Is Blogging Still Relevant for Authors?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Recently, I’ve fielded a flurry of questions asking if
blogging is still worthwhile for writers and authors. 
If anything, I believe it’s
more important. 
There have been so many changes on social media—with new
algorithms, rules, and changes—it has never been more critical for us to have a
stable place for our audience to always be able to find us.

That said, there are also more viable options for writers
when it comes to blogging choices. Being part of a focused group blog can be
one excellent solution for authors who don’t want the responsibility of managing
a solo site.
Here are some other
things you may not have thought about when it comes to blogging:
1. An unfocused blog
is an unread blog.
Many writers have the mistaken idea that narrowing the
focus of a blog will narrow the audience. Although it seems counterintuitive,
the exact opposite is true. By focusing our blogs—with a clear purpose and relevant
posts—a larger section of our audience will be able to find us.
People will follow our blogs FIRST because we have
something interesting to say.
2. People will follow
our blogs FIRST because we have something interesting to say—not because we’re
authors.
If you can make writing about writing interesting to your readers,
then that’s great. If not, pick another subject matter. Make sure it’s
something you enjoy learning/talking about. Otherwise it will quickly become
drudgery.
3. Titles and key
words MATTER.
Gone are the days when we use phone books to find people and
businesses. Now everyone uses search engines. And search engines rely on
keywords.
Keyword Refresher
A keyword is
like a label. It’s a short way—although almost always more than one word in
length—to state the purpose of your article. Articles can have several keyword
groups or only one. I only have one main keyword group for this article XXX.
You’ll see this keyword in the labels following this post. You’ll also see
some related keywords, XXX
I use groups of words
because the point of the keywords is to direct the searcher to your website. We
want our keywords to match—as closely as possible—what someone types or
speaks
into a search engine search box. People rarely type just one
word because it gives too many options.
Our blogs are our online homes.
4. Our blogs are our online
homes.
Because of that, we’re
the ones primarily responsible for making those visiting feel welcome, safe,
and comfortable.
  • It’s up to us
    facility conversation by asking open-ended questions at the end of our posts.
  • If we ask for our
    readers to be vulnerable with us and each other, we need to demonstrate that
    level of vulnerability within our posts.
  • Finally, we need to
    answer the comments left for us. In person, we’d never ask someone a question,
    then ignore them after they answered. But we frequently do that online.

5. We must make sure
it’s easy for our readers to return.
This means we need to have a prominent
place for them to either sign up for email updates or RSS feed when a new blog
is posted. It’s also important for them to be able to connect with us further
through social media, so we need to have those buttons in our sidebar as well.
Bottom Line
Blogging is important because we need a way for our audience
to find us that doesn’t rely on the whims of social media network. But it doesn’t
have to make us miserable. Play around with some options and find one that
works best for you.
I’d love to know what is working for you now. Be sure to
leave your thoughts in the 
comments section below.
Edie
Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including While My
Soldier Serves, Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military
. She’s also the
military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular blog
for writers, The Write
Conversation
, reaches thousands each month, and she’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Connections:
Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers
is a print expansion of
her bestselling ebook on social media. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, and the Senior Editor
for NovelRocket.com. Connect on Twitter and Facebook
.

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