4 Ways Self Published Authors Can Improve Their Blogs

One of the best ways to market yourself and your book is blogging. In fact, authors are now expected to have an online presence. Both readers and industry experts, such as agents and publishers, want to see that authors are building a platform online.

For some people, the idea of creating and maintaining a blog seems time-consuming and confusing. Afterall, a blog is only useful if it actually attracts readers and develops relationships. Here are four ways to improve your own blog.

1.) It is a two-way street. Links on other blogs and comments on your posts are two great ways to increase traffic, but you can’t just expect people to share your posts and comment on your page. One of the best ways to encourage interaction is to link to and comment on other bloggers’ posts. This will encourage the blog owner and their readers to check out your page, and they may decide to return the favor. However, make sure you aren’t spamming other bloggers. Only comment if you have something useful and honest to say. Never leave a comment just to include a link to your personal page.

2.) Be efficient. One of the keys to improving traffic is regularly updating content. However, most people don’t have time to update their blogs daily. You can save time and work more efficiently if you schedule your blogs. This way, you can write several posts at one time, but they will each publish on a separate day. Most blogging websites have this feature.

3.) Be professional. Always, always, always proofread your posts. If you aren’t good at grammar, pay someone else to proofread your posts. Readers want to read blogs by professionals not amateurs.

4.) Be patient. Great blogs don’t happen over night. It takes time to attract followers, build relationships, and figure out your personal style and voice. As long as you keep trying, you will continue to see your blog grow.

I’d love to know, what is your secret to creating a great blog?

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

8 Ways for Authors to “Be” More Successful Bloggers

Many book marketing experts are advocates for blogging. I personally believe that having your own blog allows you to connect with your audience in ways that authors never experienced in the past. It is entirely possible to blog your way to more book sales. Quite a few authors, however, start blogging but give up early on. Why do they do this? More often than not – they are seeking instant gratification of some sort. While a blog has the potential to be a very effective book marketing tool, it can only be as successful as its writer.

So, how can writers market themselves using this sometimes inconspicuous tool?

  1. Be consistent. Many author blogs fail because the author never returns to update them (or does so on a very inconsistent schedule). You must choose a blogging schedule that works for you and stick with it. Even if you are only blogging once per week, stick to that and your visitors will know when to come back for more content.
  2. Be factual. Many times it’s necessary to conduct a bit of research to ensure the information you are posting to your blog is correct. Bloggers are not exempt from the rules of plagiarism, so you if are using someone else’s work, be sure to cite your sources.
  3. Be epic. You should begin every blog post with the goal of writing something that people will love. It should be something they want to share with their family and friends. To determine whether your content is “epic”, use the “Did you see that?” test. Summarize your blog post and try asking yourself (aloud): “Did you see that post about ____ (insert your summary here)?” If it doesn’t sound interesting to you, it’s not worthy of posting to your blog.
  4. Be interactive. When people comment on your blog, reply to them. You should aim to answer every blog comment. As your blog grows, this may not be feasible, but you should stay focused on doing this in the beginning.
  5. Be patient. This is perhaps the most important tip of all of these because the most successful bloggers (authors or otherwise), have to have a great deal of patience. Many times bloggers “talk to themselves” for months before they get even one comment on their blog. This is the time period that most blogs fail. In order to see any success from your blog, you must be able to stick with it.
  6. Be diligent. Make sure to proofread your posts before you publish them. Blatant grammatical/spelling errors can turn readers off of your blog. Keep the readers that take the time to visit your site by double checking your work for mistakes.
  7. Be savvy. Schedule your blog posts. If you know you won’t be available when you normally publish content, use the scheduling feature (if available) of your blogging platform to write the post in advance while sticking to your original schedule.
  8. Be friendly. Two ways you can increase your blog’s traffic are: linking to another blogger’s post within your content (they will likely get notification of this and visit your blog in return) and commenting on other blogger’s blog posts.

What other ways should you “be” to have a more successful blog?

Elise works as the Manager of Author Support of Outskirts Press.  She also contributes to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com. Elise and a group of talented book marketing experts assist not only published Outskirts Press authors, but also all authors and professionals who are interested in getting the best possible exposure for their book.