You might be sitting in front of your computer with a document open wondering what to do now that you’re officially a blogger. I remember when I first started blogging in 2007. What stands out is how LONG it took me to produce each blog post. It was a slow and drawn out process because I was unfamiliar with it. Now I can have a blog up in a matter of minutes or at least less than an hour depending on the topic. It is overwhelming at first but it gets super easy.
Most of your social media branding should be designed to lead directly to your website. You are going to need to keep your website fresh by maintaining your blog with new content appearing on a regular basis. Your blog should have the consumer one click away from being on Amazon using your affiliate link to buy your book.
If Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the other social media tools go down in a blaze of fire, you will have your blog to fall back on. Imagine if you were counting on MySpace several years ago as your main connection with your consumers and then suddenly it turned into a ghost town as people abandoned their profiles for greener pastures. Read more about why you should own your own platform on Selah-Press.com. Your blog and newsletter are the goal posts you are trying to bring everyone through when on Twitter or Facebook.
Ten Tips for Blogging 101
Don’t Invite Readers to an Empty Blog—Either spend a month practicing blogging before you make your grand entrance, or backdate 4 to 10 blogs as you build your blog. This way people have something to look at while they are on your site for the first time. You can promote all those backdated posts in between your fresh content on social media.
Never Apologize—I told you to create a schedule and stick to it However, I know that things will happen in life. There will be weeks that you miss, maybe even months, if something major occurs in your life. When you get back to writing your blog, don’t apologize for being absent. Just pick up and start blogging. It is okay if your comeback story is about what happened over the period of time that you were missing, but don’t apologize. Some people will find your blog randomly and start reading it in the middle of your blogging career so don’t annoy those people by making the first blog post they find your apology letter.
Define your Niche—What makes you special? What are you passionate about and what will help convince readers that you are an expert in your field? Think about those things when you define your niche. Your niche shouldn’t be so narrow that only a tiny portion of the population can relate or find your information useful. Think about the topic of the current book you are writing and the next 10 books you have planned. For instance, I post food recipes on my blog because in my next 10 books I have at least one cookbook planned.
Be Useful—Provide content that will be helpful to your readers. You may have to play around with it for a bit until you find your strength. I used to write a motivational blog and newsletter that hit mailboxes every Thursday morning. I wasn’t sure if they were working until letters from readers started trickling in telling me how much they counted on their Thursday morning newsletter with a cup of coffee in hand. As time progressed, I got some of the most amazing, heartfelt and personal emails from my readers. Make your posts entertaining, educational, informative and/or inspiring.
Keep it Short—As often as you can, keep your blog posts short. I always start generously cutting when the rough draft of my blog jumps over the 500 word mark. Sometimes it is hard to keep a topic that short, so consider whether the blog could be broken up into a series of two or three blogs. If the length is necessary, you can make a long post seem shorter. You can break up the bulky appearance by using bullets, subtitles, and short sentences inside short paragraphs of 4 to 5 sentences.
Be Transparent—Just keep it real. Don’t go out into the blogosphere attempting to look super human with no flaws. Some of my most popular blog posts are the vulnerable ones that showed my failures, flaws and faults and a valuable life lesson. “Fake it till you make it” is not the motto of blogging. Being transparent allows people to know you for who you really are with all of your strengths and weaknesses showing.
Don’t Over Analyze—Have fun blogging and don’t over think every post to the point of being sick with worry. If you feel a bit uneasy about something you have written for your blog, sleep on it. In the morning, if you still want to post it, ask a trusted friend or adviser to read it and see if you are being snarky, sarcastic or rude. Sometimes when something isn’t sitting right with you it is for a good reason, but don’t paralyze yourself over it.
Link to Your Books—Provide a static column on your blog that consistently has images of your books with a link to them on Amazon using your Amazon Associate code. Make it easy for your blog visitor to buy your book when they decide that they like you. Any time you talk about your book in a blog post, you should link to your book on Amazon.
Be a Good Neighbor in the Blogosphere—If you want people to come read your blog and leave comments, the best habit to get into is going to other people’s blogs and leaving comments.
Ask Questions—Ask your reader questions in your blog post to encourage interaction.
Stay tuned for Blogging 201 next week.
Do you have a blog? Do you agree with these tips?