Best Blogging Practices for Authors: The Hows and Whys

Part Two: The Whys 

If you read our previous installment, then you already know some tips on how to craft a compelling blog for your website. But the question remains: why should you bother? After all, time spent blogging is time taken away from your other writing, and as any writer knows, writing time is precious.

The first reason to keep up a dynamic, interesting blog is SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. You’ve probably seen us talk about SEO before, and at Clockpunk Studios, we’re big believers in it. SEO is what helps your site stand out, not just to readers, but to the robots that power search engines like Google. And one of the most powerful tools in the toolkit of any SEO campaign is a good blog.

A website with a blog can create 400% more indexed pages than a static website. That may just sound like industry jargon for content developers, but what it means for you is a lot more opportunities for generating keywords that will help your site turn up in search engines, which means more readers finding your website, which in turn means more eyes on your work.

And that leads us to the second reason why it’s especially important for authors to have good blogs on their websites. A reader can come to your site for all sorts of different reasons. Maybe they saw the cover of your book at Barnes & Noble or online and were intrigued enough to look you up. Maybe they read a review, or saw you mentioned in a best-of list. Maybe they picked up a business card at a convention. Maybe they got there from a keyword search they conducted about “mummies” or “steampunk” or “stories with kissing” or anything else.

Sure, some readers come to your website already primed. They’ve read a story of yours in an anthology, or picked up one of your novels, and they’re eager to read more. Others, are just curious, and they want a window into who you are and what you do without having to plunk down their hard-earned cash, or even necessarily spend the time it takes to read a whole story or a novel excerpt online for free. They’re willing to be convinced, but first you’ve got to be convincing, and that’s where your blog comes in.

For a lot of readers, understand that your blog may be the first piece of your writing they ever read. It needs to hook them in, turn their curiosity into something more. It needs to give them an idea of what they can expect from your stories, or your poetry, or your nonfiction. In business parlance, it’s what’s called a “conversion.” You may hook a potential customer with an ad or a snappy slogan, but until they actually buy your product, that potential remains unrealized. For a writer, a blog is one of the best ways to make that conversion from intrigued onlooker to reader and from there to devoted fan.

A blog is also a reason for readers to keep coming back. These days, it’s hard to keep up with all the options we have for entertainment, and your writing is vying with a lot of other things for the dollars and the time of your potential audience. So even once you’ve got a reader hooked, it can be easy to lose them if they don’t have something to keep coming back for. You’re only going to have a new book out every so often. Keeping a regular blog is a way to keep your readers eager for more, so they’ll be there, ready and waiting, when that next book comes out, or that next story hits.

There are a lot of answers to the question of “why should authors blog,” but ultimately what it comes down to is that a good blog is one of the best ways around for authors to attract, keep, and connect with readers in ways that have never been available to us before. Whatever your answer, Clockpunk Studios can help you get your blog up and running, or help optimize the one you’ve already got.

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