You’d think that as people who love to writer, fiction authors would be excellent bloggers. They should easily be able to crank out the 500 or so words a day that it takes to write a post. Non-fiction authors do it all the time. They seem to know exactly how to use blogging to market their books. As a fiction writer/author, how successful are you at blogging? Feeling good about it? Sort of? Not so much?
If you feel ambivalent, you are not alone. Blogging has become the necessary evil. It is often viewed as a burden foisted on innocent writers by that dark force of the publishing industry — the marketing department.
Blogging seems unavoidable. It is the axis upon which all other marketing strategies revolve. Got a radio interview? Make sure you tell those listeners your blog address. That newspaper article needs a link too. Literature for conferences must contain your domain. The list goes on.
That pressure to provide a link causes many writers to scramble haphazardly into building their blog presence. Often they do so without training or guidance. Soon their unfocused blog posts run the gamut of topics, seemingly based on the principle that posting anything is better than nothing. Blog! The readers will come. When no readers arrive, they have no idea why. Even worse, the visitors they do get leave without buying a book or even commenting on a post. What went wrong?
Is this is a waste of time that could be better spent writing books?
Where is the blog-love we’ve heard so much about? Where are the fans? The comments? The book sales?
Why didn’t anyone mention all the work that’s involved? The extra writing takes you away from your manuscript. The blog promotion is overwhelming. Social Media. Keeping up with comments and email. Checking links. Organizing the site. Archiving. Tags. Meta tags. SEO. Lists of internet acronyms that you don’t even want to understand.
Is any of this really selling books?
All of it begs the question — is the problem the tool, or the wisdom of the ones who wield it? Is the era of the blog over, the market saturated? Or maybe it’s that people are tired of authors who’s blogs offer nothing more creative than a running commentary on what they had for breakfast (Don’t laugh, I’ve read it). Or whose blogs give other authors a great deal of information about the road to publication and the life of a published author, but give little to their readers—their fans.
So how do you come up with good materials for a fiction authors blog?
If so, join us for our next few blogs while we explore the pitfalls and successes of the blogging imperative. I’ll give you the unfiltered truth about the blogging pitfalls and what you can do about it. Then I’ll reverse course, turning the spotlight on the blogger. You’ll see where nearly every writer (myself included) has gone wrong in their blogging. Then we’ll both learn from those mistakes and master the number one rule of blogging — readers, readers, readers.
So get ready for a journey into the foggy world of blogs. Let’s see if we can clear the air.
How do you feel about blogging? Air out your frustrations on our comments section below.