Self-publishers need to blog to attract new readers.
There are many reasons for self-publishing authors to maintain and regularly update a quality blog.
Among these are of course, enhancement of reputation, connection with potential readers and naturally, a platform to promote their books and ebooks.
Another reason is that regular blogging is a terrific means of maintaining a disciplined writing schedule.
By having an informative and entertaining blog, writers also build content, which can then be shared on social media to attract traffic.
Too often, those new to self-publishing get this the wrong way round. Social media only works well when you have informative content to share, and sharing your own is by far the best way to attract attention to what you do.
It does not work at all, when all a writer can do is post links to their book on Amazon. This is why self-publishers need to blog – to have great content to share.
There are however, other far more practical reasons why self-publishers need to blog.
To make money.
This may sound odd when the main point of your blog is to promote yourself and your books, but it costs money to self-publish, and blog. While the cost of book covers, proofreading, editing and paid advertising come to mind easily, perhaps the cost of web hosting, software, blog themes and plugins may not.
Yet all of these are necessary costs, so why not offset them by monetizing your blog.
The easiest way is to add Google Adsense advertising to your blog.
Ok, it’s not the biggest money maker around, and there are hundreds of other ways to monetize a blog, but I find Adsense the easiest and the least hassle. It earns enough each month for me to have a little pot of cash on hand to cover my costs relating not only to my blogs but also for my books.
Last year, the advertising revenue from my blogs was sufficient to cover all of my blogging costs in full, as well as paying for a few new book covers, some paid advertising on Facebook and an updated version of MS Office.
So if you have yet to monetize your blog, perhaps it’s time to think about it.
Another overlooked reason to blog regularly is that all the writing you do on a blog can turn into a new book with very little effort. If you keep this in mind and maintain a focused theme in your selection of topics to write about, a ‘how to’ or ‘self-help’ book may well be on the way.
In my case, this blog is devoted wholly to publishing, and in particular self-publishing. I never write articles about creative writing, plot analysis or anything to do with the process of writing itself.
By staying focused, the articles I have written have the potential to form the basis of a ‘how to guide’ for those new to self-publishing, and therefore, an ongoing source of potential blog related income.
I see many author blogs, which lack focus, and are all too often little more than an online diary of what the author did or didn’t do each day, or worse, ranting, because the writer didn’t know what to write about, but thought to write something was better than nothing.
This is not productive blogging at all, and a good way to lose reader interest, as well as advertising revenue.
A good blog is subject focused, well designed, well written, informative, and regularly updated. But this does not mean that new posts have to be published every day. One new article a week is enough to keep reader engagement.
If you have a blog, or plan to start one, keep in mind why you are doing it, and what you want from it. Like anything, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.