Before you start that blog!

Posted May 17 2015, 1:50 pm in , , , , , ,

blogWhen you first consider launching a blog, it can be a dizzying prospect. There is so much you can say, so much you can express, and it can be uploaded so quickly!

 

But just as with all of your business correspondence and promotional materials, blogs should be handled with extreme care. Here’s a few tips to make sure yours effectively reflects who you are and what you’re doing on the Internet (i.e.: you’re here to sell books, so please keep that in mind!)

 

1. Decide why you want a blog, and name yourself accordingly

There are many reasons to have a blog, but as an author, entrepreneur or business professional, your name or pen name is Pure Gold, particularly on the internet. So anything that features the name you use as an author should match up with your Author Brand. For example, let’s say you write nonfiction business books – but you are also a proud llama trainer, and have lots of funny stories about llamas that you’d like to blog about. Ideally, you would post your llama blogs under a name other than your author name/pen name, or you will have some very confused readers who go to your blog thinking “business guru”, and leave thinking “llama lover” (not that there’s anything wrong with loving llamas).

 

2. Choose your tools wisely

There are a number of blogging sites available, from Blogger to WordPress to Tumblr, and even microblogging via Twitter. Each of them has its own unique appeal, so explore your options before you choose a blog residence. Where you set up your home on the web says a lot about you! If you can choose a tool that allows you to customize your blog’s look to match your Author Brand, so much the better.

 

3. Be prepared to blog for the long haul

Blogging can be a lot like a new puppy. Fun and charming the first week, an extraordinary hassle by the tenth. Decide up front that you’ll give proper care and feeding to your blog on a consistent basis—hosting contests and recruiting posters, blogging according to a pre-set schedule, and keeping your posts on-topic and engaging. I know this from experience: A lonely, forgotten blogsite is truly a sad and terrible thing. In addition, be ready to stand behind the opinions you express on your blog—once you hit Submit, they are part of your Author Brand!

 

NEXT STEPS:

If you already have a blog or are preparing to launch one, consider the following questions regarding your home on the web!

  1. I’m blogging at least once a week, and/or following a stated schedule. Yes [ ] No [ ]
  2. I would be thrilled if a top literary agent or colleague checked out every one of my posts! Yes [ ] No [ ]
  3. I utilize my blog to provide something of interest, use, or value to my readers as often as I use it to comment on something of personal interest to me. This *does* include sharing info on upcoming books to reveal “inside information” (that’s okay to share) that readers wouldn’t usually know. Yes [ ] No [ ]

If you don’t answer “Yes!” to every questions, you have some work to do to get your blog into professional shape.

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