You know you need to blog to help build your author platform, keep your website content fresh and discoverable, and (hopefully!) sell more books. So you finally took the plunge, and you are posting to your blog regularly. It’s been several months now, though, and you realize that you only have a handful of followers—all of whom are related to you. Obviously the point of a blog is to reach people and yours isn’t doing that. Why isn’t it? And what can you do about it?
- You haven’t specifically identified your audience. I say to my book clients all the time, you can have the most compelling book on earth, but if no one knows about it, no one will read it. The same is true for your blog. You might as well be addressing an empty stadium. Start rubbing shoulders with other bloggers. Create relationships with them. Write relevant comments on their blogs posts. Interact with them. Bloggers are mostly generous folks; if you start posting comments on their blogs and tweeting links to their posts, it’s likely they will begin to reciprocate. It is virtually impossible to have blogging success without reaching out to others.
- Your content sucks. If what you are writing isn’t all that interesting, people won’t bother to return to your blog. It needs to be directed toward your audience (see above) and it has to be good, valuable content. And don’t forget the value of making sure your writing is free of grammatical errors and typos. Ensure statistics are accurate. Lots of mistakes look amateurish and can undermine your credibility.
- People can’t find your blog. Are you just waiting for people to stumble across your blog? Make it easy for them to find it by tweeting when you release a new post. Make sure your site is syndicated and set up an email subscription. Post links—relevant only!—when you are responding to another blogger’s post.
- Your blog is ugly. You don’t need to spend a ton of money—or any money—on your blog but you can still make it appealing. Avoid small type, lousy contrast, bad design and the like.
- You aren’t blogging consistently. This is one of the most important aspects of blogging success—and one of the hardest. (It’s something that I struggle with all the time.) You’ve got to blog regularly—a few times a week…not once a month. Make a schedule and stick with it. Once you start getting traffic to your site, readers will expect regular updates. Don’t disappoint them.
About the Author
Self-publishing expert Sue Collier is coauthor of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th Edition and the forthcoming Jump Start Your Books Sales, 2nd Edition. Her expertise has been featured on such places as ABCNews.com, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and Bottom Line Personal. Visit her blog at Self-Publishing Resources.
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