How To Gain a Fanbase by Blogging by @K8Tilton

By Kate Tilton | Author Marketing

Sep 27
How To Gain a Fanbase by Blogging

How To Gain a Fanbase by Blogging

An author sits at a desk. It’s a cold fall morning and it is finally time to start.

Start blogging that is.

This is the happening thing. Everyone has a blog. If I don’t start now, I’ll never reach my readers, the author muses as the author often does.

But where to begin? My writing weekend report? Or maybe an article on cats; yes, cats seem to be popular these days.

Thoughts like these stew and swirl in the author’s mind, so much so that it is now a cold fall evening and nothing new is on the page.

Well, the author muses, I guess I’ll start the blog another day.

How To Gain a Fanbase by Blogging

In a world filled with advice for writers, much of it telling authors they need to be blogging, it can be overwhelming. So I wasn’t surprised at all when Peter M. Olsen asked, “Blogging….Does quality gain more readers and websites traffic than quantity of blog posts? Does [sic] frequency of writing/posting blogs the best strategy to gain a ‘fanbase?’”

Here’s the deal. Blogging is an amazing way to build an audience. According to HubSpot “marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.” In other words, a good blog increases your audience and the positive actions they take (such as, you know, buying your book).

The trick is: your blog has to be GOOD. This is the part most people skip over when they read advice online about blogging. Going into blogging thinking it is just about the amount of posts you do or the quality of posts is the surest way for you to waste your time and end up frustrated.

The key to having a good blog is consistency and quality. Both elements are required to achieve positive results. If you focus only on the frequency of posts and ignore quality, you will lose the trust of readers. If you focus on quality and ignore frequency, you will lose your spot in the minds of readers and readers will end up forgetting you.

This is a hard truth of internet writing. Demian Farnworth describes this best in his Rough Draft podcast,

“Your reader has a million other things she needs to do, and you’re not one of them. Unless you grab her by the chin and say, ‘You’re going to regret it if you don’t read this.’ That’s the law of the web and you need to obey it if you want to succeed at this thing called web writing.”

Your reader has a family, friends, a job, classwork, pets, hobbies, sports, and endless obligations that do not include you or your book. If you want to reach your reader you need to offer them something worth stopping for, and do so frequently enough that they don’t forget.

In my last article on BadRedhead Media I covered how to create content people care about. Read it. Follow each step (no skipping).

And create your content on a schedule. If it is once a day or once a week, commit to it. The better you are at consistently providing content of value, the quicker you will build trust with your readers. The more trust you build with your readers, the more they will share your work with others, and help you build your audience!

Success is achievable with your blog. You only have to remember it isn’t quantity vs. quality, but quantity AND quality.

Talk back: How long have you been blogging? Do you need to work on quantity or on quality?

 

Photos courtesy of pixabay.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo)

All content © 2017 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.


About the Author

Kate Tilton has been serving authors since 2010. Founder of Kate Tilton’s Author Services, LLC, Kate works as an author assistant, social media manager, and speaker with the mission of connecting authors and readers. Kate is the creator and host of #K8chat (Thursdays at 9pm Eastern on Twitter) and has appeared on popular media such as Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. You can find Kate on katetilton.com.

Leave a Comment:

(23) comments

Bill Smith (@Smith_Bill) September 27, 2015

Hey Kate, thanks for sharing. I have a humor blog that I have been doing off and on for a few years now. So I know I have to be more consistent but how do you know your blog content is “good”? If I get x amount of shares or likes or favs? Does that mean it is good? Similar to an artist I find that humor can be good but not popular or popular but not good?

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 2, 2015

    HI Bill — do you have Google Analytics on your blog? It’s free to sign up. If you have a WordPress blog, you can grab any number of plug-ins that will give you SEO information. Number of views counts more than comments (for Google) and that’s a good sign.

    RTs and shares are helpful information, too, though Google only indexes tweets, not FB shares (G+ “plus 1s count though). If you go into your Twitter Analytics — go into Help to activate it) you’ll see a world of great data on which tweets have resonated and been RT’d the most.

    Do you have a newsletter yet? Subscriber lists are a great way to up your views also – share your latest posts in your newsletter — just a line or two with a link — people will be curious to read more and click over. That generates more views, too.

    To answer your question: analytics is really the best way to know what’s ‘good’ and what is resonating. Hope that helps!

    Reply
    Kate Tilton October 6, 2015

    Good content is content that serves your audience. Rachel gave some really good tips on analytics you can use to see what is resonating. I’d highly suggest using those techniques with a humor blog since, as you mentioned, it can be hard to know what is “good” humor.

    Reply

Yep. Been blogging since 2012. It IS content, every time. And consistency. I’ve always posted on the same days. And sharing with others. Love it!

Reply
    Kate Tilton October 6, 2015

    Having both is so key! If you post the most awesome blog posts, but you only posts when you want to with no schedule readers won’t know when to look at your blog and you’ll lose them. I encourage authors to post at least once a week if they want to pursue blogging as part of their marketing.

    Reply
Lauren September 28, 2015

Hey Kate! I’ve been blogging for a few months now, and I’d say probably content. I post at LEAST 2x a week, and I’m bumping it up to 3, but trying to keep quality at the same time.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 2, 2015

    HI Lauren — my only caution is not to burn yourself out. If you’re also writing a book (not sure), that aggressive blogging scheduling can quickly take over your life. For SEO purposes, once or twice weekly is plenty (check your SEO options and look up your blog at http://Alexa.com to see what your ranking is — anything under 100K is awesome, 100-500K is decent, and above 500K? You need to hunker down and find out why your SEO isn’t better. You can be blogging daily and nobody will see it, even with a lot of commenters — Google needs to find you! Views are more important than comments (though of course, we LOVE comments!).

    Best of luck and thanks for reading and commenting.

    Reply
    Kate Tilton October 6, 2015

    Two or three are both good options as long as the quality of the content doesn’t suffer and as Rachel mentioned 1. you don’t burn yourself out or 2. your book/product/job/etc doesn’t suffer. Good luck!

    Reply
susielindau September 28, 2015

Thanks for this! I have been under the impression for years that I need to blog in the subject of my book and rarely have. Instead, I’ve posted about my Colorado slice of life. Ironically and since I’m querying agents, I started writing prose with my photo posts. I’ll continue them for practice, but at least I won’t guilt out when posting about my Wild Life.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 2, 2015

    In publishing, we say ‘brand the author, not the book,’ so you’re absolutely forging the right path. Sure, you can discuss a passage here or there but readers are savvy — they know how to click buttons to learn more about you or find your back (make it easy for them though!). You’re doing great. Keep at it.

    Reply
    Kate Tilton October 6, 2015

    Susie, I think it is great for authors to be sharing about their life in addition to their books! On social media we really look for that social aspect and it’s really hard to feel connected to someone without knowing anything about them.

    When it comes to blogging as a marketing strategy I think it is important to put the audience first. If your audience is interested in the Colorado life then that is a great thing to be blogging about.

    Reply
      susielindau October 6, 2015

      That is such great news! That’s what I’ve been doing, but had felt like the focus of my blog was a mistake. I know that when I’ve made friends through social media, I’ve supported them by buying their book.
      Thanks Kate!

      Reply
        Kate Tilton October 7, 2015

        That’s what it is all about Susie! Those connections are priceless. Good luck with your blog and I hope to connect with you on the web :).

        Reply
apurdum920 October 1, 2015

I talk alot about blogging, content marketing, and gathering an audience in my own works. You talk about having a good blog. I agree! But what does that mean? In my interpretation, it means knowing your audience, writing specifically for them, and every post you write addresses and fixes a single problem they have. For example, your blog post addresses the problem of confusion around why you need a blog post. You provide clarity. For a blog to be good, every single post should fix a problem.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson October 2, 2015

    Hi A, and thanks for your contribution. Kate wrote this post, but as it’s my blog I’d like to weigh in.

    Yes, I agree, a blog can help people fix a problem, but that’s just one tactic. Your perception bias — aka, how you see blogging — tells you that’s the sole purpose of blogging. I disagree there. Blogging can also be a way to share musings on life, film and books reviews, excerpts, essays, how-to’s — any numbers of topics. For a business blog, it definitely helps to have a ‘solve a problem’ kind of focus, which is what we do here — I often share personal experiences of what has helped (and not helped) me as an author and businessperson, as what I’ve learned throughout my over two decade career in sales and marketing. In contrast, my author blog, http://RachelintheOC.com, focuses more on ‘real-life’ issues (whether from me, my staff writers, or guests) to bring compassion and education to serious issues such as sexual abuse, rape, mental health, and other topics that people deal with every day.

    Blogging is what each individual makes it and that’s what makes it interesting and so much fun! To be smart about it, I recommend having a focused strategy as you mention (regardless of the topic(s), and helping people is absolutely one that brings readers back.

    Reply
    Kate Tilton October 6, 2015

    Rachel covered this pretty well in her reply, but here are my two-sense. If you are looking to run a business where you hope to offer a solution for your customers/clients then yes, having a blog where you solve problems is super helpful. But in some cases you may be an author (which is also a business) where your books are not about giving solutions to clients but to fill their need for entertainment. For that author, it may make more sense to focus their blog on shorter pieces of content that will also fill that need.

    Bottom line: if you are aiming to use your blog to gain followers, you need to think of them first and meet whatever need they have. But if you are interested in just sharing about your own interests and keeping an online journal, then that’s cool too (it may not lead to a following, but if that’s not the point, then that’s okay!)

    Reply
Icy Sedgwick October 5, 2015

I’ve been blogging since 2009 and ever since I started paying attention to SEO and using MondayBlogs I’ve been finding my hits have been going up, but I think I need to focus more on the content of my posts – I’ve had blogging ‘gurus’ tell me that I need a regular topic in order to attract repeat visitors.

Reply
    Kate Tilton October 6, 2015

    Yes, the combination of valuable, quality content and consistency is what is needed to really make a blog soar. You may choose to focus on three to five core topics that matter to your audience. So say your three topics are cats, dogs, and fish. One week you could blog about cats, the next about dogs, the following about fish, and so on. Starting with cornerstone content is important to build your authority with your audience. And later on you can branch out, Copyblogger and The Book Designer are both excellent examples of this.

    Reply
elscottwrites October 7, 2015

Love this advice! I feel like I’m constantly on the fence about blogging on my author site, but when I don’t blog, I miss it, so blogging it is! 🙂

Reply
    Kate Tilton October 21, 2015

    That’s a great place to be! It you love blogging you can really grow an audience that will be there for you. It’s pretty amazing. 🙂

    Reply

[…] How To Gain A Fanbase By Blogging […]

Reply

I’ve been blogging since 2013 and have been self taught with everything from learning social media to designing my site and trying to market it. I’m not ranking well at all on Alexa that you mentioned. It’s just hard to without investing money in anything how to better your site when it’s not making any money. I’m about to publish my first book and worry about that process as well as I try to research the best way to market that also.

Reply
    Kate Tilton October 21, 2015

    Well, starting here is a good! Rachel has numerous articles on book marketing here. There are also ways your blog can become an income stream as well. That will likely be a future blog post here on BadRedhead Media. So stay tuned!

    Reply
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