One of the biggest contradictions I encounter (all too often, unfortunately) when working with writers is their fear and reluctance to do a blog. The most common excuses: “I don’t want to have something I’m tied to doing all the time,” “What would I write about?” and, “I don’t get all this social-media mumbo jumbo.”
Well, guess what, writer: YOU’RE A WRITER! If you want to build a following for your book to be successful, you have to write on—(dread!)—a regular basis, and it might as well be public to help in your marketing efforts. Whether you write fiction, memoir, children’s books, exposés, or are simply a “wannabe” writer, the very best way to keep practicing your chops on a regular basis (other than actually writing your next book) is to have a blog. Below are 6 different types and topics of blog posts you can use, regardless of your writing genre:
1. Topics and news related to your book.
This tip may seem obvious, but many writers feel their blog has to be ONLY about their book. However, writing about related topics (that might get more hits on a search engine than your book title) could attract new people in your audience. If you’ve written a cancer memoir, you should keep on top of new stories, treatments, and achievements in the cancer world. If you’ve written a fiction book that focuses on police action, you may wish to comment on well-known crimes. If you’ve written a children’s book about dogs, you may wish to talk about dog rescue events and news.
2. Excerpts of your book/next book.
Posting pieces of your book feels like a “giveaway” for your readers, and keeps your book relevant. Also, when you’re writing posts, try to always find ways to come back to your book on a regular basis, and tie it back to other topics and news you’re describing. You could also post writing exercises you’ve used that have worked.
3. Reflections on your publishing journey.
What has motivated you? What has held you back? Was it hard choosing an editor? Did you decide to publish as an ebook or a print book or both? What ebook company did you use, or did you create your own ePUB and Mobi files? What was it like? Become a go-to source of information on publishing.
4. What you’re reading now.
No one will be a better ally than another author. If you’re posting references to another author’s book, that author has more reason to support you in return. If that author has a good following, your book has just been recommended to them! This can lead to a blog tour!
5. Marketing tips and events.
What are you up to? How are you marketing your book? What’s helping? What isn’t helping? Who are you partnering with and why? What events are you a part of? Talk about what’s going on with you to give ideas to other authors AND gather support for your efforts!
6. The guest blog.
The guest blog is a great blog style you can use to a) gather more support from the guest blogger and guest blogger’s followers and b) introduce some fun variation in your blog style. You can ask an expert on one of your topics, another writer, another blogger you follow, etc. Reach out to these individuals privately so they can appreciate the personal effort. You can also do a Twitter blast to all your followers saying “Hey followers! I’m looking for guest bloggers on the topics of ____, ____, ____, or ____! Message me privately if you’re interested!”
Readers: What indie author blogs to you enjoy following? Let us know—we love discovering new blogs!