Monday, May 2, 2011

Market Yourself!: Proper Blogging?

I mentioned in my review of the NC Writers' Spring Conference that I'd learned some helpful tidbits.  Angela Harwood, VP of Sales & Marketing at John F. Blair Publishing, gave a persentation on marketing yourself.  One of the things she spoke about was making a successful author blog. 

First of all, you have to blog!  Not just once a week, but at least two to three times.  The more you blog, the higher on the lists your blog is, and the more likely people are to stumble across it.

Secondly, keep it short.  Seriously.  Our pets have longer attention spans than the average American, these days.  Keep your paragraphs short and succinct; people are less likely to read if the post looks long.

Third, guest blog and ask guests to blog.  Social media means "social"!  This one isn't easy for me - I invented the "HUTT (Hide-Under-The-Table) Club" in all my hermit glory.  But you've got friends, and your friends know stuff.  Even stuff that only slightly relates to your blog.

Fourth, only 50% of your blogging (at most) should be about your book.  The rest should be on a variety of related subjects, including cross-advertising for blogs related to your own.  This draws in new readers and builds a market of interest.

Your author blog shouldn't be a daily journal.  Don't "Dear Diary" your readers!  Instead, keep it quick, useful, and entertaining.  I admit that I truly fail at brevity, so I'll try for useful: shorter paragraphs and less digression, topics-of-interest and reviews of events.

What topics would you find useful to read about? 


  1. I can see how most of this is definitely right on track (though I'm not an author, so I'm not sure how helpful my opinion is). As a reader, however, I follow Neil Gaiman's blog closely. He "Dear Diary's" his readers on a daily basis, and as such, he's the single most followed author on Twitter and, I think, Facebook. I'm not sure if this is only effective because he was an established author long before Twitter or Facebook was ever popular, but it's something interesting to consider, I suppose.

    Then again, I'm coming from the reader's point of view, and I'm not sure I'm qualified to speak for the entirety of your readership.

  2. A reader's POV is very important - it's readers for whom authors write their blogs! These are guidelines suggested by a publishing marketer for building readership. But, like all suggestions, it's up to the discretion of the blogger on whether or not to follow the advice. The most popular blogs (and songs, and books) are usually the ones which bend the rules. What works for you? Because, if it works, by all means - do it!