you wrote a book about grieving. When someone is going through grief, they will go online and search for what they are dealing with. Say they type, “Grieving Loss of Child,” and say I’ve written 14 blogs on that topic. My name, website, and book will come up 14 times in that person’s web search. Because of how often they see my information, they will probably come to my blog and read about my experiences. As a result, they may subscribe to my blog to continue receiving updates. They might also join my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter. Then once they are aware that I know what I’m talking about and that I can help them, they may buy my book. And then share about me with their friends who then follow me, buy my book and talk about me.

If I wasn’t blogging, depending only on my Amazon book listing, then my name and information would only appear once in that person’s search. They might look at my book, but they will more likely overlook me.

Making Eye Contact:

Your blog is your way of being public…of meeting your readers and sharing about yourself, your passions, and your writing. Even in our fast-paced, technological society, people still long to know and be known. They use the internet to learn and to connect. When you blog, you give them the opportunity to connect with you. To learn about you. To love who you are and what you do.

You make eye contact in a blog when you are authentically yourself (as opposed to just saying, here’s my book–buy it!). When you share about your passion and your struggles. When you share about what excites you and what infuriates you. When you are authentic with your readers, giving them a peek into your world, you give your readers that eye contact they desire. This is an important aspect of building a fan base of readers who will read whatever you write because they love you. (But don’t read me wrong here–you will still need to write well because if you don’t they will abandon you faster than you can say, “Read my blog.”)

Building Your Brand and Platform:

A writer’s platform is a combination of the ways an author reaches their fans and how many fans the author has. A blog is the foundation of building your platform.

A blog gives you a captive audience of people (who have subscribed to get your updates) who want to hear what you have to say. The number of people you have reading your blog directly translates to the number of people who will buy your books and talk about you. The more people buy your books, the more you get noticed. The more you get noticed, the closer you get to becoming a best-selling author. And it can all start with a blog!

When you think of your blog as a tool to reach your readers and build a community, you can see how important your blog can be.

So how do you make all of these good things happen? That’s what we will continue to talk about this month. Stay tuned![/DAP]