This week's Ask Robin Question: Warren Peary writes, "I want to start a blog to promote myself as a science fiction author and gain a following. How do I get started? How is a blog different than a website? How do I get people to follow my blog? Who should I use to help set up the blog? Thank you."
Answer: Thanks for your question. Lots of questions, actually, so let's take them one by one. A blog is different than a website because it is more dynamic. For blogging to be most effective in helping you grow your platform, you should publish a new post at least twice a week. Daily is great if you can get to it.
I find the best way to start and manage a blog is to build your website through Wordpress and create your blog as one of the tabs on the site. Like I've done on GetPublishedCoach.com. You can research various "plug ins" that will allow you to do this, or if you're not tech savvy, hire a website developer who can help you set it up. (I'm a firm believer in paying the right expert vs. giving myself brain damage, but to each his or her own.)
Here are 10 tips to promote your blog and gain followers...
1. Blog consistently. At least twice a week for best results.
2. Guest blog for others who have a bigger following than yours and ask that they include a link back to your website with a short bio at the end of your post.
3. Post reviews of newly released books in your genre on your blog. (This is especially helpful to fiction writers, since it's harder to sort out people who enjoy a specific genre of fiction than it is to find people who have an interest in a particular non-fiction topic.)
4. When you write a blog post, notify your followers on social media with an announcement.
5. Include a link to your blog on all your social media profiles.
6. Add share buttons (again, a plug in) on the blog site, so people who like your blog posts can share them on social media.
7. Promote your blog to your list, either by announcing articles, include partial blog posts in an email that links to the rest, or both.
8. Be entertaining. Be brief. If your blog is fun and engaging to read, more people will read it. Besides reviews, you also can write about your writing process. Not necessary to post entire chapters or long excerpts.
9. Invite comments. Don't just write at people. Invite them to contribute their thoughts.
10. Be authentic. Always. Everywhere. Blog is no exception.
Thanks for your question! Hope this helps.
All the best,