There is a great deal of irony in the fact that many authors do not like to blog or feel they aren’t good at it. You would think that someone who writes for a living, or at least as a hobby, would be just fine writing blog posts. But alas, that isn’t the case. Someone who writes crime thrillers may not feel adept at writing a top 10 list, and a romance author may not feel qualified to write a post on how to market an ebook. There is a reason why authors write within specific genres—it’s what they are most comfortable with.
These days, is a necessity to drive readers, or more importantly potential readers, to your website. This is the stepping-off point to getting a following of readers who will buy your books. There are, of course, those readers who will find you on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or other online retailers, but to create long-tail or loyal readers, an active blog is often the key.
But how do you do this if you feel like blogging isn’t your thing?
- Read other authors’ blogs! Check out the blogs of authors in your genre. See what topics they write about and pay attention to their tone. Scroll down to see if any comments were left and what they say. This is a simple way to see what you like and don’t like about blog posts. Use this knowledge as a guide for your own style of blogging.
- Read articles that are current and relevant to the world of writing, reviewing, and publishing. There is a ton of information available online, and these articles can be a launch pad. Gain ideas from these articles, then write blogs posts where you share your experiences or opinions related to those articles. Link the article into your post as well. Post comments to these articles. Often news outlets let you create a profile that includes a website link. Comment often, but with relevance, and this can be a strong method for driving traffic to your blog. Three websites that I like specifically for self-publishing insights and guidance are Just Publishing Advice, Kindlepreneur, and right here on Adazing.
- Use a blog post generator to help give you ideas. One that I like to use is BlogAbout. This website helps you to narrow down to a topic, such as growth, challenges, productivity, or an opinion. From there, it will help you generate potential titles for your posts. These titles point you in the right direction to start thinking about your posts.
- Consider writing a review of a recent book that you read. This is more than just your elementary school book report. Think about how you would want your reader to connect to your story. You want your readers to follow the character development, become involved in the relationships and dynamics among your characters, and to feel like they can see the plot unfold in their mind’s eye. Do you feel like the author you just read succeeded in those areas, or whatever goals you set with your own work? Whether they did or didn’t, you now have something to write about. Blogging can be conversational in manner. Share your review as though you were talking to a friend over coffee.
- Share reviews of your own work. Use blog posts to share recent reviews of your work whether they appear on someone else’s blog, Goodreads, Amazon, or other sales sites. This is a surefire way to let readers know that your books are worth their time and money. You can share the entire review or just snippets, or you can include links for people to see the entire review in its original form.
- Make your blog like a journal. Write about your experiences becoming a writer. What was it like the first time you decided to sit down and type out your manuscript? How did you feel when someone else read your book for the first time? What process did you go through to submit your book to a publisher or to self-publish? How did it feel to see your book posted on an online retailer or in a bookstore? You get the idea. Share a part of you, and your experiences will make you more relatable to your readers.
- Write about your writing process. This is sometimes referred to as “world-building.” It can offer insight into the behind-the-scenes world of your stories. How do you choose your characters? How did you name them? What drives you as you create your protagonist and antagonist? Let your readers into your imagination for a little bit. Explain your process for developing plot. Do you use specific guide markers to keep your plot on course, or is your writing more character driven? Were there deleted scenes or parts that you decided to rework? Will your secondary characters develop in future books? These insights make you seem more accessible and helps build a relationship with your readers.
- Ask for submissions for guest bloggers. You don’t have to come up with everything on your own all the time. Get a little help from other bloggers or authors. Give potential guest bloggers some guidance on the subjects that you would like to include on your website, and then let them do some of the leg work. This also builds creditability for your website. Readers will often think: if someone else is willing to associate their name with this author, then the author must be good. Leverage this to your advantage.
- Use your blog as a place to advertise your own work. Share graphic teasers or chapter teasers to build intrigue and curiosity. Offer a book blurb or synopsis of each of your books in their own blog post. Be sure to include your sales links, so readers can buy your books once you pique their interest.
- Share a little about your real life. This doesn’t have to be anything overly personal, but once again, this is about relationship building. If you can become something more than just the name on the cover, then you create potential long-tail leads and longtime readers. Do you have a vacation coming up that you’re looking forward to? Did you just return from vacation? Do you have strange dreams? How about the joys of parenting? How are your inspired to write? These small shares can have large returns if your readers feel an emotional or personal connection to you.
Blogging can feel out of your element even if you are an author. It can also feel like a large time commitment, especially when you are just getting started. I found myself, and still find myself, asking if the effort is worth it. Do not underestimate the power that blogs have. They are the direct connection between you and thousands, if not millions, of potential readers and loyal fans. You can write several blog entries at once and then post them as you need them or as time allows. Be sure to include links to your sales sites, your social media, and to any other resources that you mention. Blogging doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you have a plan in mind.
Her “The Clan Sinclair” series includes His Highland Lass (released April 2018) and His Bonnie Highland Temptation (to be released August 31, 2018). These are the first two novels in a five-book series. Celeste also blogs regularly about her experiences becoming an indie author. Her articles focus on lessons learned and information gathered from her own research. These articles go beyond just opinions and look at the commonly agreed upon (and sometimes disagreed upon) approaches provided by experts in the industry on marketing and publicity, blogging, social media, and publishing.
She has had several careers before becoming an “official” author. Celeste has been in sales, fitness as a personal trainer and coach, social media and marketing, a paralegal, and is now an educator. When she is able, she spends her time writing which is usually after the kids go to bed.
Born abroad, raised in the Midwest, and educated on the East Coast, Celeste now makes her home in Southern California where the beach is less than ten miles from her home. She enjoys the sun, the sand, and the sea. When she’s not working, writing, or spending time with her family, Celeste is an avid swimmer and reader.