You’re thinking about creating an author blog. However, you have lots of questions. Is a blog right for you? How will you find the time — will blogging steal your writing time?
Beyond that, assuming that you can find the time to blog, you worry that blogging may be ineffective. Maybe your blog won’t get readers. On the other hand, if you do get readers for your blog, maybe those readers won’t buy your books.
In my everyday life, I’m a marketer who hires bloggers for companies. I know that blogs are powerful. I also know that it’s challenging to get buy-in from executives who look down on bloggers and blogging.
Here’s the thing. While blogging is powerful there’s no direct correlation between the number of readers you get, and the numbers of books you sell.
That said, blogging works for visibility. Over time, it builds credibility and trust. I explain to my clients that it’s a “landscape” thing. You may not eat pizzas, or go to see the latest blockbuster movie, but because of advertising, you’re aware that the pizzas and movie exist. Similarly, someone who reads your blog may not immediately buy your book, but when he’s browsing Amazon, or another ebook retailer, he’ll notice your name when he stumbles across one of your books.
Blogging is advertising. It builds curiosity. The first time a blog visitor sees your name, it’s unlikely that he’ll buy. When he keeps seeing your name, one day he may decide to buy.
If you want a great career as an author, a blog is an investment which pays off. Of course, if you’re going the traditional blogging route, your publisher will suggest strongly that you blog.
When you’re marketing your books, every little thing helps. 🙂
Content ideas for your author’s blog
Once they’ve decided to try a blog, authors have another huge concern: what do I blog?
Nonfiction authors rarely ask this question, because they blog about their books’ topics. However, it’s a real concern for novelists. You’ve written your novels, but you feel that if you blog about your daily life, no one will read your blog.
There are endless blog topics you can consider, even if you’re a novelist. Let’s look at some of them.
1. Excerpts: publishing excerpts helps while you’re writing, and after publication
Did you know that your blog can help you to write your books?
- You have readers now. Writing is a lonely business. In the months and years it takes you to write a novel, you have no idea what’s working, and what isn’t. Blog excerpts from your novels, and your readers will tell you what works for them — and this knowledge will subtly improve your writing;
- It gives readers a chance to get to know your characters, and they become invested in them. And they buy your book;
- You become familiar. When a blog reader is browsing the virtual shelves, and he has a choice between an unfamiliar title, and a familiar one, which do you think he will choose?
2. Cover ideas, cover reveals, and printable bookmarks
You want to commission a cover. Should you go for an illustrated design, or a photographic design? Ask your blog’s readers.
You’ve commissioned a cover. Your designer sends you a choice of three designs.
You’re confused. You love all of them. Which should you choose?
Post your covers, and let your blog’s readers decide. The benefit? Familiarity again. Your book’s now familiar when they’re looking for a new read.
Publication day looms… Even if you’re publishing ebooks, you can created printable bookmarks for your readers from your covers. Why not?
Familiarity again… Those readers who print and use your bookmarks will become very familiar with you, your blog, and your books.
3. Book reviews: help out other authors — karma is real
Authors are readers too.
So, review the books you read, and your favorite authors.
Just do it. Trust me, this works — authors pay attention to reviews, no matter where the reviews are published.
When you review them, you become familiar to the authors you review.
They may tweet your review, pin your review on Pinterest, and may even mention you on their blog. Their readers will become familiar with you. Some of their readers may become your readers.
4. Reading lists: readers love them
Compile reading lists of:
- Your To Be Read pile;
- Books which influence your writing;
- Self-help books you’ve enjoyed;
- Recipe books…
- Any books you choose. 🙂
Readers LOVE reading lists. They tweet them, they pin them, and they save them.
Score for YOU! 🙂
5. A character’s journal: build familiarity, suspense and intrigue
If you’re anything like me, you do a lot of writing which never appears in your books. All this writing can be repurposed for your blog.
Readers love character journals. They get to know your characters. And some of your readers buy your books.
6. Your writing process: a day in the life
Readers are interested in how writers write. The process seems mysterious. Tell your readers something about your writing process, and how you spend your days.
Big, big tip… DO NOT complain, or whine on your blog, ever.
Stay positive, always. Whiners are far from likable, so when you’re tempted to vent — DON’T do it on your blog.
So there you have it. Six blog content ideas which are practical and powerful. Your blog and your fiction are a wonderful partnership. Your blog helps you to write, get readers, and sell more books. Happy blogging. 🙂