To listen to the show: http://bit.ly/Zj5Ee0
Today let’s talk about how to take your creative ideas to the blog on your website.
Blogging is a core component of your author platform. It is a venue designed for connecting with your followers. Instead of a simple 140 character tweet on Twitter or a short post or picture on Facebook or Pinterest, blogging gives you a greater opportunity to express yourself, define your platform more clearly, and tell fans and followers in your own words about upcoming events, appearances and places where they can meet you offline and in person. It also creates a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to the venue that hosted your appearance and give them a shout-out on your blog!
Blogging also gives readers a place they know they can use to communicate with you publicly, and where they can refer others to so they can get to know more about you and your voice and overall platform. Readers can also comment on your blogs publicly, if you allow this open dialogue (more on this in a moment).
Blogging can be tricky and often confusing for many. Some don’t know what to write. Others don’t feel they have the time to write their blog posts, much less their books or screenplays.
Here are three reasons to keep your blog up to date and how to do it:
- Let people know you’re active. Your blog is a simple sign of “activity.” Set a schedule and stick to it so you can regularly show up for those who are interested in following what you have to say and offer.
- Highlight what you want people to know about and express your perspective on it. Make sure it is congruent with your platform, book and business or project. This blog post you are reading right now is a good demonstration of this. I blog here about topics related to writing, marketing and getting published. I also blog in other places and on sites related to other topics and platforms I have. My audience for the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show and others who may be interested in working with me in some way or attending a workshop can learn more about my experience and perspective on book publishing and author marketing platforms by reading one of my blog posts—like this one.
- Mix up your content with pictures, videos and/or audio recordings that viewers can look at, watch and listen to. Variety is the spice of life, and the same goes for blogging.
No need to feel that you have to “write” your blog. Post pictures from an event with a short blurb about your experience there. Record a video while you’re out at an appearance or while visiting a venue relevant to your platform. Transcribe the recording and have that transcription become the fodder for the blog you write, instead of being forced to come up with it from scratch!
When you’re blogging or if you’re blogging for the first time as you kickstart or expand your author platform, here are a few don’ts to help you make your posts more effective and so you can avoid some common mistakes:
- Don’t make your post too short. If you want your blog post to be picked up by Google and other search engine results, make sure it is 300 words or longer. If you don’t want your blog post to be picked up by Google or other Internet search engines, then write less than 300 words. This goes for the caption of a picture or video too. The text copy beneath it or around it needs to be 300 words or longer.
- Don’t make your blog too long. Keep your blog posts short and punchy. Use bullet points (like I have here) to break up your content if your post is going to be a bit longer. The average post should be between 500 – 700 words.
- Don’t allow comments to automatically post on your blog. Screen them first so you can post the ones that are relevant and delete those that are not.
- Don’t blog about myriad topics that are not related to your platform. This creates confusion and a disconnect with followers. After several posts on different unrelated topics, they won’t be clear about what your platform is anymore.
If you are extending your platform to include a new area, say so in your post.
Blogging can support you with your author platform in ways some of the other online opportunities can’t. It can also help you to use your book as your hook to boost your platform and voice.
If you’re not blogging now or if you are skeptical about using this tool to reach your audience and build a bigger following, I encourage you to take a second look at blogging so you can use this essential and fun technique to drive your author platform.