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WritersLife Wednesday – Blogging to Build an Author Platform


I ran across a post today on how blogs aren’t as great for building an author platform as they are made out to be.  It’s here:

I’m here to offer the counterpoint.  Now, this writer is completely correct in saying you should blog because you want to and not just because you are told you are supposed to.  If you don’t want to do it and you’re forcing it, odds are the readers can tell.

But I think he’s underestimating the power of blogging the right way (or at least the way I got from my friend Peter Grant)  Peter built up a following on his blog before releasing books and when the first one came out, he asked his followers to buy it on Amazon that day to help its visibility and get it under the noses of other readers.  He asked, they did it, and his book hit Amazon’s bestsellers list in that subgenre (military sci fi, not my thing but if it’s yours, check him out 🙂

I can’t say this would work for everyone.  Peter put five years of work into his blog before releasing a book.  The man thinks ahead, what can I say 🙂

But, and here’s the big but, the way to make this work, to actually build a following is to blog about something other than writing!

I know.

We’re writers, what will we blog about if not writing?  Peter blogged about politics, his experiences in the military, working in government, the news, government now, ect… He found people who liked his thinking and his style, or they found him.

The key here is to blog about things that aren’t writing, but are related to what you write about.  Again, that is a big factor in Peter’s success.  The people who read his blog are also the ones who would likely want his books because he writes about politics, military, governments, just set it in space.

That’s the key, and that’s the part I have a hard time with.  I already know what I can do, blog about law, government and politics because those are what my books are about, just set in urban fantasy realities.  I have a problem with it though because it’s easier for me to write about writing and just babble off my thoughts than it is to write about anything law related because that requires research.

No really, you want to know why lawyers are so expensive, it’s because we have to research everything and there’s a ton of it, and it’s constantly changing.  And that doesn’t even take into account the facts that laws differ by states and that I could get in trouble if I get too specific and people take it as legal advice.

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to pick up the pace on my law pieces, it means I have to suck it up and put in some more research time and just make sure the dry, dry law facts are entertaining.

Oh is that all? 🙂  There’s a reason my law posts are few.  But I’m going to try.  Another thing is I could write about politics and the government.  That scares me because I don’t want to loose potential readers by being too controversial.  Basically, on that one I’m being a coward.  I’ll work on it 🙂

So, think about what in your books you are an expert in in real life, and blog about that sometimes, probably in between your writing or day to day life pieces.  Who knows, maybe it’ll help.  Maybe it’ll just teach you more in your field.

Happy Writing 🙂

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