Do you participate in any of the writer’s forums on the internet? Forums have been around for a long time, and haven’t changed that much over the years. They provide a way for lots of people to have conversations, all at the same time on a variety of topics in discrete streams of posts.
Forums are very popular, often attracting hundreds or thousands of regular readers, and provide help and support for almost any area in which you’re interested. A great and very early social-media type of experience.
Yesterday one of the authors on a writing forum described how he had built a blog for his book, as so many marketing types recommend, but he was at a loss about how to attract readers to the blog. And what use is writing if there’s no one there to read?
There’s probably an e-course around somewhere that teaches “Blogging for Authors” but lacking that, I thought I’d jump in and help with some suggestions about getting blog readers. Although some of the suggestions that follow take some time and effort, given a chance they will pay off.
As with your writing, get known as someone who expresses themselves well, and who has something worthwhile to say, and can say it in an interesting way. Readers will follow.
10 Ways Authors Can Get Readers to Their Blog
- By asking the question in the forum, people in the discussion know you have a blog. Finding places to interact with people who have similar interests is a really good way to get the word out. Make sure you let people know about your blog by putting it in your signature line that you set up when you joined the forum. If you’ve forgotten how to do that, look for a link to User CP or My Account and you’ll find it.
- Have a regular schedule for yourself that you can stick to. If you only think you can blog once a week, do that regularly. If you start out writing three or four blog posts a day, you will soon burn out. Think of your blog as a long term project, one where you can talk about your work and maybe publish parts of your new projects to get feedback. Plan to blog on a schedule that suits you and people will know what to expect.
- Try to stay on one topic. This will help people identify your blog more clearly than if you wander from topic to topic. We’re all creatures of habit, and come to rely on trusted sources for reliable information or entertainment in some particular subject.
- Find other blogs that address the audience you would like to attract and make (hopefully intelligent) comments on those blogs. Make sure you put a link to your blog in your signature. The people reading the blogs you enjoy will probably enjoy your blog too, but they have to know about it first.
- Write for other blogs. If you write easily, once you have some content on your blog, ask another blog owner who has more traffic if you can contribute a guest post with a link in it. Look at other authors in your genre. Authors don’t compete with each other, we complement each other. After all, buyers of your book may well like mine if it’s in the same genre.
- Find other bloggers who are trying to get started (your peers) and trade posts and links with them. At any particular time it seems like there are always new blogs starting up on almost any subject. While it can be difficult to get the attention of so-called “A-List” bloggers, you can have fun trading tips and ideas with your peers.
- Ask someone with a big following if you can interview them for your blog. Let’s face it, people like to be asked their opinion, treated like stars. Authors you admire, or other people in your field may be only too willing to do an interview and bring some of their readers to your blog.
- Get interviewed by another blogger. Being asked your opinion on your chosen field for 30 or 60 minutes is a great opportunity to bring your work and your personality to a new network of readers. This is a great opportunity to introduce people to your work.
- Write articles about your topic and submit them to content sites in your field, with a link in your “resource box” at the bottom of the article. This is perfect if you are a non-fiction author, because you have expertise in your area. Keep in mind that these articles will also help to establish your authority in your field.
- Submit to blog carnivals in your field. You can find them at http://www.blogcarnival.com and submit blog articles to them. When the carnival post goes out, many readers on different blogs will have a chance to see a sample of your work. This is another great way to find readers who don’t yet know about you.
There are many other ways to market your blog, but you might not need anything else. Spend a couple of months working with any or all of these ideas, and you will start to build your very own audience, people who are reading your blog because you are writing it. That’s the ultimate compliment to a writer.
And what’s the very best advice of all? Write really great blog posts, then let people know about them!
Please share any other tips for authors to get readers to their blogs in the comments, I’d love to expand my list.
Image: Stock.xchng / Mattox