Important Reasons Authors Need to Think About Blogging by guest @kikimojo

By Rachel Thompson | #NaNoProMo

May 15
Important Reasons Authors Need to Think About Blogging by guest @kikimojo via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo

To blog or not to blog—that is often the question.

I mean…isn’t blogging dead? We have Instastories, for heaven’s sake!

I really do get it. Blogging has changed a lot in the past twenty or so years when it emerged from the womb of Livejournal and similar sites.

But I think the question we should be asking instead is: WHY should I blog?

Perhaps you’ll find that you have no good why and shouldn’t blog. Or perhaps clarifying some of the benefits of writing a blog in 2018 might give you some purpose, and a newfound zeal for blogging.

Let’s dig into three of the reasons you may want to blog.

Blogging for Blogging's Sake

When I first started blogging in 2005, it wasn’t because I wanted something else. My long-term goals were definitely to write and publish books. I also wanted to get my MFA (which I did). But my blog seemed wholly disconnected from those goals. I saw the blog as a goal in and of itself.

As time went on and I grew a readership, I began making money from sponsored posts and ads on my site. Again, I did not plan to use the blog as a springboard for my writing career. I blogged because I loved the medium. Why not get paid for something I loved and was doing anyway?

If you love blogging, you don’t really need to be reading a post on why you should blog. Bloggers gonna blog.

If you are in this camp, I would urge you to think about some of the other purposes that your blog can serve. I don’t regret my years of blogging because I loved to blog. But when the realization hit me that my blogging goals and my book-publishing goals could align, it was an incredible realization—one I wish I’d had years earlier.

So you might be blogging because you love the medium but think about these next reasons to see if you can make your blog more powerful.

If you aren’t in love with blogging…keep reading. See if these benefits help you fall in love.

Blogging for Discoverability

Speaking of blogging being dead, I’ve heard a lot in 2018 already about Facebook being dead. (You know, the whole data thing paired with a few big algorithm shifts.) Email also is dying, again. (Yay, GDPR!) And Twitter banned the common practice of automated tweets repeated over time, which has a massive impact on those using tools like Meet Edgar or Recurpost.

Essentially people all over the internet are freaking out about All The Things.

Given all those updates in the first few months of 2018, we can all agree that the online space is pretty fragile. But if you are blogging and utilizing SEO (and Pinterest!), you may still be seeing traffic continue to show up on your blog, no matter what Facebook is doing.

Despite the fact that I haven’t actively blogged on one of my sites in two months, I had 22,000 pageviews last month. Without blogging even once. The only active link-sharing I did was repinning content on Pinterest (which is really more search engine than social). The vast majority (something like 90%) of that traffic came from search engines like Google and Pinterest.

Blogging is an incredible discoverability tool! No, it’s still not a Field of Dreams thing, where if you blog it, they will come. But if you can harness the power of using keywords and writing content that people are already searching for, you can create long-lasting traffic to your blog.

My biggest post of the year is one where I spent ten extra minutes doing keyword research. I looked for what people were searching for on a topic I was blogging about anyway. Now it’s my top post, sending people to my blog even if I don’t share the link on social media.

I wrote it; people come. Hopefully, my content draws them in and they join my mailing list so I can have a more permanent way to connect with them, but at the least, blogging can be a great tool for discoverability.

Blogging for Promotion

I can’t tell you how tired I am of seeing authors trying to promote their books by dropping links in various Facebook groups for other authors. Or filling their Twitter stream with links to their book on Amazon. People are so inundated with marketing messages that these practices are almost totally ineffective.

Blogging can be a great way to bridge the gap between your audience and your books! Rather than simply dropping a link that says, “Buy my book,” you can craft blog posts around similar content that get people itching to buy.

For non-fiction authors, your blog can be a great way to promote your books in a more robust way that builds trust with a reader. Consider: would you be more likely to buy a book after seeing a link and image on Twitter or Facebook OR after reading a robust blog post showing what the author knows about the topic?

I wrote a book on email, Email Lists Made Easy for Writers and Bloggers. I also have at least twenty posts on my blog about email lists, but still have not given away all the content from inside my book. I build trust and show off my expertise on the topic through the blog posts, making people much more likely to buy. Craft great blog posts around your book and include links to buy in the post and on your blog.

Fiction authors often struggle here. It’s not as straightforward or streamlined to create content related to fiction.

But at our core, aren’t writers creative people?

Think outside the box! Consider what you’d love to read about or know from your favorite author. Craft posts that relate to your fiction book and then optimize those posts with links to your books on Amazon or wherever you sell books.

#NaNoProMo Day 15: Important Reasons Authors Need to Think About #Blogging by guest @kikimojo

Click to Tweet

So... Do You Have to Blog?

But why wouldn’t you??

While not every writer has to blog, blogging has so many benefits! Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing the mindset around blogging or promotion.

  • Instead of seeing blogging as another thing you have to do, consider how you can apply to your blog the same creativity and writing skills you use to write your books.
  • Stop thinking of blogging as something that gets in the way of your REAL work. Instead, think of blogging as the real work of writing in a medium that might help promote your book or other writing.
  • Don’t write off blogging in 2018! You may not need to blog frequently or consider yourself a blogger, but crafting content on a blog can help you find and connect with a new audience and sell more books.

Find the ways that blogging can connect with your overarching goals and then give it all you’ve got.

You might be surprised to fall in love.

rocket

Day 15 Giveaway

Comment below to enter to wind a copy of Kirsten's book, Email Lists Made Easy for Writers and Bloggers!

Kirsten Oliphant...

…is a writer, blogger, podcaster, and person with an MFA in Fiction. She has written seven books and hosts the Create If Writing podcast, where she helps writers, bloggers, and creatives learn to build an online platform without being smarmy. In 2016 and 2017 she was named one of Houston’s Top 25 Social Media Power Influencers and speaks at events like Podcast Movement, Social Media Day, Blogher Food, Blog Elevated, and Houston Social Media Breakfast.

Important Reasons Authors Need to Think About Blogging by guest @kikimojo via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo

Check out Kirsten’s site and podcast

or find her on:

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram!

When not creating a digital empire, she wrangles five kids and a Great Dane with a penchant for shoes. (Eating, not wearing.) She loves coffee, hates sleeping, and will die upon the hill of the Oxford Comma.

Follow

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:

(24) comments

Jessica C. Joiner May 15, 2018

I’m sure I’m SUPPOSED to blog, but how do I justify using my limited writing time on NOT working on my novel? That’s been my biggest barrier to launching my blog :/

Reply
Jena May 15, 2018

I wish your Great Dane did wear shoes! Congrats on your success. I love having a blog and website. I’m always tweaking it. Thanks for reminding me that I gotta do Pinterest..

Reply
Carolyn Astfalk May 15, 2018

Thanks for posting! I’ve been blogging 1-2x week, on average, since 2015. That is where most of my website traffic comes from. I probably only hit 22K pages views after about 30 months though. I do pin all my blogs post on Pinterest, but I’m intrigued by how you use it. And this: “I looked for what people were searching for on a topic I was blogging about anyway.” Not sure how to go about that. Lots of ideas to consider though!

Reply
Steven D. Malone May 15, 2018

Biggest problem for me these days is that all blog ideas seem stale and some seem done to death. A lot of posts also appear to be “me, me, me” histrionics. Or, buy my book. I don’t know how not to come up with these types of blog entries.

It could be a lack of self-confidence. Like, who am I to have anything to contribute anything of value to any given topic. This despite thoughts that readers may be interested in my perspectives anyway.

So, I’m stuck with a great resistance to post. What’s fresh? Where is anything new? I know it’s an old problem that faces us all but it really blocks me. Sigh…

However, this too shall pass. Thanks for your article.

Reply
Cindy Harrison May 15, 2018

I’ve been blogging since 2002. My son suggested it when some mean girls on a fan site disliked my writing comments or they just disliked me. Not sure. But I told my son about the flame war and he said “You should start a blog.” I said “Isn’t blogging over?” In 2002. LOL. I’m still blogging and like you I love it!

Reply
Zoe Asher May 15, 2018

Great Post! Started blogging because it was on my list of things to do as a writer. I was on again off again with posting as I couldn’t get the content right. After finishing my first book and beginning my second, it suddenly clicked. Rebuilding my WorkPress site now (wish there was a post and info on that!!), and hoping to launch before the end of the month. The site won’t be perfect but it will be a beginning.

I understand the concept of SEO and gathering emails, but don’t really know hw to do that. Kirsten’s book sounds like it would help.

Keep up the great posts, Bad Redhead, they are appreciated.

Zoe

Reply
Alex Kourvo May 15, 2018

I see huge benefits from blogging, but when I try to encourage newer authors to blog, many of them scoff. I wish they would give it a try. It is a low cost, small effort, big impact way to show off your writing skills!

Reply
Dena Garson May 15, 2018

Most of my blogging is sharing OTHER authors’ books. But, like my newsletter, I post about my own books when I have new releases or news to share.
I might should look harder at keywords. I try to include everything relevant that I think of but I find myself using the same ones over and over.

Reply
Lisa A. Listwa May 15, 2018

Blogging really does seem like a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you?
Encouraged by the post you spent a few minutes doing keyword research. It’s reassuring to know that getting traffic to your blog isn’t impossible.
Great info – thanks for posting!

Reply
D.B. Moone May 15, 2018

I would like to begin by thanking you, Rachel for all of the incredibly helpful information you have provided the author/writer community on a daily basis for this month. Although I am not yet a published author, discounting a newspaper column I had in Hawaii for two years and three monthly newsletters I created and was the senior editor of, I am working on a manuscript, actually one of three, and I have been reading and learning something new every day. Okay, so I am also keeping each post for future reference.

Today’s post spoke to me. No, it screamed at me. I started my blog a few years ago, but it was slow going, partly due to the uncertainty of what or where I wanted to take my blog, and partly due to two surgeries (2016, 2017) but I’ve returned with a drive I’ve never had. I’ve been going the autodidact route with my blog, as well as my other social media sites. Recently, I decided, for now, to utilize my blog for my book reviews. And yet, while my postings have picked-up, I am not satisfied. I am well aware that I need to redesign my blog and break it into sections, and I will do this, as time permits, but I also need more, and I know I need more. Can you see why this #NaNoProMo post screamed at me, maybe even swore at me?

What a tremendous eye-opening post. Thank you!

Donna

Reply
Karen Hugg May 15, 2018

Yes, I also had the same question as Carolyn. How did you exactly do that keyword search on searched for topics? On Google or? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for the post. I’ve had a blog for awhile but have ignored it to write and publish fiction. Now, thanks to Rachel, I’ve realized how powerful SEO is and have gotten my act together! More hits are already coming.

Thanks again,

Karen

Reply
AmyLu May 15, 2018

Thank you for this, Kiki. Needed to hear it!

Reply
Dana Lemaster May 15, 2018

Thanks, Rachel and Kirsten, for this post. I’m creating an author website at present and wrestling with the question of whether to include a blog. You touched on some of my issues-it’s far more difficult for a fiction writer to tie blog posts to books. I’ve blogged in the past and would like to continue, but only if I can find a subject that will engage readers on a continuing basis. Today’s post will help me in that process.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson May 15, 2018

    Hi Dana — I work with fiction writers as clients and they ALL blog. We brand the author, not the book. What interests you personally? Take a look at Barbara Delinksy’s blog (she writes a blog and reviews books as well). She’s actively writing her next book while marketing her BEFORE AND AGAIN release (comes out next month) and dealing with a busy life (as we all are).

    With ANY blog, write about key topics of interest. This goes to branding. In fact, tomorrow (Wednesday), my guest for #BookMarketingChat is @AnhTNguyen of Amplified Marketing. She’s a personal branding expert. 6pm pst/9pm est. Hope you can make it. If not, check the Book Marketing Chat FB page after for the summary.

    Kirsten covers some great info here in the post and her books and blog are terrific — check out her resources for authors!

    Reply
carol May 15, 2018

I am a very small time blogger. Back when I started, I noticed something.
the blogs I read were great and inspiring. Then I learned something. If they started to write a book, the blogging disappeared. I am grateful for those who continue, even if it’s only occasionally.

Reply
    Rachel Thompson May 15, 2018

    I think I have a reason for this, Carol: many bloggers take their posts and use them in their books. If they end up on Amazon (which almost all do) in KDP Select (which is the exclusive content contract), the content in the book cannot appear anywhere else. So the bloggers must remove those posts from their blogs.

    Or, of course, they could also just be writing only and decided they can’t do both.

    I say: hogwash. I have this blog AND RachelintheOC.com/blog. I’ve written 6 books and have 2-3 more coming up for release in the next 3-6 months (plus my business and being a single mom of two teens and…) and creating and running #NaNoProMo!

    It’s possible – it’s all about mindset and time management.

    Reply
Daniella Shepard May 15, 2018

It’s funny, I wrote a blog post about this topic. I blog as a way to improve my writing and to give a little background about why I write. So far, no one is really reading it, but that’s OK. I do it for myself.

Reply
Lissa Johnston May 15, 2018

Great post. I started blogging years ago as a sort of writing discipline or homework for myself rather than to gain any website traffic or traction. I enjoy it, but I feel like I’m leaving a lot on the table by not optimizing SEO. It’s like the difference between dribbling a soccer ball all the way down the field by myself versus passing the ball to a teammate who’s open in front of the goal – much more efficient! I can do the ‘ten extra minutes’ to research some keywords, but it will take a little longer than that for me to sort through all the details on how best to add meta tags and so forth for my WordPress site. Still, adding keywords to text and titles when appropriate is more than I’m doing now. Small steps.

Reply
Lila Diller May 15, 2018

I love blogging! I was told at the beginning that I HAD to blog to sell any books, but now I blog because I love blogging. I’m working on making money with it, though. 🙂 Affiliate marketing is a great thing.

Reply
McKenna Dean May 15, 2018

I enjoy blogging. I think about what I could blog about while walking the dog, or riding the horse. Sometimes I write blog posts when I really should be working on the WIP–an issue when I have so little time to write in the first place. But the truth of the matter is my life is fairly boring and I don’t have a lot of interesting things to talk about. (I also want to avoid sharing too much of my personal life online) When I do write a blog post that hits it out of the park, I worry how I’ll follow it up.

I’m making a point of doing Monday Blogs each week, and inviting guests to post to the site, but I’m not getting a lot of hits on the site. I’m going to have to figure out how to make Pinterest work in that respect. I confess, I spend little time there and don’t really understand the value of it for authors.

Reply
KT Daxon May 15, 2018

Wow! Just reading this blog post gave me an idea. Taking the theme of your novel (or novels) and writing a post centering around it is genius!

I did something similar during my first book signing! It got people talking for sure.

Thank you for sharing the importance of blogging. I definitely need to step up my game.

KT

Reply
Sue May 18, 2018

Great article. I keep on saying I’m going to blog but haven’t other than a couple of guest spots. My problem is that the things I have an opinion on don’t really relate to my fiction writing. Sounds like I need to take another look at that!

Reply
Jennifer May 19, 2018

I agree with this post and I find it difficult sometimes differentiating from a writer to a blogger. Trying to write and blog is an interesting clash for me at times. x

Reply
Kay Castaneda May 23, 2018

Thanks for your words of wisdom. You have convinced me to work harder on my blog. Now I need lessons on organizing all my notes, memos to myself, and bits of writing all over the house, including my computer!

Reply
Add Your Reply

Leave a Comment:

>