Many writers I know still do not want to become bloggers. They voice the same complaints I hear about other new media.
“It’s a time sink.”These aspiring and published authors don’t realize that blogging is writing.
“It’s one more thing to do that takes me away from my writing.”
“I’d rather be writing.”
“My writing is more important.”
However, it’s writing with an added benefit. When you blog you promote yourself and your writing at the same time. As such a blog offers you, an aspiring or published author, an easy and effective marketing tool before and after you publish a book.
In fact, your blog can serve as the hub of your marketing efforts. It can help you build the platform necessary to land a publishing deal or successfully sell a traditional or self-published book. That’s why it’s best not to wait to the last minute to get started. Begin blogging long before your book hits the stores.
Don’t know how to start? Here are a few tips to make your blogging quick, simple and effective.
Blogging Is as Easy as Writing One Page of Copy as Often as Possible
1. Keep posts short. Your blog posts need not be long; 250 words will suffice. That’s just one page of copy. Knock them out in about 30 minutes or so. Don’t write more than 500 words unless you are writing just once or twice a week.
2. Edit and proofread once or twice, then publish. If you find a typo later, go back and fix it. The great a great feature of a blog.
3. Don’t over think each post, and don’t obsess about your posts being totally finished or your thoughts being entirely complete. Leave posts a bit unfinished, your thoughts hanging. Let your readers finish your lists, answer a question, offer an opinion, join in the conversation. This will beget engaged readers.
4. Write a minimum of once a week; two or three times a week is better. The more fresh content you provide, the faster you will get noticed by search engines and gain readers.
5. Blog about any and all things related to the topic of your book. (For blog post ideas, check out this post.) By focusing on the topic of your book, you organically use keywords that help your blog get found by those searching for information on that subject. You also can opt for an author blog where you write about other things—let readers into your mind, your life, your interests.
The Marketing Benefits of Your Blogging Efforts
What will your blogging do for you and your published or soon-to-be published book? Here are just a few benefits you’ll reap:
1. Blogging increases your internet visibility in the search engines. The more content you produce on your blog on one particular topic, the more likely your blog will rise up in ranks on the search engine results pages. The more easily you and your blog are found when people search for related keywords, the more easily your book will be found—and purchased—as well.
2. Your blog posts allow you to become known to potential book buyers. As you gain blog readers, you develop loyal fans that trust you. These people will, in turn, buy your book. Today, the two big words in marketing and promotion are “trust” and “free.”
With a blog, you can give away a ton of great information about your book and yourself and help develop a huge amount of trust. This encourages people to purchase your book (and future books).
3. Your blog encourages the building of an author’s platform, or tribe. To create a successful book, you must have an author’s platform, a base of followers, fans, friends, listeners, etc. Author and marketer extraordinaire Seth Godin calls this a tribe.
You can build this in many ways, but a blog with a large readership IS a platform. Thus, the more you blog (and produce great content), the more your readers will share your work across social networks, and your platform will grow there as well (if you are a member). This means more people, in turn, will learn about your book and possibly purchase it.
4. A successful blog may be your ticket to a traditional publishing deal. These days, traditional publishers want authors, in particular nonfiction authors, who have a strong platform. If you can prove to a publisher your blog has a large number of unique readers each month, this may be the only platform element you need to land a contract.
A successful blog coupled with good relationships with other bloggers and large numbers of followers on social networks also can equate to a decent promotion plan in many cases, which can help land a publishing deal.
5. Your blog might get discovered by a publisher and land a blog-to-book deal! More blogs than ever before are getting found by agents and publishers and turned into books. I estimate that more blog-to-book deals were made last year than at what was called the height of the blog-to-book trend in 2009. Publishes see blogs as test-marketed books. In the process of blogging you may find you’ve made yourself enormously attractive to a publisher.
6. Blogging makes you the expert on your topic and a thought leader in your field. According to Technorati.com, 56% of all bloggers say their blog has helped them establish a position as a thought leader within an industry, and 58% say they are better-known in their industry because of their blog.
As you blog, you display your knowledge of a topic. In fact, you can become the expert on your topic simply by blogging about it. As an expert, you will have many opportunities to speak about your book. Your book will be quoted by other experts. You will be interviewed by the media. All of this should result in more book sales or in the development of an author’s platform.
I’ll leave you with a well-used marketing message: As Mikey used to say, “Try it, you’ll like it.” Not only that, blogging may become the best and easiest marketing tool in your tool box.
About the Author
Nina Amir, Your Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, inspires people to combine their purpose and passion so they achieve more inspired results. She motivates writers and non-writers to create publishable and published products and careers as authors as well as to achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose.
The author of ten books, including How to Blog a Book, Nina is an editor, consultant, and coach. Her clients’ books have sold 230,000+ copies and landed deals with top publishers. The founder of Write Nonfiction in November, she writes four blogs and two Examiner.com columns. She appears weekly on the popular Dresser After Dark radio show.
For information on her services, visit CopyWright Communications. To find all her blogs, go to http://www.ninaamir.com.
Preorder How to Blog a Book and receive a free 15-minute blog-a-book, book-a-blog, or blog coaching session or a discount on an upcoming Blog Your Way to a Book Deal teleclass. The next class begins the first week of February.