Writing and publishing a blog can be a great way for writers to connect with readers. Blogging opens the lines of communication between a writer and his/her audience. And in that way, it can be a powerful marketing tool.
But while writers can use their blogs as a way to get their names out there, certain practices are taboo in the blogosphere. If you’re using your blog solely to market, promote, and boast, you’ll lose fans quicker than you can say “New York Times list.”
If You’re Going To Use Your Blog As A Promo Tool, Follow These Blogging Rules
Change your mind about why you blog. If you go into your life as a blogger with the attitude that the point of blogging is to sell, sell, sell, then you won’t have a blog; you’ll have a feed of advertisements. Instead, blog because it’s fun and because you like engaging with readers. Then, when you do promote, you’ll find it’s more natural, personal, and authentic, and readers may respond better.
Don’t oversell. Your blog readers have subscribed to your blog because they want to read about your life and your thoughts, not because they want to be subjected to endless advertisements for your books. It’s totally okay to feature your latest releases, but do so in moderation.
Don’t overbrag. Use your personal blog to share your good news; shout it to the rooftops. But don’t do it every single time you write a new blog post. It’s great to be excited about your accomplishments, but share too much and you’ll begin to sound desperate.
Be gracious. When you post your great news, be sure to always thank your readers for their support. They care about you enough to be reading your blog, so make sure they know you appreciate them.
Link generously. If you’re going to ask other bloggers to promote your work or if you schedule a blog tour, be sure that you’re returning the favor in some way. You can do this by posting links to friendly bloggers (especially those who are willing to do your promoting for you!). Also, consider creating a power promo team.
Don’t ask readers to buy things. Blog readers don’t want to be begged or told what to do. So rather than saying Please go buy my book, consider instead Download the first chapter for free on my website. Then, include a prominent (but not pushy) link to booksellers where your book is available.
If you’re going to ask readers for a favor, consider how you might reward them. Some authors will offer contests to encourage readers to spread the word about a new book. For example: You might host a contest on Facebook in which all fans who share your news on their timelines are entered to win a free copy of your book.
Consider a closing line. Rather than saying, Did you buy my book yet? in every blog post, consider creating a standard closure that you’ll use on each post. Your closing line can include quotes, reviews, and links to booksellers for a given project. Your closing line acts as a little nudge (as opposed to an obvious push) that makes it easy for readers to buy.
BONUS: Have you seen our 11 Deadly Sins Of Promotion? Check it out!
The Truth About Blogging
Starting an author blog might not make you a millionaire, but it could offer a way for you to stay in touch with and gain a few new fans. Don’t be afraid to use your blog as a marketing tool; most of your readers will have arrived at your blog because they want information about you and your writing. But when you promote, be sure you do so with sensitivity.
Photo by katherine.a.
Question: What’s your blogger pet peeve?