There is no question that it is an exciting time to be a writer. I mean, think about it: with influential social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tik Tok, SnapChat and many more, writers are faced with a better opportunity than ever before to generate engagement and visibility. Put another way, no matter how small you are, how relatively new or obscure, you can get yourself and your books in front of an audience.
Sounds lofty, huh? Apologies, I can’t help it. I’m a writer, lol. Believe it or not, though, it’s not actually hard to do your own social media marketing well. Time consuming? Yes. But hard? No. All it takes is a little know-how… backed up by a heck of a lot of consistency.
Sorry, there’s no getting around that one. Consistency is Key!
Consistency for your blog matters just as much. But unfortunately, though it was one of the first social media platforms to become available to authors wanting to make a name for themselves, there are still way too many authors (and even, shockingly, businesses and marketing firms – I can say this from personal experience!) who don’t understand what their blog should be and how it can be effectively employed in their social media marketing efforts. As a result, consistency in this case doesn’t work because it is not done with the right approach.
Let’s go back to the basics, and examine what a blog really is.
All about the blog
As a content writer in my other professional life, I keep hearing it, and each time I do, I palm-smack my forehead: Your blog is meant to generate sales leads. You want to see people clicking through from your blog post to your sales page, and you should be able to measure the success of your blogging efforts by the increase in your sales revenue. Well, yes. But at the same time…
[Palm-smack] No, no, no, no, NO!
A blog is such a misunderstood marketing tool. The idea that your lead conversion must be a direct reflection of your blog activity is antiquated. Embarrassingly old school. PAINFUL! The reality is that, in this age of digital media saturation, people are way too savvy to be intrigued by a sales pitch badly masquerading as content. My book is on sale today! I got a great review, buy my book! My book is free for the next five minutes! My book, my book, my book! If you are blogging in this same pitch-and-post way, then I promise you, you are wasting your time.
So… if the point of your blog is not to tell everybody about your books, then what the heck is it for? Well, believe it or not, your blog is about… get ready for it… loyalty!
See, here’s the thing. Your current and potential readers don’t want to be told why they should read you. They want to figure it out for themselves. They don’t want pitch after pitch thrown at them. Why on earth would they want to spend their time reading that? They want instead to pick up a copy of your book because they’ve chosen to. And chances are that they’re on your blog in the first place because they’ve already read your book and want to get to know more about you. If they’ve found your blog first–which does happen–then they’re likely to pick up your book because they’ve gotten to know you and like you, and want to invest in you.
There it is: Loyalty!
If done right, your blog invites readers to invest in you emotionally. That is the first and most important step. Maybe it will lead to a sale, maybe it won’t. But keep at it, and you will nurture your relationship with your reader so that, when you do have a new book to announce, they are far more likely to support you by buying it. Because they like you.
Does that mean you can never pitch on your blog then? No, not at all. There is something called the 80/20 rule that is a great guideline to follow. It means that 80% of what you post on your blog should not be a direct pitch about your books. Only 20% should. This 20% can consist of good reviews, a new release announcement, a schedule of events for your upcoming blog tour… announcements, basically.
The other 80%? Have fun with it. Show your readers your fun side. Show them your knowledgeable side. Do you know a lot about self-publishing? Give your readers something that’s in it for them. Something they can learn from you without having to absorb a sales pitch at the same time. Do you have tips and tricks to share about your writing process? Go ahead, be a mentor. Did you get a new pet that is an endless source of entertainment in your household? Share and share away. Your blog lets your personality and your expertise shine, so use it accordingly.
There is so much to write about if you consider your blog readers as old friends. Or even new friends waiting to be made. So get creative, get personal, and get writing. Forget the pitch. Forget tracking lead conversion. A blog is a marketing tool, yes, but it’s also fun. So have FUN with it. If you do that, then chances are your readers will have fun, too. Which means they will like you. Which means they will support you and boost you and be your advocates out there in the online world. That, my friends, is what blogging for authors looks like. And that is why you should do it, if you are not doing it already.
And now, let me tell you all about my book and why you should buy it…. Haha, just kidding 😉