Blogging for Authors: Increase Reader Engagement and Sell More Books

Monday, March 26, 2018

As authors, many of us secretly wish book marketing would just magically happen. We’d rather focus on writing and producing books than try to figure out how to sell them. Unfortunately, book sales don’t just happen. We have to do the work. Which is why we should discuss blogging for authors.

One of my favorite ways to build an audience and sell more books is by blogging. And while you may think that you don’t have time, when you understand the benefits an author blog can bring, you might consider making the time. A blog can do the following:

  • Generate website traffic. Statistics show that the more often you blog the more traffic your author website will receive.
  • Attract new book buyers. Dazzle them with your content and they will be more inclined to buy your book(s).
  • Help you cultivate a community. Blogs can be a two-way discussion when you encourage comments and respond to them.
  • Be an integral part of your social media strategy. I view blogs as the heart of your social media strategy. Each new post you write should be shared across your networks.
  • Create new alliances. By inviting readers, peers, industry experts and others to contribute to your blog, you can build a powerful network of support.
  • Attract media attention. When you blog about timely topics, don’t be surprised when you hear from reporters and producers. They turn to Google to find sources for their stories, and a blog can help them find you.

Ways to Increase Blog Traffic and Sell More Books

Blog traffic doesn’t happen overnight, but with consistent effort, your author blog can build momentum with time. Following are proven ways to accelerate the process, increase traffic, engage readers, and inspire book sales.

  • Know Your Audience. Your blog should entertain or inform your target audience. Find out what motivates them and create content they care about.
  • Write Captivating Titles. The most important element of any blog post that you write is a great title. You want to hook potential readers so that they will click through to keep reading. Study blog titles on popular blogs to see how they make them more enticing.
  • Ask for the Sale. At the bottom of each blog post, mention your book and include a link to purchase.
  • Share on Social Media. Share each new blog post across your social media networks. Include the post title with a link to continue reading on your site.
  • Promote via Email. Summarize your recent blog posts in your e-newsletter by including the title, first paragraph, and a link to keep reading on your site.
  • Increase Blog Frequency. Ideally, you should update your blog at least twice a week, and the more you post, the more traffic you can expect to receive.
  • Feature Guest Contributors. Invite others to contribute content to your blog, including industry experts, readers, and peers. Once their post is featured, ask them to share with their networks. To streamline the process, create submission forms on your site.
  • Include Social Sharing Buttons. Make it easy for your readers to promote your blog posts by including social media sharing buttons. The major blog platforms each offer free plug-ins for these.
  • Optimize Posts for Search. Add a keyword phrase to the alt tag and description for each post to boost search engine optimization. Hint: Incorporate the phrase into the title of the post and then copy that title into the keyword fields.
  • Include Photos and Graphics. Images make blog posts more visually appealing to readers, and will make your posts look more professional when shared on social media sites because the photo will appear with the post preview. I strongly recommend adding a photo to every blog post. Make sure to use royalty-free images.
  • Feature Related Posts. At the end of each new blog post, it can be beneficial to link to previous blog posts. You can summarize these yourself or WordPress users can install the Yet Another Related Posts plug-in, which will automatically serve up links to related content based on keyword tags.
  • Do More of What Works. Pay attention to the activity generated by each of your blog posts, noting which posts get the most traffic, comments, retweets, etc., and which ones fall flat. Do more of what works!

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Stephanie Chandler

Stephanie Chandler is the author of several books including The Nonfiction Book Marketing Plan: Online and Offline Promotion Strategies to Build Your Audience and Sell More Books. Stephanie is also founder and CEO of the Nonfiction Authors Association, a vibrant educational community for experienced and aspiring writers, and the Nonfiction Writers Conference, an annual event conducted entirely online. A frequent speaker at business events and on the radio, she has been featured in Entrepreneur, BusinessWeek, and Wired magazine.