How To Start Blogging: A Guide For Authors By Guest @VeryGoodCopy

By Rachel Thompson | #NaNoProMo

May 30
How To Start Blogging: A Guide For Authors By Guest @VeryGoodCopy via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo

You’re thinking, I’m an author, not a blogger.

You’re thinking, I write books, not articles. Why would I start a blog?

Because you know that success in self-publishing demands a two-pronged approach: first you have to write a book your target audience will value, then you have to market it to them—and that’s where blogging comes into play.

Let me explain.

Blogging: Why?

Blogging is a proven content marketing strategy, an established way to garner trust, credibility, and community. It’s a mechanism by which to get found online, both organically (e.g, via search) and socially (e.g., via others sharing your writing).

Authors who blog are enabling their work, giving their books a chance to stand out.

Authors who blog are on their way.

Think of It This Way...

A book is a long reading experience. It’s a commitment, a time investment that carries a high opportunity cost. An article is a shorter, less involved experience. Reading an article takes minutes, not hours.

Compelling someone to devote the energy to reading your long book, then, is an uphill battle. It’s much easier to get someone to read your relatively short article first. And from the reader’s perspective, if your article is interesting and valuable—if it draws the reader in and makes her feel something—there’s a good chance your book will, too.

In that sense, every article is an introduction to your writing, your brand.

Psst!

Every article is an ad.

Blogging: How?

Start by deciding how you will deliver your content or your core channel. When making this decision, consider two factors:

  1. Reach: how will you disseminate your articles? Reach can be achieved by leveraging an existing platform to publish on.
  2. Control: how will you present your articles? Control can be achieved by building your own platform.

If you don’t have a website, you can purchase a domain and customizable template on WordPress or Squarespace, and it’ll be live in minutes. This option provides control at the expense of reach.

Or you can create a Medium account, a predesigned blog that leverages your existing Twitter audience to drive attention to the articles you write. This option provides more reach but less control.

#NaNoProMo Day 30: How To Start Blogging: A Guide For Authors By Guest @VeryGoodCopy - be sure to comment to win an expert consultation with Eddie!

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Now that you’ve selected your core publishing channel, let’s answer several common questions around blogging:

  1. What should I blog about?

That depends. What’s your book about?

Your blog’s subject matter should correspond with your book’s main concepts and themes, which should inform the topics you blog about.

This approach will help you attract a relevant audience, one that’ll be more likely to read your book, love it, and leave a positive review.

  1. “How often should I publish?”

Volume isn’t as important as consistency.

Blogging is about building an audience—followers who trust and appreciate your work—and that demands showing up on a regular basis to provide value. Your cadence could be once a day or once a week. Whatever it is, keep it steady.

Your audience should know when to expect you. This’ll keep people engaged with your brand over time.

  1. “How long should my articles be?”

Don’t focus on hitting a predetermined word count. Focus, instead, on delivering a coherent message.

Length comes second to clarity.

Every sentence, paragraph, and subheading in your articles should be as long as it takes to convey the message, and no longer. For that to happen, you have to kill your darlings and EDIT. Edit ruthlessly: split long sentences, cut adverbs, use active voice, and so on. The reader will love you for it.

  1. “Should my articles read like my book?”

If the goal is to funnel your blog’s audience to your book, then yes because readers may expect a consistent experience (e.g., tone, voice, style) across mediums.

Give it to them. You know how.

  1. “How do I generate sales?”

Creating great content—content that’s engaging and valuable and addictive—is Step One.

Step Two is far more simple: ask.

Want readers to sign up for your newsletter? Want readers to share your article? To leave a comment? To reply to an email with feedback? Want readers to buy your book? They never will unless you ask them to, pointedly, with a clear call to action.

Good Luck!

Though you won’t need it. As an author, you already have what it takes to be successful.

A blog’s success, after all, is the product of diligence and discipline and grit, which also happens to be how books get written.

You’re ready. Start soon.

rocket

Day 30 Giveaway

Eddie has graciously donated a 1-hour long expert consultation on copywriting/content marketing!

Comment below for your chance to win!

Eddie Shleyner...

How To Start Blogging: A Guide For Authors By Guest @VeryGoodCopy

Hi, I’m Eddie Shleyner.
I’m a Direct Response Copywriter & Content Marketer. I write about copywriting, content marketing, and psychology. I also write about leadership and productivity.
My articles have been shared tens of thousands of times — and many have been translated into other languages, including Spanish, German, Russian, and Arabic. I live in Chicago with my fiance, Kelsey. And our dog, Sydney. 

I publish regular articles about copywriting, marketing, and productivity on HubSpot, Hootsuite, and Forbes. I was also Editor-in-Chief of The Workforce Blog … where I wrote about productivity, leadership, and technology. I also worked as a direct response copywriter for Career Builder where I wrote conversion copy for great companies, including The North Face, GEICO, Swatch, and Google.  

In 2013, I founded Very Good Copy. Today, I work with organizations everywhere, creating articles and eBooks, landing pages, website copy, and emails campaigns. My writing is clear, concise, and compelling. It engages audiences, captures leads, and drives sales.

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About the Author

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.

Leave a Comment:

(8) comments

Dylann May 30, 2018

Thanks for the tips! Consistency is the one that gets me. It’s hard to come up with something to say on a regular basis!

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Alex Kourvo May 30, 2018

This was great information. The thing I struggle with is consistency. I’d like to get myself on a regular blogging schedule that I can stick with for the long term.

Reply
Tom Reid May 30, 2018

There are so many steps in getting a blog from your mind to the internet. The same is true for a podcast, webinar, or pretty much any other kind of content. And all it takes is ONE SINGLE broken link in that chain to prevent your content from ever seeing the light of day. Yet every one of these steps can be mastered, or contracted out. Learn to express yourself in all forums. The starting point is always the content – the original thoughts, the unique expression of your wisdom, the value added portion. So keep cranking that out and fine-tuning the editing. In your down time, either learn the mechanics of posting to the desired forum in the desired format, or find someone who will do it for you. Do not deprive the world of the benefit of your wisdom. You owe it to your audience to not let ANYTHING stand in your way. If you cannot personally perform the mechanics, hire a technician. But ONLY you can personally create your content.

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Dana Lemaster May 30, 2018

Great article, Rachel and Eddie! I’ve been blogging for three and a half years, so it’s not a stretch to continue on my author website. You do a good job of addressing a tough question-the subject of the blog posts-and providing a way to find the answer.

Reply
KJ Waters May 31, 2018

Boy do I need this! I’m just about to start a new blog for my other biz and this is perfect advice for starting of fon the right foot!

Reply
Iola June 1, 2018

Personally, I enjoy blogging (perhaps too much, because it does interfere with my writing). But I hear from many writers who seem petrified of the idea. Thanks for your tips – I’ll be sharing them with my petrified friends in the hope I can convert them!

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[…] today. Frances Caballo lays out how she accumulated 40,000 Twitter followers, Eddie Shleyner talks how to start blogging, Adan Connell lists the 11 best social media plugins for WordPress, plus the Passive Voice gives us […]

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mary grace June 8, 2018

Hi Rachel!

I read all your articles, All the articles very informative and useful.

Thank you for Sharing!

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