How to Create a Successful Blog to Promote Your Book: 9 Tips for Emerging Authors

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Blogging—writing online content for your website—is considered a popular way for authors to market their books and build a community. The idea is to create valuable content for both existing and potential new fans, boosting your reputation and promoting your books in the process. 

However, content marketing isn’t a magic spell you can cast once and reap the rewards forever—it requires continuous attention. How successfully this strategy will work for each author depends on how much time and effort they put into it and how much they actually enjoy doing it. 

Like everything in writing, your blog will fail if it comes off as inauthentic. If you hate writing posts, your fans will hate reading them. Don’t worry, though—there are plenty of other marketing strategies you can follow to promote your books online. Thanks to the internet, authors have almost unlimited resources to build their fan base online. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our book marketing packages for authors. Excited about creating a blog and determined to make it a success? Then let’s start with the basics. 

1. Blog from your author website

If you’re a writer who wants to start blogging to grow your audience and promote your book, you’ll want to make your blog a section of your author website rather than create a separate one. If you don’t already have an author website, then that’s the first step you should take. Make sure your site includes an author bio or about page, a section for your books, and a section for your blog. 

The whole point of blogging is to drive traffic to your website, get people interested in your books, and grow your fan base, and incorporating your blog into your author website makes this easier. Potential fans who discover your blog through search engines will immediately land on your author website, where they can browse your books, author bio, and other information you want to share with the world. You can also sprinkle relevant links to other pages on your website in your blog posts as long as it doesn’t feel spammy.

2. Choose a title for your blog

Since your blog will appear on your author website, you probably already have a title for the main site that includes your name, but you can still have a different title for your blog section (if you like). It should let your audience know what they can expect from the content you will post, so even if you’re using a pun, a metaphor, or an obscure reference in it, the tagline should identify the theme more clearly. 

The goal is to draw people in, pique their curiosity, and attract readers who enjoy the themes or subject matter you’re writing about, so make sure you reference it in your blog title. Choose something that appeals to the target audience of your books since the ultimate goal of your blog is promotion. 

3. Mind the readability of your blog posts

Readability is key to building a successful blog. So, what exactly does that mean? The way your text looks shouldn’t be overwhelming or exhausting to read. We suggest sticking to sizes 16–20 and using black text on a white background (links can have color, but make sure it’s not too bright or too light). If you’re more of a “dark mode” kind of person, white text on a black background is also fine, but make sure you use a softer shade (i.e., dark gray) rather than pure black. 

Also, manage the density of your text by writing shorter paragraphs, using bullet points and lists, and including subheadings to break up long blocks of text and make them easy to scan. People tend to shy away from long paragraphs, especially on the internet, so writing short ones—two to four sentences—is a good idea. Including at least one image is also a great way to add value to the post, but make sure you have the right to use it.  

4. Decide what to blog about

Choosing what topics to blog about might not be as easy or straightforward as you think, but figuring it out is half the fun. You may need to get creative and go on a bit of a tangent to relate your book to your blog posts, like writing a tourist guide for the place where your story is set. 

For non-fiction authors, writing on the topic or subject matter their books cover is the best way forward—sharing stories, analyses, or advice from their field of expertise is a great way to attract new readers. What sort of posts you can create depends on your field, but as an expert, you should have the knowledge and passion to come up with lots of creative ideas. 

If you’re a fiction writer, you can blog about themes you explore in your books or your inspiration for particular scenes. You can do “interviews” with your characters to help the audience get to know them better—this is also a good way to tease characters in upcoming books. Another idea is sharing delectable recipes from the place(s) where your story is set, even if it’s a fantasy world and the recipes are magic potions. Essentially, you can write about anything as long as you can establish a meaningful connection to your book.

Fiction and non-fiction authors alike can offer their audiences a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of a writer. From research and current events to the struggles and the celebrations, opening up a window into your own life can also spark interest in your work. You can also post book recommendations, interviews, and Q&As with other authors in your genre and even allow writers of similar books to pen guest posts in exchange for a guest post of your own on their blogs.

Whatever the niche and themes of your book, your blog should somehow relate to them, and you should be excited to write about these topics. If you’re not, you may want to reconsider blogging altogether. 

5. Get the length of your blog posts right

Research has shown that the most popular blog posts are usually around 2,000 words long, give or take a few hundred words. Although most social media platforms focus on easy-to-digest content that has only several words in the form of a caption, people who read blogs actually like to read, so give them what they want. 

One caveat, though: Make sure each word that makes it into a blog post adds real value. Don’t throw in a bunch of fluff just to get the word count to 2,000.

6. Stick to a regular posting schedule 

Consistency is incredibly important for building an online community. Being consistent in both the frequency of your posts and the subjects you blog about will add to your momentum, whereas inconsistency will confuse or, worse, bore your audience. Try to post at least twice a week and cover topics that relate to the general theme of your blog. 

Also, keep in mind that it does take time to build a solid readership or following, which is why it’s important to be consistent. It will let your readers know what content to expect from you and when. You may also want to consider setting up an email newsletter that alerts followers whenever you publish a new post. Invite readers to sign up when they land on your website. This can help drive traffic to your content even if you post irregularly, but maintaining a regular schedule is strongly recommended.

7. Know your readership

Marketing is all about catering to your target audience, and blogging is no different. Knowing what your readers like and how to reach them is essential for the success of your blog and will also help you craft your posts for them. Ideally, they’re the same type of people who would want to read your book, so keep them in mind when considering things such as your blog title and subject matter, as well as the platform you choose for blogging and how you promote your posts online. 

If your blog readers and your book fans are two distinct groups, figure out a way to tailor your blog to your book fans, ideally without alienating your existing blog readers. Even if people love your blog, unless they’re the right audience for your books, it isn’t doing its job.

8. Get cozy with your fellow bloggers

Though you may think of them as the competition, you should view other bloggers writing in your niche or about similar topics as colleagues. Reading and sharing content similar to yours might seem counterintuitive, but it can work to your advantage if you do it right as it can attract new readers to your site. Book lovers want to buy as many good books as they can afford, so if you share other authors’ blog content, they may purchase both books—a win-win. 

You also need to keep in mind that if other bloggers like your content, they could feel inclined to reciprocate and share your posts with their followers. Being a part of the blogging community rather than blogging in a vacuum can mean spikes in your stats and improved search rankings. 

9. Understand how SEO works 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to getting more traffic to your website, which is why optimizing your titles, subheadings, categories, and tags with keywords is essential. Basically, you want to be googleable and drive more traffic to your site through referrals, shares on social media platforms, and optimized posts. The internet being so saturated with content, it’s important to get yourself as highly ranked on Google and other search engines as you can, especially when you consider that most people don’t look past the first page of search results.

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to successful blogging, and as we said, it might not be the right marketing strategy for every author out there. However, provided that you’re passionate about it, it can be a great way to build a community and promote your new book. If you’re not sure blogging is for you, check out our book marketing packages for authors and let the experts craft your marketing strategy. 

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