Many authors have heard or read that having a blog can be a great addition to their website. That’s because it allows you to build an audience of folks who will visit your website again and again so that you can keep them informed about your new projects, promotions & events. It also allows you to build a searchable repository of content over time that means you have more opportunities for people to find you when searching the web.
But what to blog about? You want to make sure you’re adding value for your audience with your writing, otherwise what’s the point? When I’m working on a website project with an author, and they’re not sure what they could write about that would be of value, here’s my advice:
Consider your target audience, then give them something interesting in your own voice.
Think about the writers who you admire. Perhaps they write nonfiction, perhaps they lived hundreds of years ago, perhaps they’re hilarious — in all cases at some point you might have sought out more information about them & their work. You maybe wanted to learn a little bit more about what led them to write what they do, or about their process, or the interesting folks they’ve met along the way.
They likely didn’t disclose lots of personal details, but just like you might be interested in the blooper reel or “behind the scenes” of the movies you watch, your target audience will be interested in you beyond what you put into your books.
On with some examples!…
You’re a nonfiction author: Are there interviews you can do with your sources or peers? Is there interesting new research or news about your field that you’re excited about? Is there a recent controversy that you want to weigh in on? What kinds of things do you like to read & recommend?
You’re a romance novelist: How do you come up with your characters? Are there people in history who influence your stories and/or characters? Why do you choose the settings that you do? Can you share information about the places you write about?
You’re a YA author: What kinds of information could you offer to parents and/or educators? Is there any kind of sharable content you can provide such as graphics and videos? How did your young adult life influence your characters? Can you do an “interview” with the characters in your books?
Blogging can connect your to your readership, establish you as an expert, lead to speaking engagements or even future projects. You don’t need to spend great amounts of time on it for it to be successful, but you do need to be authentic. If you’re a naturally funny person, share that in your blog posts. If you’re really into research and geek out about the details, then share that. If it’s something you’re interested in, that’ll come through in your writing.
Bonus tip: Blog posts with images do better than those without. So drop in some photos, graphics, etc.. to keep things interesting. You can utilize the Creative Commons image search if you need something but don’t already have it.
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