It is really important that authors should blog – not just for preparation for writing but for so many other reasons. Blogging will grow your audience, increase book sales, hone your writing skills and make free press coverage much more likely. Chatting to a radio researcher who rang me earlier today, she sounded astounded when I told her I had sold 600 copies of my self published book in my first two weeks. ‘Did I have a column?’, she asked. ‘No’, I replied ‘Just a blog’. Yes, it is just a blog but it works and here is why:
- If you struggle to get started on your writing quest every day and struggle with writer’s block, writing part of a blog post will oil the fingers and brain into action.
- If writing an upcoming section of your book seems daunting, tell yourself it is just a blog post and suddenly it becomes much more manageable.
- If you are unsure about an idea for your book, you can test the market by asking your readers or by including part of it in a blog post and seeing what the reaction is.
- You might find an idea forms for a book if a blog post becomes very popular. (This happened to me with my book ‘Would You Marry A Farmer?‘) Some blog posts can form the first draft of various chapters.
- Readers who like your blogging style are potential purchasers of your books. If you are self-publishing, you need those readers to become buyers. If you are going the traditional publishing route, most publishers now require you to have a social media following.
- People learn of you because of your social media presence. If someone googles your name (even if it is a popular name such as John Smith) it should come up on the first page of google if you are active on linked in, facebook, pinterest, twitter and your blog. If your name is a common one, it is even more important.
- Some of your blog posts can be used to promote your book. In the week of my book coming out, I wrote a blog post entitled ‘Ten reasons to marry a farmer’. It received 50,000 views in a week. Not many transferred into sales but it was still brand awareness. People need to see something a few times (I believe the magic number is 7) before they will be inclined to purchase. Another piece of PR may induce some of those visitors to purchase my book.
- People can see your personality via your blog, they get to see the ‘real you’ and people buy from people. They will be more inclined to buy your book over another one if they feel they know you.
Have I convinced you? Whether you already have a book out there or are dreaming of writing one, I really recommend that you start a blog – there are so many advantages to it. The only disadvantage is you might find you spend more time than intended reading other blogs but that will also improve your own writing and grow your own blog readership.
If you don’t know where to start or would like to grow your blog, may I recommend my two blogging courses (delivered online) over at We Teach Social, both start in February and run for 5 or 6 weeks – from how to start, how to grow your audience, improve your writing and ensure people buy from you.