Imagine being looked to as an expert in your field. Everyone will want a copy of your book when it’s published, right? If only it were that easy…well, now it can be! As a blogger, you can potentially gain an unbelievable online following of folks in your target market who will likely be interested in buying your book. Blogging is a no-brainer when it comes to marketing your self-published book. But way more than a handful of authors are missing the boat on this highly successful tactic.
Why? Many self-publishing authors are afraid of blogging. As a matter of fact, many don’t know what a blog is. However, if you intend to be successful at the whole “book publishing thing”, you have to learn this trick to gaining exposure — especially since blogging has been called “the most important thing an author should do to promote a book“.
Think of a blog as an online journal. In it, you can share your own thoughts while getting only as personal as you feel comfortable. As an author, though, you are able to write about topics related to your book. If you are a fiction author, a blog related to fiction books is a great idea. If you have written your own self-help book, share your expertise in mini-digests on your blog. Either way, be sure to post something interesting to get readers involved.
But, won’t I feel like I’m talking to myself? That is precisely how you will feel in the beginning. Many times it can takes months (or maybe even years) for your blog to be found and gain a steady readership. This won’t last forever. The best way to approach it is to think of when you’re planning on self-publishing a book. Are you 100% sure that people will read it? Of course not, but you keep writing because you have faith in your own success. Why should your blog be any different?
Wait a minute…so how do I even sign up for a blog? That’s a great question, and it’s one that someone else answers much more easily and efficiently than I do. So, here’s a video to help you learn more:
The above video walks you through the steps of signing up for a Blogger blog. There are several other platforms, but this is the least expensive and you can even completely personalize it by purchasing your own domain for it, which I highly recommend.
Once a self-publishing author gets started blogging, there are a few rules of thumb that must be following in order to be successful (skipping either of these is NOT recommended). I’ve listed the basics out for you below, but you may learn even more on a site like Blogging Tips:
- Define your niche early on and stick to it. The key here is to define yourself as an expert. That cannot be done if you’re talking about everything in your life all at once. Stay focused, and you will be surprised at the results.
- Come up with a posting schedule early on and stick to it. Post consistently, even if you’re only posting once per week. Try to schedule all of your posts around the same time.
- Use the “schedule post” feature that is available in your blogging software. You may not always be available at 8:15 am, but you want to remain consistent. So, instead of publishing your post right away, schedule it for sometime it for 8:15 am the next day so that you can be sure to have content up when your reader is looking for it.
- Purchase your own domain for the blog. This is SUPER important (I’m having a feeling of déjà vu here — didn’t I already say this?) You have to craft your own identity online if you want to be seen as an expert. The #1 ingredient for that identity is branding (aka – your own domain name).
- Participate in discussions on your blog. Make sure you post follow up comments to users who comment on your blog posts. This is crucial to networking and building strong relationships with your readers.
The above advice is just the tip of the iceberg. There is quite a bit to learn about successful blogging. However, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed because you can learn as you go. There are so many resources out there to help you, so get to blogging!
DISCUSSION: Are you an author with a blog? How has this help you build your brand and sell more books?