Mandy Eve-Barnett is a multi-genre author writing children’s, YA, and adult books.
We can all see the number of blogs available on the internet is mind boggling – every topic you can imagine is covered.
Whether factual, diarized, crafting, a myriad of interests or informational, you can find several blogs covering things you are interested in or want to know more about. Yes, there are a multitude of writing/author blogs out there as well, but remember your story, your experience, your style is unique to you.
There are pros and cons to starting and maintaining a blog, but before you start, ask yourself the first and most important question – why do you want to blog in the first place?
There is a huge range of reasons to blog but maybe the best idea is to ask yourself if any of the following relate to you. This will give you an idea of the type of blog you will write.
There are also positives to blogging, which include:
Now you have determined you will be creating a blog there are several key elements you need to decide on.
This may seem easy – however, you need to search what names are already in existence. Then ensure the name reflects the topic OR theme you will be writing about. Is it a personal blog about your writing life, a business/book purchasing blog, or a specific genre/interest blog? Does the blog name read okay when it’s in a domain URL format? Can readers find it easily through search/SEO?
You may purchase a domain name for your blog at the outset or delay until you a) decide blogging is or is not for you b) your initial idea/topic/theme changes c) you can’t think of a name that encompasses your idea. Play around with names until once sparks your imagination.
For an author, this will be readers in your genre, for business writing it will be who wants/needs your services. What specific areas aspects of writing/reading do you want to cover? Take your time to really think what content you want to share on your blog. It may change over time (mine certainly did!) and that’s okay. Everything evolves as we become more of an expert.
What tone or voice will the writing reflect? Strictly business/informational or more personal/friendly? Write out a few test blog posts to see how your creativity responds to the challenge.
Will you be building your brand/book/genre around your blog name or the other way around? Is the blog part of a website or standalone? What do you want to achieve with your blog? Is it to publicize your books, connect with readers in your genre or the writing community at large or indeed, gain freelance writing clients?
Choose one area you have the most expertise or interest in. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself straight out of the gate. Your passion about the subject will bring about the following benefits:
You’ll put the time and effort into your blog to make it shine.
You’re less likely to abandon your blog in the future.
You shouldn’t run out of ideas.
Your knowledge and passion will show through in your writing, and your readers/followers will feel that. This, in turn, will lead to a larger following.
Customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the content you plan to create. For example, a cookery or photographic blog will have lots of images and block text, a service or product-based blog will have more text with graphics and photos. Think about how you want your blog to look with colour preferences, multiple blocks of text and images or a constant scroll down. How many columns do you want? How many pages? These can be changed and updated at any time so don’t worry if your vision for your blog needs adapting at a later date.
Now you are set up to start blogging…
By Mandy Eve-Barnett
We all want our blog posts to generate traffic, engagement and sales. Here are some tips on how to accomplish that. Before you start writing, ask yourself these questions:
Without interesting content, the post will be skimmed or even ignored. You need to catch the reader’s attention.
Rules to Remember
Take time to plan and research your content. Think about what this specific blog post will be about. Focus on one main topic or theme, don’t over complicate the post, keep it focused.
Write like you talk, the more natural the text sounds the more engaging it will be.
Make a plan so the blog post coincides with an event, a holiday, a news report, a TV show or movie, a book launch, a give-away – anything that makes readers click on the post. Reference in some way to the content of your book(s). I use reincarnation stories and research to link one of my novels and folklore for others.
Schedule your posts so that they will automatically publish. This ensures you don’t forget a post and are left scrabbling to hit the ‘publish’ button. Once followers know your schedule, they will anticipate the timing. I announce my yearly schedule in an annual post at the end of each year. This keeps me accountable and focused. Do some research so you can publish at the optimum time for your specific genre or content type; this can be found with an internet search or you can use your blog analytics, if your blog has been live for some time. I have found content for readers or writers are most common between 10 am and noon MST, but if your content is on a specific genre, search for other blogs with similar content and see when they post.
Create a magnetic, attention-grabbing headline to entice readers. You can use humor or a question. Use strong adjectives and verbs. Try out several headline structures to see which one catches the eye. Make your reader curious.
Look at your topic and see if you can add a unique perspective, experience, or twist to it, or indeed the content of your story’s narrative. Something readers aren’t expecting or are excited to find out about.
Most domain sites have media royalty free content you can search for use in your blog post.
Look for linking opportunities on your previous posts (two if possible). Match a phrase to the previous url.
End with a call to action. These include sign up for a newsletter, leave a comment, share the post on their social media, or buy a product. (Do not use all of them in one post though)
Don’t forget your SEO – include high volume focused keywords. These are words common to your overall topic of your blog. For example, I use – writing, manuscript, books, writer, author, book review, book titles etc. Use them in your title, subheadings and throughout the content.
You can use an internet search to find keywords. Put the topic in the engine and click – and a list will appear of related key words and also searches related to it. Utilize the list in your content and categories when creating your post.
Always proofread and edit your post prior to posting it live. Read them out loud – this will aid with sentence length, tone and grammar.
Get your blog featured in snippets by using such titles as: How to, Best of, Who is, What is & Why is – these have great success within search engines.
Ensure your blog is mobile optimized. If the content is muddled or unformatted, lacking images or is a stream of text it will be bypassed.
Utilize The Six Most Common Blog Posts Titles:
These ensure the search engine puts your blog post near the front page, if not top of the page in the search field.
Examples for these:
These are usually 10 – 25 bite-sized tips. The title states a benefit and the number of tips. The introduction states a ‘problem’ your reader has and the benefit of the tips. Add an overview of what the tips are and a clear benefit (use subheadings and images). At the end finish with a conclusion / call to action.
These posts guide your reader with easy to use steps for a certain subject. Create a ‘how to’ title. Start with an intro – include how you understand the ‘problem’, present the solution briefly, and demonstrate your experience. Use numbered steps under subheadings in more detail. Summarize at the end.
About Mandy Eve-Barnett
Mandy Eve-Barnett is a multi-genre author writing children’s, YA, and adult books. Her passion for writing emerged later in life and she is making up for lost time. With nine books published since 2011, she indulges her Muse in creative fiction as well as freelance writing. Read more…