How to Use a Blog to Market Your Books

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A blog is an essential component of any author’s online presence. While social media networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are great for keeping in touch with fans, think of them as the “vegetables and potatoes” to the “meat” of a blog. Blogging is a great way to keep your readers informed of updates, events, contests, giveaways, and sneak peeks of your next projects. Focus on your blog as your main source of content, while using social media profiles to promote the posts and help spread your news.

Creating a blog is one the first steps you should take before publishing a book. By establishing a blog before your book is scheduled to launch, you can have the hard labor of designing your site, connecting to others, joining directories, etc. out of the way. Already published? Don’t worry! It’s never too late to get started. Hopefully after a bit of time of initial set-up, your friends, family, fans, and followers will all know about your new connection point and help you reach potential new fans.

While your blog can revolve around you and your own writing, it should also be used to promote things related to your topic and/or genre. Keep your audience interested. Check out “What to Blog About as a Fiction Author” for ideas like becoming a reviewer of your genre’s newest books, teaming up with other bloggers and authors to guest write for each other, and asking your readers to participate and engage.

Below are some tips on how to get started using a blog to promote a book:

– MAKE SURE THE BLOG IS READY & WORKING

The last thing a reader wants is to visit a site only to find outdated information, broken links, and missing photos. Double check your content, try out all of your links, and proofread for typos of all sorts.

– WRITE WITH THE READERS IN MIND

Readers want to know more about you and your books. Think about what your audience would enjoy reading. If you write fiction (link), try writing as one of your characters. If you write nonfiction, try writing a few posts about your inspiration and influences. Once you’ve established your audience, be sure to put keywords (link) into your content to help potential readers find your blog when searching the internet for related content.

– PLAN OUT YOUR CONTENT

So many writers eagerly sign up for a website, wordpress, blogspot, etc. and spend hours designing their new blog. They diligently pump out a few posts a week for a couple of weeks, but then they begin to slow down…run out of ideas…and eventually, burn out. Don’t start your blog without a plan. Come up with a list of book-related content with which to populate your blog. Below are some ideas of what to write about and share on your blog (as well as on social media platforms):
– Excerpts from the book
– Your inspiration for the book
– Interviews with characters
– Bonus material – such as downloadable short stories
– Interesting facts about the characters
– Book reviews
– Giveaways and contests
– Upcoming events and book signings

Once you’ve planned out some solid content and begun building a following, experiment with competitions and giveaways, make or share images that correlate with or inspired the book, and seek out guest bloggers to feature.

Already have a blog? Do you have any success stories to share? How about horror stories of what to avoid? Tell us in the comments!

Written by Emiley Jones

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