In the previous post, Rebecca explained to authors how they should approach the creation of their author website. For those of you who’d like to incorporate a blog into their book promotion strategy, or would like to use a blog as their main landing page, ex-journalist Rebecca has put together more advice and information.
A blog is a great way of sharing your news and views, as part of a larger website, or as a site in its own right. The beauty of blogging is that’s it’s an engaging and informal way to keep in touch with your readership. Unlike a ‘formal’ website, it allows you to bring colour and personality to posts, which in turn help form a bond with your readers; often, a blog draws in many more views than a static web page. The downside to blogging is the commitment and time it takes, because blogs only work if they’re updated and added to regularly, which can be difficult when you’re busy writing your next book, or with a million and one other things!
The key to writing a good blog is picking a subject area and sticking to it. You need to be thinking about how you can create bright and engaging posts on your subject on a regular basis. My advice is: don’t make your margins too narrow, be flexible and think around your subject. For example, if your blog is about being a writer, you could create regular posts about your project, its progress and the highs and lows you experience. You may also be able to use current affairs and news as inspiration for posts; for example, commenting on the publication of a new novel by a well-known author – bringing the piece back round to your project towards the end.
Avoid repetition and writing blog posts that are too alike. This can be tricky, so it’s worth keeping your eyes out for news and occurrences that are interesting and relevant; use these as a springboard for a blog post. Whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap of desperation blogging. This is blogging randomly and without purpose or focus. It’s unlikely that, unless it’s relevant to your subject, people will be queuing up to read about what you had for tea or what was on Corrie last night – instead, this approach is more likely to lose followers who followed your blog because of a shared interest.
If you experience ‘bloggers’ block’, don’t resort to writing just anything; instead, step away from the computer and do something else. It’s likely that inspiration will strike if you give your subconscious time to mull it over.
The blog part of my website is definitely the biggest draw of web traffic. After posting a new blog and promoting it via social media I usually see my website traffic rise significantly, with visitors looking at my home and information pages as well as the blog they originally came to read. So, writing a blog is worth the blood, sweat and tears, as long as you commit to it.
A top tip for blog writing: before you start, think about writing about your subject in six days’ time, six weeks’ time and six months’ time. Do you think you can come up with something new and original every time you want to post over this length of time? If so, what are you waiting for? Get your blog up and running, and get started!
Rebecca Whittington is a former newspaper journalist who specialises in media consultancy, media strategy, social media and website management. She is available for media training, writing for the web, and assistance on setting up projects on websites and social media networks. For more information, visit Rebecca’s webpage and blog:http://www.rebeccawhittingtonmedia.com
Developmental editor and publishing consultant Diane Hall is the author of three books; she has also ghost-written books for others and created a plethora of content, on more subjects than you could care to imagine, for numerous clients since the beginning of her career. She is proud to have fundamentally shaped series of books and more than a hundred individual titles over the last decade with various authors, nationally and internationally.
Among her editing qualifications, she holds a linguistics diploma, which involves the study of language and speech. Diane employs this knowledge in the forensic linguistic work she sometimes undertakes.
Diane has seen the introduction and subsequent rise of self-publishing, and passionately keeps abreast of its disruption of the publishing industry. She is a thought leader when it comes to the future of book marketing, fuelled by the poor results authors see when employing traditional techniques.
Thanks to Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net for use of the main image.