A blog is an online journal composed of media-rich articles known as “posts.”
Anyone can easily and inexpensively publish a blog.
Seven things a blog can help you accomplish:
1. Develop a following. When you create new content on a regular basis, you give readers a reason to reconnect with you and your topic time and time again. A static web site gives no incentives for repeat exposures.
2. Reach. Online marketing is all about creating content that will engage people and bring them to your website. The more topics you write about, the better the chance that people will discover your articles in search engines. Every article you write becomes another portal through which potential fans can get to know you.
3. Earn better search result positions. Google and other search engines love blogs because it gives them more content to categorize, and it demonstrates which sites are active and growing. The more active and relevant your blog is, the greater your chances of ranking higher in search results.
4. Hone your craft. Despite your work ethic or best intentions, you never “arrive” at being a great writer. It’s a lifelong process that requires constant practice.
5. Produce material for future books. While you’re honing your craft every week, you are also stockpiling a small library of content. And that content can some day be re-purposed into articles, reports, white papers, and even new books.
6. Know your industry. If you position your blog as a resource on your topic, that forces you to always be on the lookout for news, trends, and fresh ideas related to your subject matter. That makes you even more of an expert and the go-to person in your field.
7. Create interaction and community with your readers. Most bloggers allow
readers to leave comments. That’s another thing that sets blogs apart from
static web pages: people can interact with them. You should encourage and ask your readers to leave comments. That will make your blog a place readers want to visit often and express themselves while there.
Using Your Blog to Promote and Sell Books.
If you already published a blog or are about to start one, you’re miles ahead of many authors. Here are several ways you can turn your blog into an online book marketing machine:
• Deliver your news, your way. The most basic thing you can do with an author blog is announce your activities: events you’re going to attend, new titles you’ve released, awards you’ve won, media coverage you’ve just landed, etc. Let people know about all of your book related activities. But there are other things you should do with your blog, too.
• Share your journey. A blog can be part personal diary, part “making of” documentary. Invite fans to follow along as you log reports about your adventures through the writing and publishing world. Post daily dispatches from the road. Keep fans updated on your creative process, or tell them about the great workshop you gave the night before. Share yourself with your fans and they’ll feel more of a connection with you.
• Post often. Some bloggers publish something every day; others post entries once or twice a week. Choose a frequency that works for you and do your best to stick with it.
• Report on your topic. Here’s an idea that could bring you a lot of targeted traffic. Instead of publishing a blog that promotes you and your book only, create one that acts as a one-stop resource for your entire topic.
• Extend link love. There’s a lot of cross-referencing that takes place in the blog world. As I mentioned in the previous point, you should regularly scour the Web for news and online resources that would be of interest to your fans. Then write about (and link to) those other blogs, sites, authors, etc.
After you publish a new post, send a quick email to the person whose site you plugged. This will often lead to a return link when that webmaster or blogger writes about the exposure they just got on your blog. The best way to get link love is to give it unconditionally in the first place.
• Make your blog post titles sizzle. Compare the titles you give your blog posts to the headlines that appear on magazine covers. How do they rate? What’s more likely to get one of your readers to click a link to read your latest entry. A great title will attract the ideal type of person it’s meant for. So take some time to craft the best, attention-grabbing titles you can.
• Promote new books as you write them. Instead of waiting for your new book to be published, you can start marketing a new title the day you decide to write it.
Attracting Readers and Making Your Book Blog Shareable
Once you have a blog up and running, it’s time to let people know about it. Of course, you should announce your blog. And every time you publish a new post, link to it from your Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and other social media accounts.
These days, the social Web is all about sharing. So you’d be smart to give your blog
readers simple tools that allow them to quickly recommend and share links to your blog posts with their network of friends.