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Writing: What Should Indie Authors Blog About?

Debbie Young

Commissioning Editor of ALLi’s blog, Debbie Young

I had to smile when I realised that by chance the topic I’d allocated for what turned out to be our 1500th blog post was “What should we blog about?”

Well, we seem to have had no shortage of ideas since ALLi was launched 1500 blog posts ago! It’s easy to forget – even for me, when I’m beavering away behind the scenes here – just how vast and valuable an information resource we hold within our blog. While some of the earlier posts might be a little out of date in such a fast-changing world, most are still current and many are evergreen.

How to Get the Most Benefit from ALLi’s Blog

Image of firework display

1500 blog posts and counting! (Image: Xalluma at Morguefile.com)

Here are three key points to remember:

  • if you’re looking for authoritative and concise guidance on just about every self-publishing topic there is, sign up for our newsletter
  • if there’s a topic you need to know more about, type in the keywords to the search box to pull up relevant posts from our archive (and if you can’t find any, let me know, because I’ll want to fill that gap by commissioning a new post!)
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But now back to the topic of indie authors’ blogs, rather than ALLi’s…

What SHOULD Indie Authors Blog About?

Actually, there are no clear rights and wrongs, and the content depends on your objectives for your blog, such as:

  • to find an audience for your books
  • to find your voice as a writer
  • to give readers an insight into you as a person
  • to build their loyalty to your author brand
  • to share samples of your work
  • to repurpose content you’ve written for other sites or purposes
  • to build sales and recommendations
  • to boost your website’s ranking by providing frequent new content

In the seven years since I started my own author blog, I’ve done all of those – and on occasion also used it as a soapbox for a burning issue I wanted to get off my chest. But I’m trying increasingly to focus on strategies related to building my writing career – it’s title these days is “Debbie Young’s Writing Life” – and, of course, sales of my books.

What DO You Blog About?

But that’s just me… I also asked ALLi members what they like to blog about, and I hope the following cross-section of replies will help you home in on what feels right for your own author blog, and to have the courage and enthusiasm to blog to your heart’s content.

  • Tim Lewis: “Ideally should have something to do with your books for a start…”
  • Mari Howard: “My blog reflects the angle I come at writing my books, and it kind of expresses me … in a way that might be helpful to anyone browsing on the website who is thinking of buying a book.”
  • Anna Castle: I write historical mysteries and use my blog to share lots of the fun and curious things I learn that can’t go into the books. Novels are stories, not history lessons! Writing the posts is also a way to shift gears from Elizabethan to Victorian and back and to warm up the writing motor after editing & business periods.
  • Christine Frost: “These days, my author blog is where my flash fiction pieces go, with sporadic news.”
  • Fiona Cameron: “How far we can – how far we should – separate the “author” and the individual. I have been advised that I should separate them 100%. But I can’t, it’s as simple as that. If I’m going to write from the heart, I can only do so as ME. I believe contrived, “authory” blogs can be quickly identified – they bore me.”
  • Linda Huber: “I blog about books, writing (but not in a how-to-do-it way), life in Switzerland, my holidays, funny or odd or interesting things that happen, my ex-animals, and I have occasional guest posts by other writers. I think it helps people see me as a person as well as a writer, and I enjoy it, so why not? One thing I don’t do is review books, but that’s more a time issue than anything else.”
  • Pauline Baird Jones: “I blog about Life Happening, which gives me wide latitude on what to talk about. I slide sideways into book (and have a blog feature on Wednesday for authors to talk about why they wrote the book they wrote).”

OVER TO YOU:

  • What do you like to read about on authors’ blogs?
  • What do you like to blog about on yours?
    Please feel free to add your ideas via the comments box to join the conversation. 
Celebrating ALLi's 1500th blog post about #selfpub - with editor @DebbieYoungBN Click To Tweet

OTHER HELPFUL POSTS ABOUT BLOGGING

Five Blogging Tips for Indie Authors

Is Blogging Good Use of Your Writing Time?

Writing: How Starting A Blog Turned Me into a Self-published Author

2 Responses to Writing: What Should Indie Authors Blog About?

  1. Julie Day March 9, 2017 at 10:02 am #

    I have two blogs: one about writing and Asperger’s, and the other about marketing and writing ideas. I post on different days for each, so I don’t get confused what I am writing about.

  2. Karen Myers March 8, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    I’ve found my author site needs two blogs. The primary one, where the Home page goes, is for readers. I have a separate menu item called “Just for Writers” where my posts about the more technical aspects of writing and esp. the writing business go.

    The organic growth of my posts for readers is limited — they’re not the sort of thing that builds, say, a Twitter audience for me.

    But my posts for writers have significant longevity. Just recently, a technical post on how to use Scrivener as a series bible from a couple of years ago was picked up by someone (don’t know who), and racked up 2000+ hits over a few days (and is still climbing). I would not have thought there were that many writers deep into that level of tool support in the country.

    While I enjoy writing tremendously, my entire career has been deeply involved in the computer industry, deep technology in software and databases, and operational matters in running businesses in various industries. As I run across all these sorts of things in my new indie life as a writer and publisher, I bring 40 years of curiosity and mindset into these things that I think of as leading edge for the technical indie crowd, and there’s an audience out there for the articles, because not many are writing about those topics (yet).

    Having those on my blog is like being back in an office with others involved in solving the puzzles we indies constantly encounter as we try out things like wide distribution. The people I interact with there give me someone to talk to about the technical side of the indie adventure, and help break through the isolation of working alone from home.

    Now, of course, I need readers, but (as we all know) all writers are also readers, and a big hit like the Scrivener article above typically brings me a few more Twitter followers, and Newsletter signups, too.

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