I had no idea what I was doing when I started my original, free WordPress blog in March 2011, at the beginning of my journey into self-publishing. One important thing I did know: I had a full-time day job and had to keep my “side-blog” from overwhelming my life. Why did I take on the project? Because like many of you, I heard blogging was something writers should do. Agents and book publicists worldwide are advising aspiring authors that a blog can do wonders to establish a platform.
It’s absolutely true.
Blogs are dynamic websites designed to engage readers by regularly publishing fresh, relevant content. A content-rich blog can become the vibrant core of a marketing strategy, the hub of all business-creating efforts, and the vehicle to launch and promote your work. So if you’ve published a novel and you haven’t already started, no doubt blogging is on your must-do list. How exciting! A successful blog can impart tremendous satisfaction and a terrific feeling of mastery and success.
Your website will help define who you are as an author and writer, drive your social media presence, draw readers from Google searches, populate your all-important email marketing list, engage with potential readers, and act as a repository for other content, such as testimonials, events and appearances, book club questions, and interviews.
But figuring out a blog’s point and purpose – not to mention the mechanics of setting up a website and writing posts – can be a time drain and a headache. Spending hours in learning mode may not be an exciting prospect for many. I feel your pain. That’s how it was for me two years ago when I started blogging. I spent the better part of a year just trying to figure out the basics.
My education inspired me, so I wrote a book sharing the highlights of what I’ve learned about blogging. It’s called Blog It! The author’s guide to building a successful online brand. My goal with this book was to break start-up processes and blogging best practices down into manageable portions any author – at nearly any stage with their blog – can master with minimal effort.
One bite at a time.
Once I joined the wonderful online community of bloggers, I found I was voicing the same questions almost every new author asked when faced with the task of setting up and maintaining a blog. This book will help you avoid many of the challenges I had to overcome. Here are just a few issues pondered by most authors new to blogging. I cover these points in Blog It:
- How and where should I set up a blog?
- What topics will I write about?
- How will I find time to manage this added responsibility?
- Where will I find readers who will want to read my posts?
- Will this blog do anything to help promote and sell my book?
- How could this venture possibly build my reputation as a writer?
Blog It! is a simple-but-complete manual of blogging strategies and best practices that will help any author build a thriving, successful, dynamic online presence. This how-to is written for nearly all experience levels, from beginners to bloggers who haven’t had great results and need guidance, encouragement, and an infusion of new ideas. My goal was to help you build a great blog without sacrificing writing time or losing your mind!
You’ll find specific, easy-to-understand suggestions and instructions covering all blog-related subjects, such as how to set up a blog, write compelling posts, build traffic and gain subscribers. It provides just what you need to either start down a solid path or gain traction and renewed excitement about your blog.
Keep this in mind: your blog is and will always be your own little kingdom. I don’t mean that in a “lord it over others” way, I mean it in a “you call the shots” way. Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads have the option to change their rules at any time, to charge you for your presence and even bar you from their platforms, but your blog is yours. You make the rules. You nurture and build it. You reap the rewards. Your blog is your baby. Just like you would any child, grow it with love, compassion, and discipline, and it will pay you back in spades.