Reading time: About 2 minutes
This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a post about how to increase readership for your author blog….
Are you an author who’s been told by your agent or publisher that you need to set up a blog to promote your book? Or maybe you’re someone who already has a blog that’s getting no traffic?
Be sure to check out the advice of experienced author Anne R. Allen in her recent post headlined: “Nobody’s Reading My Author Blog!” Anne is the author of 10 comic mysteries and several guidebooks for writers. And she’s also co-host of a blog about writing and publishing. In other words, Anne knows her stuff.
Here are her suggestions for how to make your blog more popular:
- Visit and comment on other blogs: This is a great way to give yourself some more publicity and to drive readers to your site, if you (respectfully and carefully) leave a link that doesn’t sound too spammy.
- Have working share buttons: As Anne says, most blog traffic comes from social media but many websites don’t bother including share buttons for Facebook or Twitter.
- Write guest posts: This has long been one of my favourite strategies. Like Anne, I found my own site went from a small number of readers many years ago to many thousands as a result of a single guest post I made to another site.
- Learn do’s and don’ts for an author blog: Anne’s post goes through a list of common mistakes. To me the most important one is not to use an author blog as a personal journal. You are a professional writer. Be professional.
- Learn to write web content: It’s different from other types of writing because people don’t really read on the internet. They skim. For this reason, learn to use short words, short sentences, bulleted or numbered lists (like this one) and lots of white space.
- Post regularly: This is the single most important tip. Don’t post when you feel like it. Set up a schedule for yourself and do it regularly. I think the minimum is once every two weeks.
- Write grabby blog headers search engines can understand: You are writing for Google, a robot. That’s because you want your page to be seen by readers so you need to pick key words that Google is going to be looking for. This whole process is known as Search Engine optimization or SEO. Research that term and become an expert on it.
- Pack your first paragraph with crucial information: Like newspaper reporters, you need to get your most important info at the top of your post. This is because the Google robot shows only the first 50 to 60 characters.
- Choose images wisely: Readers love seeing images. Just understand that you can’t pull them for free off the internet. Choose images from WikiCommons, Wikimedia, Pixabay , Unsplash, Morguefile or one of the other free photo sharing sites (or take your own.)
- Use and format sub-heads: Sub-heads (mini headlines) scattered throughout your text do more than make your writing easier for readers. Google loves them, too.
If you want to drive more readers to your author blog, then pay attention to these tips.