6 Eye-Opening Reasons Authors Need A Blog
Are you hoping to build a business around your books?
Or are you already an “authorpreneur” looking to grow your business?
If you want to scale up your business, then yesterday was not too late to start a blog. If you haven’t started a blog, you’re definitely leaving money and opportunity on the table.
It used to be you could publish your books on Amazon and wait for their giant marketing machine to do the work for you. But now — not so much. Amazon has tightened the screws on self-published authors to ensure quality, and there is simply a lot more competition vying for readers’ attention.
As an author, if you want to sell books, you need to build your own base of loyal fans who want to read what you have to say. Give away a lot of great content first so your followers get to know and trust you, and then they become more willing to spend money on your content.
Successful online businesses operate in a social media driven environment which demands interaction and engagement. A blog is just the place to offer your readers exactly what they want — useful information presented in an authentic, engaging way, that improves their lives and builds your credibility and ultimately your bottom line.
You give them tons of quality content, and they can interact with you directly through comments and questions right on your blog. And this translates into happier customers and more sales — of your books, as well as any other related products you create.
A study by Bain and Company reveals that “customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20% to 40% more money with those companies than other customers.” Says Wendy Lea, CEO of Get Satisfaction (a social business consultancy), “Now, your bottom line is riding on your ability to deliver excellent service while you are meaningfully engaging customers.”
If you need more convincing, here are 6 reasons all self-published authors need to start a blog:
1. A blog builds followers.
If you are providing useful, solution-oriented content on your blog, giving your readers a way to share that content (via social media), and enticing them to join your mailing list with a lead magnet (a free product you offer in exchange for an email address), you will build an ever-expanding pool of loyal fans.
You can use your email list to share your posts and other free content, but more importantly, you can send your followers offers for your books and products. However, be sure you email more free content than sales offers so your list doesn’t see you as spammy.
With a blog you expand your potential customer base exponentially. People all over the world can read what you have to say, connect with you personally, and come to trust your expertise.
When I first launched my personal coaching business, I was pounding the pavement in my community trying to find clients. I attended Chamber of Commerce meetings, local business meet-ups, and spent tons of time networking just to get some traction with my business.
But once I built a blog and regularly wrote content that served my readers, my business took off. My blog allowed me to reach potential clients in various cities around the world — from Istanbul to Dubai.
Not only do your readers share your content, but also search engines like Google reward you with high rankings when you provide highly-useful content that’s properly optimized.
The more you blog, the more potential customers will find you organically when they search for keywords or phrases related to your books, products or services.
2. A blog establishes expertise and credibility.
The longer you blog, the more valuable content you produce, and the larger your following — the more credibility you’ll command. Readers will grow to view you as an expert in your field, and will see you as the go-to person when they are ready to buy your books and products.
When you offer solutions to problems, answers to questions, new ideas and insights, time-saving or money-saving strategies, you establish your expertise and depth of knowledge over time. You prove yourself as an authority.
This doesn’t happen overnight, especially in niches where there’s a lot of online competition. But with patience and consistency with your writing and information sharing, you’ll not only turn your readers into raving fans, but also you’ll emerge as a leader in your industry.
Being a published author also gives you tremendous credibility, so a blogger who is an author has an advantage from the start as an authority content creator and expert in their niche.
3. A blog builds connections.
With a blog, you cast a wide net of potential connections — not just with your readers and customers, but also with other authors, business owners, bloggers, and service providers.
Blogging is an interdependent endeavor. Bloggers need each other to share content, guest post, and refer support people.Within your online community, you can find potential JV partners, co-authors media and marketing opportunities, and business connections.
I have partnered with several other online entrepreneurs in creating other blogs and presenting webinars, courses, and workshops. Steve Scott and I developed a business partnership and co-author arrangement because we found one another through our blogs. We have found designers, tech support help, and social media coordinators all as a result of our work as bloggers.
Your blog also helps you build connections through social media like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. When you share your posts on social media and make comments on other bloggers’ social media posts, you’re creating yet another base of interaction, networking, and support.
4. A blog keeps you competitive and up-to-date
When you write articles for your blog and want to provide the best, most useful content for your readers, you have to stay ahead of the curve. You need to know the most current, up-to-date information about your niche. If you don’t, believe me — your competitors will.
You can’t get lazy and spin out the same old material over and over. You’ll need to read and research, gather your facts, find creative ways to present your material, and stay on top of your ideal customer’s needs and concerns. The more you write, the better you’ll get at this and the easier is will become.
Publicly presenting information to your readers who depend on your expertise forces you to be on top of your game. Of course, this level of professionalism and skill-sharpening will serve you when writing your books and in all areas of your business.
5. A blog gives you valuable consumer information.
With your blog, you’ll have a direct line to your customers and potential buyers. When they make comments on a post, share something in social media, or send you an email, they are giving you valuable information.
They let you know what their concerns are, what they fear, what holds them back from making a decision or purchase. When they share a post, they let you know what resonates with them and what they want more of on your blog.
You can also use your blog to ask direct questions of your readers related to your content, products, or services. You can survey them, create polls with important questions to put on your site, do A/B testing with products or sales pages, or email them asking for input or feedback.
You have a personal testing ground for your business and future book decisions that can pay off tremendously in the long run.
6. A blog provides content for future books.
Over time you’ll have hundreds of posts on your blog related to your niche. All of this great content can be repurposed for future books you want to publish.
If your blog posts average around 1000 words, you have the makings for a non-fiction book with 30 of your posts. Re-work and expand the material, add in some stories, case studies, or research, and edit the material to offer to your fans in a convenient package — a book!
You can also publish sections from your books as a blog post and then link to the book at the end of the post, giving readers the opportunity to learn more by purchasing your book.
Content from both your books and your blog posts can be repurposed for creating courses, videos, social media posts, and lead magnets.
Don’t be left in the dust as an authorpreneur who wants to build a business with your books. Decide to build a blog as part of your business model, and begin now to learn more about how to create a blog, how to write useful content, and how to expand your business using your blog.
We’ll be sharing more articles on the details of creating and growing a blog platform, but for now check out Steve Scott’s free Kindle book, How to Start A Successful Blog in One Hour and his $.99 book How to Find a Profitable Blog Topic Idea.