Of all the social media tools available to an author, a blog is one of the most important, and frequently misused resources.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Yeah, I tried that,” the key is having the right strategy for your blog. Most authors who have blogs use them only to update readers on upcoming events or announce that their book is for sale—a duplication of information your best readers already know—which makes them both ineffective and boring.
It is important to think about your blog as a relationship-builder within your topic area—in many ways it is your media outlet (think of it like your newspaper) and the best way to approach it is to consider how you can provide value to both current readers and others in your topic area. The best sign that you are providing value is when people want to share the link to your blog with others in their network. So, how should you approach your blog?
Think about it…how many times have you been asked to do an interview for a blog? It doesn’t happen very often and, when it does, we are very appreciative and look for ways to reciprocate. Another way to target interviewees is to think about upcoming conferences or events in your local area and interview those putting on the events—from writers conferences to local literary festivals.
The more frequently you update your blog, the better search engine optimization it will have. The higher profile the people you interview have, the more traffic you will drive to your blog. The better the interviews are, the more likely people are to share them. It works on so many levels and, best of all, these interviews are a great networking tool for you.
Recommended reading: One of my favorite clients, Steve Denning, wrote a great piece recently on how he grew his readership more than tenfold over the past year. Here is the piece he wrote for Forbes on how he did it.
Rusty Shelton is the founder of Shelton Interactive, a digital marketing agency focused on helping authors and publishers reach their audiences and grow their platforms online. I’ve known Rusty since my first book came out when he and his colleagues helped us get tons of national publicity on TV, radio, web, magazines and newspapers. Since then, I’ve watched him help dozens of books climb the bestseller lists (New York Times, USA Today and other top lists) using the digital media strategies he’s developed.