|Update: eBook Available October 2014|
Here are some tips to help you.
1. Lay a good foundation.
A good foundation ensures success and longevity of your blog and of your internet presence. A good foundation means having a plan.
2. Think first. Act later.
A lot of thought should go into your plan. Now is the time to figure out what you'll write about on your blog. Figure this out before you ever write the first blog post.
Answer These Questions
* What are my abiding interests or passions? Examples: bargain shopping, wine, growing vegetables, stamp collecting or collecting anything, model railroading, Civil War reenactment, etc. The list of hobbies or interests or passions is endless. List yours.
* Do those passions make their way into my work, my books, or my product? Analyze your books and the ones you intend to write in the future.
* Is there a large segment of the population who is also interested in those passions? Are there hobby groups attached to your interests?
* Are you interested enough in the subject matter to occasionally write about it?
3. Create an editorial calendar.
Right now, figure out which days of the week you will actually blog. Every day? Monday, Wednesday, Friday? Only on weekends? Once a week?
Answer These Questions
* What is my available time to take on another task?
* Am I willing to make a commitment to blog, week in and week out, on the day or days on which I decide?
* Print out a calendar or use a Day Planner and mark the days of the week on which you'll blog.
4. Decide on the specific topics about which you will blog.
Knowing what you will write in advance makes everything so much easier.
Example: on SlingWords, Sunday is for Written Wisdom. Monday is for my sharing some kind of tech news like a tool or website or gadget that will help you whether you're a reader or a writer. On Tuesday I offer an article about the art, craft, or business of writing--sometimes about my specific writing life.
Wednesday is a Guest Post that will interest all readers or an interview with an author to introduce new readers to the author. Thursday3Some is a staple and is designed to introduce a specific book and author to new readers. Friday is for video, audio, or pop culture. Saturday is for reviews.
Most of the time I adhere to this schedule, but I've been publishing SlingWords so long that sometimes I shake it up a bit.
5. Be consistent, not apologetic.
I really hate blogs that begin with: "I'm sorry I haven't blogged lately, but I'm back ..."
The easiest way to lose your audience is to not post regularly. If you have a gap between posts, then resolve to do better and eliminate the apologies. Nobody but your mother cares. Readers come to blogs for information and entertainment, not excuses.
Real life happens to us all. I know it's difficult to avoid explaining absences or tell readers your book didn't get published on time because your daughter had another surgery or any number of personal catastrophes I've experienced. I don't do many personal posts because I figure you don't want to read about my real-life problems. Instead, I try to offer entertainment and information.
A good blog is one of the best branding/marketing tools available.