Welcome to the Final 5 Elements of a Killer Blog. If you missed the first two installments, please click here and here. Blogging is the base of operations for your author branding. This is where you give the reader a peek into who you really are, what you know and what your plans are. You’ll introduce your books, your knowledge of writing and you’re currently working on. To do all of this you need to bring readers to your blog by giving them quality content to read, making it easy for them to find you, and making it convenient for them to give you feedback or ask questions. This is what the final 5 elements cover.
Every writer experiences the frantic moments when not a single idea comes to mind and, no matter how hard you try to think of something, you still draw a blank. Prevent this from happening by keeping a notebook of ideas. When the inspiration for multiple blogs, articles or stories hits you, open that notebook and dump it all there. They’ll be ready and waiting when you are. Get those idea from everyday life experience, other blogs, news articles, your own previous blogs, movies or books. I even go so far as to jot notes next to the idea to jog my thoughts further.
An informative, helpful and well-written blog is a great start. Now you must get the word out that your blog exists. First stop is Technorati, the internet search engine for searching blogs. Complete a profile and your blog information and, once verified, readers will be able to search a category and find blogs relating to that category. Next, set up accounts on 2-3 social media networks. There are many but the most prominent are Facebook and Twitter. You may also choose from LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, YouTube, GoodReads, Delicious, Tumblr, MySpace, or Shelfari. Social network marketing, in a nutshell, exposes you, your blog and your books to the masses. The larger fan base you build, the more support you’ll have when your book is published. Just remember to begin your blog and marketing long before you publish that book. It’s takes time to build relationships with people. For in-depth instruction on social media marketing and for more information on blogging well, I highly recommend you read Kristen Lamb’s books We Are Not Alone and Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer or, at the very least, go to her blog and scan her blog archives for pertinent posts.
Set up a comment box on you blog page making it easy for your readers to offer their views on your post. Call your readers to action by suggesting they comment. Ask them to subscribe to your blog. Set up a poll in your reader’s interest area and encourage them to vote. Link back to older posts you’ve written and encourage them to read information they may have missed. Ask bloggers to guest post on your blog. This gives you readers even more quality content and saves you a little time. Don’t forget to thank your readers for the time they spent reading your blog and for their comments.
Offer to guest post on another blogger’s page. Comment on other blogs and link back to their posts on your blog. Other commenters may read your comment and check out your blog, too. By showing appreciation and being courteous you will earn loyal supporters.
So, how you manage to fit into an already busy schedule everything you need to do as a blogger? Cut back on your television viewing a couple of days a week, get up a little earlier in the morning, work in short spurts or 15 minutes or more, stockpile ideas and write several individual blogs or a series of blogs at a time. Make your writing time a priority. I take 30 minutes to review my email inbox, responding only to I feel is urgent, and reading other blogs. I allow two hours for research and writing of my blog, three days each week. That way I get ahead of the game and have time left for writing my book. I spend another 30 minutes each day on my social media sites connecting with other writers and readers. It can be done provided you’re willing to rework some of your other daily obligations.
Are you a social marketing whiz, yet? What other ways can you find to fit in your writing?
Please subscribe to this blog if you enjoy what you read. Feel free to comment – I love to hear from you and know what you’re thinking. As always, you can connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.