Keeping readers engaged in your blog and pulling in new followers are not easy tasks, but there are ways to keep things interesting. As you grow as a writer, so will your bag of tricks, but what matters at the beginning is that you establish your processes for blogging, and look at it through a lens of evolution. Blogging for authors includes:
- Blogging to Establish Credibility
- Credible Blogging to Establish a Brand
- Brand Blogging to Establish Platform Expansion
Maybe what you have to offer in the early days of a blog is a connection to your own emotional journey instead of hardcore craft tips, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have plenty to offer as long as you blog about topics on a level you are passionate about.
Hot Tip: Start with topics where you’re comfortable and knowledgeable.
Blogging to Establish Your Credibility
Blogs mature as their writers mature. As you learn your craft, you’ll become more comfortable with establishing yourself as an authority on craft topics and providing solid, actionable information for other writers.
Expanding Your Knowledge Base
As your knowledge base expands, you develop your own processes and patterns that help you get from start to finish of a new manuscript. Perhaps you develop world-building techniques that work for you, or a condensed assessment of characterization, and you can share those techniques—through your blog—with other writers to establish your own credibility as a writer in your genre.
Your Writing As Example
As you establish that credibility, you’re drawing attention to what you write away from the blog––i.e., want to see how my world building tech works in action? Check out this excerpt from my latest manuscript.
Writers are readers of the first order. We are the readers who recommend the next books other bibliophiles will read, and we understand the power of sharing what we love with those around us. As you introduce these writers/readers to your own writing—through craft and journey blogs—they’ll tend to pass on to others what they like.
Hot Tip: Blogs should be well organized, easily searched and easy to read. Don’t detract with a lot of fancy fonts and gifs. Blogs should be small digestible bites of information that are well laid out.
Writers Are Readers: Blogging For Your Brand
Authors who blog generally do so to introduce people to their work and create a reader base, be they agents, publishers, or fans. As a blog matures and your brand takes shape, it’s important to vary your topics to make your manuscript writing relative to the blog’s evolution.
Now that you’ve established yourself as an authority on craft, it’s time to dig in and show them exactly how those techniques you developed go hand-in-hand with your own writing.
Sharing Excerpts, Information on Contests, and News on Your Writing
All of these become new ways to keep readers engaged and diversify into a new blog dynamic with readers.
Also, remember those first blogs that were on the emotion of craft instead of craft itself? Those types of blogs never fall by the wayside. In fact, they’re still needed to vary your content and keep readers coming back.
Each time you enter a new phase of your writing career, you have a new way of sharing your experiences and inviting new people to get emotionally invested.
Character Interviews and Deleted Scenes
These can be a fun way for both you and the blog reader to get a real picture of your voice and writing processes, as well as share your work on a level that gets readers invested and talking about it. Deleted scenes can provide readers with outlets for wandering imaginations and create buzz about forthcoming books.
Hot tip: Have fun with it! If it’s fun for you, it’s fun for the reader. Keep the posts visually appealing and in line with how you’d like to be seen as an author.
Brand Blogging for Platform Expansion
One of the easiest ways to become more visible is to work with other authors. Particularly in romance, where our readers regularly look for their favorite tropes and devour everything written in those tropes.
Though your readership circles likely overlap, there are undoubtedly fans of Gwynne Jackson’s rock star romance who have never read Tricia Lynne’s rock star romance…but they should. When the two of you work together, you both increase your fanbase.
Guest blogs and Interviews
These are an excellent way to introduce yourselves to each others’ audiences, to make comparisons and contrasts between writing styles and draw lines of parallel between yourself and authors of a similar style.
Social Media Integration
An even better game-plan is to expand the concept beyond your blog to social media as a whole. Author takeovers. Joint contests. Group interviews. All with the shared responsibility of promotion as well as the shared costs, and predicated on you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
Blogging for Authors
Good blogs don’t happen overnight. They take time to develop, just like writers. Start early, find what works for you, and use the time while your honing your craft to discover your own blogging styles and strategies. Blogging is a commitment, but blogs can increase your visibility as an author and expand your writing’s reach.
Above all, be consistent. An inactive blog doesn’t help anyone. Keep your blog uniform, easy to follow and easily searchable, vary your content in ways that are well-correlated, and remember that your blog is a representation of who you are as a writer.
Here are a few great—read: thoroughly biased on my part—blogs for you to check out.