A great tool to maintain your online presence is an author blog. Check out these reasons why a blog is important and learn great tips to get you started.
Why Have an Author Blog?
1. You can connect with readers by sharing personal things about you.
2. You can keep fans updated on what you’re writing and the progress of your next novel.
3. A blog is a great way to offer readers something more (facts, personal details, interesting or funny thoughts or events, etc.), so readers don’t feel like you’re constantly trying to sell them something.
4. People are more likely to share interesting blog posts than they are to share your website URL. With people sharing your posts, you get more notice by new readers.
5. An active blog gets more traffic than your website pages, so it will be more likely to appear in a search than many other pages.
6. Your blog isn’t subject to social media whims, meaning anyone can see your blog posts, unlike Facebook, for example, where only a few of your followers see your post. Plus, your blog will never be locked or deleted for whatever reason.
7. An author blog establishes you as a professional.
8. Blogging helps you stretch and polish those writing skills.
9. Writing a blog post gives you a break from writing books—it’s a different medium of creativity.
10. If you’re not already famous, a blog helps you stand out from the crowd.
Tips for Your Author Blog
1. Remember that an author blog isn’t a way to directly sell books. It’s a way to connect with readers, who will then go on to buy your books. In other words, you are indirectly selling books in a fun way!
2. Share personal information with readers, but at the same time, don’t represent yourself poorly. Once you publish something on the Internet, it’s there forever. (Do correct typos or broken links if you become aware of them!)
3. Keep your blog posts positive. Unless you’re terribly humorous, no one wants to listen to a whiner. Never bash others.
4. Host your blog on your author website, rather than using a separate blogging site for it. That way, it’s all in one place. But don’t use the blog as the “home page” of your website.
5. Check out other author blogs to get an idea of what you want to do with your blog.
6. Include a newsletter signup on your blog—at the side or at the top. It could say something like, “Want to get regular updates? Sign up for my blog posts or my newsletter!”
7. Include a photo or two in your blog post to draw in readers and make the posts more interesting. Make sure it’s a photo you have the copyright to.
8. Keep to one topic for posts. This results in better and more focused comments and conversation, plus, you can save that second idea for a new blog post. This also prevents your post from becoming too long.
9. Create a headline for each blog post that is enticing. Try using numbers and action words, or as a question that readers may want to know the answer to. For SEO purposes, make sure your headline is relevant to your post and isn’t metaphorical. Your post’s key words should be in the headline, in the metadata of your image, and repeated several times throughout the post.
10. Break up blog posts into smaller paragraphs, lists, and subheadings to make it easier for readers to scan.
11. Your posts create an image of who you are and how good of a writer you are to your readers. After writing a post, let it sit for a day or two before re-reading and editing it.
12. Let your friends and family know that you’ve started a blog and ask them to share it with others.
13. Remember that a blog isn’t an instant fix. It’s a way to slowly build readership over time. So hold on to patience.
14. Don’t let blogging get in the way of writing. You can post once a week, every other week, or even once a month. Just be consistent. Once you’ve established a pattern, your readers will start checking your blog on the days you usually post. If you don’t have a pattern, they won’t know when to look up your blog.
15. Comment on other people’s blog posts that are related to what you write. Make your comments insightful—blog writers and readers will eventually come to recognize you name and may start reading your blog in return.
Let us know if you have any questions about creating and maintaining an author blog.