Yes, you can slap up a blog, which is a website. But if it doesn’t have certain elements, you’ll find yourself wondering why you have no readers or return visitors.
That’s a problem for all bloggers but especially for a writer who wants to blog a book. The goal of blogging a book revolves around:
- Completing a book manuscript.
- Building an author platform.
If you can’t create an ever-increasing flow of readers and give them an experience that makes them want to read on and come back, your blogged book—and blog—won’t become a strong author platform. You may get a book manuscript out of your efforts, but you’ll find it difficult to publish successfully.
Four Priorities for Blogging Effectively
Of course, your first priority for creating an effective blog revolves around content. You need well-written and valuable content—and lots of it. This is especially true if you are blogging a book. Your readers will want you to demonstrate that you can write a book they need and want—and they’ll know that based on your blog posts.
Your second focus needs to be on ways to keep readers coming back for more. That means your site must clearly tell visitors who you are and what value you provide. And you must provide benefit at all costs.
Third, you want the ability to communicate with your blog readers. That means you want them to end up on your mailing list. Thus, the site must have a way to accomplish that task, which means you need a gift visitors need badly enough to give you their email address in return as “payment.” And you need an email marketing system to help you collect (and use) those email addresses.
Fourth, you want to encourage blog visitors to share what you publish. That means you need a way for them to do that easily using some type of blog post sharing tool.
Essentials for an Effective Blog
With this overview in mind, here are the 10 must-haves for effective blogging—whether you are blogging a book or blogging to build author platform or online authority.
- A tagline that clearly states the benefit your site provides and what the blog is about.
- An “about” page.
- Valuable blog content.
- A navigation bar.
- Blog content published on a consistent and predictable schedule.
- Tools that encourage readers to share posts with their friends easily on social media sites.
- A way for visitors to leave comments.
- Strong post headlines that compel potential readers to click through and read posts.
- Easily scannable posts—lots of bullets, lists, and subheadings.
- A contact form.
- A valuable gift or lead magnet that encourages blog visitors to sign up for your mailing list.
- A connected email marketing system, like Aweber, MailChimp, or Active Campaign.
- An attractive design.
- Images—one for each blog post.
- Search engine optimization using a program like SEO by Yoast (if you use WordPress).
It’s not that hard to create an effective blog. Once you know what elements your site should feature, you need only add those elements to your site ASAP.
As you do, you’ll discover your site gaining traffic and engagement. The more effective you and your website become, the better experience your readers will have when they visit.