Become Part of the Conversation through Blogs

Participating on other’s blogs can be a very powerful tool for promotion and raising your profile. Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Find Your Community: Use a blog search engine like Technorati to find blogs in your subject/area of expertise.
  • Make Your Mark: Once you have identified those that feel relevant and compelling, become part of the conversation by commenting on a post that interests you and add something that readers of the blog might be interested to know.
  • Let People Know Where You Are: Link to your blog or website if you’ve written something relevant to the conversation. If you are bringing something valuable to the debate, people will begin to follow you and will be more interested in what you publish.

Start Writing a Blog

If you’re passionate about your subject and are willing to write about it regularly (no less than three times per week), a blog can be a fantastic—and free—way of building an audience for both you and your work. You can start your blog with Blogger. It’s free, and sign-up is very simple. Below are the steps to help you get started:

  • Set Up an Account: Visit the Blogger homepage and set up a free account to create your blog.
  • Give It a Name: Next, select a name for your blog—it should be short and easy to remember. We would suggest that you use your name so that the blog can expand to include future books you may publish.
  • Write a Post: Once this is done, click “create post.” Type your entry just like you would an email. You can choose different fonts and sizes of text, or add pictures, lists, and links to websites.
  • Preview and Publish: Click on the preview button to see if you like the way your entry looks. If not, you can edit it until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the results, click “publish.”

Write in Blogging Style and Observe Blogging Etiquette

  • Regularly Update: Update your blog frequently — three times a week is a minimum but set yourself a realistic schedule and stick to it.
  • Keep It Short and Concise: Keep in mind that in the blogosphere, people have shorter attention spans than they do offline so you need to make your posts easily digestible and informative — 250 words can be enough.
  • Make It Compelling: Strive to create blog copy that is compelling, interesting, and will invite further conversations. Stay on topic so that you don’t lose your audience.
  • Engage: This is an opportunity to tell your readers what you’re writing about. Ask them what they’d like to hear more about. This kind of involvement will make them feel attached to you and your work, building an audience that will stay with you from book to book.
  • Involve: Pose questions and comment on people’s comments. A blog is meant to be a community. Respond directly to people’s comments—either in the comments or in a new blog post. This will engage readers so they’ll come back more often.
  • Give It Personality: Above all else, remember that your blog should be an extension of you—let people know who you are and your opinions should be reflected in your writing style

Target Your Audience and Build Upon It

  • Spread the Word: Once you’ve been posting regularly for a couple of weeks, tell your friends, colleagues, and contacts about your blog and ask them to tell their friends, colleagues, and contacts. Send an email or newsletter to your email address book or database introducing the blog and linking to it.
  • Utilise Your Sphere of Influence: Look around the Internet for related blogs, and read and post to them. Commenting and becoming part of the blog community will cause others visit your blog and do the same.
  • Use Your Amazon Author Page: Once you begin blogging, be sure to sign up for Amazon’s Author Central. This is a program that will allow you to feed your blog directly onto your author page on Amazon.com—a very powerful way to share compelling content with possible customers.

Optimize Your Blog and Link Like Crazy!

  • Use Search Engines: Add your blog to blog search engines like Technorati.com. There are dozens of blog search engines out there and more being added every day.
  • Identify Clear Keywords: Create a good, concise description for your blog, as well as relevant keywords. Make your headlines snappy.
  • Tag: This is easy to do on the “create post” page. Just enter the relevant keywords in the box separated by commas—this will make your blog easier to search.
  • Link to Retailers: Use your custom “Buy the Book” landing page (www.wiley.com/buy/ISBN). The page should be live six months in advance of your book’s publication date.
  • Social Networking: Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., to let others know what you’re blogging about and provide links back to your blog.
  • RSS: Put a subscription icon on every page.
  • Pictures: Use images whenever possible.
  • Publicity: Let your publicist know which blogs you think would love to hear about your book. We will add them to our list for publicity and marketing outreach.
  • Learn from Others: Take a look at your favorite writers’ blogs and emulate some of the techniques that make their postings great.

For more in-depth information about setting up, publishing, and drawing readers to your blog, check out Blogging For Dummies.

Finally, for your protection as well as ours, please review What Our Lawyers Would Like You to Know.