...a blog post that
is one long gigantic paragraph is hard for someone to read on a
If you do not like to blog, then
don’t read this article. I’m serious—and don’t feel bad about it,
either. Blogging is not for everyone, no matter what people say. Don’t
feel you have to blog because someone tells you to,
or because everyone else is doing it.
But if you do like blogging (or
if you’re like me and just can’t stop talking and writing), then you
can very easily use your blogging for marketing. Don’t be intimidated
by words like html and SEO and Technorati.
Blog marketing all comes down to one thing: Blog to draw people to you
and your books.
Contrary to popular belief,
people will not visit your blog a second or third time if there’s
nothing for them when they visit the first time. Yes, it’s a “me”
Work with it—create content in
your blog that is entertaining or informative or just cool. You want
content that will grab your readers so they’ll want to come back to
find out what you have to say the next day.
Studies have shown that people
who don’t blog regularly have less traffic than people who consistently
blog three to five times a week. You want more people reading your blog
because, well, that means more people are likely to buy and read your
Commit to blogging at least
three days a week, on the same days. This is not as much of a time suck
as you might think—I take a day each week and write all my blog posts
for that week. Sometimes I’ll take a longer post and break it into
(On a side note, studies have
shown that long blog posts tend to lose your readers’ attention, so aim
for 250–400 words per post. Any longer, and you might lose readers.)
A nice feature most blogging Web
sites have is that you can schedule posts to automatically post at a
certain day and time. After I write all my blog posts, I schedule them
to post each day at 12:01AM.
Related to short blog posts
(above), a blog post that is one long gigantic paragraph is hard for
someone to read on a computer.
USE LOTS OF WHITE SPACE. AND,
YES, I AM YELLING.
Most blog paragraphs are one to
two sentences long. Longer than that, the paragraph is too long, and
your readers start to skim.
Also, use a nice sans serif font
and a few pictures sprinkled in—blog readers love pictures. Make sure
you upload low resolution pictures—if they’re high resolution, some
readers’ computers won’t be able to show them.
Other Ways to Draw
Ideally, you want your blog to
be unique, so that people return to your blog for
what they can’t get at other blogs:
Unique content (discussed above)
Contests (give away items
related to your book, or give away books in your genre)
Downloads (pictures or
worksheets or whatever you can offer people for free)
This is the one thing you really
don’t have much control over. Building readership usually takes time.
Don’t be impatient or discouraged.
Advertise your blog in your
signature lines on e-mail loops and forum boards. Include a short
sentence about what’s new on your blog that week, whether it’s a
giveaway or an interesting blog post.
Comment on e-mail loops and
forum boards so that you get name recognition.
Participate in e-mail loops and
forum boards that are nonwriting related to draw readers (as opposed to
writers) to your blog. For example, if your book is about skydiving,
find a skydiving forum board.
Don’t go overboard and make your
posts on those e-mail loops and forum boards all about you. I’m
serious—people sniff out a salesman easily. Participate genuinely and
people will find your blog on their own.
Keep business cards and/or
bookmarks with you to pass out to people you meet, and make sure to
include your Web site and/or blog information. Also give these to local
conferences or meetings that you’re allowed to pass out promo items at.
Write a Good Book:
Ultimately, this is the best
thing you can do to draw people to your blog. People who love your
book(s) will find you on the Web, and they’ll follow your blog avidly,
waiting for your next book to come out!