That time again and you can’t think what to blog about?
If you have designed your blog with a theme that supports your book and major interest, and posted a tag-line on the landing page, these condition readers’ expectations of what to find on the site, so your posts will focus generally around that theme, but they can still be varied in content and angle.
Bearing in mind that to attract readers and subscribers you need to give value – something to inform, entertain, amuse, interest or surprise them – here are some suggestions of what to blog about. Though these are aimed at non-fiction writers, they work for fiction as well:
1. You, the author: posts on why, how, where, when you wrote the book and events you attend – signings, launches, interviews, etc. quote extracts but it’s not a good idea to blog too much of your book or more than one or two of its illustrations.
2. You, the person: whatever you feel comfortable in sharing about your work and life – readers like learning about the authors they read. (Be aware of security: avoid details that identify exactly where you live and especially when you might be away).
3. Place: for travel, history, memoir and biography, opportunities for writing about related places are many, but everything happens somewhere, and almost any topic has a location reference that can be made intriguing and interesting.
4. Time: the same applies to times past in relation to your topic, e.g. what your travel destination was like in the past, how crafts were produced, how science was studied, or illnesses treated a hundred years ago, especially if you have access to old photographs. Ideal for memoirs.
5. People: stories about historical figures; people met on your travels; notable influences connected to your special subject. If you write on local history, persuade a few local ‘characters’ to let you interview them for profile pieces.
6. Information: updates or details about your area of expertise – new developments, techniques, events, or you could link them to topical issues such as national and international celebrations, commemorations and current news.
7. Photo-essays: a collection of pictures around a theme that requires few words but can create a mood consistent with the theme of your book.
8. Reviews: reviews of other people’s books that reflect your principle interests. Don’t restrict yourself to one genre: a historian could review a historical novel or a scientist comment on science fiction and vice versa, attracting a new audience to the site.
9. Interviews: other authors may be willing to participate in blog interviews (usually worked out via email): a good way to forge online relationships.
10. Humour: use humour where appropriate – funny anecdotes, disastrous DIY projects, pets’ antics – people love to find something to laugh at and lift their day.
Your posts don’t have to be long: 500-800 words can inform and entertain; with 800-1000 words you can examine a subject in detail.
Always, always, edit and proofread your posts to eliminate spelling or grammatical errors. Your blog is a public window on your work; it needs to show you at your best. The same approach to presentation (and to libel, liability, plagiarism and copyright) applies to a blog as to any other medium of publication.
And, most important, write about what you love – it will shine through in your writing.
*This post is adapted from Writing Your Nonfiction Book: a complete guide to becoming an author.