The next promotion tool is one that a lot of authors seem to grumble about. It is blogging. Why blog, they ask, when they could be spending their time writing their books. I recently spoke to a local author in Fort Collins and he said that blogging was so essential to his work that he didn’t think he could sell books without it. He said that as soon as he get up in the morning he blogs, or plans out his blog posts for the next few days or contacts people to feature on his blog. He said that it forces him to concentrate and put on his writing “hat” for the day and to engage with his readers and fellow authors.
I can admit that blogging does take a lot of time, but it is worth it. The first reason is that it increases traffic to your website. You have a website now, right? The more traffic to your website, the better and faster you will sell books. A lot of authors, if they’re serious about digital promotion, will plan out their blog posts and purposely drive traffic to their websites and social media sites. These people will see the rewards in increased book sales.
The second reason is that when readers read your blog they will see you as an expert in your field or that your work is entertaining. This is especially true when they see the value you offer is free. People will start to recognize you and be able to relate to your work when you blog. Open up to your readers and tell them about your daily life. This will allow them to see you as an average Joe or Jane and be able to relate to you even better. By blogging, you will help them overcome a common buyer fear of purchasing something that doesn’t have value. They will see the value and recommend others to your site.
As a blogger, you have the potential to connect to a huge community of bloggers around the world. They may be fellow authors or potential readers. When you have your own blog, you are able to reach out to other bloggers who might be able to promote your information. Grow your network, and you will find that if you scratch others’ backs, they will scratch you back.
Professor Hallahan says that blog postings need to be:
- Updated regularly and frequently
- Conversational, authentic, and written in a personal, conversational tone
- Succinct (400 or fewer words per post)
- Easy to skim
- Timely and cutting-edge
- Specific and concrete
So, keep this is mind as you go about creating a blog and keeping up with it to engage the reading and writing community.