If you’re a self-publishing author, chances are you’re feeling that you could do more with your blog. However, you struggle to find content ideas.
Yes, you post cover reveals, “coming soon” updates, and snippets about your characters and plot, but you’re getting little traffic.
What if you found other ways to use your blog? Go beyond simple promotions. For example, you could use it as a content management tool, and for inspiration. You might even use it to document your publishing journey.
Self-publishing: use your blog to document your journey
Many bloggers, especially those who are entrepreneurs or who are starting new businesses, use blogging to document their journey. They talk about “transparency”. They post content such as monthly income reports, and “mistakes I made” posts.
This type of thing may not appeal to you at all, but you can take one lesson from them: readers enjoy reading about the nitty-gritty: the people behind the business, the processes, and the challenges.
Let’s look at some ways you might use blogging to sell more books.
1. Integrate your blog into your self-publishing business
Here’s what I know about book publishing: it’s complicated, with many moving pieces. If you’re a solo operator, you can quickly become overwhelmed and feel oppressed by the weight of it all.
What if you used your blog as a book publishing planner?
Many authors do. They publish their goals for each year. Then they create a blog content calendar, with updates on their progress. If you sometimes procrastinate, as I do, this helps to keep you on track.
There’s no need to publish personal information about book sales, although YouTube bloggers and some authors do this to build their audience.
2. Publish works-in-progress snippets and insights from your research
For my fiction blogs, I rely on in-progress snippets, character journals and descriptions, as well as excerpts of scenes. For nonfiction, I repurpose insights and ideas.
Be a little wary about what you post. If you’re publishing complete scenes or chapters, consider taking them down before you launch a book. A few years back I received a query from KDP about book content I’d previously published on a blog.
I publish short stories on one blog, but take the posts down a month or two before I publish the content in a book.
3. Document your reading lists and book reviews
What are you reading? Share your thoughts.
I’ve always found this process valuable because it forces you to think about the books you’ve read, and how authors achieve various effects. This can help your writing.
There’s another benefit to book blogging: you’ll make friends with other authors, who may become collaborators.
4. Ask authors for contributions and interviews
Guest blogging is popular, but why not approach it from another angle? Ask your self-publishing friends for contributions. This gives your readers a different perspective on a genre or a topic.
Interviews work well too. Consider doing opinion roundups. Ask friends for:
- Their favorite authors.
- Writing craft and marketing tips.
- Insights into their writing routines.
Alternatively, you can interview an author a month.
A tip: before you look for contributors or interviewees, think about your audience. Ask them to give you ideas, either on your blog, or on social media.
Does blogging benefit self-publishing authors?
Many authors prefer to create Facebook pages, or establish themselves on Instagram. Does blogging make sense, when there’s so much content around?
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you know that the first person who benefits from their publishing platform is the blogger. You’ll learn about publishing, readers, books… And most importantly, you’ll make discoveries about yourself.
Have fun. 🤗
Did you know that algorithms determine sales on the online book marketplaces? In a real sense, publishing short fiction helps you to get the algorithms on your side.
Authors love The 3-Step Formula: Easy and Profitable Short Fiction in 60 Minutes because you can tailor the program to suit your needs. Write prequels and sequels to win new readers for all your books. Or, if you’re a new author, win readers fast.
Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.