Fresh content, like fresh meat, incites interest amongst the hungry. In our case, I'm talking about readers hungry for content rather than starving beasts gathering around road kill.
I've met numerous authors who tell me that they don't blog because they don't have anything to say or because they don't have time. Yet you'll find them on social media every day tweeting out buy links or posting on Facebook about their husbands or their cats or their coffee. This is a mistake in time management. Blogs are one marketing tool all authors need to utilize on a regular basis.
I admit that this might be easier for me because of my journalism background. I'm accustomed to coming up with topics and creating daily content. So, yes, I admit that I may have an advantage in that area--but that is where the advantage stops. I still need to plan out my topics on an editorial calendar, sit down to write them, and consistently publish.
Blogs give readers the opportunity to stay connected with you. Perhaps they'll share a great post with their friends or comment on your article. Your posts may reach people who have never heard of your books, but they might check them out after reading your blog. You can also monetize your blog for some passive extra income.
The concept is straight forward: You, the author, writes fresh content. That content is free and available to an unlimited audience. That audience arrives on your blog, likes what they see, checks out your books that you have linked on your sidebar. Perhaps you have an e-course, too, that they may be interested in or a Pinterest board for them to follow.
But what to write about? Does it always need to be about your book or genre? No. Do you have great recipes that you'd like to share? Blog it! Do you have an interesting hobby? Blog it. Do you have opinions about current headlines going on in the world? Blog it. Do you like reviewing books or movies? Blog it. Do you have cute pets who are always stirring up trouble? Blog it! Do you have an interest in the paranormal? Blog about it! Are you getting the gist here?
We're in a visual age--so add photos that are eye-catching and relevant. (also get them legally) Pin them to Pinterest and add them to Instagram--yes, those venues work for authors, stay tuned for a future blog post.
There are no limits to what you can do! It's your blog! You can write about anything that will interest your readers. Just like people get sick of hearing political ads about "vote for me, vote for me," they also get tired of hearing "buy my book, buy my book" with everything you share.
I have a blog where I write flash fiction every Friday. It's fun for me to challenge myself by writing a very, very short story on my personal blog. I also write about being a widowed mom and the challenges that presents. On another blog, I write about all things romance--from what's sexy in today's fashion to romantic ideas to guest author promotional stops. On yet another blog, I write about paranormal events and all things unexplained (because it's fun for me). On this blog, it's all about the writing industry because I'm a full-time editor who likes helping authors.
Do you see what I'm saying? All of that content is circulated constantly. On each of my blogs, I post at least twice a week. Each post is shared on Triberr, Google Plus, Tumbler, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. How much does this exposure cost? NOTHING.
Do I still have time to edit for my clients? Yes. Do I still have time to write novels and meet deadlines? Yes. Do I ever see the sunlight? Yes. No, I am not superhuman. I am disciplined.
If you don't have a blog, get one now. If you have one that you only use when a new release is about to launch, stop being lazy. There are people out there who aren't authors--who are simply professional bloggers--who are making money talking about being a parent or doing crafts. Some of these people have quit their jobs to BLOG. That's it. They have sponsors, they utilize Google Ad Sense, they sell e-courses about blogging or crafting. They use their blog content (free) to draw readers to their site to buy something (crafts, parenting supplies, etc). WE as authors have an advantage because we know how to write. We already have a product to sell (books)...yet it's sad how many authors I know who don't utilize this forum at all with the lame excuses of "nothing to say" or "no time."
Let me clue you in on something: there is always enough time if you correctly manage it. What's important to you? How are you managing your book marketing time? Where are you putting your attention? How are the tools you're utilizing working for you? If you know something isn't working, then stop doing it. Waste no more time on it. Focus only on what works. Experiment. Blog!
Amber Lea Easton
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of nonfiction, thrillers, and romantic suspense. A professional editor and freelance journalist for nearly two decades, she created Mountain Moxie Publishing Services to assist authors in mastering the writing craft. Her memoir, Free Fall, is dedicated to spreading suicide awareness, has topped international best selling charts, and has been named by Dr. Prem as fourth on the "Ten Most Inspiring True Stories Everyone Must Read" list. Easton is also a speaker regarding parenting through trauma and suicide awareness. To discover more about Mountain Moxie Publishing Services, please go to http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com. For a list of all of Easton's books, articles and interviews, go to http://www.amberleaeaston.com.