Friday, July 24, 2015

How To Make Your Blog a Useful Marketing Tool

By Misty M Beller @MistyMBeller

Free Workshop in Progress: This summer on our ACFW-SC chapter blog we are happy to welcome one of our members, Misty M. Beller, for a special 12-week workshop on Marketing. Misty has experienced great success marketing her first novel and later ones, consistently selling 10,000 books a month. Join this free workshop and be blessed. Be sure to leave a comment and tweet the blogs to your friends. 
Elva Cobb Martin, President, ACFW-SC Chapter

These days, it's become almost mandatory for authors to blog. Blogging can be a great tool, but it's important to determine your goals so you can develop clear expectations of your desired outcome. 

Are you blogging to build relationships with readers? Or are you blogging to actively gain new readers for your books?

The answer is rarely one or the other, but having an idea of your primary goal will help you guide the focus of your blog. 

For a fiction writer, blogging is most often a way to build relationships, not necessarily a high count of direct sales. With non-fiction, it's different, because the blog can be full of content related to the writer's platform.

Blogs tend to grow most quickly when you promote them to your target readers. So you'll want to be aware of who that audience is. Promoting blog posts to authors when the content is geared toward readers will not always gain a lot of views or loyal fans.

As you blog, understand the purpose behind your efforts. Is it to garner excitement on a topic you cover in your books? Is it to connect with loyal readers? Is it to find new potential readers? Once you decide your goals for blogging, you can focus your efforts on how to accomplish those goals.

For example, old fashioned medicine seems to be a common theme in my historical fiction. I could probably gain some readership if I focused my blog in that area. And believe me, there's no shortage of content! It's fascinating some of the ways people diagnosed and treated illness in the 1860s and 1870s. If my goal was to gain new readers for my books, blogging on a topic like that, and promoting it to those interest groups, would be a good idea. Maybe I'll do that… :)

Now it's your turn! What are the goals for your blog? What's your strategy for accomplishing those goals?

Misty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance, and is author of the bestselling novels The Lady and the Mountain Man and The Lady and the Mountain Doctor.

Misty was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. About ten years ago, she made a career change from farm life into the business world, where she now works as a Senior Manager and Director of Process & Training. Her husband and two daughters are gifts from God, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

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