When I consult with clients on nonfiction book proposals, more often than not I must advise them on how to build up the platform and promotion sections of this all-important document. Many aspiring authors have great book ideas but no platform at all. My first piece of advice to them involves just one word: blog.
In today’s publishing world a blog serves multiple purposes for aspiring authors. However, it has become an essential platform element. Additionally, it works tremendously well as a publicity and promotional tool. Every writer needs to have one. I’ve written tons about blogging both at Write Nonfiction in November and at How To Blog a Book. (Here’s a post on why to actually blog a book.) Today, though, I’ve asked fellow blogger — and a very successful blogger at that — Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn to tell you why you should be blogging. I figure it’s a bit like me telling my children over and over again why they need to study; sometimes they need to hear the same words but not from their parent. If you haven’t started blogging because I told you to do so, maybe you’ll begin when you hear Joanna’s reasons. So, listen up….
7 More Reasons Non Fiction Writers Need A Blog
Earlier this year, mega-publishers Simon & Schuster posted on their website that authors need to blog, social network, use video sites and book sites in order to build their online presence. It’s not a new idea that non-fiction writers need a blog, but some people are not convinced yet. So here are 7 more reasons you should have a blog as a non-fiction writer.
- Build the central hub of your online platform and brand. A blog is the simplest technology to use as the hub of your online platform. It is free (or cheap) and easy to maintain. You can customise it with your brand and publish your ideas to it whenever you like. Some people suggest your online hub can be a Facebook page or other generic site, but this is not uniquely yours. A professional, emerging writer has a blog these days – what do you consider yourself to be?
- Introduce your ideas to people. Book buyers need to know, like and trust you in order to buy your book. If people develop a relationship with you through your blog then they are more likely to feel this. You can share your ideas even more effectively through using text, video and audio, a complete multi-modal presence.
- Be the leader of your tribe. People want to follow leaders. They want to be in communities. You can either follow others, or you can be a leader of your own tribe. Your blog can be the hub of a community built around your ideas and your books, but only if you want it to be and you are willing to put in the effort.
- Keep yourself writing. This site challenges you to write and publish all year round and writing blog posts is a great way to keep your writing fresh and flowing. Your blog keeps your ideas current and enables you to practice writing and communication. You will only get better, the more you write.
- Make more money. Your blog can be a sales hub for your products, books and services. It only costs $5 a month to use a digital product sales tool like E-Junkie. You don’t need more complicated shopping carts to get started with the basics. If people are interested in what you blog about, then some of them are likely to want more detail and buy your ebooks/online courses.
- Own your Google presence. Here’s a quick exercise: Google yourself right now. Just type your name into Google.com and see what comes up. Are these sites within your control? If you blog regularly under your name, it will rank as the no.1 site under a search for your name. You will control what people see this way. Publishers, agents, media, speaker’s bureaus and readers will Google your name. Are you happy with what is there?
- Being a blogger can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. I didn’t understand this when I started blogging. I thought it was all about the marketing and book sales. But the friends I have made blogging, the things I have learned, the words I have written and the impact I have had on other people through my blog make it all worthwhile even without the sales. You don’t know whose life you can change until you put your words out there on a blog. So do it now.
About the Author
Joanna Penn is an author, speaker and international consultant. Her blog http://www.TheCreativePenn.com provides articles, audio and video on Writing, Publishing, Internet Sales and Promotion…For Your Book. Visit the site for your free Author 2.0 Blueprint: Using Web 2.0 tools to write, publish, sell and promote your book. You can also read more about Joanna’s “Blogging for Authors and Writers” online course. You can also find Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn