Sunday, January 26, 2014

Marketing Tools: The Pros and Cons of Blogging

By: Stephanie Burkhart

Authors have several tools stuffed into their marketing tool bag: Facebook, Twitter, Triberr, Word of Mouth,  Conferences, Yahoo Groups, and Blogging.

There are two popular blogging "hosts" today: Blogger and WordPress. When I signed up for Blogger in 2009, it was very user friendly. Nowadays, five years later, it's not as user friendly as it used to be, but one can manage. I've also had experiences with WordPress and while I don't find WordPress user friendly, I do find it offers a host of options that generally appeal to readers.

The purpose of a blog (for an author) is to give readers a chance to get to know and interact with you. Even on the Internet, "word of mouth" by one reader may attract many readers to your blog to see what you have to offer.

Using Pictures in your Blog Post
I highly encourage this. A picture says a thousand words. Just like a cover, a picture can draw a reader to your post.  Unless there's a distinct photo theme, try to limit the amount of pictures you use.  I generally try to use a picture that sets the 'theme' of the post. I might also share an author picture as well.

Blog Titles
A catchy blog title always draws a reader interest. Consider it a hook. It should sum up the theme or topic of your post.

Don't do promo of your book(s) every day. Constant promo turns off readers. And don't post every day. It's a drain on you and your creativity. Give your topics a day or two to breathe before tackling a new idea.

Do share a little bit about you. You don't have to get overly personal, but sharing likes and dislikes of every day things draws interest. Try to be quirky. Humor also draws attention.

Vary your topics and intermix writing topics with your interests. Some ideas include:

Writing ideas: characters, setting, research, inspiration behind the novel
Book reviews of books you've read. Share your favorite authors with readers.
Promo: sharing an excerpt/blurb of your book. Host a contest.
Interview fellow authors
Host a blog tour
Talk about holidays and what they meant to you.
Share a movie review
Sports – gush about your favorite team.
Talk about music that interests you. Share some of your favorite quirky "You Tube" videos.
Talk about your favorite TV Shows.
Share something locally about or near the place you live
Share your travel adventures

Do try to blog 2-4 times a week. Even if you can only blog one day a week, I would encourage it. An active blogs keeps readers coming back for more.

Try not to get long winded. Keep your blog between 200-500 words. End your post with a question to encourage readers to answer you. With blogging, I've learned slow and steady usually wins the readers over.

QUESTION: Do you have tips to share about blogging? What do you do or don't do? What format (Blogger or WordPress) do you use?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 Dispatcher for LAPD, Cub/Boy Scout mom and a taxi driver for her boys. She adores chocolate, loves coffee and enjoys taking long walks on her days off. She writes romance, mainstream fiction, and children's books. Her works with 4RV Publishing include "The Giving Meadow" and "First Flag of New Hampshire." 








  1. Stephanie, great tips on blogging. Another benefit of blogging regularly is the search engines take note of it.

  2. I think being a consistent blogger is important. I only post once a week because it's all I can do, but it helps. It's better than not at all, or only posting once in awhile. I think it's also important to stick with no more than 3-4 topics of interest at all times. Thanks for the post, Stpehanie.