As a nonfiction author, one of the scariest things you might have to do is start your own blog. Like it or not, the advantages and potential to reach target readers make blogging imperative for authors, no matter what the genre of book. Here are some reasons why nonfiction authors actually have some advantages, and what approach will help you, the nonfiction author, to embrace the practice of regular blogging.
What makes it hard?
- Non-fiction writers are not usually as used to a regular writing routine as fiction writers.
- May not feel they have enough writing experience to have developed their “voice.”
- Not used to fitting time to write into their busy schedule.
- Learning curve of how to post a blog, tag it, schedule it, etc. too daunting.
- May not be comfortable with the idea their blog is not supposed to appeal to everyone – it’s for a select group of people.
- Nervous about publishing something more informal, not professionally edited, risking their “perfect” reputation.
- Blogging is almost always more personal than how the non-fiction author wrote their book – it demands more self-expression, letting readers know your opinion, what you stand for. You’re letting the reader get inside your head.
What makes it easy?
- Tons of material already written. The content for your book is all relevant for a blog.
- You can snatch a paragraph or key point from your book, add a one-sentence intro, and conclude with a brief story to illustrate.
- You’re educated enough to know basic rules of grammar and how to write sentences which make sense.
- You’re an expert! You don’t have to rely on creative spurts or ideas as your muse inspires you. What you have to say is already there.
- You have a treasure trove of valuable content – things a reader can really use; solutions and answers they have been looking for.
- You have blog material just by using your chapter titles.
- Your subject has connections with other experts whom you can ask to write a guest blog for you, or whom you can interview and publish the Q & A as your blog.
- Every time you share a real-world example, you build your credibility as the expert. You can blog about something you did for a client today. Your ever-growing number of blog readers are then regularly exposed to examples which are like “testimonials.”
- You can share news items which relate to your topic as your blog post, as well as news about your own company and upcoming events such as a book signing or lecture.
- Nonfiction content easily fits in formula writing such as the ‘Top 10” list.
Once you make blogging a simple system and it becomes a habit, you may find it stimulating, rewarding, and enjoyable. You may find reading the “comments” and interacting with your blog readers is a wonderful way to feel connected with your niche. However, remember you always have an option: if you feel that blogging is just not the best use of your time, and seems difficult or stressful for any reason, you absolutely can find a ghostwriter to create and maintain your blog for you. Only with consistent blogging will your blog prove valuable to you, so if you are not going to commit to that, hire someone else to take it on. Then you can have a successful blog that increases your credibility and strengthens your bond with your audience.
Barbara Bingham is a magazine columnist, editor, and publishing partner with Suncoast Digital Press, Inc. (Sarasota, FL) and co-author of the just-released book, “You Can Write a Book!” (available on amazon.com.)