Blogging for Authors: Everything You Need to Know
The Benefits Of Blogging For Authors
So you're an author. You've written a book, or you are writing a book, and you know you want to self publish. Hell to those five major publishers, you're gonna go it alone and take the world by storm.
Great! Now what? This is where blogging comes in.
Youtube and video making aside, blogging is your biggest bet for audience building. It's your central hub, the one place that houses all your writing efforts. Your portfolio, your behind-the-scenes, your personality, your likes and dislikes, your voice.
Your blog will draw readers in, and if you do it right, keep them coming back for more.
In this article we're gonna take a look at how you can use your blog to build a large audience, turn your readers into friends and fans, and (hopefully) build a passive income along the way. The ultimate goal here: leverage more sales of your book from fans hungry for what you have on offer. It's a long and cyclical road with cumulative effects, so strap in for the long haul.
If you haven't done so already, have a quick read through the introduction to this 'Indie Writing Success' series below. In the article you'll learn how to build a strong, interconnected platform, to act as a foundation for every block you lay on top of it.
- Become A Successful Indie Author With These Fundamental Audience Building Tips
Being a successful indie writer means making sales, which requires an audience. Learn the basics of author brand building, audience building, and creating a network of readers hungry for your next novel!
Why Authors Should Write Flash Fictions
My number one go-to when it comes to blog content is flash fiction. They're short, sweet, pretty fast to write, and keep your writing skills sharp while you work on your larger projects. What's more, they're a sure-fire way to bring readers to your blog and hit that subscribe button.
Set yourself word limits like 300, 500, or 1000, and aim to tell your story within that limit. The Wordpress community loves flash fiction, and there are many blogs that put out community prompts and encourage a link share in the comments.
Take a look around the community and engage with the hosts that set these challenges, and resolve to participate each week. A bunch of their readers will come over to your blog and check out your take on the prompt, and if they like what they see, drop a like or comment, and follow you.
And always make sure you do the same. Audience building is as much about building relationships as it is generating sales.
Photo Prompts, Photography Bloggers, and Artists
You can also find your inspiration for a flash fiction in the form of photos. Head to a free image site like Pixabay, and choose a nice high quality image to fashion your fiction around. Not only will your audience be wowed by your unique style and imagination, but you'll have a beautiful looking image to draw readers to your post.
One final suggestion for flash fiction. Search around the community for popular artists and photographers, and get in touch with them about collaboration. Create a flash fiction or scene inspired by any of their images and get it posted up. The collaborative artist will share or reblog with their community to show their audience what their art has inspired. It's win/win for both parties. You gain access to a wider audience, and the other blogger gets something new to show them.
Why Authors Should Write Book Reviews
Have you ever thought about what kind of audience you want to draw in? Which kind of people will enjoy your flash fictions, and eventually buy your books? The answer seems obvious, but is often overlooked. Readers. You want to attract readers.
Bizarrely enough, most of the people following the 'flash fiction' tab are writers themselves, and so (as you probably know) don't read half as much as they should. We're cursed. Seriously.
But the audience who would love your flash fictions AND your books, is readers. They follow tags like fiction, books, book reviews, and so on, and they love book reviews.
So write them. Attract a larger, targeted, audience of people that love to read as much as we should. But the hang up here, and I can't express this enough, is to take the opportunity to share elements of yourself with your readers. Anybody can write a book review, but not everybody can take photos with that book in your garden, or talk about how you came about getting the book, how the book impacted your life or reminded you of elements of yourself and your history. These things are deeply personal, and reflect yourself onto the reader. If the reader likes you, they'll stick around. If the reader relates to you, they'll leave a comment.
This is a great way to encourage you to read, which will in turn improve your writing. Along the way you can start building up a passive income too, by creating an Amazon Associates account and linking to the books you've read. It's not going to make you millions overnight, but pennies stack up, and they continue stacking up long after you've written the review. As the amount of reviews stack up, your authority stacks up, and more people travel to your site from search engines. Your links get shown to more people. More people trust your recommendation and buy the book you've read, and more people stick around to follow you.
See, cumulative. Don't waste any opportunities here. You're investing time now for an unlimited reward. It's a no-brainer.
Guest Posting For Authors
Another great way to build out our audience is to directly post on somebody else's popular blog. We supercharge access to a wider audeince this way, and give them the chance to hear our voice.
Find other fiction bloggers and contact the ones that resonate with you the most. Established bloggers with large audiences. You know their audience is into fiction, so get in touch with them and ask if you can write a post for their blog, with a short bio and link back to your site. The worst you'll get back is a no, and as writers we're used to hearing them.
You truly have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and the quicker you have eyes on your site to soak up your awesome content, the quicker you're gonna be able to start making sales and building out your fanbase.
Make Friends Within The Blogging Community
Building an audience does not directly transition to making sales. 1000 followers does not equal 1000 sales, and it never will. Your audience, your content, talking with fellow bloggers, it's all just an opportunity. Your opportunity to build trust, make connections, and turn your readers into friends.
Reply to every comment, read other's posts, and drop comments yourself. Nike doesn't sell millions of trainers because they are the best trainers, it's because we all know and trust the brand. We all know what to expect from them. We know how the brand makes us feel. And this is your overall goal with blogging. Lock it into the forefront of your mind with every post you make, every comment you leave, every engagement you have. Make connections, forge relationships, and create an image of yourself in the minds of your readers.
There's no shortage of content ideas for your blog, but these few tips should get you a strong start on your journey. Drop a comment below if you have any questions.
© 2020 Gary Holdaway