The easiest part of blogging for writers should be the actual writing shouldn’t it? Yet it can be difficult for authors to work out what to write and whether to write in the same style as their ‘normal writing’ or not. Blogging has similar advantages for writers to what it has for all business people:
- It builds brand awareness of one’s books
- Drives traffic to website where people can read about your books / purchase them / click the call to action that brings them to Amazon, ie increase sales
- Get to know other writing bloggers
- Build relationships e.g. ask book review bloggers to review your book during a blog book tour
- Show the person behind the business / books - remember people buy from people. People are more inclined to purchase your book when they feel they ‘know’ you.
Another advantage is that you can test writing ideas on your target audience via your blog, you can use your blog to hone your writing skills and writing a blog post can be a handy way to get the fingers tapping before you settle into writing your book each day.
What Do Writers Blog About?
Here’s some of my favourite author blogs to give you some ideas:
Show The Person Behind The Book
MT Maguire blogs regularly – about her life, about occasional scatterbrained moments (the one advantage of being a writer is that is is not only permitted to be scatterbrained but positively encourages – well, that’s my excuse too), about metal detecting, about her self publishing, about the writing process and showing sneak peeks of the front covers of her fabulous sci-fi books too. Although I’ve never met her, I know we’d chat for ages if we did get to meet. Notice the facebook like box in the sidebar too – all about encouraging readers to stay in contact with events.
Talk Directly To Readers
Pat Fitzpatrick provides regular updates on his book sales on his blog, explaining various things he has tried to improve sales of his self published book. What I particularly enjoy is the fact that Pat is very open regarding what the book cost him to produce (not counting the time he spent writing it) and how much revenue it has achieved. He also shares his thoughts regarding the effectiveness of his blog, twitter, KDP Select and more. As I also self published my book, I provide occasional updates re the journey and progress of getting a self published book into bookshops and how sales are going.
Share Sneak Peeks
Imen McDonnell is busy putting the finishing touches to her memoir/cookery book and occasionally includes photos from the book in her blog posts, or an occasional recipe to whet our appetites as well as updates on the progress.
I don’t know if this exact photo which includes the dog will be be featured in the book but it adds humour and a cute element too not to mention the fact that those cakes look pretty tempting in the background.
Share the Success
It’s a good idea to share the successes with your blog readers too. That helps them to feel part of the journey and share in your excitement. Louise Phillips is launching her third book within the next couple of weeks and has just posted a screenshot of a featured article in a publication.
If you do well, share the joy. It can be a good idea to have a ‘press’ page too where people can see the press coverage you have achieved.
Insight Into Your Style
Most authors will write their blog posts in a similar style as their books. Others will break into that style at times yet still letting people see the real person behind the blog and books.
Tara Sparling includes great variety on her blog – musings on the vagaries of writing, wondering why so many writers are penniless and writing in freezing garrets, how to come up with a good title for your book, what makes people buy self published books not to mention the effect of an arts festival on one’s inspiration and concentration – she has only been blogging for a year and seems to have amassed a good following to date not to mention the fact that I know I will find any of her books absolutely hilarious and will snap them up at once.
Carmel Harrington has a regular slot on her blog where she features other authors asking them a variety of questions in a very chatty and humourous style. You just don’t know what the next question will be or where it will lead. Not only does that build relationships with other authors, it’s fun to see who she has next on her couch.
Many writers review other books too. After all, most writers read lots so it makes sense to review those you enjoy. Reviwing books can be another way of building relationships with authors although you may have to be careful about what you say! I review a book every Sunday and write honest reviews. However, if I didn’t particularly enjoy a book, I don’t write a review. I only review those I enjoy.
Many of the authors featured here use a variety of the techniques described, I hope these give you some ideas for your own blog and if you’re not blogging already, that it will inspire you to start. Remember too that publishers will use your blog to determine the extent of your following and the quality of your writing so there’s many advantages to having a good blog. Have you any tips or examples to share that I have omitted?