In a recent writers’ group meeting, we discussed blogging, and whether it was a waste of time. Is blogging dead? Can you use it to market your books, and earn an income?
“I’d love to do more with my blog,” a member admitted. “I get a little traffic, mostly to a couple of posts. I don’t know whether my blog helps with marketing my books. Sometimes I think it’s just an added expense.”
One member said that for her, blogging is a too much money for too little return. “My blog’s web hosting comes up for renewal in a few weeks. My plan costs hundreds each year—I think I’ll be better off spending that money on advertising.”
Blogging and social media, or advertising?
Several members agreed. They said that advertising made more sense than blogging.
Others didn’t agree, and the group divided. It turned out that a couple of members were spending big on advertising, and their sales didn’t recoup the expense. Indeed, several members admitted that they’d given up on advertising completely.
Book advertising is expensive, whether you use Amazon, or a social media network, like Facebook or Pinterest. “I’ve tried advertising pretty much everywhere,” a veteran author said. “I’m spending more than I earn, but I’m adding subscribers to my mailing list, so that’s something.”
If you’re interested in blogging, the group had lots of tips for using your blog for book marketing. Here are several I found interesting.
1. Post consistently, and promote to get traffic (try Twitter)
We all agreed that if you’re blogging, you need to be consistent. That might mean regular blog posts, or regular social media posts. A couple of authors suggested collaborating on blogging and social media.
An author suggested inviting guest bloggers: “choose authors who write in your genre. I treat my blog like a networking tool. I write a couple of blog posts a month, but I’m on Twitter every day. Although Twitter doesn’t work for everyone, I’ve used it to get subscribers. It makes a huge difference when you’re releasing a new book.”
Have you tried Twitter?
2. Use your blog to build pre-release excitement
Blogs were important for those getting ready to launch a new book. Authors used blogs to network with readers and book bloggers, and build a mailing list.
“I post snippets of what I’ve written that week,” one novelist told us. “Of course, I involve readers with discussions about book covers they prefer… I write and post a couple of short stories too, for each launch.”
3. Promote your blog and social media in your books
Although many authors use their books’ back matter to post previews, that’s not as useful as it once was. Authors reported that they had more success when they promoted their blog and mailing list.
Bloggers said they offered free ebooks for subscribers in a book’s back matter.
A couple of nonfiction authors reported that they used back matter to promote paid mailing lists, on sites like Substack, and Twitter’s new Revue mailing list service.
4. Sell your books on your blog: this works for fiction and nonfiction
What about selling your books on your blog, as well as on Amazon and other sites?
This post suggests selling books on your website:
… why make sales from their website when their books are already selling on Amazon, et al?
In a word… money.
A romance author told us she made more money last month from blog sales, than she made on Amazon. “My niche is over-saturated,” she said. “I’ve tried both straight sales on Amazon and Apple and the rest, as well as KDP Select to target Kindle Unlimited readers… But my blog sales are out-performing everything else.”
Blog? Or advertise?
You don’t need to choose. As an author pointed out, “it’s not an either/ or situation. I’ll continue with blogging, and posting occasional ads.”
Love time travel romances and the Regency era?More info →
No time to read? When you have a spare moment, relax with three steamy Regency romance short stories, and a Regency novella. Leave the hassles of daily life. Immerse yourself in an elegant world, with dashing heroes and wonderful heroines...More info →
Her sister Catherine believes that Elaine's hair tells you everything that you need to know about her. It's flame-red. When Sir Oliver Destry trifles with Elaine, she decides on revenge. Elaine soon discovers the truth of the old saying that if you want to make the gods laugh, just tell them your plans.More info →