As a new or budding author, everyone and his mother will tell you to use blogging to promote your new business book. And they would, of course, be right.
However, many of my clients are business owners or service providers who use their newly published book to promote an existing business/service.
If you’re a seasoned business owner, you already know off the top of your head the questions your clients ask, the challenges they face, and the goals they want to achieve. This information can then be used as the basis of your blog posts, to engage with your audience, and therefore, promote your book.
But what if the purpose of your debut book is to promote a start-up or new service.
If that sounds like you, can you identify with the following?
- You need to attract new readers for your book;
- You need to attract new clients for your new business;
- No-one ‘out there’ knows who you are;
- Your new website/blog is just getting started, so you don’t have an audience;
- You feel trapped in a catch-22 situation where, without an audience, you can’t attract new readers or clients.
It’s frustrating, isn’t it? How can you gain traction, and ever hope to build momentum to get noticed?
6 tips to help you blog like a pro
1. View your blog as an extension of your book: Your published book is the physical, tangible result of all those months you spent plugging away at thousands of words each day on your computer. But until you build an engaged audience, writing articles for the blogosphere can seem like a thankless task, almost as if you are writing aimlessly. If you view your blog as an extension of your book, you’ll write blog posts with purpose. In other words to:
- establish you as an authority in your field/niche;
- provide somewhere for your readers to engage with you (via comments on your blog posts);
- provide somewhere for media outlets to contact you;
- provide a platform to launch potential speaking opportunities; and
- provide a platform to promote other books, events, products and services.
These make your blog an excellent ‘vehicle’ for marketing your business. View your blog posts as an opportunity to reach out to prospective clients or partners, and wow them with engaging articles.
2. Plan your content: You’ll need to balance promoting your book alongside promoting your new business. It will be a challenge but it can be done. Try to put aside a few moments each week to plan your content, and then stick to a schedule that is achievable. Try the following:
- Keep a notebook especially for your blog posts. It’s useful to have one place to jot down ideas.
- Create headlines for your blog posts. You could use the chapter headings of your book as inspiration (although you don’t have to use the headings in full). Other sources of inspiration are topical stories in the local/national news; social media posts from other users; frequently asked questions in your field; common mistakes or common goals.
- Under each headline, jot down the main message you want to convey to your readers. Start with the problem/challenge, and how they can solve it using your unique method.
- Schedule one or two days each week when you know you can comfortably upload your articles to your blog.
You will probably find that this exercise will spark your creative juices, in which case, write as much as you can on each topic until you run out of steam. Otherwise, simply revisit your notes when you’re ready to blog.
3. Just be YOU: Abandon images of sleazy, pushy salesmen or cheesy car dealers. You don’t have to keep up a false image alongside everything else you’re working hard at to achieve. Just stick with your unique, authentic author voice and you’ll be fine.
4. Be insanely useful: It’s easier to promote something that is genuinely useful to others. So, use your blog as an opportunity to ask questions, listen to feedback, and respond accordingly. You’ll soon find that people will recommend you to their friends and collegues.
5. Be consistent: Keep at it. Popular book blogs are only popular because the author has a consistent routine of writing and engaging with their audience. Creating and maintaining a popular blog takes time, so don’t expect an overnight success. Instead, tell yourself you’re in it for the longhaul. Consistently writing one blog each week is much better than a hit and miss approach of a blog post every now and then. (Don’t forget to promote your blog posts after you publish them. Here’s an excellent article I stumbled across on the Copyblogger blog: “How to effectively promote your content”).
6. Start today: Seriously. Just do it. The longer you put it off, the more frustrated you’ll become. There will never be ‘a perfect time’ to start your blog, so you may as well start today.