Saturday, May 17, 2014

Why Blog? #MFRWorg Answers This Question.

Blogging has become very popular. Blogging has become an important part of an author's marketing plan. A blog can be a living, breathing space for creating an online presence and increasing brand awareness. It's a space that can become whatever an author wants it to be. The key is to know its purpose and stay focused.

My blog ROMANCE BECKONS evolved over the years - its evolution mirroring my career as an author. It's taken years to get it exactly how I want it, and even still, I tweak it every so often. Regardless of how I've used it, one thing remained the same: The Mission. My blog's mission is to connect on a more personal level with readers.


So, Why Have A Blog?
77% of internet users read blogs. Over 300 million people view a blog at least once a month. We know readers using e-readers are connoisseurs of the internet. Imagine getting your books in front of this audience. Blogging allows authors to team up with others, share audiences and attract new readers. Blogging is interactive -that's the main difference between a blog and a website- and develops relationships with readers.

So, Why Don't You Have A Blog?
The main roadblock that stops authors from starting a blog is fear of technology. But with two easy-to-use platforms, it isn't as difficult as it seems. Anyone can start a blog for free and, to just do the basics, set-up only takes about an hour. There are two most popular platforms: WordPress and Blogger.

WordPress
WordPress has two different choices; you can choose to use WordPress.com or WordPress.org. Both are web software you can use to create a beautiful blog. The difference between the two (.com and .org) is that one is free and the other is not free. The free site doesn't offer as much functionality as the paid version. Another key difference is your domain name. The free version will limit your domain name selection; your domain name will be www.yourblog.wordpress.com. The paid version gives you complete control over your domain name and your site. In the beginning, the free version might be the easiest to navigate.

Blogger
Blogger is a free, powerful publishing platform that provides you with all the tools you need to start and grow your blog. It's fully-customizable and packed with advanced features like HTML editing, gadget support, mobile publishing, and much more. Blogger seamlessly integrates with other Google products including Google+, Google Analytics, and YouTube. I prefer this platform but I confess to being a big Google fan.


Choose Your Software. Set Up Your Blog.
Both platforms will walk you through the set up. If you don't already have a blog, go ahead and try it. Next time on my monthly column about blogging, I'll spend time talking about different features to be sure to incorporate.



Talk to me.
Do you have a blog? Share your url. Which blog platform would you recommend to others?


Paloma Beck is a Romance Author living a life of contradiction... she's a happily married carpooling mom writing steamy romance. It's almost naughty but she loves it! Paloma writes both contemporary and paranormal romances that are anything but PG.

With her husband and three sons, the Blue Ridge mountains have been her home for nearly twenty years. There's still a special place in her heart though for New England where she spent her childhood. The lakes of Maine call her name and someday she hopes to find her way back there.

"There's just nothing like sipping coffee in the morning out on a dock. As an admitted caffeine and book addict, I believe a daily dose of espresso and a good book make any day better."