How To Keep Up and Set Up A Blog
My last blog post was on why an author should have a blog, and now that we have a blog, it’s time to talk about how to keep up with it. I’m no expert, but I do know that when you have a blog it becomes your home base. It’s a constant representation of who you are both as a person and as a writer. Some would argue a blog’s importance, but in the end, if you have one, you might as well make it as representative of you as possible.
As always, I have a list ready. Onward we go!
- PICK A THEME
Most blogs already have pre-made themes, other times, you can do a quick google search and find some themes, but. If you have the money or the ability, go ahead and get a custom theme. There will never be a chance of someone else having the same theme as you, and you can customize it to the point where it is all you, all the time, but if you can’t, then just pick your favorite thing. Roll with it.
- PICK A SET TOPIC
My passion has always been writing. I’m always learning something new, just by doing, and I always have something to share. Thus, my blog topic came about. I’ve also started delving into reviewing, but for the most part, I stick around the realm of writing in one way or another. You should have a set topic. While you can jump around a bit, it’s hard to establish a following when they only want to hear about certain topics. If you just can’t bring yourself to write about one topic, then keep a running theme. Do tips. Do reviews. Do something, but keep them tied together. Just like your book/stories should flow, so should your blog.
- PICK AN UPDATE SCHEDULE
My blog posts come out every Tuesday and Friday, excluding any special announcements or my monthly book reviews. I always post on those days, so people know when to expect my posts. It keeps people coming back, and also prevents me from overloading their inboxes with chunks of random posts. It’s to keep a consistent following, a consistent amount of posts per week/month, and to discipline yourself. Pick a schedule, and stick to it.
- WRITE AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
Always have more posts than are necessary for your schedule. It gives you time to come up with more posts, and it will help you stay on schedule. I always have five posts ahead of schedule. I don’t post them until the next scheduled day, but I have them ready. It is helpful for your own sanity and for your blog’s schedule. This will also give you multiple chances to go back and edit something in. Inspiration for a post strikes me at random, and I will usually subconsciously work on it days afterward, which makes for even more content to add. Schedule ahead so you can put in all the content you want.
- KEEP THE FORMAT SIMPLISTIC
Have pages for your posts, for your products (books or what-have-you), other helpful information, for your other profiles, and YOU MUST HAVE AN ABOUT PAGE. A contact form is optional, but you must make an about page. It’s up to you what you want to put on there, but you should always have one. It’s your chance to tell people what they should know about you. As for your posts, they should be simplistic in format. For example, my posts. I have an opening paragraph, which segues into my bullet-pointed lists, then I have closing paragraphs, which ask questions because I love discussion. It’s up to you what content you want to put in, but this is a format that works.
- ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, HAVE THE FOLLOW BUTTON NEARBY
If you don’t put anything else on your blog, put a follow button nearby. Not everyone has a blog they can follow you from, so having a “Follow by Email,” button is beyond important. Just do it.
Once again, I’m not an expert. I’m not a marketing expert, I’m not a web designer, but I am a blogger, and I am a writer. I’ve done things that work, others that didn’t, and in the end, these are what I’ve found to work. Have something to add? What do you post on your blog? What design do you use? Anything you utilize that you don’t see on this list? Let me know, and comment below!
Thanks for reading.
Have a request for a blog post topic? Just wanna ask a question? Go to my About and Contact page, fill out the contact sheet, and shoot me an email! I look forward to hearing from you.
The big controversy seems to be how often to blog. How much is too much and how much is too little? There are definitely two sides to the coin. I guess it comes down to what you actually blog about….
That’s very true. My rule of thumb has always been two a week, which I believe leaves plenty of time to generate more content, but will also keep the blog from overloading people. But, as always, that’s just my opinion on it.