Blogging Basics for Aspiring Authors: Lesson 1
To succeed as a book blogger, or even as a blogger, you need to develop courage. You need to be willing to fearlessly show yourself and your knowledge to the world via your written words. That’s right; no more hiding behind your words. You must use your writing to reveal your true self and all that you know—and you must do on the World Wide Web for all to see—as in everyone and anyone. As you do so, your authentic voice will emerge and your readers will get to know you.
The bloggers who earn the largest followings tend to have the courage to be open and authentic in their blog posts and in all their social media dealings. Think of Jenny Lawsen, The Bloggess, who landed a book deal for Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir). Then there is Leo Babauta, and his Zen Habits and book Zen Habits: Handbook For Life or Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System. (He has several other books as well.) And you can take a look at Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy and her book, Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood – The Good, The Bad, and the Scary. (She has a new book coming out in April.) All of these bloggers have very authentic voices, say what’s on their minds and garnered large followings—and book deals.
Some of my favorite bloggers in the world of writing and publishing I believe have gained their large platforms by being authentic and sharing their knowledge freely and with a sense of humbleness mixed with self-worth or pride. Joel Friedlander, Joanna Penn and Christina Katz all come to mind immediately. They are open about their learning journeys but always teach and share from a place of great knowledge.
Develop an Authentic Voice
As you write your blog posts, begin to notice if you are hiding in any way. Are you trying to sound more professional than you feel? Are you trying to make your writing sound more literary or more educated or more artistic? Are you leaving out details that would reveal something more intimate about yourself—and possibly allow your readers to connect with you more deeply? Are you covering up your vulnerabilities?
A blog tends to be a more conversational mode of communication, unless yours is extremely business focused or directed at business clients. Even then, you might find you gain some extra readers and clients by opening up and letting your hair down a bit. Let people know who you are. Speak to your readers the way you would if they were sitting across the desk from you as you were writing. Don’t try to be someone else. Just be you—open, honest, real.
Try writing a blog post that goes deeper, that reveals more, that is written with a personal tone. See how your readers respond.
You must develop the courage also to put your written work out into the world. Period.
As a book blogger, some of what you publish may actually be the first draft of your book. Even if it is just a blog post, like me, you may have no proofreaders or editors to check your daily content before you hit the button on your blog that says “publish.” Do not let this stop you from publishing.
Get over your need for perfection. Get over your fear of mistakes. Get over your need for producing a finished product. This will stop you from ever blogging or blogging your book.
Also, many of us are afraid of rejection, judgment, public opinion, etc. Adopt the attitude suggested by Terry Cole-Whittaker’s book: What You Think of Me is None of My Business. Know all publicity is good publicity (Yes, even when someone says something bad.), and you can’t please everyone or get everyone to like you or to agree with you. So stop trying. Accept this fact, and move on to do what you want: Blog that book.
Fearlessly write what you want to write on your blog and publish it!
Get Out There
But there is more… Share your blog posts after you publish them. Don’t just expect readers to show up.
Join several social networking sites (I suggest Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest—Google Plus and LinkedIn also, if you can), and then get active on them. Each time you write a post, write a status update that includes the URL of that post. Now you are really “getting out there.” Make sure people actually know you have published a blog post.
In the world of blogging, this is what “showing up” is all about. And it does take courage. Write that authentic post, publish it and then share it in cyberspace for anyone to read.
Then feel the thrill of being read—and of being seen for who you really are and for what you really have to say.
If you would like personal help with your book blogging, sign up this month for 1-1 blog-to-book coaching. After January, my rates are going up, but those who begin in January will be grandfathered in at the old rates. To sign up for coaching, click here.
Also, I have 1 small blog-to-book coaching group that started Jan. 3. The group meets every Wednesday for two month from 12-1 p.m. PST. There is only room for 5 people in this group; I have room for 2 more people. (Participation in this group grandfathers you into my old rates as well–and saves you $112 on 1-1 monthly coaching rates. If you join late, I’ll prorate the fee.) To register, click here. Once registered, I will refund the cost of the missed sessions. It’s not too late to begin…