Here at CompletelyNovel we often advise starting a blog to help with marketing your book. Each new entry in your blog can draw more traffic to your website or book listing, and lead to new sales. It’s a great way to connect with readers, and showing people in the publishing world what you’re all about. But apart from your book, you’ll probably need other topics to keep your blog fresh. So what kind of things might you write about?
1. Write About Your Everyday Life
You might think your life is boring – but anything can be interesting if you write it well enough. What may seem humdrum and prosaic to you could appear exotic to readers on the other side of the world. For example, ‘Mummy’ blogs focus on the day to day traumas and triumphs of bringing up children. Nothing extraordinary about that – but lots of people can relate to it. You too could concentrate on one particular aspect of your life – for example, being a single parent, dating in later life, living with a particular disability, having treatment for an illness, caring for elderly parents. Millions of people will be going through the same experiences, and would love to read about another person in a similar situation. Tell your story in whichever way is most natural for you, with humour, with insight and wisdom, or however it comes out when you write it!
2. Write About A Transformation
Everyone likes a good transformation story. Renovating or building a house, making a beautiful garden from a wilderness, even losing weight and going from ‘fat to fit’- these are all long processes, with great opportunities for regular posts, ‘before and after’ pictures, and photos of the process month by month.
3. Set Yourself a Challenge
Lots of people have set themselves an allocated time in which to complete a task. One of the most well known is Julie Powell, whose blog ‘The Julie/Julia Project’, documented cooking each of the 524 recipes in Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Powell’s blog turned into the book Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, which in turn was made into a film starring Meryl Streep.
Other people might post a haiku every day, try to become self-sufficient for a year, document the process of becoming vegan or signing up for a new evening class every month. You could set yourself a ‘sporty’ challenge, for example blogging about training for a marathon or triathlon. It’s totally up to you – and hopefully if will get you out of your comfort zone, and trying out new experiences.
4. Go On A Journey
There are many blogs about travels – it can be a great way to document a journey and share it with friends, family and the whole world, with great opportunities for sharing photos and videos too. Many people have blogged about travel combined with physical challenges, for example, walking around the coast of the UK or cycling across France, like CompletelyNovel author Andrew Sykes.
5. Write About Your Passion
If there is something in particular that interests you – cooking, reading, mid century furniture, vintage children’s books, collecting porcelain, restoring cars, – then it will probably interest other people. Even if it’s rather obscure. The great thing about the internet is that it can connect people with niche interests – those who collect rare crisp packets, or love the ska-punk band ‘Nietzsche’s Socks’. There will always be an group of people out there there somewhere who share an interest in your particular subject.
6. Share Your Expertise
You may have skills and knowledge that you can share – whether in the domestic sphere of jam making and DIY or expertise in photography, computer graphics software or fly fishing. Whatever it is, you could write about it, sharing tutorials, writing top tips, reviews of products, linking to other sites you’ve found useful.
If you’ve already published a book, you could share the knowledge you’ve gained over the process – what to do, and what not to do, (hopefully not from bitter experience). If you are just starting out in self-publishing, you could even document the whole process from beginning to end.
It All Adds Up
Blogging is a great way to force yourself to write regularly, knowing that there are people out there are eagerly waiting for your next blog post. Writing a blog could also be a route to publishing a new book, the ‘book of the blog’. Daily, weekly or monthly blog posts all mount up over time, and there are many instances of successful bloggers getting book deals.
Do let us know if you’ve got any tips for successful and creative blogging!
Thank you so much, great advice. I have been doing some of that but the big question, how do you get people to read and comment on your blogs?
How do you actually set a blog page to start with
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