In the age of the internet, an author blog can be a useful tool for keeping in contact with your readership. It is no wonder why so many authors find themselves creating their own blogs as having one can increase your readership and, therefore, your income. However, many authors find making the leap from self-published author to blogger to be quite daunting, and reasonably so!
There are many considerations to make when creating and running a blog, and doing so without a guideline can leave you without content or, possibly worse, an audience. In this article I intend to help you:
- choose whether running a blog is right for you
- walk you through the process setting up a blog
- decide what the style of your blog might be
- discover ways that you can market yourself and your blog to gain readers
- convert those readers into engaged customers
Whether you are looking to improve your author blog or begin a new one, I would advise you to begin by going through the links I have attached to see the foundations of author blogging and find out if you are ready to begin your journey as a blogger.
Author Blogs—Getting Started
The Blogging Mindset
Why Blogging is Like Book Publishing
Should Fiction Authors Be Bloggers?
A Blogger’s Progress: First Steps Into a New World
Finding Time for Blogging
5 Steps to Author Blogging Success
The Profit in Persistence
The Evolution of SPAM
Choosing the Style of Your Blog
When setting up your blog, it is very important to find your blog’s style. Whether you choose to speak as an expert in your field or a novice who is just entering it will decide the structure of your posts and the tone in which you will write them. Luckily, there are a humongous variety of styles to choose from in blogging— probably even some that haven’t been created yet. About this time you will also likely be setting up your blog’s infrastructure and design.
Look through the articles I have linked to to figure out what the style of your blog might be and begin design.
After buying your domain name and choosing your blog’s theme and style, the first true blogger’s problem arises: What am I supposed to write about? When first beginning your blog it can be useful to begin by creating some foundational posts, such as biographical posts about your place in your industry, or general FAQ posts that answer common questions your readers will have. These posts are useful because they are evergreen, i.e. they will be useful to your readers now and in the future, and because these posts serve as a gateway for your readers to find your blog when they type similar questions into Google.
But after you have set up a few foundation posts, how are you to fill the one, two, three or more posts per week you are expecting yourself to publish? Luckily for you, after running a successful blog for over 6 years I have found a few ways to generate content for a blog at any stage. Below, I have linked a variety of resources I have created to help people develop ideas for posts for their own blogs.
How to Create Foundation Posts for Your Blog
Why You Should Be Blogging Your Origin Story
Converting Posts into Resource Pages
7 Formats for Winning Blog Posts
How to Create an Endless Stream of Blog Post Ideas
Presenting Your Content
Finding Your Readers
What stands at the heart of author blogging and, really, self-publishing in general is marketing—
- your book
- and your blog
The first step in that process is finding your readers. In short, the best method of doing this is often involving yourself in your niche’s community. By:
- commenting on posts of other similar blogs
- trading guests posts with other bloggers in the community
- and engaging in blog carnivals
people who are interested in blogs like yours will be able to discover and enjoy your blog.
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is the process of raising your site’s spot on the list of Google’s search result when someone looks up a term relevant to your blog. This can be a valuable way for readers to find your blog, and if you do it right this process can be completely free.
Brush up on your knowledge of SEO by reading through the links below.
And Getting Them To Comment
Although the first step of this process is engaging your readers, the second (and sometimes much more difficult) step is getting your readers to comment on your posts. Engaging your readers:
- populates your blog with comments
- leads you to have more:
- likes on Facebook
- retweets on Twitter
- views on Youtube
In short, getting your readers to engage with your blog leads to revenue for you from ads, affiliate links, and people purchasing your book or anything else from your site. Therefore, it is incredibly important to have your readership engaged with your content.
Read on for my tricks that engage readers to find a way to transform your small readership into a base of engaged fans.
A Community Means Getting a Response
How Do You Know Whether Your Blog is Working?
Author Blogging 101: Listening
How to Make Your Blog Readers Into Rabid Fans
Writers’ Blogs: 5 Essentials for Engaging Your Readers
Secrets of Blog Posts that Get Tons of Comments
22 Ways a Blog can Sell Books
Creating Income by Recommending Resources
Putting It All Together
If you have read this far, I am sure you are anxious to begin the process of creating your blog. Keep in mind the principles of blogging that I have outlined here to ensure that your blog becomes as successful as possible. Check out the articles I have linked below, or our Author Blogging 101 tag if you are looking for more information about author blogging.
If you are ready to go on, we will begin the process of marketing your self-published book.