Social Media Week: 9 Easy Steps to Creating Your Writer’s Blog

Have you set up a blog to promote yourself as a writer? I share a few easy tips to get you started.

Second up in my week of social media and blogging advice (mainly for writers), I decided to write a guide to setting up a blog. I mean, sure, loads of us have blogs now. I know my personal blog is just a mish-mash of Captain Swan fanfic, gifs of actors and Taylor Swift, Harry Potter headcanons, and text posts. There’s no theme. That’s what I struggled with more when it came to building my writer’s blog.

This is going to be a step-by-step, how-to guide for any of you who are struggling to figure out how to create a blog for yourself as a writer. And, if you’re trying to broaden your audience and get more people interested in your work as a writer, it’s a good idea to add a blog to your online profile.

Step 1: Get Your Blog.

Pick a site – Wordpress, Tumblr, and Blogger are some of the most popular – and register. Create an account, pick a url (try and get your penname/writer name in the url if you can!) and voila. Step one is complete.

Step 2: Pick a theme.

Now, Tumblr and Wordpress offer free themes that you’re able to customise (to some extent), and I think Blogger does too. Pick one that appeals to you. It might be something bold and colourful, something sleek and modern. If you’re not sure, maybe take a look at websites/blogs for other authors in the same genre as you write to see what their aesthetic is, and use that for inspiration. Try and go for something that’s easy to read, but not too boring. And make any customisations to the colours that you can and want to.

Step 3: Your Profile.

Now this is one of the most important points.

Some blog layouts will show your profile photo – so make sure you have one! It doesn’t have to be artsy and wonderful, but a clear headshot of you will do the job. And almost all blogs show some description on all pages – whether at the top or in a sidebar. You want to treat this like your Twitter bio – use keywords, explain who you are and what you do, and show your personality.

However, you don’t need a long, in-depth ‘about you’ piece here. Save that one for the 'about you’ page.

Step 4: Create Pages.

You’ll want to add an ‘About’ page, as I just mentioned – and there are some great tips here to how to create a killer about page – explaining who you are and what you do, in more depth. Throw in some photos, too!

If you have a book online, an ebook, a published book – whatever it is, if you have some of your original content out there, make a page for it. Add a photo of your cover, if you can, and, if you’re published, add links to wherever people can buy your books. (You’ll want to insert the link into the text: eg. Check out my books on my website!, rather than saying ‘click here:’ and then copy and pasting the link outright. It’ll look tidier if you put the link in the text.)

Are you selling a service/product? Maybe freelancing? Create a page explaining any services you provide.

You might want to add pages to links of press coverage you’ve had, or a portfolio of work you’ve done, too.

And, importantly: A contact page. Some blogs will allow you to input an email form, so people can contact you directly from your blog via email. Tumblr has the ask box feature. Also tell people how they can get in touch with you otherwise – are you on Twitter? Can they message you on your Facebook page? Do you have a website with an email form? (Maybe don’t give our your email address and phone number directly on your blog – you might end up with some spam.)

As for the contact form - there are plenty of free html codes for them available online if you do a quick Google for them! And html is not half as scary as you think - just copy and paste the code for the contact form between the <head> tags of your blog’s/website’s code, and you’re done!

Step 5: Start blogging!

The main issue here will be content. I know, it’s hard. And it might be slow going. But persevere.

You might want to start out with a ‘hello’ post – just introducing yourself to this blogging community. You could add a post about (each of) your books, with a cover and a blurb and a link to where to buy them. You could do some personal blogs (but see Step 8 for more on this). You could do some behind-the-scenes blogs. Writing advice. Book recommendations. Book reviews. What you’re currently working on/reading. A write-up of an event you did/went to recently. Try and make it relevant to what your niche is – in this case, bookish!

Step 6: Spread the word.

Get on any other platforms you’re using – Twitter, a Facebook page (and maybe your personal Facebook, too!), any other blogs you have, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, writing platforms – and spread the word about your new blog! But, be sure to add a link to your blog when you’re doing this!

Step 7: Keep going!

You may not get a massive influx of followers. Now all of your audience from one platform will cross over to this one. And that’s okay. 

The point of this is to grow your audience, and by tapping into another platform, you’re able to give access to people who haven’t noticed you yet. Follow relevant blogs (eg. book bloggers/other writers), reblog some of their content, and keep posting your own original content, too. 

And don’t try wildly following blogs in the hope of getting followed back – it doesn’t always work, and you’re better off having a small following entirely made up of your target audience than 10,000 followers who, frankly, don’t give a shit about what you’ve got to say.

Step 8: Be personable, but keep it professional. Maybe. If that’s your thing.

It can be hard to know when to draw the line between keeping your private and personal life separate on your blog. And it’s totally fine to talk about things going on in your life – but as with any social network, avoid bitching/venting about someone in particular, even if you don’t name them directly (especially if it’s someone you’re working with!). 

Like, a post saying that you haven’t updated in a while because you’ve been stressed out with work, or that you won’t be posting for a while because your mother is sick and you need to take care of her – those are fine! As are sharing some likes/hobbies/interests outside of your niche. If you’re not comfortable talking about your personal life on your blog, that’s absolutely fine too – but try to be personable in the way you write your posts.

Step 9: Interact! Be friendly, and become part of the community.

You can’t just post things that are only about your work. People get sick of product being pushed down their throat, so try to offer them something different – even if it’s a cute gif of a cat or a funny vine! Reblog from others, link to other people’s content that you found interesting, talk about other books and other writers.

One cool idea I saw when I was searching for blog content ideas for writers is to sell your work by not selling it: as in, make a post about ‘if you liked these books, you’ll like mine’, or ‘if you liked my book, try these’.

Bonus tip: check out Top Ten Tuesdays, by The Broke and the Bookish – they pick a theme for each week, and you make a blog post about your top ten on that theme. It’ll give you a weekly content post – and you barely have to think about it!

I hope that’s been a helpful post! Do you guys have any tips you’d like to share for starting a bookish blog? Share them in the comments!

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.