Very commonly, new authors are being encouraged to start a Weblog by their publishers as a means of promoting themselves and their work. For many writers this task may seem a bit daunting as they have spent so much time focused on their own particular work or genre that writing about themselves and their ideas presents new challenges and takes them out of their comfort zone. Most people are unfamiliar with blogging and so may not see the great advantages that it offers the emerging artist.
Whilst social networking sites like Face Book are a good means to present a public face for a new writer they do not offer the same opportunity to showcase the author and his work as blogging does. Via a weblog a writer can make a more direct and comprehensive connection with his audience, with the opportunity to put many examples of his work and writing style in the public eye, whilst having a chance to diversify the topics that are written about. From this perspective it would seem that blogging may be one of the most important tools at the disposal of the new author for publicizing themselves and their work. An interesting blog that engages its audience in discussion (or debate) is certainly going to attract some sales and it will also raise the public profile of the blogger.
A large percentage of book sales happen online and so it is important to stay current in as many search engines as possible to have the chance of coming to the attention of new readers that are surfing the web. Raising a good profile on sites like amazon.com will certainly lead to sales but being high on the lists on search engines such as Google or Bing will almost certainly attract new sales as well. Perhaps the best way to do that is to maintain a busy and interesting blog. The more that a blog is updated, the more often that its tags and keywords are entered into the search engines and so there will be more hits on the blog site as well as the other sites that feature an author and his work.
All of this now seems very simple and useful even though initially I felt a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of keeping a blog. The most common things that I have seen on new author’s blogs are the questions “What do I blog about?” and, “Who will read my blog?” One blogger even began his blog by saying that he knew that no one was going to read his blog! Blogging offers the opportunity to discuss the process of writing, to get feedback about ideas for stories or to find out what sort of stories the readers may like to see. Writers can use their blogs to share some of their works in progress with potential readers. Blogging offers the opportunity to form a community with other writers via their blogs and so potentially to share a wider audience with them. Writers can blog about anything and they will find an audience for their ideas whilst at the same time they will be broadening their public profile- all publicity is good publicity.
If there is one strict rule to success with blogging it is to BLOG OFTEN!