Surf the web any given writing day (guilty as charged!) and you find yourself swimming in a sea of author blogs. Wade through for a while and you’ll start to see a pattern—author blogs fall into one of two categories.
They’re either engaging or they’re unfocused.
Unfocused blogs are easy to spot a mile away. They’re updated once every six weeks and more often than not, the majority of their content is the latest meme…you know, Terrific Tuesday, Wonderful Wordy Wednesday, Taco Thursday. Those things. Fun enough, I guess, for the owner of the blog, but of very little value to the blog’s audience ( you know, the author’s actual readers).
The engaged blogs have what most of us, as authors, long for when it comes to our blogs. They have a following and the reason they do is that the blog authors offer his or her readers something tangible. It doesn’t matter what—it could be a glimpse into their writing process, an article about the art and craft of submissions and queries, a hot tip about a new agent, or a free chapter. Engaged and inspired blogs are more than just a PR or marketing tool the author uses to pitch their newest release—they reach their readers and call to them with their siren song when their readers (like me) should be working and putting words to the page.
But how, exactly, do they manage this?
In the Inspired Blogging For Authors class here at Savvy, we’ll get into the four CORE COMPETENCIES and their accompanying impact strategies.
The first core competency is your blog’s mission statement. It sounds a little strange to assign something usually linked to the business world to your author blog, but you’re a one-person business empire and you need to know what you want your blog to accomplish.
Developing your blog’s mission statement isn’t too difficult and it’s something you should update periodically to make sure your blogging efforts are aligned with your writing and marketing goals.
The simplest way to construct a mission statement is to answer the following two questions:
1. Who is your blog audience?
Are you trying to reach other writers? Housewives under the age of 30? Career women between 35 and 40? Crafters?
When you don’t know or don’t care, or when you’re too general about who you’re hoping to attract (for example, “I just want people who will buy my book!”), your content won’t reflect any specialization or keyword content that will help get these readers to you. (Yes, we will cover SEO in our course!)
Not knowing who you’re writing to will create a blog that’s unfocused and one that will be frustrating for you, as the author, to maintain. You’re busy enough creating happily ever afters (or zombie apocolypses?), you don’t need to stress about your blog overmuch as well!
You have to be able to answer this question quickly and succinctly if you want to craft blog posts and advertising campaigns that will reach them. Take a little time and think about your ideal blog audience.
2. What do you want your blog to do for you?
Are you looking to sell copies of your self-help manual? Trying to hawk copies of your self-published romance? Do you want people to sign up for your latest course you’re hosting here at Savvy?
These are all different goals with different action steps required to meet them. Every self-help expert on the planet will tell you that you can’t reach your goals if you don’t define your goals and when you don’t have clear outcomes in mind when you set forth blogging, well, the sad news is that you’ll never get what you’re looking for.
Take a while and really get to the heart of these two questions and craft yourself a blog mission statement. With this in hand, the necessary steps you’ll need to take to meet your goals will begin to materialize and you’ll find yourself closer than ever to your golden goose—whatever that may be for you.
Interested in the rest of Inspired Blogging for Authors? Be sure to register for the course! It runs December 10-23 and will offer lots more blogging insight for authors and entrepreneurs.
Megan Applegate runs Inspired Blog Writing, an online source for blog training, coaching, and classes for the savvy author, crafter, and entrepreneur. Visit Inspired Blog Writing at http://inspiredblogwriting.squarespace.com