An author we work with emailed us last week, hoping we could give her a few tips for her blog. Of course, we’re fairly new to the blogging game, but as we crafted our response to her, we had to admit that we’ve learned a lot in a short time.
If you’re an author (or planning on being one) you should have a blog.
Blogs engage your audience and help solidify your place as a player. A blog doesn’t have to keep you from writing. Some author bloggers post once or twice a week and that’s absolutely fine. Here’s the advice we gave to our newbie indie author who had just launched her blog:
1. Add your Twitter (and other social media links) info to your blog, so people can follow you there.
2. Add categories to your blog sidebar so followers can know what topics you blog about (example: my book, inspiration, health tips, personal stories, survivor stories, reflections)
3. Move your “about me” up to the top so that it’s front and center and your new visitors get to meet you right away
Tips on crafting your blog posts:
1. Break your paragraphs into sentences of three or four at the most. It’s easier for scanning and reading quickly — this works better for web reading.
2. Include the three “B’s” of blogging: breaks, bullets, and bold:
- Break up the text,
- Use bullets (or numbers) when sharing tips, steps, and lessons
- Bold your gems
Tips on blog titles:
Titles are really key for helping your blog spread better. Post titles and book titles are completely different. Your post title has to draw first time visitors to your content who are looking for your blog information. Incorporate your blog’s overall topic into your titles as much as you can.
1. Think of each blog post title as a billboard for your blog. (Here’s a post we wrote a while back on “Fill-in-the-blank Blog ideas”)
2. Show the reader: why they should read this post, who the post was written for, and how it will help them. As an example: a post entitled, “Books, Books, Books” could be: “25 Books that Changed My Perspective on Dieting.”
Tips on expanding your reach:
1. You’ll need to do some connecting through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other online communities that speak to your audience. It will help you attract more readers to your blog and book faster.
2. Invite one person a month to guest blog on your site. They’ll promote their post which will drive traffic to your blog.
3. Reach out to one person a month to guest blog on their site. Your bio will promote your book and blog. Also that blogger will likely become a fan of your content.
4. On Twitter (and other social media sites), respond and engage with people who tweet about your book’s topic.
Veteran bloggers, what ideas do you have to share to new bloggers?