I’ve read so many, left so many, subscribed to so many, and unsubscribed from so many writer and author blogs over the past five years that I’ve got opinions on what to do and what not to do – so here they are people!
Make the title of the blog post engaging and to the point. It should grab the reader’s attention and ensure that they click to read the whole thing.
Same goes for the opening paragraph. Give them an inkling of what you’ll be providing and why they ought to keep on reading. Don’t start with “I saw this news article over on ### and …”. If your blog post is inspired by something you read, or a reblog from another blogger, make it your own. Spend the time to craft an opening paragraph that is unique and engaging – every time. The reader needs to be gripped by those opening lines – that’s what is important, not an explanation about your source.
Include an image that is either amusing, inspiring, or thought provoking straight after the first paragraph.
Encourage comments at the end.
Don’t over do it
Less is more – one polished post per week or even per fortnight is better than a lot of little short posts more frequently AND less frequent quality posts will mean that more people will subscribe. No one wants an email every day for small posts but people are more receptive to signing up for quality posts at reasonable intervals. Keep your short stuff for social media and the longer stuff for your blog.
Remember your mission
Why are you writing your blog? Is it to share what you had for dinner? Well, maybe if it’s a cooking blog it is, but generally speaking for an author it’s about showing their expertise in a topic for non-fiction or their style for fiction. Don’t go off topic too much with personal things – keep that for social media. Steer clear of politics and religion (unless that’s your focus). Don’t post it if it’s not all that interesting. The blog represents you, so make it count, every time. And like I said before, less is more; quality over quantity.
Make it look neat
A blog that’s crowded with icons and every widget and plugin available can look like a web wreck. If you’re not good at blog design then just keep it simple. Clever use of images in your blog posts can enhance a plain design and keep the focus on your writing.
Your blog is a representation of what a reader might find in something published that was authored by you, so make sure it’s properly edited.
Use it to your advantage
Without installing trashy neon gifs advertising your books, use your blog to let readers know what books of yours they can buy, and from where. Either have a link straight out to Amazon or have a great page that sells your books and links to where they can be bought.
Use tags wisely
Aim to include 7 tags or keywords per blog post. Always include your name, then include tags specific to the blog post. Use Google Adwords keywords tool to help you decide on keywords that have high volumes but low competition. For example, don’t use something hugely broad like ‘blogs’. Make it specific like ‘blog writing tips for authors’ and ‘blogging for writers’, etc.
What other blogging tips do you recommend for writers and authors?