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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.
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?