You’ve been cruising the web, checking out some blogs by authors and have decided you would like to give it a go. You’ve probably heard more than a few people tell you that it’s something essential for the modern-day author. Especially one who is publishing their book independently of a traditional publisher.
But unless publishing your book (and all the other work that comes with it) is your full time job then it’s often tough to fit blogging into your time. There are all the potential pitfalls of starting a diary or signing up to the gym: you begin the year with the best of intentions, but then you lapse and wonder how you’re going to keep it up.
Be clear on your aim
We’ve been talking to lots of different authors who blog, and one thing that they all have in common is that they know why they are blogging. It may sound pretty obvious, but it’s a really important question and surprisingly, it’s often overlooked.
Authors won’t always be blogging for the same reason, but those that develop good blogs, with regular posts and a decent amount of traffic, have a really clear picture of what their aim is. They also have some way of measuring whether they are getting closer to achieving it. That way, if they start flagging or find that other things are taking priority, they have a better incentive to maintain their commitment.
Your aim could be to improve your writing, establish yourself as an expert in a certain field or raise awareness of a particular topic. Whatever it is, make a note of it and keep reminding yourself as you go.
Your blog should match your brand
Of course, one of the main reasons that authors blog is because they want to sell more books! And there are lots of factors that you should consider when you are setting up your blog if this is the case. One of them should be how your blog fits into your overall ‘brand’ i.e. how others see and perceive you – whether they are looking at your book, or you as a person. It helps people decide whether the thing they are going to by is likely to be something they will enjoy.
Figuring out how your blog should look, feel and how you are actually going to go about creating it can be a bit of a daunting task, but we’ve come across a fantastically helpful tutorial that can take you through the process.
‘HOW TO BLOG for authors and writers’ is an online course that has been put together by Joanna Penn and features on her website TheCreativePenn.com. Joanna was named as one of Top 30 bloggers to watch in 2010 on Problogger, voted as one of Top 25 Writing blogs on Editor Unleashed and has been included on Alltop as a top Books blog. She’s published two novels herself, and has sold over 25,000 copies. What we really like about this course is that it’s clear that Joanna’s been through the stages of setting up a blog, has also done a tonne of research and is therefore in a great position to tell you what works and what doesn’t.
The course consists of videos, audio and an eBook and costs $39.99. As well as the low-down on blogging, it also includes a really useful video on author branding. If you’d like to find out more you can also follow Joanna on Twitter: @thecreativepenn. She’s full of helpful tips on marketing.
We’d love to know if you have come across any great blogs or have any tips for other authors based on your personal experiences.
If you’d like more advice on social media and promotion then you can also check out our book promotion page.
Thanks for this article. I maintain a blog at www.leavingcairo.blogspot.com and have been since 2010 – the aim to get followers of it before I produce my book (still writing the book!)
There’re some really useful tips here as yes, every day life can get in the way and make one loose their goals at times, plus it’s good to have a reminder as to why I’m writing it.