Blogging — Creating a Community for Your Book

The following article is reprinted with permission from Dog Ear Publishing:

The business world is convinced it’s found a “revolutionary” way to reach customers and create “buzz” for their products… and they have, sort of…

The best part is, it’s really simple and something that you as an author already know how to do – WRITE!

The revolutionary marketing method? That odd little word called “blogs”.

You’ve heard the term “blog” before, I’m sure.

Here’s the revolutionary part though…

Have you done anything about it?

Do you understand the power that a blog can have?

Have you thought about using a blog to build a community of interested readers for your book, build your book sales, create awareness of you as an author and take your marketing efforts to the next level?

You may be asking “How do I start blogging?” Now is the perfect time to start… and I want to help you get started… NOW!

What does it meant to you? What is the meaning of blogging? Probably, it evokes images of a glorified internet “diary” where geeks, computer nerds, and lonely teenagers rant and rave in the ether of cyber space. Thats the way most define blogging.

But wait, blogs are quietly revolutionizing the way customers interact with companies (and even each other) about everything from existing products to new ideas and improvements in customer service. And very few people realize this fact.

Even fewer realize the importance to authors and their readers (and potential readers). Or, that you can earn money by blogging (by generating sales for your book).

What does this mean? It means blogs have come of age and anyone who wants to create a community of interested customers better sit up and take notice fast!

When they first came on the scene (and many times still today) blogs were simply a diary of your thoughts that was posted on the internet; but today’s blogs are evolving into vibrant websites that even the most computer-phobic of us can use and update instantly without knowing a single piece of arcane programming code.

An blog creates an interested and interactive community for you and your book – with you (and your book) as the central focus and the readers driving the content of the blog that provides rich feedback to the author.

Your blog also allows readers to respond your posts, provide additional information, links, expanded opinions, and more. Specifically, it builds interest in your book.

You can make immediate updates from a computer anywhere with only a Web browser and Internet connection.

And – different from the typical “static” web pages where content is difficult to change (so rarely does…), a “dynamic” blog is in a constant state of renewal and evolution.

Smart businesses are beginning to understand the huge impact of a concept that “mom and pop” businesses have understood for years: to truly be successful, you must know your customers and be completely in tune with their wants, needs, and desires.

Large publishers throw millions of dollars down a dark scary black hole every year trying to identify (really “guess”…) what people want to read. (In the corporate world of publishing it’s called the “Marketing Department.”)

However, in the self publishing world, we don’t have those kinds of dollars to throw away – so we have to be smarter. We need to understand our readers, our markets, and the ways that we can build interest for the topics we publish (and find NEW ones).

A blog allows you to avoid guessing what’s on your readers’ minds and provides an active and up-to-the-minute means for them to tell you exactly what they do and don’t like about your book, writing, and practically any other topic you might feel is important.

Having this sort of immediate access to your readers minds makes it possible for self published authors to build huge market share.

There are two ways you can build your blog: you can use one of the “hosted” solutions (like Blogger or LiveJournal) or stand-alone applications (really only meant for the nerdiest of us). Hosted blogging solutions are extremely easy set up, often in just a couple of minutes.

I’ll assume you already know how to type… so you can create a blog. Point your web browser to Blogger.com and you will find you can set up a blog free of charge and be posting within just a couple minutes.

The best part? Blogger.com is owned by search giant Google and will host your blog on their servers.

For the stand-alone products, one of the most popular is Moveable Type (from moveabletype.org ) and is a very versatile and powerful suite of tools for creating a full-featured blog (if your desires are to create a blog that competes with those of the largest companies in the world).

No matter what you choose, understand that your blog can be a critically important part of marketing plan for building reader awareness for your book.

A tremendously important feature of blogs (and one that makes them heads above more traditional email newsletters) is that your readers have the ability to get your updates without having to receive an email. With the wonders of RSS (real simple syndication), subscribers are notified of your updates to the blog through their news reader.

What’s the big deal? Publishing your blog with RSS feeds (that your readers then subscribe to) means your content NEVER EVER gets caught by SPAM filters.

If you like this information (and found it helpful) and please feel free to post it on your site, put it in a blog, toss it in your newsletter, or in general spread it around. Please just give us credit here at www.dogearpublishing.net

May you have success in your creative efforts!

Ray

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5 Responses to “Blogging — Creating a Community for Your Book”

  1. Suzette Vaughn Says:

    Great choice to share, Pat. You do so much to feed my mind!

  2. James Rafferty Says:

    Pat,

    Another fine article. The rules are changing in the publishing industry and “guerilla marketing” and community building offer another way for writers to connect with readers.

    The big publishers obviously don’t have all the answers today, creating opportunities for smaller, more agile publishing outlets.

  3. Joan De La Haye Says:

    Hi Pat. Thanks for sharing this.

    Joan De La Haye
    http://joandelahaye.wordpress.com/

  4. kat magendie Says:

    Great article! Thank you!

  5. Shanon Says:

    Great information. Lucky me I ran across your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve saved it for later!


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