Whether you’re beginning your author platform or multiple years in and looking for the next right addition, you’ve probably thought about starting a blog. Your options are endless, beginning can be daunting, and it can be hard to narrow down your niche so your blog can be as effective as possible.
As an author, there are two main reasons you should start a blog: 1. blogging positions you as an expert in your niche, and 2. blogs draw new visitors to your website.
Merriam Webster defines blogging this way:
Definition of blog (Entry 1 of 2)
1 computers : a website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks, videos, and photographs provided by the writer
also : the contents of such a site
2: a regular feature appearing as part of an online publication that typically relates to a particular topic and consists of articles and personal commentary by one or more authors
What if you write nonfiction?
If you are an expert on the topic you covered in your book, blogging about that topic is a logical next step and can draw in an audience for your book you may not have reached before. For example, if you’ve written a nonfiction book on gardening, blogging about your own garden makes perfect sense. And anyone who comes to your blog will be able to hear about your book.
What if you write fantasy novels or contemporary fiction?
It may not be as straightforward, but there are still infinite possibilities for your blog. Think about your book’s audience and ask yourself what they’d be looking for or what would interest them. If your main audience for your contemporary novel is college students, what content would serve college students that you could offer? Is your book a romance novel? Can you offer relationship advice? These instructional topics work really well as blog themes.
However, you may find that these topics or this writing style doesn’t suit you or your brand as an author very well. Blogging is most effective as a means of increasing your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Nonfiction articles will work best for SEO, but if you have a following who is already interested in what you’re creating, you can post almost anything you want to post on a blog. Whereas it may not be as effective to increase your reach, you may find that posting short stories, poems, or behind the scenes content is a better option for you.
What is your reader looking for?
Many readers who follow authors of fiction or memoirs are more interested in getting to know the author than in learning from them. You can share reflections from your life or behind the scenes content of your book. Instead of increasing your reach and discoverability online, this will deepen your relationship with your readers, encouraging loyalty and interest in your next books.
Once you decide what you want to write about, you have to decide how often you want to post. The best schedule is the one you can maintain. For some people, that’s once a week. For others, that’s once a month. As long as you are consistent, your readers will know when to expect new content from you and they’ll come back to your site to find the latest content on their own.
In short, your blog should fit your creative schedule and bandwidth. If you only have the capacity to post once a month, only post once a month. If you’ve been neck deep in your research of medieval weaponry for your next fantasy novel, there’s no need to research something else in addition to what you’re already researching. Your readers will likely be excited about that extra behind-the-scenes knowledge.
Whether you use your blog to post book reviews, short fiction, poems, interviews with other authors, writing tips, or articles, blogging can benefit your brand as an author and help grow your relationship with your audience. In the end, that relationship is what will make your platform successful.
Have you been thinking about starting a blog? Have you been blogging for years and now it’s time to take your writing career to the next level with a book?
We’d love to help make your dreams a reality.