“But I spend all day writing books and newsletters, do I really need to write a blog too?”
I’m sure you’ve had this thought more than once in your author career. With all the things you should be doing every day to make the most of your writing, it’s hard to run a blog as a marketing tool.
Now, I’m not going to tell you that you won’t be a successful author if you don’t blog. There are plenty of successful authors who don’t blog and plenty of unsuccessful ones who do.
But consider this: a blog is your only searchable content archive that, if used properly, can bring in new readers while engaging your current fans.
So, yep, it’s pretty important.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What kind of posts you should include in an author blog
- A few ideas for your next blog post
While this article will offer a bunch of great ideas, you don’t want to be sitting and thinking about a blog topic every week. Having a few standard article-types you can lean on will drastically speed things up
Consider these pieces the foundations for your author blog. They should be the majority of your posts and should be easy to write.
1. Take Part in Literary Citizenship
Literary citizenship is a fancy phrase for talking about the books you’re reading and the influences you have. For a blog, there are two main benefits of writing about other books in your genre.
For starters, you’re being a helpful resource to your readers. I know I’ve bought books based on recommendations from bloggers or podcasters before, and I’m sure I’m not alone. I find that if a creator I follow recommends a book, odds are it’ll be something I’d enjoy.
It’s referral marketing 101. You can even tie in some Amazon affiliate commissions with these articles too. Odds are book review and summary articles won’t earn a bunch of income, but it all adds up in the long run.
Secondly, you’ll be able to bring in new potential customers through search engine traffic. Over time, you will start showing up in Google searches of people who are searching for reviews of books in your genre. Once that potential reader is on your site, you have the option to guide them towards your own books, have them join your email list, or even re-target them via Facebook Ads.
You can even reach out to the authors who you write about. It’s a great way to reach out and build relationships with people in your genre.
What I particularly love about this strategy as a core of your author blog is that you’re probably already reading a bunch of books in your genre anyway! Writing a book review or summary is a great way to solidify your knowledge, create content for your blog, and utilize the time you already spend reading.
2. Write Genre-Specific Topics
Each genre has its own tropes and topics you can write about. Now, romance authors will write about different things to a Sci-Fi author and so on. So, the best way to learn what to write is to read the blogs of other authors in your genre.
There are plenty of ways to catch up on the latest blogs in your genre. Personally, I use an RSS Feed reader and keep track of all my favorite blogs at the same time. That way, whenever someone releases a new post, I’ll have access to it. I like FeedReader as an option. It’s easy to use and you can do enough with the free version.
What you’ll find, regardless of the genre, is that a lot of writers will write about topics the same, or similar, to those in their books. If you’re like other writers, writing about your book topics will be relevant to your audience and easy to write. By expanding on the topics of your books, you can further engage readers and get them excited for future releases. You can even hold promotions and competitions to foster engagement. Have readers choose a character’s name, or give them a say in titles and book covers.
This method fits extremely well with nonfiction authors. If you write books on productivity and goal setting, you can write blog articles on the same topic. Then, potential readers can find your work online through search engines. In a similar way to the literary citizenship route, people who are interested in your blog posts on productivity will more than likely be interested in your books.
As mentioned before, you’ll get a greater vision of what this looks like by checking out the best author-blogs in your genre.
Some Blog Post Ideas
If you want to change things up a bit, here are a bunch of other handy blog topics that should suit any author.
- List your favorite podcasts–in your genre, and some that are just handy
- Talk about what your daily routine looks like
- List your favorite quotes from books in your genre
- Share the results to any ‘about you’ quizzes or personality tests that you’ve found. Then, ask your readers to take the test and share their results too!
- Talk about your writing process. While you probably don’t want to go too ‘inside baseball’, you’ll probably be surprised just how many of your readers dream of becoming authors one day
- Share book covers or book blurbs that you love. These can be from your genre or any cover that you think your audience will like
You don’t have to use all of these ideas, but there’s plenty to get you thinking. There are also some great blog topic generators that you can use. Build Your Own Blog has a handy little generator you can use for some quick ideas.
How To Set Up A Year’s Worth of Blog Ideas in Under Ten Minutes
Now, for blog content, you can get away with publishing one or two articles a month. There’s an option to do more, but I wouldn’t go any less than that. Aim for a minimum of one post a month.
So, let’s say we need twenty-four posts for our year.
If you read around a book in your genre every month, one of your monthly posts should be a book review or summary. That way, you can utilize the reading you already do. Already, that’s half of your yearly content. This can scale up or down depending on your reading habits.
With the remaining twelve posts, here are two options I suggest:
- Six posts will be book and genre-specific, and six from the list of topics in this article
- If you can’t think of any genre-specific posts, or you don’t have other book bloggers to use for inspiration, take twelve ideas from the list above or one of the topic generators.
Now you’ve got a list of twenty-four blog topics, which, at two posts a month, is an entire year’s worth of ideas!
While we all know that our author business can be driven by a blog, finding topics to write about can be a struggle. Hopefully, this article has given you different ideas for your next blog writing session.
Dave Chesson is the founder of Kindlepreneur.com and creator of Publisher Rocket, a software that helps authors market their books more effectively.