I’ve been blogging since 2008. I even based my first book, A Walk In The Snark, on essays originally written on the blog. For me, blogging was (and still is) my very own place to do or say what’s on my mind.
And there’s always a lot on my mind.
Besides my bossy tendencies, I’m of the belief that blogging is your authentic self, and people like and relate to that – even if they don’t agree with your views. Your blog becomes an intrinsic partner, if you will, of your overall author platform – even if your book isn’t out yet.
That’s why I’m often surprised, okay even shocked, when writers tell me they don’t want to blog, can’t decide what to blog about, or don’t have time.
Wah-wah-wah. Let’s deconstruct.
1. You are missing out: If you’re not blogging, you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to interact with readers, potential customers, and others who can be critical to your future.
Not everyone is on social media. Pretend for a moment you aren’t a Twitter or Facebook addict. Blogs are still where people go for organic content.
Many of my followers (for both accounts – RachelintheOC and BadRedheadMedia) come from the blog pieces I write. I follow people back on their blogs, subscribe to their newsletter, follow them on social media. Each person who visits your blog is looking for content to make them laugh, teach them something, or enrich their day in some way.
2. Know your keywords: Knowing what your ‘brand’ is (as discussed in my previous post last week) helps you figure out which topics you will write about. Again, as @RachelintheOC, I’m a self-pub’d author of humor, nonfiction essay collections about men, women, relationships, love, sex, real-life, and loss. My backup topics are vodka, coffee, and der, Nutella.
As you will see if you visit my blog RachelintheOC.com, my focus right now is on real-life stories that change and affect our lives. I have guests every few weeks sharing raw, honest stories. On opposite weeks, I share my own.
Even though I’m known as a humorist, I’m prepping my following for my new book, Broken Pieces, real-life raw, honest stories about life. Knowing my keywords (ergo, my branding) helps immensely in deciding which topics to write about and share.
Branding is an extension of you: who you are, what interests you, your inspirations, opinions, and of course, your book or service.
3. Fresh content: When it comes to improving your Google (or other search engine) ranking, it’s important to understand that a static website without an influx of fresh, new content will never rank as high as a site which includes an updated blog. This is not rocket science, my friends. Every time someone searches your name, you want the most recent topics or posts to come up. If the last time you updated your website was three years ago, that’s a problem (especially if you want to sell a new book or service!).
4. Authenticity: I teach social media. I love social media. But, to an extent, social media (let’s use Twitter for this example) doesn’t allow you to be truly yourself because you have to fit your messages into 100-120 characters (if you want a retweet).
Although it kinda does.
Wait, what? Yea, see here’s the thing: if you know your branding (as discussed above), you can still express your true self in your tweets (whether they are content – no links—or promo – links). But blogging gives you the opportunity to expand on your branding, which is an extension of who you are anyway!
Blogging is also a great way to get in the habit of writing often. There’s a certain rhythm to it, and it gives you motivation to share what you know (or want to find out).
5. Interaction: While social media is terrific for quick interaction, blogging gives you an opportunity to truly respond in a timely and thoughtful manner. Comments are a wonderful way to connect with your friends, followers, and readers on a deeper level. If you’re worried nobody will visit your blog, use your social media in clever ways to help ensure they will.
How? Place the link to your blog right on your Twitter bio. You can actually place two URLs on your bio now, so if you’re selling a book, for example, link to that as well as your blog (or site). Place your blog links in your email signature, your Facebook About section, your Twitter background…really anywhere you want people to find you.
6. A Home: most people want to find out more about you. If all you provide are a few occasional updates on social media, guess what? It’s like renting space. If for some reason that social media channel goes down, or you are locked out, how can people locate you?
I especially love knowing my site (which has the latest blog post on the landing page) is there as a reference for anyone who needs info about me or my books or services, but also because I often promote guest bloggers – all that data is mine. Nobody can mess with it, turn it off, or block it.
If you’re still resistant to blogging, you need to ask yourself why. Yes, it’s a commitment, but it’s a commitment to yourself and your own growth as a writer or businessperson. It also helps to establish your rightful place as an expert in your field.
Once weekly is enough, twice a week max. Daily bloggers, I’ve found, burn out quickly. Besides, take the time you’d dedicate to your daily blog and write your book already!
Okay, I lied, there are 6 top reasons to blog. #badredhead
I hope this information is useful to helping you blog regularly. I welcome your comments and questions below.
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.