Sunday, 16 November 2014

10 Top Tips on Blogging for Writers by Wendy H. Jones


Firstly I would like to start my blog today by saying thank you to all the fantastic bloggers of Do Authors Dream of Electric Books who have invited me to be one of their regular contributors. I am honoured to be a part of the blog. As this is my first post I spent a great deal of time looking through posts and thinking about what I could bring that was new and fresh to you, the readers. 

I have been thinking about blogging for writers a lot lately as I presented on this very topic at a recent writers conference. This made me think of what would be my top 10 Tips for writers who want to blog. So without further ado here they are:

1. Any blog with a number in the title usually get the most views. This is proven fact as people like to know what they will be learning or getting from reading the blog.

2. Maintain focus but write on diverse topics within this

For example a writers blog could contain - author interviews, tips on writing, technology for writing, technology for readers, book reviews, short stories, and book launches among many others. If you have any more ideas then please share them in the comments

3. Disseminate your blog. This is not the time to hide your light under a bushel. People won't read it if they don't know it's there.

4. Use pictures in your blogs. Those blogs which contain pictures are more likely to be read and shared. Many people are now sharing on Pinterest and this cannot be done without a picture.

5. In order for your blog to gain followers you must:

Write well
Write often - this does not mean every day unless you want to. However, if you decide to write once a week then keep to the schedule. Readers will lose interest if there are gaps

6. You can use your blog for marketing your own products. However, be careful not to spam. Treat it like you would any social exchange. Social media, of which a blog is a part, should be 80% social 20% product information. It is perfectly acceptable to put permanent links to your books on the side of the blog

7. Link to your blog on your website and your about.me page

8. Add share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ etc. to your blog

9. Remember your blog is a showcase for you as a writer. People who read your blog are more likely to buy your books

10. Have fun. This is the most important point. A blog should not be a chore but enjoyable. This will come across in your posts and people are more likely to respond.

Now for the bonus tip:

11. Add a call to action such as a question which can be answered in the comments. The more interaction there is on the blog the more fun it will be for readers. It will also be more discoverable in online searches. 

I am sure that many of you will have more tips. So what are they? Share in the comments and help other writers just like you.

I will be posting regularly on the blog on the 16th of every month. I am looking forward to meeting with you all again in December.

14 comments:

Mari Biella said...

Thanks for these tips, Wendy - I agree that they're all very sound and useful. I think the only thing I'd add is that you have to be patient - it can take months and years to get a decent audience for your blog. Sometimes you feel like you're shouting into the wilderness!

I think a mixture of content also helps. I aim for a combination of reviews, guest posts, information and current events that other writers might find useful, and posts about writing in general. The one thing I try desperately to avoid, on the other hand, is constant self-promotion!

Chris Longmuir said...

Useful tips here I'm sure we'll all find useful. I'm afraid my own blog is a bit sporadic and the topics jump around a bit, so maybe I'm not doing it correctly. However, it does ensure an online presence. Thanks for the tips Wendy.

Sharon Stogner said...

I recently did a a post on my editing site about the importance of an author website and make the point that it is different from an author blog. I didn't talk about blogs because the focus of my post was the website. Your post is a great paring for mine. I plan on adding a link to this post in mine :) thanks!

Lydia Bennet said...

Welcome to Authors Electric, Wendy! Good points - I don't have a blog of my own at the moment, I use Facebook a lot and twitter a bit, and I find my monthly AE blog comes round frighteningly fast each time as it is! However if I do decide to get blogging, I'll look these up again. Do you find blogger or wordpress best for these? My website is on Weebly which i find really good for ease of editing.

Wendy Jones said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. It would seem we all approach things differently but that is a good thing as well. Sharon, I am glad the post was useful and thank you for linking to your blog. Lydia, I use a blogger blog which is now linked to my wordpress website. I find blogger is the easiest method of blogging but it's down to individual taste. You may find that suing a weekly blog would suit you better. Mari. You make a really good point about patience. Thank you for that.

julia jones said...

I'm enjoying being part of a non-authors blog as I have helped to get a weekly blog going for the apprentices and supporters at the Pioneer Sailing Trust http://pioneerscantlings.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/meeting-tariq-5112014.html?spref=fb
What we cant work out is how to manage the bit where people can 'follow' the blog and therefore get emails whenever a new post is made. Can you (or anyone) help me on this? Thanks

Wendy Jones said...

Julia, who hosts your blog. is it blogger, wordpress, wix or another blog? I can give you advice on blogger

Wendy Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
http://sophieneville.net/ said...

Thank you for the tips - the first one hadn't occurred to me. I'll try it.

I found that writing a serial worked well, as in publishing my diary. I ended up writing a book out of blog posts, which was fun.

Many thanks again,

Sophie Neville

Kathleen Jones said...

Welcome to the blog, Wendy! Great post. I'm afraid my own blog is very idiosyncratic - I've been on blogger for over 5 years now and it's an odd mix of the personal and writing life with some polemic stirred in here and there. Heaven knows why people follow it as there's no pattern at all. But I love doing it. I agree that Blogger is the easiest to do - and I'm also wrestling with a Weebly website at the moment. Writers these days have to be multi-skilled!
Look forward to your future posts.

Ey Wade said...

Good tips, Wendy and congrats on your new opportunity.

Debbie Bennett said...

And there was I thinking it was the word SEX in the title that got the most views.... ;-)

Wendy Jones said...

Thank you Kathleen and Ey. Debbie and interesting point and I am sure you are right. If you combine them then I am sure the blog reads would grow beyond wildest imagination

Reb MacRath said...

Wonderful, Wendy. I received a needed nudge about the need for regular blog postings--entries on my main blog are getting a bit more sporadic. But I've tried to compensate for that by following another writer's lead: posting a couple of daily links to popular past entries. Though long-time followers may have read these, I gain new followers daily and run less risk of spamming. Cheers.