It's hard to recall when there weren't blogs, but they haven't really been around that long. Now most authors and many others have a blog, but are you using them to your best advantage? Here's some questions that might help.
To begin with, Why blog?
A writer must decide what is the purpose of her blog. The most common reply would be to gain more readers. However, that is tricky since it isn't like a business which could say their blog's purpose is to sell X amount of products. The purpose of a writer's blog is more amorphous than that.
I blog for these reasons:
1-To interact with my readers and attract new readers
2-To build a supportive community of women
3-To reveal "me" not just my books (Transparency)
4-To attract more people to my website. So that's why.
Now Blog What?
I was very reluctant to begin a blog because I couldn't think of anything that would be different from hundreds of other writer blogs. But at the 2008 RWA National Conference in San Francisco, Malle Vallik who's in charge of Harlequin's digital planning, asked me in a "Harlequin authors only" workshop, what my brand was. I said, "Strong Women, Brave Stories." Then she asked, "What on your website reflects your brand?" And a bolt of understanding of struck me!
Nothing on my website reflected my brand. And in the next instant, I had the answer to what to blog about. I would relate stories of strong women, from me, from other authors, from readers. Now drop by http://www.strongwomenbravestories.com (Yes, I even registered my brand as one of my domain names.) Now look for any elements which reflect my brand. Note at the top of the left column that I put into words the mission of my books and blog.
Now I know another author has just shared her knowledge on branding so I don't want to redo her work. But to me, branding is more than what you are writing about and how, it's about who is attracted to the stories you write. I'm going to use my longtime writing friend Roxanne Rustand, as an example. We were friends working together toward publication so we still support and help each other. Rox could not think of what her brand was.
However, since I know her and her writing intimately, we talked and talked until we came up with her brand. We still haven't been able to come up with a "jazzy" tagline. But now visit her at http://roxannerustand.com/ and then click on her blog http://roxannerustand.blogspot.com/ . Her brand appeals to women who love the simpler life, in say, a setting like Wyoming and her readers and she both love animals. So Rox's blog isn't like every other writers blog. She invites other authors to talk about their beloved pets and any animals in their stories. And pet lovers are loving her blog! A great way to tap into a new pool of readers.
BTW, I also added something new to my blog this year. I'm serializing and posting my very first (never published) manuscript, La Belle Christiane, on my blog--a scene every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This has been a fun venture and I've gained many new blog readers. As a courtesy, I post each finished chapter on my blog so newcomers can start at the beginning and join in the fun.
Readers, which author blogs do you enjoy and why?
I'm including a giveaway this time. My latest Love Inspired romance is Daddy in the Making. Leave a comment and your email address with (at) and (dot) to confuse spammers and I'll choose a winner!
For more about Lyn and her books check out her website at http://www.BooksbyLynCote.com