In this digital age, creating your author brand can often feel overwhelming. One popular way that many authors are reaching out to readers is by creating an author blog. If you are new to the concept of blogging, this idea may sound like it comes completely out of left field, but trust us, blogging has been proven to work, at least, if it’s done correctly.
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To help you decide if you should take the headlong plunge into blogging, here are some pros and cons of creating an author blog:
1. Blogging Takes Time
Experts in blogging argue that new bloggers should post content frequently, which means two to three posts a week. Writing that much content can be a challenge when you’ve got books to write, mouths to feed, and dogs to walk (or cats, you never know).
Fortunately, we have two solutions to this tricky predicament. For starters, you can set aside one day a week where you pledge to write your week’s worth of blog posts. If you’re really dedicated, you could even bang out two weeks to a month’s worth of posts. Setting reminders on your phone can help keep you accountable.
To solve the issue of what to write about, you can pick a topic that relates to what you do best: writing. A fiction writer who’s chugging away at a novel might do well to create a blog where they post about writing issues or give advice to other writers. Jane Friedman, a publisher who is well known for her blog, often posts about trends in the publishing industry because she is passionate about this issue.
2. Building an Audience Takes Patience:
For new writers especially, it takes a lot of time to build up your blog readership. As Jane Friedman put it in her article “How to Start Blogging: A Definitive Guide for Authors,” the sheer volume of content on the internet can make it tough for readers to find your blog, so you need patience to keep marketing yourself to new readers.
One way you can get readers is by linking to your blog posts often on various social media platforms. If you already have followers on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, it’s worthwhile to share links to your blog posts. Make sure to use good SEO practices such as using commonly searched keywords and learn to use trendy hashtags.
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3. You Won’t See Results Without Perseverance:
If only it were easy. Some industry professionals argue that blogging is hit or miss—some authors greatly enjoy writing blog content and will get the readership they want, while others never reap the rewards for their work. L. L. Barket, who wrote the article “It’s Time for (Many) Experienced Writers to Stop Blogging,” argues that writers would benefit more from posting to larger, established platforms.
This might mean upping your presence on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or opening an account on Goodreads to connect with other book enthusiasts. You can also guest post to well-established writing blogs such as The Better Novel Project or Live Write Thrive, but we’ll discuss that in greater detail in a later post.
1. Increased Readership
While it can be slow going to get new readers invested in your blog, it can pay off in the long run. Your blog can become a fanbase where you develop a loyal and engaged community. Even better, if you’re getting enough traffic on your blog, the odds are that your book sales will improve—which, let’s face it, is probably why you considered blogging in the first place. Blogging is also a great way to develop your writing voice and share your interests with readers.
2. Control of Your Brand
When you create a blog, it’s totally under your control. You determine what’s written, how content is shared, and what voice you use. You aren’t forced to deal with any nasty term changes or narrowed search results that might come into play on corporate sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. Even better, you can sell your books directly through your blog, so Amazon won’t take any cuts from your profit.
3. Learning Opportunities
When you blog, you write a lot, and if you’re writing about topics that interest you, you’re probably learning too. Take it from me, an intern who, by writing a blog about blogging, is learning how much more effort she has to put into her own writing blog!
Writers learn best by taking in information and then expressing it through the written language. If you’re a writer who keeps putting off learning about the importance of reading the fine print in a contract, you’d benefit by reading up on the issue and then writing about it yourself. Issues with characterization? Do some research, try out some writing exercises, and then write about your experience. Research-driven topics can benefit both you and your readers, who are likely just as invested in learning about these topics as you are.
For more information on blogging, these articles may come in handy:
“Reasons to Keep Blogging”
“47 Blog Post Ideas for Writers, Creatives, and Bloggers”
“Author Blog Pros and Cons”
“The Author’s Dilemma: To Blog or Not to Blog”