What Can I Blog About on my Author Site?
You're a writer. You've got the big writer ideas ... a lot of them. BUT you're not published, yet. No biggie. You're putting all the tools in place. You've got yourself an Author Site and some of those social media pages everyone's talkin' about. You're ready to impress an agent, publisher, and your fans. Or, perhaps you're already published. Maybe you've got two or more books under your belt. There's only one problem. What the hell do you blog about? What the hell, indeed.
Before delving into what you should be blogging about, it might behoove us to spend a minute discussing what you should NOT be blogging about. You probably already know this, but I'll say it anyway ... funny cat stories or what you ate for breakfast are best shared on your personal Facebook profile. There, I said it. Now I can move on.
Unpublished or published, you are a brand, so your Author Site should only contain those things that pertain to your brand. You are speaking directly to your audience, an audience who loves your genre. If your genre is horror, blog posts about the Japanese art of flower arrangement will dilute your brand and confuse your fans, (unless your next book is about a Japanese Flower Arranger who is a homicidal maniac). If your genre is prescriptive non-fiction, then blog posts about conversing with elves will also dilute your brand and confuse your fans. Keep it real, and remember to only share your author persona. Even more specifically, tie your author persona to your genre.
Now that we've defined the limits, we can explore the limitless ideas you as an author can share. Your Author Blog is so much more than a collection of tiny, polished, 1500-word books.
It's a tool to further your craft, an archive of your research, a journal of your writing progress, a record of your opinions, analyses, observations, inspirations and happenings, an exploration of your genre, a communion with those who have found you, and a siren song for the ones still unawares.
As an Author, you are in a unique position: Your blog is your journal and your workspace ... AND it's a primary way for you to find and hold your audience. (So, when you are ready to publish your first book, or next book, your audience will be waiting. That's money in the bank!)
Check out this list of blog ideas
Your fans are all about your genre. If your genre is narrative poetry, this is where you explore the field of narrative poetry — classifications of narrative poems, the role of narrative poets in society, narrative poetry conventions, the history of narrative poetry. In addition, your fans will want to know who your favorite narrative poets are, what your favorite narrative poems are ... and why.
Anything you've read, watched or listened to: books, blogs, articles, infographics, magazines, poems, films, tv shows, plays, concerts, podcasts, audio books, performances ... but mostly in your genre. Your Reviews should be light, breezy and fun.
Anything you've read, watched or listened to: books, blogs, articles, infographics, magazines, poems, films, tv shows, plays, concerts, podcasts, audio books, performances ... but again mostly in your genre. These are more serious and much longer than Reviews.
The inside scoop will bring your audience curiosity and delight. Share your thoughts on a poignant scene you just finished writing. Share an excerpt from that same scene. Share your struggles fleshing out your protagonist. Anything is game, just don't give away the important bits!
Writing is a creative endeavor, but this endeavor is often supported by research. Any of the research you do for a non-fiction or fiction book is game for a blog. For example, if you are writing a mystery novel set in the working class environs of contemporary Boston, then your research might include: police procedure, the P.I. business, Boston neighborhoods and geography, the culture of working class Boston, the docks, types of boats, Boston dialects and idioms, poisons, the Boston Mob, foliage of the area, Boston weather patterns, the quality of sunlight in Boston. If the theme of your book is justice, then check out what the world's most enlightened (and unenlightened people) have to say about it — write it up and share your own thoughts on the matter (and how it relates to your book).
Perhaps you have fellow writers you can interview about their writing practice, genre and projects. Or maybe, in the course of researching your own projects, you have had conversations with technical experts, witnesses or survivors. Any conversation, in fact, that relates to you as an author, your work and especially your genre is an excellent candidate for a Blog Post.
Anything that relates to your writing: the craft of writing, your writing process, a news article that relates to your book and your comments about it, a set of chairs you recently saw that would be perfect in your hero's kitchen, a sales clerk you encountered who's a dead ringer for your villain. These are all interesting tidbits for your audience.
Again, anything that relates to your writing: a quote you encountered, along with your commentary; an excerpt from another author's book, also with your commentary; a recent experience that propelled you 1000 words further along in your book.
You are an Author, an Artist, an Auteur. To your fans (and future fans), your writing life is mysterious, beguiling and glamorous. They want to know everything. Share it with them: newspaper or magazine write-ups, interviews, conversations, anecdotes, signings, readings ... anywhere you go and anything you do in your capacity as an author.
Your Blog Posts and Event Posts will inevitably produce Comments by your fans (if you choose to enable Commenting on your Author Site). These comments are a rich source for Blog Post topics. Pick one up and run with it. Your fans will be impressed by your participation in your Author Site Comment Threads. They will be doubly impressed by your willingness to expound upon an idea they contributed.
Some, believe it or not, will want to follow in your footsteps. Make it easy for them. Got a go-to grammar site you love? Is there a book you recommend for helping author's build their Author Platform? Do you have a favorite P.O.D. company? Devote a Blog Post to each one.
Pro Tip: Be sure to include at least a few links to external sites in each and every Blog Post. Your Google Search ranking will thank you.
Ok, Writer! On your mark! Get ready! Blog!
Got any blog ideas we didn't mention? We'd love to hear about them!