Most writers realize their blog offers a phenomenal tool for building author’s platform and for promoting a book once it’s been published. However, you may not realize the variety of ways in which you can actually put your blog to use to create a loyal fan base, sell more books and produce more useable content—even book manuscripts—in the process.
Here are 8 ways to accomplish these tasks.
- Blog a book. If you map out the content for a book, and then write and publish it from scratch in post-sized bits (250-500 word pieces) on your blog, you will begin to drive your blog up in the search engine results pages and attract more readers as you write the first draft of your book. By posting often and consistently—2-7 days per week, you organically provide search engine optimization for your blog. This increases your blogged book’s discoverability in the search engines, like Google. This means when a potential reader, journalist, agent, or publisher searches for a topic related to you or your book, your blog will come up on that coveted first Google search engine results page.
- Book your blog. If you have been blogging for a while, your blog contains content that could fill a book. Create a content plan, but this time go back through your blog and find existing posts to fill out each chapter. You may need to write some additional content and edit the whole manuscript to make it flow and read like a blog and not a book.
When you are done, you can begin to promote the book on your blog. You could sell the book to readers or try to land a publishing deal. Or you could give your “booked blog” away as a marketing tool to gain more mailing list subscribers so you can market to them directly when your next book is released.
- Blog about your book. This is a more traditional use of an “author’s blog.” Simply find many topics related to your book to blog about. For nonfiction writers, this can seem simple; blog about your topic and everything related to that topic. Also tie into the news as it pertains to your topic. For fiction writers, consider every subject, theme, character, place, etc., in your story, and blog about that. Also tie into the news. This is a great way to drive your blog up in the search engine results pages and to help readers interested in your topics find you and your book.
- Turn blog posts into ezine articles. Take your best and most informative blog posts and rewrite them (at least 20-40 percent) into 500-word articles. Then post them on Ezinearticle.com or any other ezine article site. When you do this, you make them available to anyone who needs content on their own blog, website or newsletter. Here’s the reason to give others permission to use your content: Each article contains a small “resource box” with information about you and your blog (or website, book or services) and a link to your blog. Each time the articles is published somewhere, that box also is published. Readers find out about you, and your blog gains a link, which boosts it again in the search engines, and you gain some free publicity. You can use an ezine article distribution service, like SubmitYourArticle.com, which will submit one article to many ezine article directories, but it is not free.
- Turn blog posts into press releases. Following the same basic idea as in #4, but turn blog posts into press releases or news releases. Submit them to www.PRWeb.com or www.MarketWire.com, if you want to reach the media, or to www.free-press-release.com, if you simply want to get the word out and get links back to your blog.
- Turn your social networking status updates into blog posts. If you are active in social networks, in particular in groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, and often answer questions in these groups, start turning your answers into blog posts. Elaborate on those answers. Offer more tips or tools or a more in-depth response. Publish this as a blog post. Of course, if you have a book, provide a link to the book in your blog post. Go back to the group and share the link to your blog post. In this way you will drive more traffic to your blog, showcase your expertise and make the group members aware of your book. Gather enough of these short posts and you could compile a tip book.
- Add audio and video to your blog. If you add podcasts or videos to your blog, these provide just one more way to get the word out about you and your book. Audio and video don’t provide as much search engine optimization as blog content, but they are useful, especially since YouTube, in particular, has so many viewers. Your audio can gain many listeners, of course, on iTunes.
- Pin your blog photos on Pinterest. Last, but not least, Pinterest is the third largest, as well as the fastest-growing, social network at the moment. The easiest way to use this network in conjunction with your blog posts is to make sure each post has a photo and to then “pin” the photo to a relevant “board” in your Pinterest account. Make sure you write a little something about the photo and include a link back to your blog post. You might publish a weekly inspirational photo and later compile these into a book.
Choose a few of these eight ideas and put them to use—or choose them all! Before long you’ll see your blog turn into a superb content marketing machine.
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