On Monday, I discussed how to enjoy blogging as an author. Now that you’re in love with blogging as much as me—insert winky face—I thought I’d discuss blogging as an author with more in-depth tips and advice. Blogging, after all, can be difficult, but it can also be a lot of fun! This covers how to stay focused but enjoy yourself even more.
1. Understand Your Brand
This is the core of any social media posting. Know your brand and stick with it. Posting about too many things all over the spectrum can be confusing and conflicting. Readers come to websites for certain topics. So, choose what you will focus on. This lets readers know what they can expect from your website the moment they arrive. For instance, my “brand” focuses on three things: books, coffee, and cats. I do this because my life revolves around those things, but my blog has its own special formula. While I mainly focus on writing, I have put aside a day—SATurday (because my initials are SAT)—where I’m simply me. I update fans on what I’m writing and publishing, and I talk to fellow readers about what I’m fangirling over. I even post what I’m baking and other geek-related news. But each day has a set expectation, and that brings me to my next point…
2. Set a Schedule and Stick with it
I write every post and schedule it two weeks in advance. This helps me more than anything else. Why? Because I write blog posts when I feel up to it—maybe five at a time—and then the rest of the month I can stay focused on other things. That way, on Tuesday night I’m not forcing a blog post for Wednesday. If a topic comes up I have to cover NOW, even better. I post it then and push everything back, and now I have an extra week covered. Knowing when you are going to post means your readers will know when you are going to post. That way, even if you are lost in their feed, they’ll remember a certain day as your day. (Ex. SATurday = SAT = Shannon A. Thompson.) Another way to save time is to consider co-authoring a blog or allowing guest posts focused on topics you also cover. If I have guest posts, they’re always on Mondays, and they always cover reading or writing, just like my Monday posts would cover. Despite being a different writer, my readers are still coming to my website knowing what to expect and when. Plus, it helps connect everyone! Above all, start small and gradually grow so that you know what you can handle. Don’t burn yourself out, and when necessary, make changes accordingly, but be sure to communicate changes with fans.
Now that you have your schedule picked, it’s time to write. Topics tend to seem limiting, but really, topics are limitless. Think about what you would want to talk about with your favorite authors. Think about what you would want to talk about with your fellow fandom readers. Think about anything to do with your brand mentioned above. Now go.
4. Above All, Be Professional
Being an author can be HARD. That doesn’t mean you write a blog post blasting a book you hate or a publisher who rejected you. I see negative posts WAY too often, and while I think there is a time and a place, being more positive than not is key. Rant in your diary or to your friends. Discuss and have fun on your blog. Keep trolls out as best as you can and have fun along the way.
5. Connect Genuinely
Blogging is not about how many followers you gain or comments you get. Don’t get me wrong, higher numbers can be really exciting, but if you’re focused on numbers, you probably won’t love blogging, especially right out of the typing gate. Genuinely read what others are saying. Tell them what you think. If you’re really inspired, write your own article and link back to their article as inspiration. Read, write, connect. Make friends, not followers.
And keep on blogging!
If you’ve been on Twitter, you might have seen the #CleanReads hashtag and the article CLEAN READS, A Publishing House that Deems #LGBT “Dirty”. While my publisher’s name, Clean Teen Publishing, is similar, Clean Teen Publishing IS NOT associated or affiliated with Clean Reads, nor does Clean Teen Publishing have restrictions. I love my publisher, and my publisher supports all types of stories, characters, settings, situations, etc. Please feel free to share our company’s clarification via Twitter or any other social media outlet. Thank you!
While our company name is similar, we are not affiliated with #CleanReads and do not have the same submission restrictions as them.
— Clean Teen Pub. (@CleanTeenPub) April 19, 2016
#AuthorinaCoffeeShop Episode 16 starts this Thursday via Twitter’s @AuthorSAT at 7 PM CDT. What is #AuthorinaCofffeeShop? Just how it sounds! I sit in a coffee shop, people watch, tweet out my writer thoughts, and talk to you! I hope to see you there.
Stranger sees my paint swatches: Are you an interior designer?
Mr: Err…yes? Of castles & magical caves. I’m a writer.#AuthorinaCoffeeShop
— Shannon A. Thompson (@AuthorSAT) April 15, 2016
Clean Teen Publishing is hosting a #AskCTP Giveaway on Twitter April 27! I’m REALLY excited about this live author-reader Q&A, and I really hope you all can make it. You can even win a CTP Mystery Box, which includes 1 to 2 print books, swag, and more. And that’s not all.
If you love free stuff, Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, is FREE right now. Recommended to YA paranormal romance fans who want new creatures never seen or heard of before. Thank you for making Minutes Before Sunset hit #4 in YA Paranormal and #5 in YA sci-fi yesterday! You all are the best.
Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Goodreads
Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Goodreads
Death Before Daylight: book 3:
13 thoughts on “#WW Blogging Tips For Authors”
Great advice. I’m actually trying to get back into weekly topics. It was easier to come up with posts and spread out subject matter that way. The picture underneath that one is oddly mesmerizing.
Having a schedule helps, I think. Without it, I would probably forget. I did that with my YouTube channel actually.
My mind is so scattered from day to day, I never know what I’m gonna post or IF I’m gonna post. It’s crazy… but I do focus a lot on “writing” but sometimes, I rant about life or just throw up a cartoon for laughs or reblog someone else’s meaningful post. It’s like stew — to use everything before it goes bad. ha!! Your post is good advice — let’s see if I can get organized enough to follow it.
Everyone has their own method, too. 🙂 Some might argue writing posts in advance, but it’s truly helped me stay focused and energized. Thank you for sharing your story!
The thing about blogging, and lots of other Internet activity, is that it carries an expectation of instant response. People can be disappointed if there isn’t a huge instant response or of they get pushback in some way. Blogging is kind of like being critiqued, in a way. We all hope for approval, but what we get might be nit-picks or serious criticism.
Blogging is like all writing. It takes patience and persistence. I differ from you in that I don’t blog ahead very often. I write mine on the day they’re due to post. Sometimes that means I’m a tad late. Speaking of which… I have a post to finish for this morning. Gotta go!
This is true! You will be critiqued and argued and all sorts of things. Just the other day someone poked fun of one of my articles on Twitter, but in the end, I just had to shrug it off and move forward. I love writing live posts when something important is happening right now, but it’s difficult to assess what my week will be like in advance, so writing in advance helps me a lot. I’m glad you shared your live story though! Whatever works, right? 😀
Some great tips there, for authors, and bloggers in general. I agree, keeping a schedule and making posts in advance is a big help, but the most important thing is like you say, connect with readers of your blog and keep it fun. I use twitter and facebook to a degree, but I love interacting with other blogs, commenting, sharing views and opinions. Blogging can be a lot of work sometimes, but I have to say I’ve found it a genuinely rewarding experience and I’ve got to know a lot of great people as well 🙂
Thank you for sharing your story! It can be a lot of work, but it’s definitely rewarding and wonderful, too. 🙂
You’re welcome. Yes, blogging is certainly very rewarding, and great fun 🙂
I have found that nothing builds my own blog audience like commenting on other people’s blogs. It’s a win-win. I get to introduce myself to other blogger’s fans, and the other bloggers get sweet, sweet comments.
So true! Interaction is so important.