Blog It! The Author’s Guide To Building A Successful Online Brand

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.

BlogIt!-150-x_OptimizedBlogs 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.

Purchase Blog It! here: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

, , , , ,

43 Responses to Blog It! The Author’s Guide To Building A Successful Online Brand

  1. Jodi @ Heal Now and Forever February 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    Good for you Molly! You are doing great!

    • Molly Greene February 25, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      Jodi, we’ve learned so much – and I feel there’s still so much more to go. Thank you for your support and encouragement!

  2. Cinthia Ritchie February 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    Molly! You are my new hero as I struggle through my first book promo. So far, you’ve been spot on, especially your Twitter advice article. Thanks so, so much for making my life a little bit easier. Hugs,

    • Molly Greene February 25, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Cinthia. You’ve made my day, and I appreciate your taking the time to say that! Best to you in all your projects, I’m looking forward to hearing about your journey.

  3. karensdifferentcorners February 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Hi Molly! I’ve been tweeting and sharing and I stop by and liked the facebook page. Hope your week is going fantastic so far!

    • Molly Greene February 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

      Ah Karen, so wonderful of you! My week so far is FAB – I got the book out, lol! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your enthusiasm, you’re the best.

  4. Toby Neal February 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    I want one! I want one!
    Biggest challenges: First: finding a focus
    Once I “solved” that, it continues to be staying motivated and doing it regularly.

    • Molly Greene February 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      Toby, your blog is wonderful and I thought about citing it as an example of “what to do” for other authors. Gorgeous, thoughtful posts – just like the woman who writes them. I’m so looking forward to your National Parks series this spring and tempted to hop over to Arizona to meet you!

  5. Dave February 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Hey Molly! Really enjoyed the post! I’m looking forward to your book as I was the guy that prematurely pointed out that the book link on your blog didn’t point to anything:) LOL. I am looking forward to reading it though as I enjoy reading your posts and tweets:)


    • Molly Greene February 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      Ha! Thanks for that, Dave – and here I didn’t think anyone was paying attention :-] I’m incredibly happy to have this book out and I so hope you enjoy it!

  6. Denise Mortensen February 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Hi Molly-
    Great blog with oodles of tidbits! So glad I found it. I’m a published author (5 books-one released two weeks ago) and know I need to hustle to get my blog up and running. But, every day I struggle with what my focus will be. Will I be able to maintain my “subject” over the long haul? Meeting with several other writer’s from my critique group this week to discuss this subject and will bring your pearls of wisdom!

    • Molly Greene February 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

      Denise, so glad you found me, too! Congrats on your book releases (WOW, five!) and my suggestion would be choose a handful of topic categories and define individual subjects within those categories. Of course, I “cover” that in Blog It! (shameless self-promotion).

  7. Jill Paterson February 25, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    I’ve been waiting for Blog It’s release Molly and have just received my copy. It’s great.

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 7:38 am #

      Thank you so much, Jill! I’m thrilled, and I appreciate your support.

  8. Emily February 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    My biggest challenge with blogging has been balancing the time that I need to promote my blog (which also includes learning about social media) and carving the time to write quality posts. Looking forward to reading Blog It!

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 7:37 am #

      Balance in general is a challenge for self-published authors, and promoting vs. writing will always be tough. I found a few tricks that help me get it all done without a total meltdown – and you can, too!

  9. Keri Peardon February 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    I think my biggest challenge right now is my horrible dial-up internet! When I have regular access to high-speed internet, I blog regularly. But I get so tired of being on dial-up that I let my blogging go by the wayside. Getting pictures uploaded onto my blog is painful!

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 7:35 am #

      Keri, maybe you could leave images out of your posts for a while? Dial-up would definitely be a drawback, but you can find a way!

  10. julia February 25, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

    My biggest challenge is building the brand while I do the work. As well as what the heck to blog about!

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 7:33 am #

      EXACTLY!! Self-published authors have to juggle an awful lot all at the same time – and still come up with blog posts!

  11. Laura Zera February 25, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    You never fail to amaze me with your ability to turn something into something else. Like recycling, only way better. I wish my brain worked to connect the dots as well as you do. Luckily, I can just read what you write and pretend like I knew it all along.

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 7:26 am #

      I grew up with a mom who into recycling and repurposing LONG before the rest of the world. I learned back then to look at something and say, “What can I make out of this?” Apparently it works with words, too. Made me laugh, Laura!

  12. Pat February 26, 2013 at 1:08 am #

    Great stuff, Molly. Can’t wait to read Blog It. My biggest challenge is keeping up with the social media networking. Like you, I also have a day job and I am struggling to juggle it all especially when social media platforms are always changing. I never run out of blog ideas, but struggle with the techie side. Have signed up to your blog for tips!

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 7:29 am #

      Pat, social media is my weak spot as well. I say establish accounts everywhere, but choose the one or two platforms you enjoy most and focus your social media time there. THANK YOU for joining the blog group – can you share a few of your blog topic ideas with us? Hahaha.

  13. Shelley February 26, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Fantastic blog post! Really easy to understand for a newbie who is dipping her toe in the murky waters of social media. I would really appreciate it if you could hurry up and write ‘Tweet it!’ next as I need all the help I can get!

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 7:30 am #

      Shelley, there’s a chapter in Blog It dedicated to Twitter, and there are a couple of posts on my blog about it as well – check them out!

      • Shelley March 1, 2013 at 6:15 am #

        Fantastic! I will have a look, thanks x

  14. Shirley Ford February 26, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    You are doing a great job with your blog – thank you. My biggest challenge? I hate to admit it but I think it is my age! Information takes so much longer to sink in, I read instructions and blogs on ‘how to do it’ but the info just doesn’t stick. I see something, I think it is a great idea, but when I attempt to do it, I have forgotten what I am supposed to do. I am coming to all this technology late in life. Everyone else seems younger than me. I could do with a techie wizz-kid at my beck and call (free of course!)

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 7:31 am #

      Shirley, it was hard for me, too, so I just focused on taking little steps – learning little pieces of the puzzle and applying them before I moved on to the next thing. Try that!

  15. Margarita February 26, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    While I’m still at the “can’t see the forest for the trees” stage of blogging, and I like getting the lay of the land this way, your “bird’s eye view” of blogging, Molly, gives me another way to figure out what I WANT to do. Thank you! xoM

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 7:58 am #

      Figuring out what you want – with your blog AND in life – is three quarters of the battle. Can’t wait to hear your plans!

  16. HARioux February 26, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    I work a full time job, and am trying to find the right art work to put on my book so I can self publish. I love that you have learned to balance all of that & I can’t wait to see how you overcame the obstacles. I have the hardest time trying to find something to write about on my blog…

  17. Karalee Greer February 26, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    I found your blog through twitter. My writing group started a blog a few months back. Thanks for your blog on this subject. I’m toying with starting my own blog or just continue with our shared blog. Any thoughts?

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 11:53 am #

      Hmmm, good question. If you’ve aligned yourself with several good writers who have similar goals and are committed for the long term, a shared blog would certainly make the whole blogging issue easier. But if there’s trouble in paradise down the road, all your accumulated SEO would be lost. Something to think about!

  18. Deborah Jay February 26, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Such perfect timing, Molly!
    After some technical issues (like, I don’t know what I’m doing…) I plan on launching my blog next week 🙂
    Would love your book for guidance, so I’ve tweeted, tweeted the Amazon link and liked it on fb.
    I shall certainly link to your blog from mine once its up and running!

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 11:54 am #

      Wow, that is perfect timing! Thanks for racking up all those points Deborah, I deeply appreciate your support!

  19. A.K.Andrew February 26, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Great post Molly. It’s def. a time heavy learning curve. I wish I’d picked up yr book at the start. I think my biggest challenge is finding new subscribers as well as expanding the commenting base. Thanks so much for the post & the competition 🙂

    • Molly Greene February 26, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      Hah! A.K., everybody’s biggest challenge is finding new subscribers, so welcome to the club and thanks for your wonderful support!!

  20. Marcel February 27, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    Ii is interesting to know that you, too, found it complicated, confusing and frustrating when you began.I hope I will get through these problems.I am battling with them now.

  21. create a blog March 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    This is a topic that is close to my heart… Cheers!

  22. Lorca Damon March 2, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Great! This is the kind of info that sets authors and “successful authors” apart.

  23. Penelope March 2, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Well done Molly. I find your posts and tips very useful.


  1. I won! And my new writer crush | Cinthia Ritchie - March 5, 2013

    […] week, I won an eReader copy of “Blog It” by Molly Greene. Can’t wait to […]