What You'll Learn
Is it a myth that author blogs attract readers?
No. But without direction, and a bit of persistence, finding those readers can feel like a slog through a desert of quicksand. Why bother?
Because a blog is free marketing, well cheap marketing (one of the cheapest!) if you pay for hosting and other odds and ends. Because you want to know what has a better search algorithm that Amazon? Google. A blog is a very powerful tool that can make your work discover-able while turn a random reader into a fan.
5 Things to keep in mind why you should have a book blog:
- Readers can find you for free using some of the most powerful search engines ever created.
- Unlike Tweets or Facebook posts, blog posts are searchable and timeless. I still get hits on fantasy release posts and reviews from years ago.
- Unlike social media platforms that fizzle and change, readers will always be able to find you on your blog.
- You can actively build readers while you are writing – you don’t even need to have your first book released yet!
- A blog with lots of extra tidbits on your books provides curious readers a wealth of information to turn them into fans.
You just have to know how to make the blog work for you.
And that is the key. Some figure it out right from post #1 (I’m envious). For most of us average mortals, it can take time to find a voice and appropriate vein of topics. I started blogging in 2010 and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, even though I had written Born of Water and was in the process of rewriting it. Did I mention that on my blog? No. So when one of my posts made Freshly Pressed that October, did I have any way to capture and direct the sudden influx of thousands of visitors? No.
I’ve come a long way since, having blogged on seven different sites and guest posted on so many more. All that experience distills into some strategic methods for attracting readers. Because it is possible. And it can even be fun!
You want to know how? Reach new readers and build your fan base with these post topics and tips.
1. To attract readers who might be interested in your book you have to stick to the genre you write in. And to attract a lot of readers, finding ways to link to the best selling books in your genre would be great, wouldn’t it? Then write a post looking at the covers of blurbs/descriptions of the top ten books in your genre. What is common? What do you like? Would any fit your book? The secret benefit to this post is not only will you build great links (please link to the books!) which helps with your blog’s ranking, it is also a great research project for you! How does your book compare to the best of the best?
2. Oh, you wanted to share your book and writing! Well do you have a secret about the book that you rarely share? Do you have a crush on one of the characters? Was a scene based on something that happened to you? Share snippets of the character description, dialogue, event, or whatever it is and allow readers an intimate view of you and your story.
3. No one post will create a true fan otherwise we could all just post excerpts and be done with it. There is an art to blogging just like writing. Build and sustain interest with potential readers by posting layers of information to build a framework of your story and its world. A great way to do this is to focus on one character and show his or her development through the story. What was she like before the novel began? As she falls in love, loses a friend, fights for her dreams, how does she grow? Space the posts sequentially over a series. Give background on events. Really get into her head while sharing snippets of your writing. Let someone who doesn’t know the book enter it through this character.
4. Engagement (comments, likes, and shares) boost your site’s visibility. Which means more people will find it. So encourage interaction with a giveaway or contest. One of the best ways is to say at the end of every post that all commenters for the month will be put in a hat to win a prize. It doesn’t have to be big. You could give away your book (though hopefully they read it already). You can giveaway an ebook in your genre (there is a lot out there and they are CHEAP) or a gift card. You might have to put some rules in place that you can’t win consecutive months so your brother doesn’t always swipe the prize. But at least you know he is a fan! 😉
5. You should never whine and you should never say your writing sucks on your blog. The goal is to attract readers, not drive them away! But asking for feedback is a courageous and useful tool. Just be sure to be ready for honesty that will most likely move you to tears of joy … but may require a deep breath and shot of whisky. Ask readers if they like certain characters. Or if a passage or event felt important. Remember to respond kindly. And that this is your blog. If someone tears into a rant, don’t respond. Delete their comment and block them!
For 50 more great topics for attracting readers, check out my NEW downloadable cheat sheet 50 Blog Posts for Attracting Readers. Not only does it have LOTS of ideas, many of them spanning multiple posts, it lays out what each means and includes tips to setting up your website. Because the platform should match your awesome posts!
And since I like you for being readers of this blog, you can pick it up for $2 off with the coupon code: BuildYourFanBase.
Go get it here: