As an author what should you blog about even if you’re not published yet?
Consider this. You’ve been dabbling at creating stories for years. Finally, you have an endgame in sight for one of your books. The ending is clearer than anything you’ve ever written before, the characters are fleshed out, the plot is making so much sense that it’s even shocking you, and then...you realize...you might actually be able to publish your first story. Then you realize that, oh no, you might actually be able to publish your story.
If you’re like any aspiring author, you probably are worried about how to get sales.
One way to do that is to write a blog.
Write about the things that people are searching for, and you will get people to click on your page. The more people that visit your page, the more visible you are. The more visible you are, the more chances you’ll have to sell your books. Plain and simple.
Now, you’re fully prepared to take on the role of writing in a blog. All you have to do now is start writing your first post. Then you realize, writing a blog is a lot different than writing fictional stories about ghosts and drama and romance and dragons. Blogs are like this unknown white stratosphere of infinite space where people are unsure what to make of it. How can you decode that to make it work for you?
1. Write about the things you’ve Googled
The easy thing to do is to write about things that you’ve had questions about because, nine times out of ten, if you’ve had questions about it, other people have too.
For example, the post I’m writing now. Back when I first started marketing for my first book release, The Cardinal Bird, I had a question about what new writers should blog about. I had a lot of things going on at the time.
I was creating social media accounts on as many platforms as possible, I was coming up with an idea for a cover design so that I could hire an artist, I was trying to figure out how to afford someone to edit my book without selling my husband on the street corner--that’s a joke, btw--and I was trying to create a website. It was a busy time. I didn’t have time to think out and research extensive articles to write mini-masterpieces. I had to meet my Amazon Pre-Order Deadline or I would be banned from it for a year!
So I searched what authors should blog about. Maybe that’s what you did yourself to get you to this page. If so...well, then, I think I’ve made my point.
Another example of this would be when I was first sitting down to write a story. It was so long ago, but I had written loads of unfinished stories. I had so many great ideas and had gotten 10,000 words, 20,000 words, even 50,000 words into various stories and then tapered off, leaving them as dusty, unrealized dreams to take up space on my Drive account.
So I researched how to finish a story. An author had blogged about it. I could blog about that. So could you.
2. Excerpts from your stories
If you have a bunch of unfinished stories like I did, you could add bits and pieces of them to your blog. Those 10,000, 20,000, and even 50,000 word unfinished gems I had mentioned earlier? Ya, I could take my favorite parts from them and post them in a blog. If people like you as an author, they can’t get enough of anything you write. They will finish your book and Google your name. Hopefully they can find your blog or website, and they can get a look at some of the other things you’ve created.
It’s a quick and easy fix if you’ve not updated in a while because you’re in the middle of a book release or--let’s get real--vacation!! All you have to do is scour through some old works that haven’t really gone anywhere in a while, pick out a scene that showcases the prodigal talent that you are, COPY + PASTE that written gold into your post, add a picture, sprinkle in a GIF, spruce it up with some Fancy Font or even some Not So Fancy Font…
...and you’re good to go!
It’s quick, fast, and you never know. You might get inspired to revisit an old flame of yours. I know readers and commenters motivate me to keep going. If people see your excerpts, maybe you’ll get inspired to finish that thing!
3. Behind the Scenes
Writing about behind the scenes is pretty fun for me. What does that mean? Think about any movie you’ve watched that you really loved. You may have gone to look through the bonus content because you just have to have MORE. You might look at things about how they did the special effects, bloopers, gag real, deleted scenes, casting the characters, etc.
Well, this might blow your mind, but all of that stuff exists for stories too!😊
And you can blog about it.
For instance, when I start writing a story, I plan a lot of things out in advance. However, I change things the more I write. For example, a character in a story once morphed through different people. Since I find photo inspirations for all my people, I thought I had him figured out.
He was a veterinarian in my book, and he had started out as this:
A quiet, unassuming man with a pleasant personality and passion for animals.
Then, I had a change of heart. My vet didn’t stand out from a crowd of other characters. So I looked for someone with a more unique look that might be easier to dialogue.
You might recognize this man as Simon Brenner from ER. I thought he had a more unique look, still had that clinic feel to him, but he might have a hidden depth that you wouldn’t expect. It helped me write his dialogue a lot. It flowed, it was unique, and it worked well overall. I thought it was perfect.
….until it wasn’t.
Searching for that alternate character had made me realize that it might actually be really cool if the character didn’t look like a veterinarian at all. What if he was a motorcycle-driving, leather-wearing, muscular man that would easily be dismissed as a veterinarian.
I liked it. It had conflict. It gave this veterinarian the chance to either have a really big chip on his shoulder or quiet amusement at shocking pet owner’s all across the world.
Thus the final character was born:
But that’s the exact type of thing that people love to read about when they come to your blog.
Include those deleted scenes, stories, backgrounds, and thought-processes that you wouldn’t be able to share otherwise.
4. Positive reviews about other books you’re reading
Writing about other books that you’re reading is not illegal. Don’t include excerpts from the book, but feel free to include some quotes that you liked. Add a spoiler alert if you plan to divulge any secrets.
I promise, authors won’t get mad at you about it.
In fact, they’ll love you for it.
If you don’t believe me, think about how you’d feel if someone blogged about your book on their website. I bet you’d feel:
Admit it. It's true.
5. Sneak-Peeks at Soon to be Published Stories
Similar to posting excerpts from works you’ve written, you can take scenes from your upcoming work to get people hyped up about it. I’ve done this on Wattpad with my stories before uploading a chapter. Readers love that interaction they can get with the author. They get a chance to ask questions and show support and just all-around fangirl out about it.
I like to post a scene and then ask questions about it to gain comments from people trying to guess what they think.
You basically get an advertisement doing this. It’s like those commercials at the movies before the feature begins. They can get a sneak-peek at your writing style and scenes from the book to see if they’re interested or not. And if you can include a Pre-Order link, or two all the better! People make impulse purchases when they’re excited. Just ask Amazon One-Click.
BTW, did you see what I did there? Including the links?
If you’re curious about how to do that...well, maybe you could Google it and write your own blog post about it :)
Thanks for reading!!!