Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Reaching Readers Through Blogging

A blog done properly is one of the most powerful tools in our social media arsenal.    ~ Kristen Lamb.

In the beginning, I struggled with what to write on my blog, knowing I needed one if I wanted to be published. This was back in 2011.
There were pitch parties and blog hops that jump-started my efforts. We shared posts within the writing community: reading, sharing, and commenting on each other’s work. I discovered the Kidlit community, one of the most generous groups of people around.
As the books I wrote increased along with the rejections, I used my blog to talk about more than books. Hurricane Sandy, and New York City, and my Writing Therapy and I wrote about overthinking! (The writer’s dilemma.)
And it always circled back to books. 
The Kidliterati, we were a band of MG-beta-readers until a member suggested we start a blog in 2012. I hadn’t done much blogging and certain few people actually read my blog.  I was hesitant to join a group of writers, counting on my scheduled posts and book reviews! 
Now I was “representing”.  The pressure! 
I dove in.  My nerve became firmer as I blogged on … and on.
I had a book deal and blogged once a week on my personal blog, or as close as possible. I wrote  what my characters were interested in, anything related to the story of two brother’s surviving, lost in the woods.  
Turned out, I enjoyed writing book reviews. Is there a better way to learn the writing craft than by reading lots of good books and critiquing them? Didn’t think so.
When my blog hits drop, I write another post. This is good for SEO (something I know little about, so here’s a link) It does seem to work. Frequency and decent content will drive readers to your post. Where I'd have buy links to my book in all its forms.  J

“When Google catalogs these posts, it helps your blog rise up in the search-engine-results pages for those search terms. Anyone searching for something related to those keywords is more likely to find you and your book. …”

Do you want to reach readers? It’s up to you.  Write topics that have an element of your book. The brothers in THE UNMOVING SKY are lost in the woods. I’ve written posts about foraging for plants, forest edibles, and some of the medicinal plants that could help in a pinch. 

Write fiction? Here are a few ideas:
  1. How you decided on your characters.
  2. How you decided on your setting.
  3. If you book contains any personal elements, you can write about these.
  4. Your writing practice–how you write.
  5. Recipes related to the place where your book takes place (ex. Italian foods).
  6. Information on the location where you book takes place (ex. France in the 18th century).
  7. Issues related to those in your book or with which your characters are concerned (ex. divorce, suicide, sex, suicide).  
  8. The benefits your book offers readers (ex. If your book illustrates that parents don’t have to be perfect, discuss what it means to be a perfect parent or offer tips and tools).
  9. Certain passages in the book.
  10. The publishing process.
It doesn’t have to take much time. You can pre-schedule posts. If you travel and your blog server has a phone app, use it.
Social media moves too fast, it’s nice having a home, a place where all your book links and inspired ideas can be found, a place where readers can connect and sign-up for your newsletter. 

Good luck!  And have fun. 
What topics do you feel drive the most traffic to your blog?  Leave any tips you have in the comments.

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