Authors are continually told that they need to have some kind of online presence. The only problem is: which one/s do you choose?
Check this list out! Social networking sites
Blogging is a great way for authors to create a presence online. Here are some of the pleasures and pitfalls.
A positive plethora of pleasures!
You can start blogging before your book is even published. Your blog can be a platform to build up pre-launch interest and take potential readers through your creative journey.
You can cover aspects of your book in more depth than your book allows. This could include things like family histories, character studies, or anything else you can think of that will draw the reader more deeply into the world of your book. Think of it like the ‘extras’ in a DVD!
You can focus on particular aspects of your book and offer Q&A sessions.
You can engage directly with your audience if they leave comments.
You can use your blog to offer guest posts by other authors. This not only helps raise your profile and web traffic, it also allows you to participate in the writing community. Other authors may return the favour when you feel it would be beneficial to reach a wider audience.
Blogger and WordPress each offer all kinds of cool add-ons and plug-ins, enabling you to customise your blog to reflect your or your book’s personality. The longer people stay on your blog the more likely they are to read your content.
Blog measures and metrics can tell you how many visitors stopped by your blog, which countries they are based in, and which sites referred them to you. This can help you target your marketing. (You knew you’ve have to do marketing, right?!)
Using a tool like Networked Blogs you can integrate your blog posts with other social media platforms.
Some possibly perilous pitfalls
Make sure you blog regularly – that could be weekly, fortnightly, or monthly, as long as people know what to expect. If all goes to plan they will return to your blog again and again. There’s nothing sadder than visiting a blog where the last post was 11 months ago. Well, okay, maybe a kitten locked outside in the rain.
Try to give the same level of attention to your blog that you do to your book/s. Readers can easily be put off if your blog text is hastily written and filled with errors.
Much like making cakes, consistency is what counts. If your blog is meant to be about your book and writing, try not to stray too far off-message. That holiday in Paris is all well and good, but how does it relate back to your novel? (Of course, a little creativity can fix that – you can always mention the bookshops you saw there and then link it back to your own book.
Is blogging right for you?
If you’re prepared to dedicate regular time to writing about your books, as well as writing then, blogging can be a great way to promote your work. You can schedule posts in advance (great for holidays!) and add images to accompany your posts. There’s freedom to write whatever you want and however you choose. It may take time for people to find you, but that’s true of all writing.
One final point… If you do decide to blog, make sure you have your security settings so that any comments have to be approved by you before they are posted. Otherwise, like the writing community blog I help curate, you can quickly find yourself dealing with thousands of spurious comments.
Guest author: Derek Thompson
Image source Pixabay
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