10 Things to Blog About When You’re a Brand-New Author

With all the advice that’s thrown at any new writer looking to get published, this one’s heard the most:

Build an audience around your work.

I’m willing to put all my bets on all-time-marketing-genius-man Seth Godin’s advice for writers:

“The best time to start promoting your book is three years before it comes out. Three years to build a reputation, build a permission asset, build a blog, build a following, build credibility and build the connections you’ll need later.”

Early 2017, when I’d just started working with new writers, I encountered a client who is an aspiring writer looking to self-publish his book. And the conversation soon turned to audience building for authors. He was extremely excited about the topic, till the time I asked him for his social media handles and blog address. He stared at me, first blankly and then with confusion.

“But I’m not published yet. What would I even post?” he asked.

This was perfect. It got me to poll a fiction writers’ group on Facebook, and the answers were completely unexpected. A whopping 49% of aspiring writers said that they hadn’t set up their Author accounts. The remaining 51% had, and had little or no idea of how to leverage social media to their advantage.

Almost 75% were only on Facebook and not on any other platform. Apart from participating in “Likes for Likes” or Instagram pods, they’ve generated very little organic traffic, engagement or sales through their accounts.

And this was only social media. Out of all the aspiring authors who had replied to the poll, about 65% had their own blogs and only 15 out of 185 of them (8%!) were actually posting on their blogs regularly.

However, this is not a major problem with non-fiction writers, who already have (under most circumstances) blogs that they maintain on a regular basis.

Yes, I know the feeling…

And the big question is always,

“What to even post when I’m not even published yet?”

10 things to blog about, before you start or while you’re writing your book:

1. Behind-the-scenes.

Writing a book is hard work and writers go through a range of problems, doubts and emotions while doing it. The best thing you can blog about is your journey as a writer. Write about what stage you’re at: Are you editing? Re-writing? Looking for a copy-editor? Struggling with a particular piece of research? What books are you referring to? What have you written so far and where do you want to go with your story?

2. Excerpts.

Excerpts are like tiny nuggets that give people a taste of your style and stories. It can range anywhere from a couple of sentences to a 100-word excerpt. It could be part of your work-in-progress novel or could be a whole story by itself. Use a free online design site like www.canva.com or www.picmonkey.com to design a post image, add your excerpt and appropriate royalty-free artwork (or your own artwork), and post it to your page. Excerpts keep your readers interested.

Tip: Posting full poems or chapters or stories, if any, at this stage, is not advisable. If you’re planning on submitting your work to literary journals, then full posts on blogs, or social media channels will be counted as “published” pieces. Remember that most literary journals will consider this as “previously published” work and will reject your submission even before they look through it. Similarly, many traditional publishers are not fond of making offers on “previously published” pieces.

3. Character sketches.

Once in a while pick a character from your story and write about them. What’s their story and what are they doing in your book? Who has been the inspiration for that character? Have you based it on a real-life model or stock photo? Do you have a sketch to display? Putting up tidbits on your characters can really pique the interest of your readers.

4. Reviews and Opinion pieces.

Book reviews, poetry reviews or reviews of articles or pieces you may have read in a magazine, always do good. They are the perfect posts that readers and bookworms will hook on to, if you keep providing them with fresh reviews. Don’t worry about the book/article being an old release or new, just write your honest opinion and post.

5. Personal pieces.

This is the main reason the phenomenon of blogging came to be so popular. You can use your blog as a journal. Don’t just make your blog about writing. For every four posts on writing, post a review, followed by a personal piece. Write about a recent travel experience, or a writers’ event that you may have been to. Share a recipe or write about an interesting dialogue you may have overheard at a cafe. Keep it funny and light or thoughtful.

READ MORE HERE | SOURCE: Writing Cooperative

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