How to Write Compelling Blog Posts to Promote Your Book: A Marketing Guide for Authors
Many authors use blogging as a way to interact with their readers and drive traffic to their websites, where they also share information about their projects, book launches, signings, speaking engagements, and other events relating to their published works. In the age of content marketing, an engaging blog is an important tool in an author’s arsenal and a prime method for attracting new readers.
It takes time and effort to build a solid community around your fan base, and blogging isn’t for everyone. Still, if you love the interaction and creative freedom it provides, it can be a vital element of your book marketing strategy. A blog allows you to share the information you want with your fans, strengthening their loyalty and soliciting their feedback to help you make your future works even more marketable. If you’d like to work with a team of experts on a marketing package for your book, check out our book marketing services for authors.
Let’s now examine what makes a compelling blog post.
It is personal
We all love learning about the people behind our favorite art—whether that be painters, designers, actors, or writers—because personal stories are more compelling and tend to forge deeper connections between the artist and their audience. On your blog, you can take your followers behind the scenes of your writing process, share what’s happening in your life, or talk about what inspires you. It’s your blog, so you can write about whatever you want, but make sure to keep it professional—constantly complaining about your partner, for example, isn’t a good look. Also, if you turn your blog into a public diary, people will probably lose interest. Be sure to share appropriate content that enhances your public image as an author.
Of course, you don’t have to reveal many details about your personal life if you don’t want to. What you write about depends entirely on how comfortable you feel sharing aspects of your personal life—if it makes you squirm, you can always focus on writing reviews of other books or lists of your favorite titles in a particular genre. You can also post about your writing process or tease aspects of your upcoming books. Do whatever feels right for you, but find a way to personalize your posts.
It has an effective headline
You should definitely avoid clickbait (misleading headlines that entice users to click on a link only to find the article doesn’t deliver what the headline promised), but you do want to draw readers in with your headlines, which are the only thing most people read when scrolling through their news feeds.
Your headline should be specific, short, and include verbs or numbers; it can even ask a question that will make users want to learn more. It should offer enough information to pique the reader’s interest without giving away the “secret” of the post, and it should naturally prompt curiosity about the content. There are various approaches to writing effective headlines, and the choice depends on the individual post and writing style, so play around until you find what works for you.
For bonus points (aka higher search page rankings), use keywords in your headline to optimize the post’s search engine performance. Make sure to fit the keywords in naturally, though—if it’s clearly forced, the headline will sound stilted and won’t invite clicks.
It sticks to an average length
The only average thing you want on your blog is the length of your posts—everything else should be original so it stands out. Although you can write posts as long or as short as you want, the ideal blog post ranges from 1,500 to 2,000 words. If your post is too long, consider breaking it into multiple posts—you could divide it into different themes or simply split it into several parts, indicating that there’s more to come.
Also, make sure you break it up into sections and smaller paragraphs—you don’t want to scare your readers away with a seemingly interminable rant. Paragraphs should be relatively short, split at natural breaks in the content—short paragraphs make an article easier to digest. To further enhance the readability, use bullet points, numbers, and preset subheadings, which should also be keyword-optimized.
It includes visual media
Content is hyper-visual these days, which is why including visual media such as quote images, GIFs, illustrations, flowcharts, and videos in your blog post will make it more appealing and easier to digest. Where you embed these visuals matters, too, so consider what you want your reader to see first and put that at the top. What is the most representative image of the post? Is it the most eye-catching one?
Check out blogs you like for inspiration on how they combine words and images to create a natural flow. If you don’t have any visual materials of your own, you can use copyright-free images and videos from multiple sites around the internet—just make sure the sources are trustworthy so you don’t infringe on any intellectual property laws.
When embedding images into a blog post, you’ll also want to consider consistency and your brand image. If you create your own images—such as quote images—you may want to maintain a consistent style that fans will instantly recognize as yours. It should match the design you’re already using on your website. On a similar note, consider the design of the post itself—the font, the colors, the layout, etc. It should be comfortable to read, match your website, remain consistent throughout your blog, and align with any other design elements.
It is mobile-friendly
More and more people consume content on their phones—on their way to work, while waiting in line, or when bored at a party. Therefore, it’s important to make your website mobile-friendly. Sure, it might look great on your laptop or desktop, but it can go off-kilter as soon as someone opens it up on their mobile browser.
Many blogging platforms have themes optimized for mobile use, but you may have to make sure the option is activated. Definitely check your posts on your own phone before you hit publish to be certain that everything looks the way you intend it to. You’d be surprised at how messed up designs can get when you move between devices, so don’t just assume it’ll work fine on mobile.
There are various ways to connect to your audience these days, and whether a blog is the right one for you will depend on both you and your target audience. That’s why market research is so important for authors, especially when it comes to understanding who their readers are and how they like spending their time online. It’s your blog, but if you want it to be maximally successful, it’s your readers who will largely determine the content and how you write it.
If you’re ready to start marketing your book but still need some help with the content, check out our book marketing packages for authors and let our team of professionals kickstart your book marketing strategy.