5 Ways to Make Your Author Blog Rock!

From BookDaily.com, posted October 12, 2015:

5 Ways to Make Your Author Blog Rock!

A blog can be a valuable marketing tool. You create content which you give away for free, and this drives readers to your web site, where they’ll find information about your books. It’s a low-cost way to build platform, because all you need is a place to host your blog, the time to create content, and ideas. But here’s the hard part—what should you blog about?

If you write non-fiction, this question may be easy to answer. Say you’re writing about interior design—your blog might include current trends in design as well as home improvement projects. If you write about sports, your blog can mirror that.

I write fiction though, and I found this question challenging. I’ve got plenty of ideas for books, but a blog is not a book—it’s an essay or a journal entry. Still, one idea for blogging would be to write a series, a continuing story.

Some writers blog about the writing process or their journey to publication. I can see how this would be interesting to readers, in getting to know an author. Some readers are also interested in writing, and would find that kind of blog helpful, particularly if the writer is well-known and has a track record of success.

Other authors blog about their personal lives. This could be interesting to readers, if the content is compelling and relates to your books. For example, if you write romance, you might share funny stories about your own love life. The challenge is in keeping readers engaged, and not writing about something mundane, or, at the other extreme, sharing too much information.

Another option is connecting the blog to a theme in your books. Perhaps you write fiction, but food plays a role because the story is set in a bakery. You could share recipes or blog about your triumphs and misadventures in the kitchen.

For my own blog, I weighed all of these options and finally decided that the focus of my blog would be on spooky stories. I write young adult novels that often have supernatural themes, so this was a good fit. I found the topic interesting enough that I would be able to generate content on a weekly basis. More importantly, my readers find it interesting. Almost everyone loves a good ghost story, and people like to share their own brushes with the supernatural.

I’ve also started to include other authors on my site. I trade them a ghost story for a feature with their photo, bio, book cover, and book description. The great thing about that is someone else is creating content for me, sharing a spooky guest post. That allows me time for other projects, and it helps me build connections with fellow authors. Although my blog is a new feature for my author web site, I’ve already noticed a significant improvement in the number of views and comments.

If you create a blog, here are five things to keep in mind:
1. Keep content interesting.
2. Provide content that is valuable to your readers.
3. Post regularly so readers know what to expect.
4. Use images and tags to provide visual interest and make posts easy to find.
5. Use links, both for content you’ve created and related content on other sites.

Good luck! If you already have a blog, what do you write about? What effect has blogging had on building your platform?

© Melissa Eskue Ousley 2012

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