If you are like most writers, you don’t like building author platform, the built-in readership for your book that comes from all types of pre-promotion, including social media, speaking and traditional media appearances. You may realize you need a platform no matter how you plan to publish—indie or traditional. You may understand that author platform helps ensure your books sell to lots of readers and makes you an attractive partner for a publisher.
Yet, you simply would rather write.
Blogging, however, is the one activity that allows you to do what you do best and enjoy most—write. And you can do it while you promote yourself and your forthcoming book. Not only that, you can blog your book, which helps you accomplish all these tasks at the same time.
A Blog Builds Author Platform
Let’s look at why a blog promotes you and your book, thus building your author platform. First, a blog makes you discoverable (easy to find) on the internet. Every time you publish a blog post, you provide new content for the search engines’ automated mechanisms, called spiders or bots, to catalog. The more keywords and keyword phrases you produce on any one topic, the higher up in the search engine results pages your blog (or website) rises. After you have been blogging for a while, when someone searches for a particular keyword relevant to your blog, your website or blog comes up closer and closer to the top of that first Google or Yahoo search engine results page.
Blog readers and potential book buyers may discover your blog via the search engines. You easily can tie into social networks via your blog.
Also, journalists search for experts using search engines. If you are discoverable, you may land radio and television interviews.
You Can Write Your Book on Your Blog
If you are new to the idea of blogging a book, let’s briefly look at how to write your manuscript as you blog. (You can find more information here.) Here is the simple way to explain the process: Make each one of your blog posts one tiny installment of your book. Nonfiction books are easily broken down into post-sized bits. However, fiction writers and memoirist also can blog their books if they are creative with their content plans.
Here’s how you blog a book:
- Create a content plan. Brainstorm every topic you might include in your book. Then create a table of contents or an outline.
- Create content you will not publish on your blog. Look at your content plan and decide what pieces you might hold back for use in your printed book or ebook.
- Break your content into blog-post-sized pieces—250-500 word chunks. Create subheadings (blog titles) for each small bit of content you will write. For nonfiction, this is fairly simple. For fiction, it can seem more difficult; think in terms of scenes and give each one a title.
- Create a blogging schedule. Maybe you write two days a week—the minimum amount—or seven days a week. Maybe you write Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Decide, and commit to your schedule.
- Write one blog post on each day of your blogging schedule. Each post should take about 45 minutes tops for nonfiction, maybe an hour for fiction. Remember, they are short. Compose your posts in a word processing program in sequence so you create a manuscript in the process.
- Publish your posts. Copy and paste your blog post into your blogging program and publish it using the same schedule mentioned in steps #4-5.
- Publicize your posts. Share your blog post via your social networking sites.
When finished, you need only edit and revise your manuscript and get that query letter and proposal written (unless you’ve been discovered by an agent or publisher in the process). Or, go ahead and self-publish. By blogging your book you will create a platform that helps you sell books.