Earlier this week, a fellow author posted in a private group about her frustration with blogging as a means of selling her books—in particular, she was dismayed by how few comments her blog garnered, even when she hosted other authors. Her post got several responses, ranging from “I love blogging” to “I never blog,” and moving through other social media platforms as well.
And it made me think about how I spend my promotional time—particularly, about whether or not blogging is “worth it” (for similar ruminations on whether or not online launch parties are valuable, check out my guest post on Thriller-Writer). Because we all have limited time, right? We all want to write and publish and market, but we also have families and obligations and often full-time jobs, as well, all clamoring for our attention. So what to do when it comes to marketing?
The short answer, of course, is to do whatever feels right to you, with a caveat that you might need to try several different forums to figure out what works. But blogging in particular can feel like shouting out into a void, especially if you don’t get much immediate feedback. But I post anywhere from one to three posts a day on my blog, and I love having the blog as a platform. So, since it’s on my mind anyway, I thought I’d share a few things that I do with my own blog that feel right for me, right now (I reserve the right to change my mind on all of these at any point, however!).
5 Tips for Authors to Make Blogging Easier
1. Have a focus, but give yourself wiggle room. Unsurprisingly, my blog is about writing and books. I entitled it “Words, Words, Words” (from the line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet) and thereby gave myself permission to post about anything having to do with the written word.
2. Don’t try to do it all yourself. I have two means of getting other people to do the heavy lifting: guest posts and book-tour hosting. Most of my posts are of the second sort. I signed up to be a host for several tour companies—but (and this is the important part) most of the of tour posts I do come to me as already-formatted HTML code. That means all I have to do is copy and paste, and I have a lovely post ready to go. I love being able to help promote other authors so easily! I also always have room on my blog for authors I know, authors who share a publisher with me, or authors who contact me because they’ve seen the blog—but I generally let them come to me. I don’t spend much time tracking them down because that’s just no fun, and I want my blog to be fun for me as well as my readers.
3. Cross-promote. Links to everything I post on my blogs go to my other social media platforms—currently that means Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Cross-promotion means more opportunities for people to link back to you!
4. Find a good organizational method and stick to it. For me, that simply means keeping a detailed Google calendar so I know what I need to post when. I know other authors have a strict schedule—guests on Mondays, reviews on Wednesdays, and such. I don’t like being quite that regimented (what if I think of something I want to write, like this post?!), but I need to be able to keep track of my blogging obligations.
5. Don’t let your blogging interfere with your writing. That’s the biggie, right? Having a promotional plan is great, and blogging can be an excellent adjunct to publishing, but unless you’re writing books (articles, novels, plays, poems, whatever it is you write), then you’re not an author who blogs—you’re just a blogger. And being a blogger is nice, but if you’re reading this, it’s probably not why you started a blog in the first place. So while blog comments are great, and knowing your blog stats is a bonus, if you spend too much time worrying about those things, it’s going to take time out of your writing!
And with that, I’m off to work on my own writing. Before you go, I’d love it if you shared your favorite blogging tip or technique with us!
About the Author
Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming in 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.
Connect with Margo
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins