Today on the blog we have a very special treat for you all! The lovely author N. N. Light has stopped by to give us some handy hints on blogging for authors as part of the celebrations for her book tour. Details of her book, Princess of the Light, will be at the end of the post and I urge you to read right through as part of the proceeds from sales of the book will be going to a food bank, which is a great and worthy cause.
Without further ado, a welcome to N. N. Light!
An Author’s Step By Step Guide to Blogging
Are you an author and feeling a bit overwhelmed by the concept of blogging? I can tell you that in this day and age, it’s extremely important for an author to be accessible to readers. The easiest way to do that is to have a blog. Blogs are fun, free and allow you to interact with readers, reviewers and fellow writers.
I started blogging in July 2013, as I was completing my book, Princess of the Light. I thought it was a good idea to start blogging as many of my Twitter followers wanted to know more about my book. I mean, you can only say so much with 140 characters. 😉 So I started blogging. I knew that I wanted to blog about my book and my experiences writing. I read an article that when blogging, it is helpful to narrow your topics, not just blog about everything under the sun. My book was inspirational and spiritual, so I came up with an Inspirational Thought of the Day.
Before I knew it, I had people following my blog. It was exciting and I looked forward to it. I was able to express myself in a creative way, inspire others and be inspired, talk about the process of writing and just be myself. Without realizing it, I was also making an impression on the publishing world. Agents and editors started noticing me and they enjoyed my blog.
Do you have a blog, need to generate more traffic and don’t know how to get started or what to do? I am here to help! Here are some tips for you:
1- If you do not have a blog yet, sign up. I love WordPress and it is very user-friendly! You can personalize it to fit your writing style. Pick a name (such as your author name or the title of your book) that will be easy to find on Google.
2- When designing your blog, please heed my advice: boring is good. Please keep your background neutral and your typeface easy to read. Many people will read your blog on a device such as a smartphone or a tablet. While you may love that cursive font on a teal background, it makes my eyes hurt and I probably won’t be back to your blog. Instead, brighten up your blog with pictures and graphics. They are far more effective.
3- No matter what your book is about (fiction or non-fiction), there are readers out there who want to hear from you. In their eyes, you are the expert. Brainstorm and pick three to five topics related to your book. Center your blog posts around those topics and make sure they’re broad enough. For example, if you are writing a children’s book your blog can concentrate on children’s literacy, reading, bullying, learning, friends, writing, etc. It’s important to have topics that aren’t too narrow. Otherwise, you’ll run out of things to talk about.
4- Be consistent in your publishing of your blog posts. I try to post at least a minimum of three blog posts a week. Ideally, it helps to blog every day. As you gain followers, they are going to expect you to blog. I know you may be saying, “But MRS N, I have a spouse, three kids and a full-time job! How can I do that?” I understand your life being busy, but if you want to increase your blog followers and gain new readers (who will be buying your book), you have to blog more than once a month. Figure out what works for you and then hold yourself accountable. The worst thing you can do is to abandon your followers because life got busy. Life happens. Let them know. It’s all about communicating.
5- As many of you know, I am a big fan of short blog posts. I do not like long blog posts because, like most of you, when I am online reading blogs, I don’t have a lot of time. Your blog posts do not need to be 10 pages long. In fact, studies have proven that shorter blog posts are often more effective. You must determine how long or short your blog posts are. It’s your blog so you get to decide.
6- Be yourself in your blog posts. Don’t try to be something you’re not. When I’m writing my blog posts, I’m myself. I figure people will like or hate me, so why not just be me. I see so many writers try to be a certain persona, they try to sound funnier, more intelligent, more worldly than they actually are. People are going to like you for you. It’s much better to be yourself. People will relate to you and your writing when you are authentic.
7- Need ideas or inspiration? Sign up for the Daily Blog Prompts and/or a blog challenge. Last November, I signed up for the Blogher NaBloPoMo challenge. It was very helpful and allowed me to gain more followers. It also trained my brain to write a blog post every day.
8- When in doubt, ask. I have a friend of mine who is an expert blogger. When I was struggling with blogging, I asked her for advice. She gave it to me and it was really helpful. Do you know a blogger who seems to have it all together and has many followers? Ask him/her what they did to gain so many followers. Ask them for advice. Most bloggers will be more than willing to share their expertise with you. It never hurts to ask and you will gain some valuable information. 🙂
9- Blogging is not an advertising tool; it’s a writing tool. Please please please don’t use your blog to sell your book(s) only! A blog is an effective way to highlight your books but it is not the be all and end all. It’s about interacting with people. Look around you and you will see advertisements everywhere. People are inundated with ads. BUY ME! OWN ME! SELL ME! You will turn people off if that is all you offer on your blog. Instead focus on sharing your writing with the world. Talk about why you love to write. Talk about how you created the world the reader loves. Talk about what you learned when writing your book. Make it about developing a connection with your readers, not selling books.
10- Finally, don’t worry about the stats. Followers will come and go. People will flock to one blog post and not another. The stats can get overwhelming and distracting. I don’t worry about how many followers I have or how many people commented. “If you build it, they will come.” If you are honest and are writing valuable content, people will discover you. It can be a slow process, just like getting published. But it’s worth it, in the end. You will have people following you, buying your books and interacting with you.
I hope these tips reassure you that blogging is not only a necessity for an author, it can be very rewarding. I love blogging and I know you will find joy in it too!
Thank you – that’s a helpful and insightful post and I know I’ll be bearing it in mind 🙂 Onto the details of the book…
Princess of the light is an urban fantasy romance, available here (further buy links below!):
Gabriel, the Archangel and Messenger of God – yeah that Gabriel, visited Mary Miller. He told her, as the key she is destined to spread the Light and vanquish the Darkness. Her first assignment is to restore the soul of the Walking Man. Sounds simple enough until she’s thrown in the face of evil, and then Joe Deacons enters her heart. This battle just got a lot more complicated. She must complete her mission without losing all she loves.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/princess-of-the-light-nn-light/1120170709?ean=9781502438454
Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409690022&sr=8-1&keywords=princess+of+the+light
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409689955&sr=8-1&keywords=princess+of+the+light
iTunes/ iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/princess-of-the-light/id913013798?mt=11
And here is a little something about the author herself, including all the places you can get hold of her 🙂
N. N. Light was born in Minnesota, lived in Southern California only to move to chilly Ontario, Canada to marry her beloved husband MR N. She is blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports and baking. Most of the time you can find her on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest.
Part of the proceeds of Princess of the Light will go directly to food banks in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.
She’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight
Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html