Blogging Basics for Aspiring Authors: Lesson 2
Every time you write a blog post you must ask yourself one question: Does what I am writing add value to my readers’ lives? If the answer is, “Yes,” you are on your way to success as a blogger.
If you are blogging a book, the same holds true. In fact, this same rule can be (and should be) applied to writing books in general. Every book or chapter in your book must provide benefit for your readers in some way. This is true whether you write nonfiction or fiction. If you fail to do so, you will find your potential for success decreasing.
If you aren’t scrutinizing your book idea to evaluate if it does, indeed, add value before you begin blogging or writing it, you may end up with a book that simply isn’t marketable. You will have wasted a lot of time and energy. That’s why I suggest you go through the proposal process. (In fact, my next book for Writer’s Digest Books, The Author Training Manual, will go into depth about this process, and I’ll be blogging parts of the book here.)
Beyond the initial idea for your blog and your blogged book, look at everything you write—every post, every chapter—to determine if you are adding value. What benefits are you providing?
How to Determine the Benefits Your Blog and Blogged Book Provide
If you aren’t sure what benefits your blog or your blogged book provides, maybe you need to back up a few steps. Think about the added value you want to provide by blogging or by blogging your book. (This is a step in the proposal process). Ask yourself these three questions:
- What is my purpose or mission in starting a blog or blogging (writing) a book?
- What will my readers get out of reading my blog or blogged book?
- What will readers miss if they don’t read my blog or blogged book?
Also imagine the copy on the back of your printed book or the description you would provide for your ebook. Then ask yourself these two questions:
- What would make someone actually purchase it?
- What would make it a must-read item?
The answers to these questions should give you a better picture of the benefit you wanted to provide (and hopefully still do) when you first conceived the idea for your blog or blogged book and what you think your readers will gain by reading what you write.
How to Determine the Value You Have to Add to Readers’ Lives
Many of my coaching clients come to me because they are insecure about their knowledge base and ability to put themselves out there as experts on a topic. They don’t think they can add value. They tell me, “I don’t think I have enough knowledge or expertise to blog. I can’t add any value to anyone’s life.” If you feel the same way and are struggling to figure out what value you have to add to reader’s lives, ask yourself the following three questions:
- What do I know that other people want to know? Then offer that knowledge via your blog posts.
- What question do other people have that I can answer? Then answer them on your blog in a variety of ways in many, many blog posts.
- What problem do other people have that I can solve for them? Then provide the solution in…you guessed it…your ongoing blog posts.
Fiction writers struggle with this more than nonfiction writers. Even if you write fiction you can employ this strategy, though. For example, provide benefit to your readers not only by providing a great story that you publish bit by bit on your blog but by sharing what you know about the topic of your book or about your niche. If you write thrillers, publish pieces on your blog about current news on forensics, interesting crimes, police statistics, other thriller writers, reviews of thrillers, how to write thrillers, etc. This will make you an expert on the topic and provide benefit to your readers at the same time.
The bloggers who are most successful do one thing consistently: provide valuable content. That content gets shared by readers. That’s how those blogs and bloggers gain more readers. When you produce really beneficial content, you won’t have to drive traffic to your blog. Traffic will come to you organically. And it will arrive fast and furiously—maybe not right away, but it will come if you keep producing valuable content regularly and consistently.
Interested in learning more about the proposal process?
Register for Author Training 101.
Learn the process and become one of just 15 beta readers for Nina’s new book, The Author Training Manual (Writer’s Digest Books 2014).
As a participant, you also might get your book featured in her new book…
Find out more and register by clicking on this link.