Have you ever faced a blank page when writing your blog?
As we set goals for each round of ROW80, our blogs become a very real way to assess and report our progress and stay connected with others committed to writing. Even the process of setting goals has me (as many of us do) thinking about and balancing my writing goals with those for marketing, deepening my understanding of craft, and publishing.
Some writers have no problems in coming up with content for their blogs, or they may schedule a certain kind of writing for a certain day of the week by writing book reviews or participating in a blog challenge or blog hop.
My day begins with writing on my novel. Sometimes, I feel like my blogs (all three of them – a writing blog, a travel blog, and a ROW80 blog) waver with the topic of the day, falling back on poetry when all else fails.
Not to say anything’s wrong with poetry, but . . .
Our blogs are supposed to be an important part of our marketing platform. So now the challenge is: What do we write about on our blogs that will appeal to our readers – and that potential agent or publisher?
Think content: I’ve been reading Joanna Penn’s helpful e-book, How To Market A Book, and found this very useful advice: “Blog around your writing journey and/or research to start building audience.”
Somehow this advice resonated with me. Simply stated, it means I can write about my own writing journey, and I can write about the fascinating research I find. Both of these shoes fit nicely.
Here’s an example of what this looks like: Jeanette Harvey’s blog, “Sisters of the Bruce” writes fact-filled posts supporting her current work-in-progress, complimented with photos that draw you into the history she’s exploring. Once in a while, she’ll also write a ‘how-to’ article. Her June 24 post, “Ten Amazing Tips for Writing Historical Fiction” reaches out to other writers.
One of my favorite bloggers, K. M. Huber, writes about an entirely different genre – meditation. Yet I come away from her blog refreshed — and perhaps more thoughtful about my own writing.
As a sponsor, I’ve committed to read at least 10 other ROW80 blogs each week, those who post on the Linky and those posting on Facebook. Each time, I pick up helpful ideas. This week’s gems included:
- Fast drafting for a minimum word count.
- Meditating before writing (even 5 minutes is good).
- Deciding on a blog topic for the week and write it!
Participating in ROW80 and similar blog hops leads can lead us to many new connections. I confess I also read blogs by marketing gurus, Joel Friedlander’s The Book Designer and Katherine Logan Lowry’s Notes from Tabor Lane are two of my favorites for their encyclopedic resources. Friedlander’s post today (July 8) just happens to be “Top 7 Strategies for Blog Marketing”!
Wait! Wait! There’s more!
We may be dismayed by some of the tricks that marketing people use – and wonder IF we should be using some of these strategies in our own posts.
Consider using some organizational tools on your blog posts.
ü Catchy titles can intrigue the reader,
ü Shorter, more readable paragraphs are easy to read (that computer screen is pretty small);
ü Key word highlights focus the reader’s attention,
ü Descriptive headings and titles help people find relevant information quickly,
ü Lists can break up the text, and
ü Vivid photographs are typically noticed first.
Have you noticed how many marketing specialists use numbers? “Twenty-five ways to tie your scarf in 4.5 minutes” or Karen Woodward’s “Four Ways to Motivate Your Reader to Keep Turning Pages,” or Marya’s “Four Ways to Write Your Next Blog Post Opening That Works.”
This use of numbers inspired me to write a rather long post on 75 ways to create more time for writing, thankfully retired to that Recycle Bin on my desktop, though it was fun to write.
But what’s most important in writing your blog? When Joanna Penn encourages us to write about our writing journey and/or research, she’s asking us to write about what is closest to our heart. We can do this. If we invite our readers to consider our writing projects, our characters, our stumbles and our successes, then we are building audience interest authentically.
Reach out to your reader: Adding a question that invites a reader response – or some kind of action – can increase a reader’s interest in you and your blog.
So I invite you to face the challenge: What marketing strategies do you consider (if you do) when you’re writing your blog?