What to blog about: 5 top tips for new and aspiring authors

WHAT TO BLOG ABOUT-3When you’re starting out as an author, everybody starts talking to you about ‘platform’.

“Start building one,” they say.

“You must blog,” you’re told.

“Um, okay,” you answer. “But what do I blog about?”

And that’s where it gets confusing for fiction authors. Blog about writing, which is what’s consuming you because you are, after all, knee-deep in writing a book (or should be – always remember that the platform is nowhere near as important as the product), and you’ll get lots of interest from … writers. Which is great. But what you’re really after is readers.

Blog about reading, and you’ll find yourself in that sticky territory where you discover that you’re a book reviewer. Do you want to be a book reviewer?

So, what should fiction authors blog about? (If you’re writing a non-fiction book, you write about your subject, over and over, until you are the authority figure in that area and cannot be ignored.)

My answer to this (and Tip #1 for the purposes of this post) is always to blog about what interests you. Which is why my blog is an, er, eclectic mix of life, family, parenting, writing, reading, social media, books, stories, and… whimsy. It’s just a blog. Not an ‘author’ blog per se. Just a blog.

But I’ve seen some terrific posts written on this very subject over the years, so for the purposes of tips #2 to #5, I’m going to share them with you here (follow the links to read the full posts – they’re all worth a look).

Tip #2: Don’t make your writer’s block or attempts to get published the main focus of your blog. In this post, author Anne R. Allen gives a great list of DOs and DON’Ts for author blogs.

Tip #3: Think about what your readers are searching for – and plan your posts to meet that need. This list of 13 Blog Post Blunders You Should Avoid by Kimberley Grabas from Your Writer Platform is a must-read.

Tip #4: Blog your subject matter. If you’re writing historical or genre fiction you have, as Karen Schravemade writes in this post for The Writers Alley, hit the mother lode of blog post ideas.

Tip #5: Whatever you write about, make sure you say it your way. As author Jody Hedlund writes in this post, blogging is a fantastic way to develop and exercise your writing voice. Use that beguiling ‘thing’ that only you have to draw people in.

If you’d like a step-by-step guide to building your author platform, don’t miss my new on-demand course for the Australian Writers’ Centre. All details here