If you’ve written or otherwise created something and depend on self-promotion to get your work out there, I have one message for you: If you aren’t blogging, you’re wrong.
I’ll start with the stats: Recent studies show that 8 in 10 internet users read blogs, many on a regular basis, and that number is growing. Blogs are increasingly becoming a source of information, from recipes to healthcare treatments. With the increasing awareness of paid product reviews and biased advertising, it’s no wonder people are turning to blogs as a source of first-hand experience that is becoming more and more a trusted source as time goes on.
So what does this mean for indie authors? The stats show that more people are reading blogs these days, and as writers that can only mean good things for us.
The harsh truth about being an Indie Author is that everyone is doing it. Not really, but sort of. There are millions of self-published works out there. A few minutes of refreshing Smashwords’ “Newest” page will show that more are being submitted every minute. We’re all struggling to stand out among millions or our peers. Blogging is one way to stand out. With a blog you are no longer just a thumbnail and a blurb on a page – your blog is 100% you and your work. It’s your chance to show potential readers who you are and what you have to offer, as well as make connections with readers and other writers.
Another huge advantage is that blogging doesn’t have to cost you a thing. There are plenty of free blogging platforms out there, all of which offer custom themes and other elements to fit your preferences. Blogging on a regular basis takes very little time – isn’t there an odd hour or so every few days that could be better spent? Those status updates will still be there later. Compare “free” to the hundreds some have spent on promos for their work, and compare two hours a week to the amount of time spent plugging your work on social media sites with little to no results.
But Mary, you say, I don’t know what to blog about.
Shush, you. You’re a writer. You write. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Story excerpts, with links on where to buy the rest. Because how often does a book blurb do the story justice?
- Important announcements regarding your work. New book coming out soon? Running a sale? Reworking your covers?
- Audio/video files relating to you or your work.
- Stories from your own life. Show your audience who you really are.
- Advice for other writers. Share what you’ve learned and make friends in the process.
- Your opinions. The indie world is full of news, especially lately. Learn to keep up with the currents and let others know how you feel about them.
- Book reviews. Let others know what you’re reading!
Authors: Do you have a blog? Has it helped you out?
Readers: Do you read the blogs of your favorite authors? What do you find to be the most interesting?
Stay tuned later this week for my “Ten Commandments of Blogging.”