Today’s guest post by Victoria Greene is full of blogging tips for authors and writers. Blogs are certainly a great way to connect with readers and to also gain more organic traffic. However, always remind yourself that writing books should come first. Prioritize that time and create a blogging schedule to accommodate. While it’s best to stick with a regular schedule, there are going to be times life intervenes. Regular readers tend to be forgiving, so don’t beat yourself up too much if you miss a post here and there. Like many things in life, follow the 80/20 rule and you’ll do fine.
One note of caution I can offer when it comes to blogging tips for authors is to think carefully about veering into a blog that focuses mostly on the writing process. While this may be a natural progression for authors finding their voice and developing writing habits, such a blog isn’t going to appeal to most readers. Those who may potentially buy your books see reading as a form of entertainment or information. Sure, it can be fun to let on from time to time where story inspiration came from or what happened when you totally rewrote a book’s ending, but for the most part, don’t dwell on your idiosyncratic writing processes too much.
This year, I will be covering author websites, target readers, local marketing, and marketing audiobooks. Feel free to explore Word Bank’s archive marketing posts. In particular, you might find Build Blog Traffic by Guest Posting of interest.
Official Bio: Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and content marketing. She is passionate about using her experience to help companies develop their online brands.
Blogging Tips For Authors & Writers:
Drive Traffic With Your Words
Don’t be afraid to blog. Whether you’re already a successful author who wants to whip up a bit of publicity for your upcoming book, or you’re an aspiring writer just trying to get your name out there, blogging could be the key to building your brand and promoting your work. It’s easy, rewarding, and a very scalable marketing tactic that works across a whole range of genres. Here are some key things writers need to know about blogging to make the most of it. (Looking for tips on writing? Try these classic books on for size).
Start with Your Passion
Your blog may end up eventually having a VERY specific theme or topic, but it’s best to begin with what you know during the initial stages. You’ll find it much easier to write about your own field, so it’s a good idea to start close to home and focus on your core interests. You need a fair bit of content to get going, so let your imagination loose. If you prefer to highlight issues raised in your writing, you could theme your blog around a wider topic such as loneliness, nature, your local area, pets etc.
Establish what’s different about your take on your area and drill into that. As you start delving into blog post ideas (I suggest setting up an editorial calendar), you will start to see messages and patterns emerging. Keep refining and adding to these “natural” themes that crop up.
Keep It Real
Your usual writing may require you to use an authoritative tone and command attention from your audience by informing them. However, when it comes to blogging, you should approach your writing in a much more casual manner.
A blog is where your audience really gets to know you, warts and all. Think of it a bit like an online diary. If you’re having a slow day with writer’s block, then fess up–people really do want to know the gritty truth!
You will also need to get to grips with writing shorter, snappier sentences, and breaking up copy with lists and bullet points. The way people read online means that visual breaks and whitespace are almost just as important as the text itself.
Don’t be afraid to comment on current news affairs or social issues–this is often referred to as newsjacking. Yes, some things may be controversial or out of your area of expertise, but it’s good to have current topics on your blog.
These hot-right-now topics are much more likely to pick up traffic from search engines–meaning your blog will be read by more people, who in turn, may be interested in your other blog posts or your publications.
Momentum Is Key
To build up a loyal blog following, you need to be consistent with your posting schedule. Writing one fabulous piece every now and again won’t keep an audience coming back for more. Create a schedule of perhaps two posts a week to begin with–and stick with it.
It’s also a good idea to tell your followers (either via the blog or on social media) which days they can expect to see a new post, and remind them when it’s live. Promoting a post should take almost as long as writing it, so don’t think you’ll get away with just one social share and email!
Don’t Forget about Images
Of course, your writing prowess is what will please your readership the most, but in an evermore visual world, images are very important too. Multimedia posts get better Google rankings and articles with images get 94% more total views.
Don’t sweat over making them particularly groundbreaking or artsy–a snap of your breakfast while you write your next chapter will definitely suffice.
Give an Insight into Your World
Going back to the idea about a blog being similar to a diary, it can become a place where you let your audience into your world. Revealing the ups and downs of the book writing process, or writing about what it’s like to go and pitch to a publishing house are experiences that other writers are going to naturally respond to.
If you’re funny–share your sense of humor with the world. Or, if you dabble in the creative arts, share some of that with everyone too. Living the digital nomad dream? Help others achieve their goals too. Writers online often thrive when they have very “complete” personalities.
Share the Love
It’s good to praise others within the industry and give back to your loyal readers. Why not craft a blog post about your own favorite authors? Or dissect and analyze a newly-released book? By writing about others and linking to their work and sites, you’ll be building up your network and doing some invaluable content curation for your audience.
The Longer the Better
Research suggests that 2,100 words is the optimum length for a successful blog post–by successful we mean that Google constitutes it as worthy, useful content. As writing is your skill, whipping up a lengthy post might not be so tricky for you! But as well as quantity, do vet your own posts for quality. If it’s not something you’d stop and read, don’t post it!
So from writing about newsworthy topics to championing your fellow peers, when it comes to constructing a blog, there are lots of things you can do to keep it interesting. Although we’ve given you some guidance on how to start up a successful blog, the most important thing to remember is to have fun doing it–if you really enjoy writing your posts, your passion will shine through.
What blogging tips for authors and writers would you care to share either from personal experience or from another perspective?
You can connect with Victoria Greene on her Ecommerce website.
Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2018. Image credit Pexels.
I definitely show my warts and I love other writers who do, too!
Thank you for this fabulous read!
These were great tips. Good to see that I’ve done some of them. 🙂 I think I should put more into sharing the love. I guess I never thought about linking to other sites for praise. Thanks for the advice.
A blog is also another way to demonstrate your writing prowess. Over time, you build a portfolio of work that reveals who you are. The trend now is to longer posts, but Google will always reward outstanding content, regardless of length.
A helpful reminder about the scope and appeal of blog posts, but I’m uncomfortable with the suggestion that length is a positive. My preference is for shorter posts—and I often find myself bailing mid-way through long posts even when I enjoy the writer. Just my brief two cents…
I agree with Victoria…blogging is “the key to building your brand and promoting your work.” I could do that quite successfully and the key is to remain in touch with the bloggers and authors we like, Nice reminders Jeri! I have tried to follow most of them. Thank you for another enlightening post.
There’s one thing here that I would disagree with. I think a lot more care should be put into selecting images. Being visually appealing can be as important as the writing. Also the image that goes with a social media post or search engine result is an important way to get readers to click through to your blog.
Long is good? Hurray. I’ve wondered about that. It’s true, my longest pieces keep receiving visitors years after I wrote them. I doubt visitors read the whole thing, but I guess getting picked up by search engines is good enough.
Thanks for this. Good reminders.
I agree with Ken on the importance of good and appropriate images. Sometimes the picture with the title doesn’t make sense to me so then I wonder if the blog is going to make sense. As mainly a travel blogger, I try to include pictures that illustrate the place the blog discusses.
Good points here, including the value of images. Do you suggest unique photos (those personally taken) or stock ones? Thanks!
Good points about keeping it real and giving insights into your world. I’m not sure I agree about the length of the posts. Shorter ones can also be very interesting. But there are a number of tips here I can use.
I love blogging! As a writer, I did begin blogging by writing about life and writing. But I slowly developed my passion for writing about travel, and now chocolate travel, which I think helps differentiate me from all the other travel blogs out there. I’m surprised to hear that the optimum length of a blog post is 2100 words, as when I started in 2009, it was only 350 words. I think I generally write about 500 words, but I do include lots of visuals–which my readers seem to love. 🙂
Terrific advice. I especially like your points about being consistent and using images. While it is true the posts with images attract more readers, there’s another reason to use them. If you’re lucky enough to have someone share your article it’s going to show up much better in social media if there is an image – otherwise, it will just be a title and a blurb with a link and that is very easy to overlook in a feed.
These are all wonderful reminders, Victoria. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been having trouble with posting regularly in the last six months. I’ve been at it for six years and was pretty spot on one post/week but life has gotten in the way 😛 Thanks for sharing Victoria’s expertise here, Jeri!
Sorry, I meant to ask Victoria, do tag clouds on website sidebars truly slow a site down? I was told that a few years ago so took mine off. But I see some folks still have them on their site and frankly, I LOVE a tag cloud for ease of seeing all the blog categories.
Excellent post… So many useful tips. Quality and quantity should go together. I agree as to that. Interesting points concerning lenght and Google searchs too. Thanks so much for sharing, Victoria & Jeri… Love & best wishes 🙂
These are great tips. I had no idea Google wanted to see such long posts! I better get back to writing…
Great tips! I tend to go everywhere with my topics, but I found myself nodding along with this entire post.