Veronica Bale

MUSINGS, RAMBLINGS AND THE OTHER STUFF IN MY HEAD

Author friends: Do you blog? Are you thinking about implementing it into your marketing strategy? A word of caution if you are—for your blog to be effective, the majority of your posts should not be about you or your books.

… Huh???

I know. Sounds kind of backwards, right? But the truth about blogging is that it does not immediately convert visits to book sales. Yet so many authors expect their blogs to perform this exact magical feat. As Jane Friedman, CEO and Co-Founder of Open Road Integrated Media (an e-book sales and marketing agency) points out, “Unfortunately, many authors pursue blogging without any understanding of the medium, and also as little more than a means to an end.”

Blogging is a long-term strategy, a round-about strategy. Its goal is to create loyalty, not purchases, and this isn’t always the easiest strategy to comprehend. No, wait … scratch that. It’s not always the most palatable strategy to implement. Think about it: You’re in it for the long-haul; you’ve got to keep it up regularly — at least once a week (more is better); and you have to be on top of your game with every post. In other words, you can expect to input lots of effort for very little immediate ROI.

Buuuut …. immediate ROI is not what you’re after. You want the long-term loyalty that blogging brings.

Have you ever heard of content marketing? As an author, that’s what you’re doing when you blog regularly. For those that aren’t familiar with the term, here is a brief overview.

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

What does that mean, though? And what does content marketing look like for authors? (From here on, by the way, I’ll use the terms “content marketing” and “blogging” interchangeably.)

At its core, blogging is the act of communicating with your present and prospective readers. But one very important point is that you’re not selling to them. You’re not:

  • talking about your books
  • posting about that latest, greatest review you got every time you get a good review
  • focussed on you.

Instead, you’re focussed on them — your readers. What can you bring to them that they will find useful? What can you write for them that will be interesting, and that will encourage them to come back?

Image result for blogging

Author and e-book cover designer Joel Friedlander explains, “The blogs I read regularly are the ones that engage me as a reader. They leave me satisfied that the blogger has produced something useful, or entertaining, or educational, or all three. I get the feeling the blogger actually knows the kind of information I’m looking for and is working to give it to me. I trust them. And so I follow them.”

When readers follow your blog, they’re more likely to be interested, all on their own, to read your books — without you having to “pitch” them. If they arrive at the conclusion that they like you on their own, they are more likely to check out the other pages on your blog … which (hopefully) have your website, your books and your buy links prominently listed.

The main thing to reiterate is that blogging is a long-term strategy. It’s a commitment. Forbes magazine says, “content marketing is not designed to convert leads immediately. The goal is long-term, continuous engagement. In fact, many of our leads [or readers] have been in our pipeline for quite a while. And that’s fine by us—we’re in no hurry. The more time our leads spend interacting with our content, the more educated [or entertained or engaged] they become. In the meantime, they begin to see us as a credible resource [or interesting author]. That keeps us top of mind.”

For the author-blogger, this means that you want to continue to be a voice to your existing readers, and you want to attract new readers with valuable posts, not thinly veiled advertising campaigns. In essence, your mindset should be “what can I offer you that you would find interesting and useful?”

Remember, in today’s digital age, you are more than an author. You are a friend, a voice, and a source of information and input. And your blog, done right, is your medium to be all that and more.

Good luck, and happy blogging!

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Blogging For Authors: What It Really Is

  1. Amazing post, Veronica! You totally succeed with what you preach 🙂

    I am trying to give myself grace with this blog so that I maintain it for the long haul. If its sometimes just life updates, I’m okay with that!

    But I know as I move farther in my writing that I’ll have to eee things as a business, and this post is helpful to look at my blog critically from that perspective 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. veronicabale says:

      Of course. Who said that life updates aren’t valuable and entertaining for your readers? 🙂 The goal is to always give your readers something interesting – whether that’s a writing tip or a helpful list of resources or a glimpse into the daily life of their favourite author. As long as it’s something they’ll want to read, and come back and read more of, it’s all great stuff to blog about. Good luck with your writing!

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    YES – EXACTLY RIGHT – The most successful author/bloggers I know only occasionally mention their books, provide entertaining and informative posts, interact with their readers comments and feature other authors, treating them not as rivals, but as friends and compatriots- all of this helps to build up their readership and their loyalty to the extent that they WILL buy the books – because they want to…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. hudsong2014 says:

      You do it the best Chris. TY.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Only because I don’t have books to sell Allan 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    2. veronicabale says:

      “Treating them not as rivals, but as friends and compatriots- all of this helps to build up their readership and their loyalty…” Well said, Chris!! Well said, indeed 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Blogging for me is a pleasure and it is also a way for me to write every day with instant feedback while I work on a long term project. Interaction is everything. I used to teach people to sell for a living and there are a number of key elements that remain the same whatever you are flogging. People buy people first, it is a two way interaction and you must have good product knowledge. Blogs that reflect those elements are the ones that I follow. Great piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. veronicabale says:

      You are very right! People buy people first – I like that. Great point!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Awake Dragon and commented:
    Ah, the hard truth:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on texthistory and commented:
    A reminder of why we’re here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. hudsong2014 says:

    I think for all authors, the underlying motive is to make readers aware of our work by having them visit our blog for whatever reason. You’re correct in your wisdom Veronica, good advice. I try and have entertaining content by sharing authors and other artists through my blog and it seems to be working by attracting 4-500 page views a week but I wish I could have more comments, more interaction. Any ideas?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. veronicabale says:

      To start, that’s awesome! 500 page views a week is a solid number, congrats 🙂 As far as interaction goes, I will sometimes post a question at the very bottom of my post for readers to answer, something that asks for their informed, knowledgeable opinion that I can consider and learn from (because we’re all still learning, really). For sharing other authors and artists, it’s great that you do that. Really helps build a sense of community. I wonder, when you share, do you work in your own thoughts and opinions? Adding to a shared or spotlight-type post by working in your own voice might help encourage your readers to become part of the discussion … if you’re not already doing this, of course. Thanks for commenting, and keep up the great work! 🙂

      Like

  7. So true, blogging is about creating interesting content and developing relationships, friendships and supporting other bloggers, that is where the focus should lie. Thereafter if you have a book to sell then hopefully your readership will be keen to find out about it and support you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Writer's Treasure Chest and commented:
    Veronica Bale writes about “Blogging For Authors” which I personally think is a very educational and helpful article with plenty of advice for writers on how to design their blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for this informative and interesting post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. veronicabale says:

      You’re very welcome. I’m glad I could be of help. And thank YOU for commenting, Carol 🙂

      Like

  10. Reblogged this on A Writing Life for Me and commented:
    Thanks to Writer’s Treasure Chest, I was made aware of this article. Thanks Aurora!

    Just like Aurora, I found Veronica Bale’s article, Blogging For Authors: What It Really Is, to be both helpful and informative. Her advice is solid and any author would benefit from reading this. I highly recommend it.

    Time to think of more ways to better my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. R T Allwin says:

    Reblogged this on Chimaeral and commented:
    My reblog for the week comes from Veronica Bale and talks about blogging as a marketing strategy for authors:

    Like

  12. esl package says:

    Love the website– really user pleasant and great deals to see!

    Like

  13. Adam says:

    Very reaffirming.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: