Starting Your Author Blog
Your author blog is
like an open-source
diary. It's a public manifestation of your writer- persona. Don't get
about it. Remember that you decide what you want to share and what you
want to share.
I speak with many
new authors who are
literally terrified of revealing themselves online. I completely
that blogging can be nerve-wracking. But actually the hardest part is
something new to say each time you blog.
This is where the
image of your ideal fan
comes to the fore.
This person - just
this one - absolutely
loves you and can't wait to get another message from you. Especially if
about something you're passionate about. We all feel comfortable with
who loves us because we can be ourselves and say what we want without
That's what your ideal fan is like. And so, when you write a blog,
you're writing just for him or her. Then, the process begins to get a
Your journey as a
writer is probably going
to be your starting point for most author blog posts. This is good -
this is precisely what will make your blog engaging.
As a writer trying
to promote yourself, you’ve
an advantage. You don't have to extol the virtues of a product or
don't have to construct a thesis on moral philosophy or a manual on
the New Millennium.
Most writer's first
blog post is about the
writer constructing their first blog post - and that's fine. That's
sweet and honest - all good qualities to begin a blog with.
Later you can talk
about whatever you like.
But try to always bring your topic back to the writing. You can write
experience, event or circumstance - but then try to make it relevant to
you, your reader, or your writing, or their lives.
Blog posts can be
short too. 200 words is
fine. More than a 1000 words and you're pushing the envelope. Less is
more, as the saying goes.
If I'm stuck for
things to say - which
rarely happens - I'll make a list of ten possible titles for blog
I'll pick one the next time I need an idea. Generally I prefer to wait
the last minute and come up with an idea on the spot - and write that.
I find this latter
approach helps if I want
to say something about a piece of news or something a subscriber asked
me - or
whatever else has been creeping around my head that week. I think the
to be constantly on watch for topics to blog about. It becomes a habit.
more you do it, the easier it gets.
Pick a day during
the week for your blog
post - and stick to it. At various times in the past I've written blog
every day. Personally I think that's too often - but I know that for
authors, daily posts work well for them. For the longest time
I’ve written just
one a week, every Friday morning.
There are certain
rules it's best to abide
by if you want your blogs to become popular and 'follow-worthy'.
After all, the
primary reason why you're
blogging is to attract followers, readers and potential buyers of your
What you don't want to do is annoy folks, insult strangers or be so
controversial you become some hated enemy of the people.
Be light, fun, and
really the style you should adopt. Being angry and bitter can get you
notice - but it's generally short lived.
Funny is great. If
you have a talent for
writing humorous stuff, go for it.
Most times you'll
just want to be
interesting, and educational. That's where most successful bloggers
information that is helpful to the reader, that solves a problem for
offers a solution or two.
The important thing
is to be giving. You're
not in competition with other authors. We're all in this together. And
writers can often become your strongest and most passionate advocates.
I read an book by a
well known writer the
other day (I won't name him) which said he thought that having lots of
writers as your subscribers was a waste of time. I don't agree.
While I agree that
ideally fiction authors
want readers and book buyers as subscribers, it would be a mistake to
other writers as superfluous. Far from it. Writers are often the most
of readers of all. Plus, having another writer as a fan is pretty much
greatest compliment you can get.
dependent on your unique personality
- and how you come across. If you're open and honest you'll attract the
and subscribers that respond to your mojo, your values, and your
integrity. The thing to remember is that
if you're writing for readers, you don't want to dwell too heavily on
writing process. Fiction readers are often
more interested in the stories, your characters and their relationships
I see much advice
around these days that
asserts that you should try to be different.
I'm not sure I
I believe that
unique is good - but that is
achieved by being yourself.
If you're just
deliberately trying to be
different - as in obtuse, obscure or by playing devil's advocate, I'm
that will do you any good. Having been online for over a decade I've
one profound fact:
people don't want different.
consistently want reinforcement of what they already believe.
Plus, if you're a
writer of a particular
genre, readers have certain expectations as to how you should act,
what you might aspire to. If you write children's books, for instance,
think your average reader will want to read about your drunken orgies
Do this now: go to
www.blogspot.com and get
yourself a FREE blog. Use your own name as the blog title and send out
first blog post about being an author.
Connect your blog
to your Gmail account (I
think you have to do this anyway) and then get on to Google+. Invite
friends in your address book and start following other writers.
Within half an hour
you'll be on your first
step to independent authorship.