What should you blog about?
Blogs, vlogs and microblogs are all about personal connections to your readers. These are public journals that give insight into you as a person, a writer, guest blogger, a pet owner, a mother, a grandmother, a worker bee, a busy-body, a coffee fanatic… You get the idea. Also consider sharing links to other author blogs and Web sites that you find interesting.
Before you begin blogging, you should review other blogs and see what content you like and what you don't. Then, sit down and make a list of things you would feel comfortable sharing with readers. Set clear parameters. For example, some authors avoid politics and religion.
A good rule of thumb for some: If you won't talk about it at the dinner table, then don't post about it.
When is the sales pitch OK?
Everyone understands that an author is going to post links to their new works on Amazon. Blogs and the like are a great way to build up to a book launch. Here are ways you can make your posts fun and exciting – and not feel like a slick sales pitch:
- Talk about the book as your write it. Share your ups and downs as a writer with your readers. For example, your cat pukes a hairball all over your freshly printed manuscript. You are out of ink, barely have paper and the gas tank is dry. It is a Monday that every reader can relate to and they will empathize with you. (Can you tell I'm a cat owner?)
- Talk about the joys of getting the book finished.
- Do a countdown to publication and what that means for you as a writer-turned-promoter.
- Tell readers about guest blogging engagements so they can drop by and leave a comment. Here is a quick and simple way to do it without feeling too sales-ee. "Today I drop by ABCBooks.com to blog about my latest, TRAIN WRECK. The interview asked some great questions. If you have time, stop by. Here is the link: http://…"
- If something is delayed, talk about it.
- In between posts about the book launch, post items that are more personal, so your blog is a healthy mix of business and fun.
How often should you blog?
Everyone has different blogging goals.
Many people try to do a blog post per day. I think this is fantastic, but it isn't possible for everyone. If you blog at least three times per week – meaningful content – then you are doing well.
Personally, I try to blog at least three times per week at Market My
Novel. I blog everyday for clients, but I have limits and like to see
the sunshine every now and then. Many other bloggers also do the
3-A-Week approach on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
There are exceptions to the rule. For example, I've read a wine blog that posts only twice per month. Normally, this would not do much for developing readership. However, that particular audience never fails to show up at this particular blog.
Blogging is a personal venue to touch base with your readers. Be sure to add an RSS feed to your site, so people can have your updates automatically emailed to their Inboxes, or pick them up in a feed reader.0