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 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.
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.
Every article is an ad.
Start by deciding how you will deliver your content or your core channel. When making this decision, consider two factors:
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!
Now that you’ve selected your core publishing channel, let’s answer several common questions around blogging:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eddie has graciously donated a 1-hour long expert consultation on copywriting/content marketing!
Comment below for your chance to win!
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.
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 and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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