A reader asks: “I’ve heard about blogs for book marketing, but what should I blog about? I write cozy mysteries, and work full-time.”
That’s a great question. The short answer is of course, that you can blog about anything you like — it’s your blog, so you decide.
The major longterm benefit of a blog is that it helps readers to discover your books.
Book marketing with a blog: your blog helps readers to discover your books
A blog isn’t a quick fix for an author’s book marketing woes. Blogs take time to build a readership.
However, blogs are great for book marketing because:
- The more they see your name, the more readers remember your name;
- Readers will spot previous books which you aren’t promoting actively on your website;
- You can reward readers with bonus material to build a community.
Of course there are challenges when it comes to blogging.
Let’s look at some tips.
1. Make your minutes count: blog on the go
Authors’ primary complaint about blogging for book marketing is that it takes time — time they don’t have.
We’re all busy, and it’s a challenge to find time to blog, but consider using any spare minutes you have:
- Waiting time — the time it takes for a meeting to start at work; time in the market checkout line, etc.;
- Blog while you’re doing something else: waiting for dinner to cook; while you’re watching Netflix, etc.;
- In the bathtub, or in your lunch hour at work.
You’ll find apps which help. I use the Evernote app on my phone to brainstorm ideas for blog posts. Here’s an excellent list of writing tools for bloggers from Blogging Wizard.
2. Review books you’re reading to create quick posts
You’re reading anyway, so why not blog your reading list? I posted my reading list for December and January. However, you could do a quick posts, a book per post, on books when you finish reading them.
Readers are always looking for recommendations for books they might enjoy.
3. Short posts are fine: answer readers’ questions
There’s no need to write over 500 words per post.
Do your readers ask questions about your books? You can answer questions on your blog.
4. Post snippets of your Works in Progress (WIP)
This one is a no-brainer. Many authors post a few sentences from the book they’re working on once a week. It gives readers the flavor of your writing, and it takes just a few minutes to write a post.
5. Curate useful content for your readers
More content pours onto the Web each day than anyone could read in a lifetime. Besides the Web, there’s all the streaming apps for movies and music.
Why write a “this week” post once a week? I suggested to the author who writes cozy mysteries that she could curate books, movies, and TV shows that her readers might enjoy. Additionally, she could post links to interesting content she found online: a no-fail recipe, a link to long-form content, a useful app…
I love these kinds of posts — and I should create them for this blog — because they’re so useful.
Love to write? Blogging for book marketing may work for you
If you’re someone who loves to write — authors often complain about book marketing and say that they just want to write — give blogging a try.
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