Lots of people will tell you blogging is dead. They’ll also say a blog doesn’t build an audience for your book fast enough, so try social media instead. Or they’ll claim that blogging a book is no longer a valid way to create a platform or write a book. Overall, they’ll declare that blogging is not an effective book marketing strategy.
In some cases, they might be right. For instance, many publishers today don’t want blogged books any longer like they did a little more than a decade ago…but that doesn’t mean you can’t blog a book you plan to self-publish.
However, in other cases, they are wrong. Dead wrong.
For instance, blogging is alive and well as I write this post at the end of 2022. And, while a blog may not build an audience quickly, it remains a platform building and book marketing staple for authors.
If you are wondering why you might use a blog in your book marketing plan, let me give you 10 reasons to start or continue blogging.
1. A blog gives you content to share on social media.
So many writers ask me what they should share on social media. My answer is simple: “Your own content.”
“What content?” they typically reply.
“Your blog content.”
Indeed, your blog content is the most powerful tool you have to demonstrate to your potential readers who you are, what you write about, and why they should purchase your book.
So, stop sharing other people’s content. Share your own, instead.
2. A blog provides search engine optimization (SEO) for your author website.
Every time you write and publish a blog post, that article provides organic (or intentional) SEO for your site. This is especially true if each of your posts focuses on the topic of your book(s) or your site’s focus.
For instance, let’s say your books are all about conservation. So, every one of the blog posts you write dovetails with this topic. Therefore, the posts naturally will be filled with stories, phrases, and words related to conservation.
Each time you publish a post, Google and the other search engines index all those stories, phrases, and words. As a result of your focused and one-subject content, they quickly will discern that your site is about conservation. Publish often and consistently, and your site will steadily climb up the search engine results pages. Eventually, it will be found in the top 10 search results, making it easier for potential readers to find you and your books.
3. A blog allows you to promote your book(s) in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y—including on other bloggers’ sites.
Writing a blog post on a topic related to the subject of your book seems natural, right? It may even be fun and fulfilling to put content on a topic you feel passionate about out into the world for others to read.
And writing is your thing, right? After all, you are a writer, author, and blogger. So writing about the topic of your book seems as authentic as…well…writing the book.
Yet, each post you write can provide an advertisement, if you will, for your book. It can lead directly to Amazon or a sales page on your site. And you don’t even have to say, “Buy my book.”
Plus, as a blogger you can write guest posts for other sites. This puts you and your content…and your book…in front of another blogger’s audience, which is a powerful book marketing strategy.
4. A blog is a long-term book-marketing strategy.
Too many book-marketing strategies are short-lived. For example, consider a blog tour or virtual book tour. Over and done with before you know it, right? The same is true of podcasts, radio tours, or even email blasts or social media campaigns.
If you have a blog, you won’t ask that question. Instead, you’ll know the answer.
Keep blogging…blogging about your book. Then share that content everywhere you can.
That’s a book-marketing strategy in and of itself—and one perfect for writers.
In fact, your blog can lead to continued media opportunities, like speaking at online summits, podcast gigs, or guest posting. And, of course, it will make you and your book discoverable in an online search.
5. A blog allows you to interact with potential book buyers.
Before social media comments, blogs had two-way conversations between bloggers and readers. That’s still true today.
Each post you publish allows you to communicate with your blog readers, who represent potential book buyers. When you talk to them via responses to their comments, you can encourage them to “learn more” by purchasing your book. You can even say, “I wrote about that in Chapter 3 of my book. If you are interested in reading what I wrote, click here to purchase a copy.”
6. A blog helps you find out what your readers are thinking or wanting.
The comment function on a blog also allows you to discover what your readers are thinking or wanting. As they comment on your content, ask questions, or share their experiences, you learn about them and their concerns. With that info, you can target content to their needs.
The advice to “know your readers” becomes easier to take action on with a blog. Many of your blog readers’ comments can lead to new blog post topics or even additional book ideas.
7. A blog provides you with a way to express yourself creatively.
Plain and simple, a blog is a creative outlet for writers. However, it’s a creative outlet that puts your work in front of an audience. That means your “creative writing,” if you want to call your posts that, gets read.
While some writers write for themselves, authors do not. And bloggers definitely write for their readers. Therefore, a blog offers a great creative outlet for bloggers and authors.
8. A blog provides a way to test-market and flesh out your book ideas.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it: a blog is one of the only known and proven ways to test market a book. Publishers recognized this during the blog-to-book trend, which is why they initiated many book deals with bloggers. And this was the premise behind How to Blog a Book+.
Plus, blogging offers a way to flesh out your book idea by writing about it. Sometimes, that’s what a writer needs to do…write…to figure out what they want to write about. The more you blog, the more clarity you gain on your book topic.
9. A blog lets you publish without needing gatekeepers or other platforms.
As a blogger, you are a publisher and the only gatekeeper to releasing your work into the world. Therefore, you decide what and when to publish.
You might eventually decide to find a literary agent to help you get a foot in the door of a book publisher. But, in the meantime, you decide what gets published on your blog. Plus, you don’t need to use another platform like Medium.com or Kindle.com. Your website is the only platform you need to publish your blog posts.
10. A blog builds a solid audience for your books—one you control.
If you self-publish your book on the Kindle platform (or any other self-publishing platform), you’ll never know who bought your book. The same is true if you self-publish.
But when you blog, you can ask readers to subscribe and receive blog posts by email. That means they are put on your mailing list. And you own that list…no one else does.
An email list is your most potent book-marketing tool. Always has been. That’s why intelligent bloggers get blog readers to subscribe. To do so, they must share their email addresses, which gives you permission to market to them when your book is released…or at any time you want to remind them to purchase it.
Blog Now to Market Your Book
I could come up with more reasons, but these 10 should dispel any negative rumors about blogs and blogging being old book marketing news.
As far as I’m concerned, now is a great time to create and consistently publish on a blog. And if you are a writer or author, a blog should always be an essential part of your long-term book marketing strategy.
Do you use a blog in your book marketing strategy? Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post with a friend.
If you’ve got questions about book marketing, writing, publishing, or blogging, join the Nonfiction Writers’ University for monthly group Author Coaching or the Inspired Creator Community for personal and spiritual growth coaching as well as Author Coaching.
Photo courtesy of petrovichvadim.