Should I Blog?
“A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject. See more on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog.”
The question before you is: Should I make a blog to increase my exposure on the web? The answer is: Yes. Creating a blog is a good way to get the word out about you and your writing. It’s part of the marketing strategy you should be working on, along with the book you are writing. No matter where you are in the creative process, you need to build a following. A blog is a good way to accomplish this.
Two sites to consider for your blog are Blogger and WordPress. I selected WordPress for my blogs. I have one set up a catchall author blog and the other three are for the trilogies I’m working on. There are plenty of themes to choose from on WordPress and you can customize them with images, banners, and backgrounds. You can also add widgets. Another nice feature of WordPress is linking your twitter and FB account for when you post on your blog. Setting up a blog at WordPress is quick and easy, don’t be afraid to experiment with different themes until you find one that fits what you want.
Now that you have your blog set up, what should you put there? Let’s start with the About Page. Write up a bio about you in the third person, include a picture if you wish. If you are serious about publishing what you write, don’t get cute saying you attended Hogwart’s or the School of Hard Knocks. Write something that you would post on Amazon on your author page. Two to three paragraphs is fine, and make sure you spell check it before posting. If you aren’t quite sure how to write your bio in the third person, head over to Amazon and check out other authors’ bios to get an idea how it’s done. You can also create another page for Contacts. Here you can list Twitter handle, if you have a Facebook Author page, an email address that strictly has to do with being an author.
Creating a Links page is another good idea. Here you may list links to writing resources you frequent, book cover designers you like, editors, writing software you might use, other author websites, and writing groups you may belong to.
Very nice. Your blog is looking good. So what else should I put here? Since you are an author, what you post should be related to writing. You can start with telling about your work in progress (WiP). How you came up with the idea, why you feel the need to write the book you are working on.
Next, you can give background on the book and setting; things that won’t find their way into the book, but will give future readers an idea of where the story is taking place. If you write fantasy and have created an entire world setting, you can use the blog to post information about cities, countries, religions, and politics of different regions. If you have maps of the world and communities, post those.
Personal essays are another post you can make, writing about specific events in your life, how you dealt with them, and how the event made you feel.
A fun thing to do is character interviews. Once in a while post an interview with one of the characters from your book. You can find lots of examples online to figure out what you should ask your characters.
If you like post excerpts from your work in progress, let future readers of the book have a glimpse of your work.
Write flash fiction and short fiction pieces. They don’t have to do with the book you are writing. They could be based on an image you saw or a dream you had. Writing something every day keeps your writing muscles toned.
If you do a lot of reading and write reviews of what you read, post them on your blog. Post a list of books you’ve read — fiction and non-fiction. If you enjoy listening to music while writing, post a playlist.
Participate in blog tours, this will help build your network as a writer, and this helps out other self-publishing authors.
Try to post something different each day, even if it’s a short piece or a writing meme that you particularly like.
Blogging is here to stay, isn’t it time you joined in?
May the words ever flow!