Once you figure out what’s working and what isn’t, then you can get to work on planning the fix. If you need more traffic, evaluate what type of content you are posting. Are you blogging every day or at least a few days each week? Do you have guest authors on your blog? If all you write about are your daily activities as a writer that may not be a good draw to your blog—unless of course, you’re a NY Times Best-Selling author. Before you get there to that level of success—where people mostly love everything you say (ok, maybe not really, but hey…)—you need to pay your dues and do your time. Work hard to make your blog a venue where readers want to visit.
How is your record of responding to readers and interacting online with them? If readers come to your blog each day and comment and you don’t respond to those comments until days and even weeks later, that’s not so good. It’s not paving the way to good reader relations. Yes, I have a day job too so I know it’s not always easy to respond to reader comments. I do work from home, so I have more freedom than other authors who still work full-time for an employer in an office building—I totally understand time constraints on authors. However, try your best to be responsive to readers.
One other draw that I utilize at my blog is to offer giveaways. Now, this is not an expense to me because the majority of the giveaways are from other guest authors. It’s not a requirement to do a giveaway in order to get a guest spot on my blog—however; most authors see this as a big traffic draw and do offer giveaways.
Make sure that you also guest on other blogs as much as possible. When you guest on other blogs, you have a chance to—not only feature your books—you have a great opportunity to showcase your writing talent by what you write in your post or how you answer interview questions. Another benefit is that you can list your links and hopefully another readership will be introduced to you and be driven back to your blog. Once those new readers get there, you need to keep them coming back.
If you can’t think of content to write, and if you can’t find too many guest authors, can you read and review books? Authors are always looking for places to send their books for review. You can post those reviews each month. Depending on your available time, you can post a few reviews each month. I usually post two each month, because I don’t have time to read more than two books each month. If you decide to write reviews, make sure you actually read the entire book and give an honest review. I give a score of one through five, but only post reviews with a score of three or higher. I want to post reviews, but it’s not my goal to give authors bad reviews to hurt their careers.
If you need some topics to blog about, here are some ideas:
- Share your experience towards publication
- If something is working on your blog, share it
- What struggles have you encountered along the way towards publication and after
- Do you have any great marketing strategies for book promotion?
- Share how to write a good book review and what’s involved
- Share an excerpt of your current book release
- Ask readers to comment on what they’d like to know from authors and be available to respond to questions during the day
I’d love to hear your thoughts on blogging. What have you done on your blog? What’s worked and what hasn’t?