Saturday, March 15, 2014

#MFRWorg Newbie's World: Do I Need A Blog?

Newbie’s Corner: Do I need a blog?

Big question. There are as many opinions on this one as there are, well, you know how that adage ends…

The question always comes down to, will this bring me more readers? Will more people buy my books if I’m blogging?
Let’s explore.

  • Trust: In order for readers to buy your books, they want to trust you, the author. So if you are continually serving up great content on your blog, then a potential reader might e more willing to buy your books. 
  • Writing skills and time management: blogs are a great way to get out short, great messages, as well as a way to improve your dedication. 
  • SEO: You want to be on the first page of Google, right? Well, blogs are liked by the magical Google spiders because they are updated more regularly than a static site. 
  • Time: Ah, if only we had days and days filled with nothing but time to do what we wanted. But in our crazy writer lives, we are limited. So in between Facebook, Twitter, updates to our regular website, and actually writing, do you need another weekly commitment? 
  • Platform: what are you writing about? It’s great that you have kids, recipes, and writing in your life. But do others want to read about that? (this is not meant sarcastically at all – some people have great blogs on all of the above. But is that your platform?)
  • Reciprocity: A big part of blogging is the reciprocal aspect. Blog hops, sharing other’s posts, gaining new followers by posting comments to others’ blogs, linking to Google+ and Goodreads blogs, Triberr…it’s a long list, once you go down the rabbit hole of blogging. Do you have the time and energy for it? 
There is no easy answer for this question. For me, personally, I know that my readers like to read paranormal romances. But I don’t feel that I read enough in this genre in order to generate new content on a weekly basis.

My compromise with myself has been to write for others’ blogs or group blogs (like Heroes and Heartbreakers). This way, I’m reaching a larger viewership with established readers. And, the pressure is off for a weekly (or monthly) commitment.

However, I still need to relate everything back to Erin Moore, the author. That means keeping my messaging consistent – any of my readers could read anything I wrote. Here are some other general rules for writing for others:

1. Google Authorship: You want to make sure that you own your content so that Google searches for your name or books will link back to you. Here’s a very detailed explanation of how to do this.

2. Search for blogs in your genre with a large readership, but don’t neglect the small or medium blogs, either. These may have very dedicated followings. Trying to land a big blog? Try these tips.

3. Promote your guest post as you would for your own blog.

I know, I know…I still haven’t answered the essential question. Unfortunately, hard data on whether blogging promotes sales seems extremely hard to come by. If anyone has seen any real numbers on blogs increasing book sales, would love to hear about it!

For authors with their own blogs, the only way to determine if it is truly bringing in readers is by measuring traffic. Do blog readers click on buy links after finding your post?

In the end, like everything, it is a personal decision. Hope some of this information has been helpful.

Tell us what you think!
Is a blog necessary, or not? How do you negotiate the world of blogging?

Sources: Small Blue Dog  |  Jane Friedman  |  Savvy Book Writers  |  Boost Blog Traffic  |  Weblogs  |  Pushing Social

Erin has been writing her entire life, but only recently found her voice in the paranormal romance world.

She's an avowed chocoholic, loves travel and good tea, and finds her inner peace by meditating and writing. Fantasy, historical fiction, and romance are her inspirations.

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