I love how progressive writers are! They are always looking at new ways to reach readers, whether it is through print, public appearances, or social media. It was my privilege to speak to the Ozarks Romance Authors in Springfield, Missouri about the topic of blogging, and how writers can incorporate this versatile tool in their writing practice and marketing efforts.
Here’s a few tips from my presentation…
Why Should Writers Blog?
- Establishes a presence on the internet for readers, fans, publishers, and agents
- Creates a ready-made market for self-published authors
- Helps to build your platform
- Networks with other social media
- Can develop into a fully-functional web site (using WordPress) that you can later useto sell books directly from your page, host a fan club, stage online chat sessions, and more
- Exercises writing skills
Do NOT Write About…
- Your every movement – this is not your diary, and you are not a celebrity (yet).
- Writing – “I just finished 12 pages today! Chapter 3 is really coming along!” (This is the equivalent of “I put my left arm in the sleeve and then I zipped my zipper all by myself!” Writing is your job. Readers care about the end product and getting lost in the world you created. Don’t break the spell by revealing the man behind the curtain!)
- Yourself as if you are your character (What…you’re never writing another character? Or have you crossed the line into therapy-time? We all know a real person types the posts on your blog, so pretending to be a fictional character has the same effect as baby-talk. It’s just weird.)
- Sections of your work in progress (Yup, posting on a blog IS publishing, so when you try to shop that piece it may deter publishers from picking it up if they feel the world has already seen a good portion. Also, “in progress” is not polished and ready for public appearance. Does the term “Emperor’s New Clothes” mean anything to you? Hmmm?)
DO Write About…
- Your area of expertise - writing an historical romance set in the 1860s? Blog about the Civil War, Westward Expansion, Slavery, Clothing, the Gold Rush, burgeoning Industrialism – it is all related to your book, and readers will be thrilled to get further immersed in your world. It also sets you up as an expert in this field, and gives you a secondary use for that mountain of research you thought was just backstory.
- Your activities in the book world – let readers know that you love to meet them by
demonstrating your presence at book fairs, signings, and conferences.
- Topics of interest that reveal your point of view as a writer – Current events are great, just as long as you write publicly about them as a writer, and not from your personal political or religious views. Don’t risk alienating readers by suddenly stepping outside your persona as “writer”.
Don’t forget to invoke The 10 Commandments of Blogger Etiquette, available as a printable download HERE.
Attendees received a lot of bonus handouts to help them draft their blog posts and streamline their page’s appearance. You can get them too, by requesting me as a speaker at your next writing event, or arranging a half- or full-day workshop! (Details HERE.)
Many thanks to ORA for inviting me to visit with their fabulous members. If you are in the Springfield area on the first Saturday of the month, be sure to drop by The Library Station, Frisco Room at 1pm to enjoy more of this vibrant writing community. Of course, they are also online, on Facebook, and all over Twitter!