Kayelle Allen is a busy woman. And as such she asked herself how often did she REALLY need to blog? She shares her answers with our RU crew!
As an author, leader of two writing groups, owner of a writer’s blog, and the owner of an author-support business, I create with words every day. I write books, short stories, critique writing for others, create written instructions, and teach workshops, write articles for various sites, and I spend far too long on emails. Since phone calls are verbal, I won’t include them. Texting? Another day.
When it comes to blogging for myself, is it any wonder I run out of steam? Some people detest blogging and can’t see the need for it. They’d rather write books and get paid than write articles for free. Others tout blogging as the go-to answer for fresh content on their website. I’m in the middle. I resist blogging but see the need for it. Does this happen to you? You’ll be happy to know, I found a handy solution. I ask myself three questions. How? How much? How often?
How do I write enough? How do I cover the basics? Remember the five paragraph essay you learned back in high school and college? It consists of an introduction/thesis, three points, and a closing thought. In this blog post, my intro is the first paragraph of this post. My thesis is the second. My three points are how, how much, and how often. That format can help you get your thoughts in order for a simple blog post. I’m not the only person who thinks so. Look at this post by Mike Alton of The Social Media Hat.
To know how much you need in your post, consider why you are writing it. Is it to tell readers about a new book? Did you make a change to your website recently and need fans to be able to find things? Are you concerned about a trend in publishing and you want to voice your opinion? Have a fun new interview for one of your characters? The main reason to share your post will determine how long it should be. One of the biggest reasons to blog is to have fresh material for web crawlers (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) to find, and therefore keep you at or near the top in search results. If you want to know how to create the “perfect amount of copy” then Daphne Gray-Grant (The Publication Coach) might be able to help you. Read her short-short post on the topic.
When it comes to how often to blog, that’s a tough subject. You don’t want to post so frequently that you have no time to write, but if you don’t post often enough, you risk losing reader interest. Readers come back to your blog to see if you have new content. They come back when their RSS feed alerts them to new content. They come back when they search for specific content and a new post meets their search parameters. But how often is enough? Hubspot, which studies and reports on social media, blogging, and topics surrounding these, reports that “the more blog posts companies published per month, the more traffic they saw on their website. Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.” When you consider that as an author, you are a “company” then it makes sense to blog more than once a month. The important thing is to stick with a consistent schedule.
To help yourself get on a schedule, consider creating a blogging calendar. Brainstorm ideas you could talk about. Don’t stop to consider details. Just jot them down as fast as you can. They might include character interviews, character insights, excerpts from books, book releases, deleted scenes, holidays, flash fiction, and so on. These become your blog’s “categories.” List one or two word descriptions for your articles that you will use and re-use (short story, free read, new book, or the name of a character you discuss often). These become your blog’s “tags” or keywords. Using this as a template, place the categories on a calendar and use it as a guide to help get you past the “blank screen” when you’re going to blog. This will not only give you content, but also a schedule.
Having an idea of how to blog effectively, knowing how much you need to say, and how often you need to say it will help you get over the hurdle of blogging. Being prepared takes away the panic of not having an idea or knowing what you should do or say. Now, the only thing to do is put it into practice. I tell myself “I’m a writer.” If I can write a book, surely I can write a blog post. With a guide like this one, yes I can.
How do you come up with ideas to post? How often do you blog? What skills help you when you create? Feel free to share them in the comments.
Bringer of Chaos, scifi by Kayelle Allen
Two enemy warriors: one human, one immortal. Different in belief, alike in spirit, marooned together on an alien world. Amazon http://amzn.to/1R8DAbb
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Bio: Kayelle Allen is a best selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. She is the founder of Marketing for Romance Writers, and owner of The Author’s Secret.
Romance Lives Forever Reader Group https://kayelleallen.com/bro