Thursday, August 5, 2010

Effective Writing and Blogging for Authors

Moo cards for blogging workshopImage by Mexicanwave via Flickr

The incomparable Sacha Illivych is guest-blogging today on the importance of effective writing and blogging for authors.

The big trend lately is effective blogging and that’s a topic many authors who write romances are unable to grasp.  We tend to deal in hard fiction, as it were and thus we tend to spout off on whatever random topic seems to come to mind without throwing a care to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or the mechanics of Google ranking.  Worse yet, we tend to talk about things that don’t really matter as they don’t forward our career.

The problem with this is that it may show us having versatile interests; it doesn’t always draw attention to our platforms.  When we speak of author platforms, we’re really trying to show how diverse our writing abilities are in a manner that does one of a few things.  Either our blogs need to reflect our writing style as an extension of our brand, or they need to show more depth of who we are as authors.

So many blogs I’ve seen do little to help the author. Yes, in some instances we’re trying to strike controversy but does that help us?  Take it from the KING of bad publicity (gay fish, anyone?) when I blog about my favorite oral fetishes on some romance blog, even if my language is appropriate for that blog, all I’m really doing is capitalizing on the short lived success of controversy.  When I discuss cross dressing on my own blog though, there is more relevance there due to my varied writing in erotic romance. 

Be clear about our content.  Ask yourself about the voice of the blog you’re writing for.  Is it fun?  It is quirky?  Is it serious?  Does it require a modicum of professionalism?  Tailor your voice to suit that of the blog.  On the Midnight Seductions Authors blogs for example, I tend to write about the process of writing from the standpoint of an established author.  I have been writing longer than any other author in our blog aside from some of our guests.  I have a lot of sage advice to offer.

Examine what topics you’re blogging on and why.  When I put out a post on cross dressing, my point at the time was to use SEO tactics in hopes of capturing some traffic for affiliate marketing.  I targeted that post to the few blogs I appear on where it’s appropriate. 

Spend some actual time learning the delicate yet simple art of SEO.  In this case I’m going to suggest you target your blogs to sites with a ton of traffic as I’ve learned from Student4Ever and a few others that back links from sites with a lot of traffic give Google the impression that you’re an expert.  Learn proper link placement.  It doesn’t make sense to use my name as a keyword.  Nobody’s going to search for Sascha Illyvich the author, my analytical tools prove this.  Sure I get hits based on that but it’s usually when I’ve said something of value. 
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