Having an author blog is key to promoting yourself and your books. A blog will help you connect with current fans, as well as bring traffic to your website (through your newsletter, through organic searches, and through people sharing the blog post) and get your name out there. Of course, once people are there, you can also convert them to fans, perhaps by offering them a free copy of your book. But blogging is harder than it looks! Here are 10 blog mistakes to avoid, whether you are a seasoned blogger or just starting out.
Writing on a Good Topic
1. Writing posts that won’t interest the correct audience
Since you are an author, readers will usually come to your blog to learn more about you, your writing, your books, the worlds in your books, and perhaps books in general. If you have a blog post on how to change a tire, it may be interesting, but it isn’t going to be interesting to the correct audience. You want to attract future readers, so your posts should appeal to those potential readers and help convert readers into fans. (Of course, if you write nonfiction books on cars, then a post on changing a tire would be relevant, but for most authors, it wouldn’t be.)
2. Choosing too broad of a topic
A blog post should offer concrete value to the readers. A topic that is too broad will result in a generic, vague post that won’t be very helpful. If you have a lot of ideas, break it into multiple blog posts.
You can tell if your topic is too broad by the length of the post. When writing, keep the post high quality by giving examples and delving into details, and if the post gets longer than 2,000 words, think about breaking it into multiple posts.
3. Not offering something of value
On a related note, your posts shouldn’t all be self promotion; most of them should offer something of value to the readers. So, don’t only talk about your new releases, about how great your books are, and about where people can buy your books. That being said, there are a lot of great topics that can give valuable information to the reader while still promoting your books.
Blog Mistakes with Post Form
4. Writing stiffly
Avoiding this blog mistake is especially important if you are an author because your blog posts should give readers a window into your writing. It can be easy to fall into stiff, essay-like writing when writing shorter or informative pieces like a blog post, but try to keep the writing as conversational as possible.
5. Not breaking up the content
Most readers will only skim your blog posts, and if they see a wall of text, they probably won’t bother reading. Keep your reader engaged by breaking the content up into headings, lists, and smaller paragraphs. Avoiding this blog mistake will also improve your post’s SEO and can help you keep your ideas organized and targeted.
6. Not responding to comments
Responding to comments will increase the engagement with your posts. The original commenter may comment again, and others will see that you are active and you respond and so will be more likely to add their own comments. People will remember that you responded and will be more likely to read and share future posts.
7. Not using SEO
If you want your blog posts to rank higher in searches so people can find your content organically (and this is definitely the easiest and cheapest way to grow), then be sure to optimize your posts for the search engines.
SEO is its own topic (and we don’t want to have too broad of a blog topic, right?), so if you want to read more about SEO, check out this blog post here.
8. Not promoting the blog
Using SEO will help your blog get noticed, but it is a process that takes time and that can be greatly helped by bringing traffic to your blog immediately by promoting it. Promoting your blog can be as easy as posting a link to a post on social media, coupled with a question for readers that is related to the post (this is a great way to increase engagement and post views). You can also guest post on other sites and link back to your own blog posts or website, if the site you are posting on allows it.
Miscellaneous Blog Mistakes
9. Not posting consistently
With blog writing (and most forms of marketing), consistency is key. Publishing a post once a month is better than trying to publish a post every week but then missing two or more weeks that month. If you are consistent with posting, readers who are following you will know when to check in for new content. It also will make your blog look active and professional.
A great tip for being consistent is to have a few blog posts finished in advanced; that way if you aren’t able to write a new blog post before the next deadline, you already have a backup (but be sure to catch up with your backups as soon as possible!).
10. Not rereading and editing the post
When you finish writing a post, read it again and edit it. Then, let it rest at least a day before re-reading and editing it again. If you can, have a friend read it before you publish it to catch any obvious typos. Obviously, it’s not possible to be perfect (and it’s easy to miss mistakes in your own writing), but don’t leave errors that could easily be caught with a simple read through.
Have any questions or any tips to add? Let us know in the comments below!