Personal blogs can be a wonderful way for an author to build their social media platform, promote their books, and make connections with their readers. This month I am going to be providing you with some tips on how to best do this through your blog posts because, hey, I am all about working smarter not harder! Stay tuned for next month’s article because I will be discussing different types of blog options and how to utilize your blog with your social media.
Blog posts. For authors they can be wonderful, they can horrible, they can be frustrating, or they can be a joy. Whatever camp you fall into, my goal with this article is to make them both easy and effective.
Here are the seven tips for effective blog posts:
- Find something you care about
When we find something we love, we get excited. We can’t wait to share it others! Our readers can feel our excitement – it draws them in and makes them want to keep reading. When you dread writing a post or you write it to mark it off your list, readers can tell. When you care, your readers care.
- Keep it real
Your followers will know if you are “faking it”. When you blog, keep it real; share a piece of your heart. Let your readers feel like they are sitting in your living room chatting with them. Think of them as your friends – this will help them connect with you.
- Keep it interesting
If your posts are interesting, readers will keep reading that post and come back for more. Some authors ask what their readers would like to hear about. This can also be a great time to utilize your street team – ask them for ideas. They know you and they know readers! They can be a valuable resource.
Plan your time
To be effective, studies have shown that for optimal results you should be posting at least two times a week. Posts take time! Plot a time on your calendar to work on your blog posts. Allow time for editing as well. Mistakes can make a post difficult to read and drive your readers away.
- Do not flood your blog
You want to be active on your blog, but posting several posts in a day or even a week can be overwhelming to your readers. You want to save the times you post every day for dedicated events like book launches.
- Respond to comments
Take the time to respond to comments on your post. This lets your readers know that you not only read their comments, but that you appreciate them as well. I have always believed that if they have taken the time to comment, I should take the time to respond. Responding keeps your readers coming back.
This does not mean you can not advertise your books. What this means is your posts are not all “buy my books”. It is important to connect your book through your blog pieces. Talk about why you chose the setting, why you love your characters, why you chose your topic, something interesting about character or setting, etc. For example, I had an author whose book was set in the early 1900’s and the hero was a football player. She shared a photo about how they tested helmets – this got the readers interested. She put a snippet of how football helmets were tested in the early 1900s and then said, “My new book ______ has a hero who plays college football”.
I just want to be sure to add that building a blog following takes time, so don’t get discouraged. If you do it effectively, you will find that a few views will turn into thousands!