Article for WestBow Press
WestBow contacted me to write an article about keeping a blog. You can go to the link or read it here in its entirety.
5 Tips for Keeping an Author Blog
When I published my first book, one of the things that most frightened me was doing my own marketing. I discovered the best way to market my book was through social media, and that included a blog. There are many kinds of blogs, from how-to’s to devotionals. Whatever your interest is, there is a blog for you.
5 Tips for Keeping Your Blog Alive and Generating Hits
1.) Post often. For you it may be daily, biweekly, weekly or monthly. It is best to post at least once every week. This will bring your audience to your blog regularly, which will keep your name alive and may even cause you to come up in conversation. Sometimes, just writing a sentence or two, or posing a question for readers to comment on will help you to post more often. Don’t forget to reply to any commenting, even if they are not flattering or are negative.
2.) Write exciting posts. While your posts may range from informative to a simple, light story, you need to make the blog fun to read and keep your readers’ attention. Asking you audience questions can help with this. Keeping their interest and having them ask for more is imperative. Don’t be afraid to add a human element by mentioning things about yourself. Have a critical eye and read your posts periodically to see if your blog is on target and not getting bogged down. One of my blogs is for children, so I have an 8-year-old read it to see if the verbiage is fine, and to see if she understands it and is entertained by it. Have someone from your blog’s audience read it and provide you with honest feedback.
3.) Include pictures and a welcoming background. Pictures catch the eye and people are most likely to read your blog if there is a picture attached. It is also important to make sure your blog as a whole is easy on the eyes – choose lighter to mid-dark backgrounds with text colors that are easy to read. Also, you don’t want to clutter up your blog because if it is too busy readers’ eyes cannot take it all in.
4.) Make your blog easy to maneuver. In other words, make it user-friendly. People don’t want to work hard at finding their way around your blog. List the posts and articles that are on your blog; older posts should be easily accessible. It helps if your blog host has set up the template to include a sidebar.
5.) Use social media. Whenever you write a blog post, embed the link in social media posts on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You should post from your social media accounts every day, or at least every other day. You can use sites that help you manage your postings so you can schedule your posts in advance so that if you have a busy week of writing and can’t do social media every day, you have already taken care of it. On Facebook and Twitter, share and retweet other people’s posts and tweets. This will engage them and make them more likely to share and retweet your posts, including the links to your blog. When they do, always “like” or tweet a thank you each time. This helps get your name out there, and getting your name out there is very important to building and keeping your blog. Remember to include relevant hashtags in your tweets so more hits will come your way.
Before I started my blog, I perused several different blogs looking for things I liked and things I didn’t. This helped me to tailor my blog accordingly. I currently host three blogs, two Facebook pages, my regular Facebook account, Google+ and a Twitter account. I have learned things that work well, and things that don’t work so well. Every author is different – make sure that you are doing what you are comfortable with, and what is right for you and your book. God bless you in your endeavor.
Robin Densmore Fuson is the author of Rosita Valdez and the Giant Sea Turtle. She is married, mother of three and grandmother of 11. She discovered her passion of storytelling as a teenager, and from then on she has served the Lord through teaching in the form of storytelling. A few years ago Robin put her passion of storytelling into the written word and self-published her first book in a series of children’s chapter book for grades 3-6 in 2012.