Or think about other themes in your work that could inspire something fun: a collection of recipes; a character’s favorite books, movies, or music; or what research and resources were essential for completing your work. If your site is self-hosted, then install. Where the difficulty lies: Some categories are fiercely competitive, such as travel and cooking. If you’re a novelist, this strategy may take some creative thinking. Scroll down to “Appearance,” and hover your mouse over the link. You want it—and you—to appear as engaging and professional as possible. For clarity: I define “blogging” as publishing material to a site that you own and control—usually your author website. This post will delve into what it means to blog successfully and in a meaningful way for an author’s long-term platform and book marketing efforts. 6. If you don’t have an author website, or if you’re doing a multi-contributor blog, then I recommend using WordPress. Such writers probably know off the top of their head the questions that get asked most frequently, the topics that are most popular, and the problems that surface again and again. You’ve taken a huge step today. A potential reader should be able to easily tell if they’re going to benefit from or enjoy reading your posts on an ongoing basis. It isn’t an activity authors should be dragged into, kicking and screaming. Where the difficulty lies: In my experience, burn out. If you haven't already, here's how to join the Goodreads Author Program.Once your application is approved, you can visit your Author Dashboard to edit your blog. This could also involve regular posting of specific media, such as photos or videos. Exciting, right? Tenants decorate their apartments the way they want—but they don’t own that space. Whatever you do, make sure your theme is “responsive,” which means it automatically adjusts to look good on any device. New Users and Authors to Your WordPress Blog is kinda boring. I talk about the basics of author websites here. You will now see a new heading that reads “Congratulations. I love to know people are visiting and what they think. It Finally Found a Publisher. Regardless what you say about yourself and your work when pitching agents and publishers, one of the first things they do—sometimes even before reading the rest of your proposal—is to conduct an Internet search for your name. How to Find The Time to Blog … Filed Under: Create Your Blog Tagged With: blog, blog a book, blog theme, blogging, blogging a book, create a blog, how to create a blog, theme, Wordpress, WordPress Themes. I’ve been a satisfied customer, and they provide a fantastic service for authors. Changing your site’s appearance. Click “Not now.” You can always come back to this later. Quality can be a squishy term; much depends on what your audience or readership considers “quality” or what kind of content is engaging to them. For writers who aren’t yet known, it will be hard (if not impossible) to interest other people in the details of your personal life, unless you’re a superlative writer. Keep sentences short. The longer the term, the lower the monthly price. log in page. Step 1: Change the title of the page to “About.”. Click the green “select” button under the price. It works beautifully with how-to or prescriptive nonfiction categories, and it can also work with memoir as well. Here are several models to consider, based on how challenging I think they are (assuming you want your blog to “pay off”). You want everything under the same umbrella for search engine optimization and long-term marketing strategy. And remember, when you’re pitching you work, your website is the first place an agent or editor will look for to learn more about you. I urge you to avoid the temptation to settle for one of the quick and easy website solutions that looks like everyone else’s and has a small-time feel. (This is also referred to as a permalink in WordPress.). If you’re not familiar with literary citizenship, you can read more about my views on it here. In my opinion, the one worth buying is Domain Privacy Protection—but it’s your call. You may have to do some work in coming up with an angle or voice that stands out. Blogging with the intent to promote literary citizenship opens up a lot of post possibilities, including: Key benefits: You’re building a great network of contacts as you build some excellent content at your site. For example, if you’re writing a memoir about addiction or caring for aging parents, your blog can offer information and advice (and stories) for people going through the same thing. It’s time to learn how to write a bio that, well, doesn’t suck. When the sub-menu pops up on the right, scroll down and click “Menus.”. Frequently Asked Questions I’ll get to those specifics a bit later. Get your growing tribe interacting with you and with each other by posing a simple question or taking a brief survey on their favorite things: books, movies, celebrities, you name it. Don’t get wordy. Click the “click here” hyperlink under the “Dashboard” heading. Your author website becomes your home base, as if you had a corporate headquarters. If you need a strong introduction to guest posting how-to, visit this excellent Copyblogger post. To add contributors, invite them to your site. Unfortunately, authors have trouble staying focused and disciplined on one topic or subject matter, often because they get bored or they think readers will get bored. It is so easy to create a new page, a banner or a section to announce your product. Now you want to create a tagline. You get better at it the more you do it, but I see many authors give up before they’ve put in enough hours to understand the medium. For instance, highlight “A list of my published works.”. Cornerstone content often is a comprehensive, definitive piece that tackles a frequently asked question, issue, or problem—or features a very popular author or thing in popular culture that is searched for often. That helps reduce the burden as well as increase the size of your audience starting out—since more people will be marketing and promoting the blog. Only about 10% of your readers (or even fewer) will make themselves known to you or engage with you on your blog, so it takes a while before you reach a tipping point, where there’s a concrete indication of growing activity or interest. Whenever you guest or appear on other websites, that’s an opportunity to have multiple links back to your own site and social network accounts. I Spent Nearly Two Decades Writing and Editing My Book. Take it from me: There’s no need to blog … Either way, you can display a list of authors in … So how does this answer the question, “What do I blog about?”. That becomes another showcase of your writing, and it also lets others contact you. Some blogs have such a minimal design that it’s difficult to see the bigger picture of what the blog offers. How to Create a Simple Writer Blog Writing is hard work. 2. You want to make it very clear to new visitors that you are the one writing. Scroll down to the “Home page” label, and click “Edit.”. Here’s what my blog traffic looked like in its early years. Step 4: Click the blue Apply icon. Many authors have considerable advice and insight for others in the field—and the audience of aspiring writers and established authors is massive. The next page gives you the option to customize your site. If you treat the practice seriously, all the content that you generate for your blog can have another life, in another format or within another publication. Your blog posts will then live elsewhere on your website, on whatever page you designate (most people create a page called “Blog”). You started a blog, and now it’s time to start blogging. Believe it or not, it’s rare to come across an informed, thoughtful, and careful interviewer and interview series. Congratulations! Click “yes.” This will give site visitors access to you. Create a landing page for contributor information- like this one. You might also develop competitions and events that focus on reader engagement, such as having readers name your novel’s characters, choose the best cover, etc. After completing this form, scroll down and complete the “package information” section. Pick one that suits your taste. Furthermore, to stick with blogging long enough for it to pay off, you have to actually enjoy what it means to blog, and how online writing can be different from print. The best platform to use is whatever you use for your author website—do not be tempted to build your blog somewhere else. What will they find if they Google your name? But of course the best benefit is giving agents or publishers a quick way to reach you if they happen to see something they like. There are two types of consistency: frequency and subject matter. People will be interested in your family and where you live, but lean toward, “We’re the proud parents of…” rather than, “...where we’re raising the three most adorable kids in the history of the universe.” ???? Creating a password Walking the line between just enough and too much can be tricky. Then you will be taken to a “Welcome to Bluehost” page to create a password. 1. With the following simple instructions, you should be able to build yours from scratch in the next hour. To get a large readership will require a unique angle or spin—although this is true of any blogging effort. It basically means celebrating and bringing attention to authors, writing, and books—the things you presumably love and want to support. Your site is now live, click here to view it.” Do that to see your new website! People who enjoy a blog like to get in touch with the writer and say so. You’ll find more very effective examples there, which should give you some powerful ideas for your own. Click Add new author. Consider the following: Having even one piece of cornerstone content greatly reduces your burden to attract readers to your site through brand-new content. For example, the best of my blog content is condensed into a book, Publishing 101. This is the best option for anyone writing and publishing nonfiction. The better you know your audience, the better your posts will be. The problem is that few authors meet those conditions. You own that and are responsible for everything posted there. Q&As or interviews with people in the community (usually authors). Step 2: Click the chain link icon (circled in red below). Author – List your name as the post author, even if it’s your website. Find out more. Author blog. Meanwhile, I’ll list the steps if you’d like to try it on your own. “.com” is preferred because it’s most common, but “.net” or “.co” work just as well. But I’d recommend Bluehost regardless. author pages build credibility for your site as a whole and for the individual authors and their individual brands Through other websites that link to you? Once you have settled on a theme you like, click “Install.”, Once the theme finishes installing, click “Activate.”, On the next page, scroll down to the banner: “New theme activated. Frequency: To gain any kind of momentum, you should commit to 2-4 posts a week. Your author website lets you host a blog, as I do here. The most successful blogs have a very focused angle and appeal to a very specific audience. Your readers, as they advance, may also outgrow your blog. If you’re not the type to write guest posts, then consider proactively offering yourself up to be interviewed as part of other bloggers’ interview series. After about two years of consistency, I reached about 60,000 visits per month. Step 4: Write briefly the reasons someone might contact you (“I’d love to hear your thoughts on…” or “If you’re looking for a speaker on…” or “If you’re looking for writer who…” And then, of course, your contact information. This will be a strange way to begin a guide to blogging, but I want to save you time, trouble, and heartache. If your blog is high-quality, and generates conversation, they’ll be likely to recommend you or send you traffic. Well, that all starts with your own author website. (My most visited resource on this site is Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published.). If you can do this in a helpful way, it’s a win for you, for your readers, and for the sites you send traffic to. So, you’re convinced of the need and eager to enjoy the advantages of your own author website, but maybe, like me, you’re not a techie. Adding links (Right click on that and you’ll see the URL it would take you to.). A handsome, compelling site can put you ahead of the pack by giving you: Just like dressing your best for a job interview, your professional-looking website puts your best foot forward. In the writing and publishing community, weekly link round-ups are very common. Creating your account If you’re very serious and strategic about this, I recommend reading How to Increase Website Traffic. You’re looking to include something that immediately identifies what you’re about. The chain of events goes something like this: My unproven theory: We have many authors blogging poorly because of this series of events. If you look at a month’s worth of your blog headlines, they should convey a strong message about what you cover on your blog and who it’s for. If you’re considering multiple websites, you’ll want to study the more extensive plans. Before you start, consider the following. It’s well-supported, continually developed, and runs about 20% of all websites today. Subject matter: Think about this in terms of your headlines for your blog posts. Launching your site Goodreads Authors are the only Goodreads members who can have a blog on the site. After that, click “Edit” under “Sample Page.”, Step 1: Change the title of the page to “Writing.”, Step 2: Change the URL extension to “writing.” URL stands for Universal Resource Locator (I had to look that up), and simply means the address you type in to go to any webpage. It took me 18 months to find the right angle—to realize I do best when I focus on business advice and digital media topics for authors. This is where the fun begins. Example: I’m working on my first novel, the story of a writing coach who tries to make technical-sounding computer lingo understandable to aspiring authors…. I think it’s always worth getting a custom header for a new blog. Where the difficulty lies: You may run out of material quickly, or not have a very high frequency of posts. So, the longer your first term, the longer you receive the discounted price. The cornerstone content on this blog can be seen right under “Most Popular Posts”—each one points to my 101 posts on how to get published. Blog posts. It’s used by 25% of all websites on the Internet, including mine, and it’s the service I teach you to use in this guide. I like to give people as many avenues of access to me as possible: a URL, an email address, a P.O. Let’s change this so it’s more applicable to an author instead of a business. That’s not the case, and that’s why consistency is so important. This takes you to your dashboard. Think about themes, hooks, or angles for an interview series on your site, and run them on a regular basis—but only as frequently as you have time to invest in a well-researched and quality interview. The average author does not benefit much from blogging. }; Give me about half an hour, and you—and anyone you tell about it—could be admiring a gorgeous new site all your own. Step 3: Copy and paste into the text box the URL (web address, like www.JerryJenkins.com/books) you want to link to. You can create such lists or round-ups on any theme or category that interests you enough to remain dedicated, enthusiastic, and consistent for the long haul—at least six months to a year, if you want to see a tangible benefit. Create a blog header . November 10, 2020 by Nina Amir Leave a Comment. Until you start reaching hundreds of thousands of readers, Bluehost should be perfect for you. After you finish your bio, click the blue “Update” button. For instance, notice the extension to my webpage URL, which takes you to my How to Write a Book guide: https://jerryjenkins.com/how-to-write-a-book/. However, you’ll be doing a good job with your SEO if: If your site is self-hosted, then you should have Google Analytics installed. If your website platform does not support blogging, then it may be time to switch platforms. “Destined to become a staple reference book for writers.” —Publishers Weekly. However, I don’t want to be totally defeatist here! Add an author’s archive page so that readers can see all posts by any author. This isn’t necessarily through any fault of your own; there’s an incredible amount of noise around us, and enormous demands on everybody’s attention. Next, click the “Save Menu” button on the right side of your screen. ), and what content on your site is worth your time to continue developing (what content will bring you visitors over the long run?). You could peek at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create post headlines to get viewers to click. that get shared on social and discovered through search. …which I’m about to show you in this guide. Step 5 Write compelling content to create a blog that your readers love. Click the “Dashboard” link on the left side of your screen. So identify the notable community players, or the people who you’ll want to build relationships with over time. While blogging can be less formal, less researched, and more geared for online skim-reading or social sharing, to do it well requires the same kind of practice and skill as crafting a novel. They also like commenting, discussing, criticizing, praising, opining. Now that you have an author website, you’ll soon enjoy: Congratulations! The last section on this page is “payment information.” Enter yours, click the checkbox next to “I have read and agree to…,” and click the green “submit” button. After you type in your new domain name, click “Next” and you will be taken to the “create your account” page. If you’re a nonfiction writer, then this probably comes naturally: Put together a 101 guide, FAQ, or tutorial related to your topic or expertise—something people often ask you about. Creating a “Writing” page Have fun with it! This post is my 100th blog post – a milestone! app_id: "l71g1wjl" I talk about the basics of author websites here. Your hosting company sees to it that your website is broadcast onto the internet. It is no secret that authors write some of the very best blogs. How Much Should You Personalize a Query Letter? Focus mainly on your writing, but add a little personal information as well. Initially, you’ll have no shortage of ideas, and your first readers will share your insightful advice on social media and help you build a traffic base. Step 2: Change the URL extension to “contact” or “contactme,” your choice. Blogging is sometimes conflated with writing for other websites or blogs, but that’s not what I’m discussing in this post. Click the blue “Log In” button and enter your email and password on the next screen. Officially launching your site This is why advice about blogging can be so contradictory and confusing: much depends on what genre you’re writing in and who you’re writing for. Now it’s time to create a menu so visitors can access all the pages you have created. Just two more steps before your website is ready to go live on the Internet! Is Your Writer’s Block Really Writer’s Indecision? Amazon Author Central allows you to customize your Author Page on Amazon, so readers can see who you are, what kinds of books you write, and — most importantly — why they should buy them! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. That turns your text into a clickable URL, and it will now look like this: A list of my published works. Imagine enjoying your very own great-looking site, bearing the .com name you choose (Hint: it should always be your name). These landlords are called hosting companies, so you rent your online space from them. In the audio and transcript, he outlines tips for blogging and also how to make money from your blog, and why writers have a real advantage as bloggers. Nonfiction writers and experts have it easy: their subject matter lends itself to blogging, especially if they’re teaching workshops or regularly interacting with their target readers. Some writers are successful with informal missives that comment on what’s happening day to day or that reflect on their personal life. Because of the realities of publishing today. Cover template – Make additional changes to the page template such as the … You can write about the research, news stories, or current events that play a role in the construction of your books or other work. If you approach blogging as something “lesser than” your book writing or published writing, you’re more likely to fail at it. Use the toolbar in the middle of the page to filter by category: You can even filter the features you want. Where the difficulty lies: Lots of literary citizenship activity exists online, in many forms. It establishes you as a serious professional. Creating an “About” page Visit other author sites for ideas and to be sure you don’t duplicate (unless you choose to). However, here’s how to ensure that your posts are more likely to be engaged with and shared. Eventually, if possible, you should guest blog for them. To add a new blog author: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Marketing > Website > Blog. And finally, avoid turning your guest blog into an article directory. Keep your domain name simple, professional, and clear—not quirky or extravagant. Or you may despise the idea of involving readers in your work. Click “Select All,” and then click “Add to Menu.”. Novelist Brandilyn Collins uses Seatbelt Suspense®. Click the blue “Log In” button and enter your email and password on the next screen. “What I’m Reading Now” types of posts and other “media consumption” lists where you talk about what stuff you’re watching, saving, listening to, collecting, etc. Your author website serves as a hub for your writing. Search this expansive list for a theme that feels just right to you. While that may seem a remote possibility now, new authors are discovered every day. Then you have to revise it, workshop it, revise it some more, write a query letter, do query research, … Pick one that suits your taste. This will be that first page visitors see at your site—the welcome or landing page. Exclusive audio: Blogging for Authors with Joanna Penn. Creating a tagline On Oct. 7, I’m offering a live class that tackles everything you need to know to get started (or to help you determine whether blogging is right for you). Full disclosure: I get a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use this link to sign up for a Bluehost service. Such a public venue a public venue citizenship activity exists online, in many forms decorate their apartments the they. Case: blogging can help build a community around common interests or perspectives page asks if you ’ re published. And be discussed, as I do here or speak, you can pick your,. In this guide you could blog about? ” would they feel compelled to click the basics author... 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