Welcome to a new series of blog posts titled “Authors’ Tips – A to Z of Writing”. Authors Devika Fernando, Preethi Venugopala, Paromita Goswami, Reet Singh, Ruchi Singh, Adite Banerjie, Saiswaroopa Iyer and I — will be posting on a multitude of subjects related to writing.
Topics will be chosen alphabetically and each week we propose to cover at least one or more subject characterized by the Alphabet of the Week.
Today, I have decided to talk about blogging as an author. Here goes 🙂
Everybody has a blog these days. Some of them are professional bloggers who make money from their blogs by collaborating with brands and giving their audience awesome content. Others are professionals who work in tech, fashion and what not, using the blog to reach out to their audience and to make that audience grow. That is why most writers have a blog.
Starting a blog takes minutes with WordPress, Blogspot and others providing free, user-friendly options. I created my blog in 2011 and it’s been such a learning experience as I’ve gone from half-serious writer to author to authorpreneur. You see, with so many blogs all over the internet, you can’t just start a blog and sit there expecting to get traffic. A blog needs work.
As an author, your blog is a marketing tool. Content marketing is the new expertise that we all need to succeed in today’s online world. You NEED a blog to build a relationship with your readers and your prospective readers. Your blog gives you an easy, cheap way to communicate with them. As you keep on sharing content in the form of relevant blog posts, you build your author brand. Your author brand is what makes you stand out. What makes you YOU?
So what do you write about? Well, everyone has different interests so choose topics that you are passionate about. Most authors post a healthy mix of writing related posts, posts about their writing process, about books, and at least one hobby. That hobby could be travel, sport, art – whatever is important to you. This way, people visiting your blog will get to know more about the person behind the author, while getting valuable information too. Some authors, including myself, like to post short stories and poems too. Variety is a good idea.
Now comes the issue of time; most authors have to balance their writing career with other part-time or full-time jobs, so taking out time to blog can seem like a challenge. I suggest that you pencil it into your schedule like you would do for brushing your teeth every day. Only, you don’t really have to blog every day. The key is to be regular with your posts. Once a week. Twice a week maybe.
Some authors cannot afford an author website, so a free blog can be a substitute. Your blog should include a page with your published work (including links), a form or e-mail address so your readers can get in touch with you, and an About Me page with your photo. Make sure to post the link to your blog in your e-mail signature and on your social media profiles.
And finally, check before you hit Publish. Typos, bad sentence construction and the like can put people off. You want them to visit your blog again. Actually, you want them to sign up so that every post goes straight to their inbox. It is a simple step to set that up too. Plus, be sure to reply to comments on your posts. In other words, ENGAGE.
Authors, you MUST take advantage of this amazing marketing tool.