To blog or not to blog? Face it: running an author blog can become your big win if you approach the subject with an open mind and learn how to do it right.
Think about it for a moment. You make a living out of writing and have a few fantastic novels to prove it. In fact, there are people, outside your close family and friends, who enjoy your fiction writing. Besides, you learned the ins and outs of self-publishing or book marketing and can share valuable insights with the audience.
Guess what? It’s time to activate your authorpreneur mode and start an author blog.
To help you out, in this article we’ve put together brilliant ideas about:
- benefits of having an author blog
- blogging tips that every author should know about
- list of topics for your author blog
- and examples of great author blogs to inspire you
Benefits of having an author blog
Do you still have the slightest signs of doubts about whether you should or should not invest your time and effort into starting an author blog? Take a look at the list of benefits and see if they sound appealing to you.
Build a community
Blogging is an excellent way for an indie author to build a community. And it’s not just readers we’re talking about, but also people who are interested in the industry and subjects you’re discussing. If you manage to establish a decent brand voice by creating cornerstone content, other blogging authors and field experts might become your loyal supporters and subscribers. You can’t even imagine how rewarding it is to gather feedback, receive encouragement and support, and also tips on what can be improved. See it as a social media campaign for professional and ambitious authors.
We won’t stop repeating this: the author website and blog are among the most important things on your to-do list when building an author brand. Believe it or not, running an engaging and informative blog immediately boosts your credibility and discoverability. Depending on your brand’s mission and unique selling point, there’re so many things that an author blog will help you accomplish.
- For instance, you get a chance to become an expert in the niche you’re writing in. Prove that you’re a skillful writer of novels and excellent web content.
- You might also improve your book sales by creating a blog content plan around the topics your readership might be interested in.
- Last but not least, your fit might be life-style blogging. It means you’ll be reflecting on what’s happening in your personal life, share opinions, and appeal to like-minded people.
Having a blog is an excellent way to network with fellow writers and influencers in the industry. Look into content curation, guest blogging, and interviews. More on that later on.
As much as you might cringe when reading this, but as a self-published author, you need to promote and “sell” yourself. Writing a book, even if it’s a great one, is not enough in the current competitive market. That’s where an author blog comes in handy. Help your readers get to know you better, and casually remind them every now and then about the upcoming book release. Convince your readership that if they get to know you better, they will gain valuable and unforgettable experience. Look around. Most of the authors are doing self-promotion through their websites and blog. Follow the crowd.
Now, let’s check out some practical tips on starting and maintaining a fantastic author blog.
Author blogging tips
We’re going to go through the technical, writing, and marketing tips on blogging for authors.
In particular, you’ll learn more about:
- how to choose your unique blog style
- creating relevant content
- guest posting
- interviews with the industry influencers and experts
- improving your blog’s discoverability through comments and shares
Let’s take a closer look.
Tip 1: Choose your style
If you look at the author blogging as a step-by-step process, your first task is to choose your blog style. And it’s not just the writing style we’re referring to. Decide on the type of content you’d be sharing.
Here’s a thing: if you’re already thinking about the author blog, try to follow your heart and see what subjects you’ll be excited to discuss. Otherwise, if you force something onto yourself just because it appears to be a new trend, chances are you’ll burn out pretty soon. The recipe for success and satisfaction is turning your author blog into your hobby that combines passion and professionalism.
Moreover, try to set a decent aim in the blog posts’ frequency. We’d recommend committing to 2-3 posts per week when you’re just starting, and then reduce them to 1-2 when your author-blog becomes more fruitful. However, if this sounds too much for you, follow the quality over quantity rule. Don’t overwhelm yourself, and don’t let the blog steal your novel writing time. You’re in control.
Tip 2: Create unique relevant content
Before deciding on the topic for your next blog entry, dedicate some time to the research. The information you’ll provide should tackle a particular problem, issue, question, person, or phenomena that people are browsing to learn more about. At the same time, if you already have a topic in mind, look at what you need to include to unfold the subject.
Just to give you an idea, let’s say you’re working on an article about paranormal romance genre tropes. Check what are the most burning questions around. Are people looking for advice on the best tropes or the tropes to avoid at all costs?
One of the most painless research ways is to monitor Reddit, Quora, and social media to see what users are searching for.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are the people that are going to read this particular blog post?
- How did they find out about this blog?
- What’s the purpose of my content?
- How is my article different from the others on the web?
Tip 3: Don’t forget about the comments and shares
We bet that you’d also like your blog content to be noticed by others. As simple as it is, don’t forget to enable the comments and share buttons at the bottom of the post.
- Some blogs already have a template of, let’s say, a tweet based on the quote from the article. It’s really catchy and user-friendly.
- Besides, make sure that your article looks nice when shared by someone. Pay attention that the preview og image is attractive and relates to the content of the blog post.
- You also might want to work on your title from the marketing perspective. Make it catchy, and pique the interest. For example, “Everything you need to know about author blogging” sounds better than “What’s an author blog?”.
- Make the article itself scannable and readable. Using H2 and H3 subheadings to divide the text blocks will help you accomplish that task. A good idea is to use bullet points at some parts of your text to improve the readers’ navigation ease. Finally, bold highlight the keywords and phrases so that when the blog visitors scan the article, they get the idea better.
- If you already have quite a few blog entries, make sure the blog visitors can browse through different entries without having a hard time. To do that, you might consider implementing the category or tag search.
Tip 4: Don’t neglect the power of SEO
Let’s get a bit more technical. Search engine optimization is crucial for any web content. How does it work? Well, your aim is to get featured on google’s first page when someone is looking for the topic you covered in one of your blog posts.
Now, SEO principles are complex and deserve their own definite guide. However, for self-published authors, we’d recommend using the following platforms when creating your author website and blog:
These website creators have built-in programs and tools to improve your SEO and educate you throughout the process.
If you’re self-hosting the website and blog or hiring the developer, make sure you’ve installed the right plugin or have linked to Google Analytics. This will help you analyze the traffic and ranking.
Tip 5: Look into author interviews
Conducting an author interview is like killing two birds with one stone. The idea is that, first of all, you’ll get excellent content for your author blog. And all you have to do is come up with interesting and insightful questions. Secondly, you network with other authors and influencers, build meaningful connections, and lay the grounds for further collaborations. In addition, you expand the reach of your target audience since you’ll get visits from the interviewee fans. Finally, you get a chance to chat with a person you admire and learn valuable lessons from them. Can it get any better? We highly doubt it.
- Make sure that your interviews are unique and cover a topic that wasn’t discussed before. For example, the author you’re interviewing was most probably asked a question, “how did you start writing?” a zillion times before you. Instead, you can concentrate on a particular niche topic, let’s say author branding. It means most of the questions should be directed towards building a brand as an author.
- At the same time, make sure that the interviewing person has relevant experience in the field. It might not be the best idea to ask a romance author for fantasy writing tips.
- Not to lose face, gather as much information as possible about the interviewee beforehand. Visit their author website and social media, see what projects they have participated in, etc.
Tip 6: Consider guest posting
Another easy and fun way to build some links back to your author blog is guest-posting for others. The ideal situation would be to offer a guest post to the blog with a bigger fanbase than you, but some target audience persona.
If you’re not into that, you can consider being interviewed by other blogs. It’s all about sharing and linking.
We’ve left the best for the dessert. How about the list of topics that might be a perfect fit for your author blog? Keep reading.
What should you blog about?
People visit author blogs not only to find out the latest events from the creative life of their favorite writer or poet. They are also interested in information, news, and updates in a particular industry area that you can share.
- Are you a science fiction author? Your fans will surely appreciate the information about recent achievements in the space industry, links to scientific articles, or photos from space. Reviews of science fiction films and books, photo reports from conventions and festivals, etc. will also be useful.
- Authors of detective stories can post detective riddles on the blog or share thoughts on the latest crime television series.
- Anything related to youth culture and teenage life is suitable for the creators of YA novels.
- If you are a romance writer, you might want to share behind-the-scenes and writing tips on creating emotional tension, developing the characters, or crafting perfect intimate scenes.
- And those of you who write historical prose can concentrate on the biographies of prominent figures of the past or notes on ancient weapons and costumes.
So, what conclusion can we reach? That’s right. The content of your author blog will largely depend on what genre you write in.
Here’s a shortlist of general ideas what you might want to blog about:
- book recommendations and reviews
- platforms and tools overviews (Canva for book cover design, anyone?)
- self-publishing news, updates, tips, and techniques
- writing tips
- things you like or dislike when it comes to a particular writing genre
- behind the scenes
- origins of your novel
- your opinion on the world news (better avoid politics and religion)
- personal life
- how-to guides
- upcoming holidays related content
- book writing/ marketing/ release lessons picked along the way
- author milestones
- success stories
Last but not least, we’ve got some motivation boosters awaiting for you. Check out these author blogs, and you won’t be able to resist the temptation of starting your own.
Examples of great author blogs
We have collected some awesome author blogs, picked the elements that we liked the most, and attached a link. Explore these author blogs on your own. Enjoy!
What we liked the most: excellent content ideas (a lot of articles are related to the genre Allison Tait writes in, children’s books); captivating writing style and layout of the blog entries;
What we liked the most: easy and user-friendly blog navigation, including sections like “Dive into topics”, “A year ago today” and “My Top 100”; visible sharing buttons and comments sections;
What we liked the most: author blog design, a wide variety of industry-related topics, expert interviews;
What we liked the most: author branding style, exciting and engaging content, guest blogs;
To sum up
Are you already full of exciting ideas for your author blog? Hope we managed to persuade you to give it a shot and improve your author branding, promotion, and networking. Happy blogging!
If you already run the author blog, drop the link in the comments section below. We’d love to take a look!