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Blogging: The Fastest Way to Grow Your Author Platform

writing coach Lisa Tener
Your Writing Coach

On a phone call last week with one of my clients and her new literary agent, the agent mentioned how pleased she was with the author’s platform. I was thrilled to hear it since, not long ago, the author had almost no platform.

What changed? She started her own blog about a year ago and, several months ago, pitched a blogging column to a major blogging platform. She’s not the first of my clients to dramatically grow a platform through blogging.

In fact, blogging is the easiest way to grow your platform and develop the kind of following agents and publishers now require for their authors.

Having said that, it’s easy to waste one’s time writing a blog no one reads. So, how do you create a successful blog? Here are a few blogging tips.

 

writing a book? Know your reader
Write your blog for the people who will buy and read your book.

1. Pick a Clear Niche Audience: Certainly, write for the same people who will buy and read your book. Some bloggers have success combining more than one interest—yoga and writing, business and spirituality, dogs and painting. You can develop a nice niche audience that way of people who connect more deeply with your message, but that can also be risky. You can lose many readers if they’re interested in your yoga posts but not your writing posts. If you have many interests, try to always tie them back to the central interests of your readers.

2. Have a Big Goal in Mind: If you want to eventually write for the Huffington Post, WebMD or Psychology Today, read other bloggers there. Comment thoughtfully. Spread the word about posts related to your expertise through social media. This way, you’ll a) get a feeling for the kind of posts that blog picks up b) develop relationships with bloggers on that network and c) be seen as a voice in that field already.

3. Invite Engagement: One of the main differences between blog posts and old fashioned news is the interactivity and discussion that posts can generate. How do you invite engagement? At the end of your post, ask a question of your readers or invite them to share their experiences or opinions.

Are you blogging? If so, share what’s worked for you.

If you’re just starting out as a blogger, what are your biggest challenges?

And if you’re not blogging, what’s holding you back?

Lisa Tener

Lisa Tener is an award-winning book writing coach who assists writers in all aspects of the writing process—from writing a book proposal and getting published to finding one’s creative voice. Her clients have appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Early Show, The Montel Williams Show, CNN, Fox News, New Morning and much more. They blog on sites like The Huffington Post, Psychology Today and WebMD.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Doreen Pendgracs says

    I’ve been blogging for over 2 years and love it.

    I started out with a blog on blogger and it was a bit of everything. A year ago, I started a chocolate travel blog which is to promote my upcoming book on chocolate. You can check that out at: http://diversionswithdoreen.wordpress.com/.

    My original blog is now a writer’s lifestyle blog at: http://doreenisthewizardofwords.blogspot.com/.

    My plan is to migrate them both over to self-hosted sites so that I can add Comment Luv, as that seems to be an awesome plug-in that encourages participation on blogs and I can’t have it on either on my existing blogs.

    I blog on each blog every 2 weeks, so I’m blogging once a week and find that keeps me busy enough because I like to be able to encourage dialogue on the posts in between updates.

    • Lisa Tener says

      Congratulations on your upcoming book, Doreen. I think it’s a smart decision to have two separate blogs in your case. Good plan to migrate them–in addition to Comment Luv, you’ll find that hosting your blog at your own website means you get all the credit for the content when it comes to SEO–so much better for you in the long run. Good luck! Let us know when we can buy your book.

  2. Beebe Freed says

    I haven’t started the blog yet and am having a hard time with my book because it seems so reductive to narrow down the topic to a niche audience. But I see the importance of doing so! Here is the twist: On the one hand, the book is about losing everything to a long undiagnosed illness, but then too it is about throwing caution to the wind (having nothing left to lose) and moving abroad where I have survived against the odds on a shoestring, but well! Going strong! So the niche audience is on the one hand people who are struggling with long term illnesses but on the other hand, adventure travelers, people who love this country (recent best sellers demonstrate there is huge market for with that crowd) and ultimately I believe I will most appeal to readers who defy convention. Any suggestions? (I am trying to save up on my very shoestring budget for your course, but it may be a while!!)

    • Lisa Tener says

      Hi Beebe,
      With memoir, while it’s important to establish market, it’s not as important to make it a narrow niche. The most important things are the quality of the writing and that there’s something fresh that will resonate with a large market. And many publishers will want to see that you have a platform so it’s a good idea to blog. Maybe you’re talking about the blog audience, though? I’d just write about living abroad, the shoestring aspect for the most part. It seems to me that would be the most compelling for a blog. Do you still have the illness or is that over? IF you still have it, that might play a part but I don’t think I’d overdo that aspect.
      Lisa

  3. Deangelo says

    Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m planning to start my oown blog in the near future
    but I’m having a hard time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I askk is because your design seems different then most blogs annd I’m
    loooking for something unique. P.S My apoloogies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

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