If you’re here, it’s likely, you’ve published a book, or you have a book idea. You probably have a passion to pass on a message or entertain people with your writing, and you want to learn how to start an author blog.
Why Start an Author Blog?
Starting an author blog could be a great way to rally an audience around a message. It can also be a way to:
- Find more prospective buyers for your books and other programs
- Test topics for future books
- Grow an email list
- Get a social following
- Build the media kit you’d need for contracts with larger publishers
- and engage more with your readers
In fact, more and more successful authors are seeing the necessity of online marketing using things like blogs, Youtube channels, and social media. The days where going on a book tour or doing solely offline marketing are practically over.
Especially after the coronavirus pandemic, authors (and small business owners of all types) are learning a new way to sell.
What is an Author Blog?
An author blog is a website with articles that can:
- Help personify the author
- Help readers to know more about the author
- Provide more helpful and relevant content for readers
- and, Build more engagement with readers that can lead to more sales
An author blog can be an incremental part of an author’s marketing plan. It’s inexpensive to start and run, and It can replace alternative marketing methods (like book tours, publicity tours, or other things). A blog can also be used in combination with other marketing methods (depending on the budget you want to invest).
How much do blog writers make?
Blog writer incomes vary quite a bit. A “blog writer” who works for another company or offers freelance writing services will typically get paid in the range of $30,000/yr.
However, there are bloggers who earn upwards of $100,000/yr. The highest paid bloggers are typically very good at sales. They may have their own products or services, or they partner with other companies (as affiliates), and make money for each sale. As they have a larger audience, then the sales potential increases, and their incomes can grow exponentially.
Successful Author Blog Examples
One great successful author example is Joanna Penn from the Creative Penn. She’s a successful nonfiction and fiction author who shares tips and advice on how to run a successful author business. She has a blog for her fiction audience and a separate blog for her nonfiction audience, and she’s become a 6-figure author as a result of blogging and a compilation of other marketing tactics.
The Traditional Way of Author Marketing vs. The Modern Way
Just a few years back, the most popular way of selling books was to buy inventory and “hit the pavement”, to go on book tours, to work with a large publishing company, or to do publicity campaigns. Times have changed.
Now, book tours aren’t as effective as they used to be. There’s not as much traffic to bookstores as it used to be. In fact, many brick and mortar bookstores are having a hard time staying open!
Online stores like Amazon, Smashwords, or Draft2Digital are changing the way books are sold, and the way authors attract their readers has to change as well.
Now, when a reader wants to find a book, they might search online using Google, and typing in search phrases like “best romance novels”, “Harry Potter alternatives”, or “books on mindset”. Google will load the sites that have the most authority and who have proven to give the best user experience, and the reader will likely explore the advice given.
As a result, it’s important to learn how to interrupt the flow: from interested reader to customer online.
How to Start an Author Blog – Step-by-Step
If you’re ready to start your author blog, these are the steps I’d recommend…
1. Choose a Niche
When you’re starting your author blog, it’s important to make sure you’re attracting the right audience. For example, if you write books on marriage, you don’t want to attract predominantly people who have no interest in marriage.
Instead, you want to learn things about your target audience, and ensure that you’re editorial calendar addresses topics they’d be interested in.
2. Build a Website
Once you’ve chosen your niche, you want to build a website. Your website will serve as your virtual storefront. It can be a place you sell your books, engage with your readers, and ultimately build a community of people who are interested in your work.
To build a WordPress website for free, you can enter the domain name you like below…
3. Monetize the Website
Once you’ve built your website, you’ll need to monetize your website by identifying products or services you’ll sell from your website. Some common things that are sold from author websites includes:
- Online courses
- Digital products
- Online or Offline Event Access
- Ad space
- Or, other branded items (t-shirts, mugs, etc.)
4. Create Content
In a traditional marketing plan, you might attract visitors to your business with flyers, business cards, or billboard ads. When you’re online, you still have to get noticed, but the method of attracting visitors is a bit different.
Creating content is an effective method for attracting visitors to your website. You’d create content (blog posts, ads, and other content) in effort to attract your target audience to your website.
5. Set up Social Media Accounts
Social media is a huge traffic source for many businesses. Considering that more than 50% of the world’s population is on social media, it’s a great way to engage with prospective readers.
Once you have your website set up and content on there, you should start sharing your posts onto social media, and potentially, even sharing other content, so you can build an audience of like-minded people on social media.
6. Get Traffic
Once you’ve built your website, you’re publishing content, and you’re gaining attention from people, you’ll start to see the traffic on your website compound: from 0 visitors to 100 and up.
7. Make Money
The equation for making money is get attention + build trust + translate the trust = Money. As you’re getting more and more attention, building more trust, and translating the trust, you’ll be able to see your income in your author business growing, and starting a blog can really help with that.
Overall, starting a blog can be a great addition to your marketing plan. It can help you to get your message out to a wider audience, and gain more customers as a result. If you have anymore questions about this, leave them in the comments section below.