You're a self-published author. You need to take care of everything, at least handling the outsourcing of tasks.
You write your books, you write your descriptions in the hope of selling your books. You create or order your covers.
You advertise and use social media to spread the word about your books.
Do You Really Need to Add Blogging to Your Long List of Tasks?
This is what Fauzia Burke on Huffington Post has to say about the need for authors to blog:
Some authors groan at the thought of developing a long-term online marketing strategy for their books because it’s yet another demand on their time. (Time they’d like to spend writing.) Extra time isn’t something any of us have in ample supply so I totally understand. This is why I tell authors to select a few things that matter most to build their community and brand. For book authors in a competitive marketplace, the need to blog couldn’t be higher. Despite ever-evolving social media, blogging remains a top priority for authors.
If you're overwhelmed with work right now, you can set up your author blog and start blogging later. Because an author website has more than one purpose.
In fact, according to Publish Green, an author website is more important than ever for the following reasons:
Now more than ever, people are choosing to stay at home to find their next great read. Sites like BN.com and Amazon are a great means to promote your eBook, and we don’t discourage you from using them. Quite the opposite: Publish Green sends eBooks to these sites to get authors the maximum exposure! However, simply listing your eBook on these sites is not as personal, as they just list the basics about your book. But creating an author website…well, that’s a different story.
While creating an author website is a critical marketing strategy for any author, eBook authors have a particular incentive to create and maintain a great author site since they are selling a digital product.
(My emphasis again.)
If you need more convincing, just take a look at the top-selling self-published authors. They all have a blog, at least for three reasons:
- List building.
- Selling books.
How Can You Brand Yourself Through Your Blog?
By writing and publishing blog posts, of course, but your must important branding tool is one page on your blog: the “about” page.
Put an efford into writing it, because that page is the most visited on an author blog. Talk about who you are, what you do, what you like, and why you're writing books.
Build Your List
Technically, you don't a blog or website to build a list. The only reason why you need it is so that you can link to it in your books and so that you have a place that can host your sign-up form.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy. A simple form will do, and you can even start out with an autoresponder for free.
Interestingly, I've never been really fond of MailChimp. I didn't like their userinterface, and they are VERY expensive once your list grows beyond a certain number. But a short while ago, I heard about an author who had her account closed without warning or reason given. That's a loss that can easily cost thousands of dollars monthly. And of course, they don't even answer to her support tickets.
Instead, I recommend an autoresponder called MailerLite. I've used their service a few times, and they've always been fast and kind. It's free to use MailerLite until you reach a certain amount of subscribers, and afterwards it's very inexpensive. I won't give exact numbers and prices here, because it might change, so it's better to check it out on their site directly.
Sell Your Books
Finally, you can use your blog or website as a shopwindow and sell your books.
You can send traffic to these pages, track your sales with the help of Amazon affiliate links, and make more money plus get an idea about how well your traffic source is performing.
Make sure to have pictures of your book covers on your blog and both covers and text should link to your Amazon book page.
Having a Blog Is a Must for an Author – Now, How Do You Set It Up?
Before I wrote this blog post, I saw an article about how to set up an author blog. It was very brief, along the lines of…
- Buy a domain name.
- Get web hosting.
- Do a one-click installation of the WordPress script.
While I agree with the first two points, there is something very important missing between them. The connection. Once you've bought a domain name (your own name or a pen name is fine), and you got web hosting for your site, how do you connect the two?
To do that, you must change the DNS settings where you bought your domain name.
And what about the one-click installation?
That sounds nice, right? No efford, no pain, no frustration… also no safety either.
To do a safe installation of your blog, you need to use FTP – a File Tranfer Protocol. It's not hard to do, but it something you must do.
There's more to all that, of course, and this blog post is already getting long.
If you would love a step-by-step very detailed walk through of everything you need, from buying a domain the best place, getting reliable web hosting, connecting the two, getting the WordPress script (it's free) and installing it on your site, getting a theme, and finally setting it up to showfile your books, then you should grab my “Set Up Your Author Blog” today.