Blogging is a great way to market yourself, but are you doing it effectively? I think this boils down to what your goals are (doesn't everything?!) For the sake of simplicity, let's say your goal is to be searchable in search engines in relation to books, writing, and hopefully one day YOUR book.
You need to blog about the things you want to be associated with. Sounds simple enough, but it's not. For instance, when I started blogging I thought that meant I had to write about WRITING every time I blogged. While some of those posts were fairly informative and hopefully helpful to someone, I was new and there were lots of better writing blogs out there. I just rehashed what I was learning.
The bottom line--I was putting up mediocre posts that didn't feel like me. I was trying to sound all official and intelligent. (not that I'm stupid, but I'm a little more relaxed and conversational)
Your blog should really reflect YOU. Blogging will quickly drain you of all energy and desire to continue posting unless you make it about what's important to you. In my case that's more about building relationships and having conversations.
Here are some things I've found that keep me reading other blogs.
- personal stories about their writing
- story bits to entice me
- what they are learning about writing and publishing
- news about good things in other writer's lives (such as signing a contract)
- fun pictures (often with no relation to writing)
- Ask me questions that get me thinking
The point is they mix it up. Every day is a little different.
Notice I didn't mention an amazing background and layout. These things are important, however a lot of people read in google reader and don't see those things anyway. My only suggestion for this area is pick something you like that's related to your theme.
I write scifi and fantasy, so I picked a star background.
When I blog, I try and stay in my general area of interest. I review scifi and fantasy books. Yes, occasionally I wander off into other territories, and that's fine. However, I want the people who might eventually read my book to find my blog and invest themselves in my life. This makes it more likely they'll buy or at least read and review my book on Goodreads and Amazon. So I try to share science fiction related stuff.
Such as these cool real science things.
So, open your blog. Look at it and pretend you've never seen it before.
Who does your blog say YOU are?
Jody Hedlund posted today about What fiction writers should blog about. Check it out!