Clearly it should entertain and inform – preferably at the same time. Some writers who are not yet published hesitate about creating a blog or a web site as they do not yet have a book out there. But maybe the blog doesn’t need to be just about books. It can be about the subject of your book, your writing process, you, something else, or a mixture of all of these things. As you can set them up for free, you can get started straight away. More about that later.
All in one place or separate?
I personally like to keep separate blogs for separate purposes. The one you’re reading right now is about what I see as a publisher. I’ve recently posted here about marketing routines and now I’m looking in closer detail at some items.
I have other blogs:
Gills Recommended Reads is my reviewing site where I share books that are so good they have taken me out of my editor’s head.
Gill’s Sample Fiction is exactly what it says it is. Here I publish extracts from my fiction.
The Creative Café Project is all about my project identifying cafés that facilitate creative practitioners meeting each other and their audiences.
The House on Schellberg Street is all about my Schellberg Cycle of books and also contains a lot of background material to the books. It is designed to be a useful tool for anyone studying the Holocaust. Unusually it gives quite a lot of the German perspective.
Writing Teacher is all about my life as a teacher of creative writing and I’m currently adding in some craft workshops.
Gill James Writer is where I blog about writing and occasionally about my books. This and the Creative Café Project are the two most popular.
Other people blog about a variety of topics in one place. See:
Allison Symes Allison often takes you to a landing page where you can pick which of her blogs you want to read. In effect, she uses a hybrid method.
So, all in one place or divided by topic?
Here’s a snapshot of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
All in one place
You can probably blog every day. However, you might lose your friends who are not writers or lose writing friends who are less interested in you personally.
You’re blogging less often but your blogs are more focussed.
I actually think both methods are valid and in the end it is up to you to decide which one is better for you.
What can / should a writer blog about?
Well here are a couple of lists I’ve found useful:
Look at other blogs for even more ideas.
Where to host your blog
There are two providers that will host your blog for free. I favour Blogger as this is what I’m used to. However, Word Press is just as good.
Look at what you can achieve with Blogger: Words and Pictures This is an ezine that is published almost daily.
You do have the option of attaching a custom domain name. I have done this with Gill James Writer, The House on Schellberg Street and for The Creative Café Project.
What we find in reviews
When we review our author’s blogs with our marketing hats on we often notice a lack of a call to action. You need to make it irresistible for your reader. Whoever comes to your post shouldn’t fail to follow you or eventually buy your book.
Do have fun with this. Planning your blog can be almost as creative as writing the book itself.