As soon as you announce that you’re serious about this “writing thing,” people tell you that you need a blog. As if magically having a blog will bring you a massive influx of readers like rain from the heavens.
The reality is a little different. Your blog is part of your brand. It’s where people go when they’ve heard of you and want to know a little bit more. It’s part of how you engage with your readers, including people who are just thinking about becoming readers of your work.
You want to give the right impression but…what are you supposed to blog about? Should you put up cat pictures?
In her book, The Business of Writing: Practical Insights for Independent, Hybrid and Traditionally Published Authors, Kim Iverson Headlee provided me with what I thought was a pretty reasonable answer.
Her formula for author blogs is:
- One Third In Support of Others
- One Third About Your Non-Writing Interests
- One Third About Your Stories
So, one third in support of others includes book reviews, interviews with other authors, writing tips, convention summaries and other things that help out your audience.
One third about your non-writing interests includes information about your personal life, cat pictures (if that’s your interest), movie reviews, inspirational pictures, etc. Things that you find interesting but which aren’t specifically about your writing.
One third about your stories. This includes books for sale, your upcoming projects, online freebies, offers for your mailing list, etc.
I like this blog ratio because it makes your blog more of a conversation with your readers and not just a strident, always-on sales channel.