There are many benefits to blogging besides increasing followers and books sales. In the article titled 7 Reason Why Authors Must Blog we discuss these benefits which include creating good quality content, working on your writing skills and allowing website visitors to learn more about you and your message. These are all benefits that help to build a strong marketing foundation. But before you begin there are some things you need to know and decide before blogging.

Here are 4 things authors need to know and decide before blogging

Blogging platform-

The best platform to use is the one that comes with your website and shares the same url. Mine is http://stressfreebookmarketing.com/blog. With this strategy in mind, all the content you create including comments and links are credited to your website’s url. This means that companies like Google will begin to view your website as a reliable source of information within your genre and topic. Your website and blog articles will begin to rank higher increasing traffic to your site. There are a lot of components that go into page ranking and website traffic but they all start with having your own url.

There are other blog platforms to use, but it’s not recommended unless you don’t have a website or plans to build one. If you are interested in building your own author website, (I discuss the reasons why you should in an article titled) 5 Reasons to Build an Author’s Website  make sure it has blogging capabilities or find a theme that does. WordPress platforms and themes are perfect for authors and have all the functions and features needed.

Do your homework-

Before you start a blog it’s a good idea to research other authors within your genre who blog. This will give you insight on the topics they write about along with style choices, reader comments and overall look and feel. Then take it a step further by looking at their social media accounts to see how they incorporate blog articles in posts and tweets. You can even begin to comment on their articles and join the conversation on social media.

Give readers a reason to visit your site and share your blog article-

Make sure your blog is easy to find on the website and has features which allow readers to view past articles like; find the most popular articles and search by category. WordPress themes have widgets which offer these features and are easy to install.

Don’t forget to have a sharing feature where readers can quickly and effortlessly share your post with others.  Consider using a tweet feature which adds a featured tweet anywhere on the blog article. When the reader clicks on the tweet, it adds the featured tweet to their own twitter.com feed to share immediately. These simple steps make sharing the blog article on social media easy.

Your blog should also have a way for readers to comment and like the article. One of the best strategies for building a proper blog is to get comments on the articles. Commenting, responding to comments and sharing articles will increase your exposure thereby attracting more readers and followers.

Before you press publish-

You should create a checklist of things that should always be done and features that should always be used before you publish any post.

  • SEO best practices- make sure you have chosen a key word or key word phrase that appears in the title, first sentence and several times throughout the article. WordPress themes have plugins like Yoast SEO which make following SEO rules easy. They don’t choose the keyword for you, but will guide you through the process of making sure your articles are visible.
  • Bio- You should have a bio on the bottom of every article with a way to contact you. This insures that all articles no matter how they are found, promotes you and your work.
  • Readability- make sure your blog article is easy to read and understand. Although articles only need to be 300 words or more consider breaking up the larger articles into several smaller ones. Use bullet points when possible and remember, most readers have a short attention span. Place your most important content toward the top of your article and use <h1-4>headings to keep things organized.
  • Linking- There are several strategies that incorporate linking and link building. It’s always best to link to websites which rank higher and have more authority in the eyes of Google. This could increase the ranking of your page; however, this strategy takes a lot of time and skill to perfect. A good practice is to link to other articles either on your site and or relevant sites especially if it improves the article. It’s a good practice to have a couple of links in each article.
  • Image- choose a high-quality image that describes the article or “wows” the reader. Sometimes the simplest image can have the most impact.
  • Grammar and spelling- Check, recheck and triple proof your article. This article was drafted in a word document and then supported by Grammarly. It’s been read it at least 10 times making corrections along the way.
  • Category, blog post tags- Set your category to the most relevant topic and use blog post tags that summarize the content. Although the relevancy of tags has changed over time, they are still used to organize content.
  • Call to action- get the reader to take some sort of action with a strong call to action feature within your article. Whether you want them to sign up for your blog, purchase your book or like and follow you on social media, creating a strong call to action will get readers to react the way you want them to.

Blogging is just one out of several strategies that I recommend to authors. The more content you have the better. Another way to compliment blogging is to use video within your article or on its own.  Since most people are visual, they will enjoy watching a short video within an article more than just reading text. It’s worth trying any strategy if you have a plan, the time and a way to monitor the success.

Please like and comment on this article. Feel free to share with others.

 

Rick Lite of Stress Free Book Marketing, stands at the forefront of the ever-changing book industry. He is a seasoned book marketing professional with over 13 years of experience in the industry. Rick’s expertise comes from tirelessly working on new and innovative ways to market his own books and CDs with his company and parent company, Stress Free Kids. Embracing the core values of integrity, innovation, and growth, Rick works closely with authors to create custom, robust book marketing programs. His easy-going manner provides “stress-free” support and comfort to authors going through the book marketing process for the first time. Rick is quick to share his knowledge and “insider tips” for a successful marketing campaign that will lead to increased exposure, awareness and most importantly, sales.

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