John Kremer, Guest Author
We all know that blogging is one of the best ways to get attention in today’s Internet world. A blog is a godsend to your website, bringing it traffic, fans, and more. But you have to post regularly: twice a week or more.
Stuck for what to blog about? Here are some tips for novelists, but the same tips can apply to writers of nonfiction, memoirs, children’s books, business books, and more.
Larry’s Note: Every link in the following list opens in a new browser window so you won’t lose your place!
1. Review other novels or books in your field, especially from other lesser-known novelists or book authors.
2. Write a blog post using the voice of one of your main characters. For nonfiction authors, write a blog post using the voice of Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Plato, Teddy Roosevelt, Dr. Oz. Henry David Thoreau or some other famous person in your field.
3. Have that main character tell some side stories not included in the novel. For nonfiction authors, you can tell stories you did not feature in your book, especially new testimonial stories you receive.
4. Write about the setting – time and/or place. Use some of the research you did to ensure that your novel was accurate.
5. Invite your readers to review your book. Feature their testimonials on your blog.
6. Interview some of your readers: via Q&A text or via an Internet radio show or via a teleseminar.
7. Podcast your book, one section at a time.
8. Write about trends in your genre or subject area.
9. Write about your favorite novelists (especially those that write in your genre) or book authors in your field. Include their photos and a sampling of their books.
10. Answer questions from your readers.
11. Fill in the back stories of some of your minor characters.
12. Write a new story featuring one of those characters.
13. Feature excerpts from your upcoming novels or books. Ask for feedback.
14. Link to the blogs of your favorite authors. Tell readers why those blogs would interest them.
15. Link to book review sites. Recommend your favorites.
16. Create a hall of fame for your genre or topic. Of course, include yourself. For a sample, see my Self-Publishing Hall of Fame.
17. Write a blog for each of your upcoming book signing events, online events, etc. Invite your readers to attend – or to let their friends know about your events.
18. Write a follow-up blog on each of your events describing what happened. Take photos of the event and post them here.
19. Review book trailers for novels you like (or other books as well). Feature the book trailer videos in the blog post. Here’s an incredibly easy book trailer any author could duplicate in a few minutes: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2010/12/cool-book-trailer-incredibly-easy-to.html.
20. Write about your writing routine. Describe when you write (morning, evening, weekends), where you write (the proverbial garret, a coffee shop, at the kitchen table), and how you prepare to write (eat a banana, listen to music, kick your husband or wife out of the house). You could easily stretch this out into three or four short blog posts.
21. Share the genesis of your novel or nonfiction book. How did it come about? What ideas, events, characters, etc. inspired you to write the book?
22. Describe how you went about plotting your novel. For nonfiction authors, describe how you went about organizing the book, why you included some things and excluded other info.
23. Write about a hobby you have.
24. Write about a cause that’s important to you: charitable, political, social, ecological, or spiritual.
25. Write about your spouse, your children, or other members of your family.
26. Write about your town, your state, your country, your world, your galaxy.
27. Opine on the state of the nation. Opine on world affairs.
28. Opine on Weiner, Schwarzenegger, Sheen, and other fools. You can relate it to what you know, like I did on this post about Weiner and Twitter: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/06/twitter-how-easy-is-it-to-fake-account.html.
29. Write about a hot issue, especially one that relates to the content of your novel or book.
30. Describe how you go about doing research for your novel or book. Book research? Google? Websites? Travel?
31. Share some of the interesting tidbits, facts, insights you discovered as you did your research. Share things that didn’t make it into your novel or book. Share the facts that became key items in your book.
32. Review books, websites, blogs, courses, or events on writing, research, plotting, etc. that you like. Feature the book covers or banner images in the blog post.
33. Share or review the novels or books you are reading now. What’s on your nightstand? What’s in your purse or briefcase? What books did you take to the shore during vacation?
34. Survey your readers opinions on any key issue in your books. You could do a number of posts. Announce the surveys. Then promote the surveys. Then announce the results. That’s worth at least three blog posts, probably more.
35. Run a contest. Ask people to name their favorite character and describe why they like the character. For nonfiction books, ask readers to describe the most important tip they learned from your book. Offer a free book, sample chapter from your new novel or book, a phone call from you, or something else as a prize.
36. Feature your reader comments in upcoming blog posts.
37. Have your readers interview you. Encourage them to send in a series of questions you will answer.
38. Ask your readers to pick which character in your novel is most like them. For nonfiction books, ask your readers to tell you which story you told most touched them.
39. Tell your readers which character in your novel is most like you. For nonfiction authors, let them know which story has most meaning to you – and why.
40. Interview bloggers.
41. Interview booksellers.
42. Interview a celebrity in your field.
43. Interview a major celebrity that has a passion for your field. For example, interview a movie star that loves dogs or is a vegetarian or fights for the preservation of the ocean. In this example, the celebrity should be passionate for the topic you write about.
44. Feature your favorite bookstores (with photos). Describe why you love them.
45. Interview your favorite novelists or book authors.
46. Write a ditty. Write a poem. Share a short story.
47. Expose your inner being. Share your feelings.
48. Let readers know about your day.
49. Post photos or videos of your favorite novelists and other book authors. Write a little introduction.
50. Join in the Amazon Bestseller Campaigns of your fellow authors. Promote these campaigns via your blog
51. Join in the blog tours of your fellow authors. Promote these blog tours via your blog.
52. Have a reader interview one of your characters with you responding as the character. For nonfiction authors, have readers send in a list of questions for an expert to answer. Ask the expert to respond via your blog.
53. Report about the launch parties and other promotional activities of your fellow authors.
54. Have readers vote for variations of your book covers and/or book titles.
55. Write guest posts on other blogs. It’s a great way to exchange blog posts with other authors. Plus, of course, it exposes you, your book, and your blog to other readers.
56. Post photos of your readers and fans. Feature them reading your book.
57. Run a contest asking readers to send you photos of them reading your book in unusual places: foreign locations, mountaintops, in the water, at the dining room table, in a restaurant, while standing in line for the latest version of the iPhone, while dancing a jig, at a location featured in your novel or book, up a tree, down a sewer, at the zoo (perhaps with a monkey reading your book, in a bookstore.
58. Feature photos of yourself with your book in the same locations. Have fun with it. Make it a game for yourself.
59. Feature tweets and Facebook posts about your book.
60. Create a controversy. Comment on a news story, blog post, current event, historical event, website, or tweet. Say something outrageous and let ‘er rip.
61. Write about a service you used in writing or promoting your book. Tell your readers why you liked or did not like the service.
62. Share a quote you like. For example, see http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/03/whats-important-heres-one-way-to-decide.html.
63. Share your tweets or Facebook posts. At least several times a month, I feature some of my most important or useful tweets with the readers of my blog. For example, see http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/06/book-marketing-tweets-you-can-use-june_20.html.
64. Write a how-to post. For novelists, tell people how to cook a dish featured in your novel, or how to sew a corset, or how to sail the seven seas, or how to spot a vampire (something, obviously related to your novel). For nonfiction authors, feature tips or how-to advice related to your book.
65. Create videos. Post them to YouTube and then embed them in a blog post. Check out this video I created on advertisements in eBooks: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/04/ebook-advertisments-video-reveals-7.html.
66. Share any video that inspires you, even if it is off-topic. Here’s recent blog post I wrote that featured an up-and-coming viral video: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/06/dance-like-no-one-is-watching-next.html. Watch the video. You’ll be glad you did.
67. Create a video channel playlist and embed it on your blog. There are many tools to do this. Here’s one example: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/03/google-gadget-showcases-your-youtube.html.
68. Share a song you really like. Link to a music video on YouTube or a link to a music site where people can buy the song. Minutes after Susan Boyle’s video went viral on YouTube, I shared a link because I found her signing and story so inspirational.
69. Share a photo you really like. Something like this wonderful library desk made of books: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2010/09/cool-library-desk-created-completely.html.
70. Feature an excerpt from a magazine article you liked. For instance, see Books add warmth to any room (from Allure magazine): http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/04/books-add-warmth-to-any-room-miles-redd.html.
71. Offer a freebie for download. I offered a collection of quotations in the form of an eBook: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/04/quotations-from-john-kremer-get-book.html.
72. If you have more than one blog, feature blog posts from your other blogs. Besides this blog, I also blog at AskJohnKremer.com, AskThePublicist.com, AskTheBooksellers.com, AskTheBookPrinter.com, AskTheCoverDesigner.com, and MagaGenie.com.
73. Index your blog and post a link to the index. See my index at http://www.bookmarket.com/bestofblog.htm.
74. Share content from a book, like this great first line from a novel: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2010/07/great-first-line-for-novel.html. Or these great first lines: http://askthecoverdesigner.com/first-lines-draw-the-reader-in-make-them-great.
75. Share a great line from a TV show or movie. The TV show or movie should be current and hot, a classic, or right on target for your topic. Or simply funny. Funny goes viral.
76. Share a joke. Jokes go viral. Even better if the joke ties into your topic or novel.
77. Create a bibliography for your genre or topic. Feature the best books you recommend.
78. Create a glossary for your genre or topic. Define some of the key terms for romance novels, for science fiction, for rabbit hunting, for crocheting, for what you write about.
79. Share a fact. Give your readers some tidbit they likely don’t know about your topic. This can be a short blog, something like this: Did you know that 1200 years ago there were probably 12 million kiwis in New Zealand. Today there are only 70,000.
80. Let your readers know about your new books, new products, new updates.
81. Blog about new pages you’ve added to your website. Or new websites you’ve created. Here’s the blog post I created to promote the launch of my AskJohnKremer.com website: http://blog.bookmarket.com/2011/04/ask-john-kremer-q-website-check-it-out.html.
82. Congratulate someone. Give them a thumbs up when they publish a new book, launch a new product, do some great service for humanity, have a new baby, get married. You don’t have to tie it into your book or topic.
83. Thank someone publicly. When someone does something especially nice for you, thank them in public via your blog.
84. Make a prediction. Here’s something I tweeted over a year ago that still hasn’t really come true. Alas. – You heard it here first: The economy has begun to turn the corner. People are beginning to trust themselves again. Good times coming again.
85. Raise money for a charity. Offer to donate to a specific charity for every book sold during a specific week or month. Promote this via your blog, tweets, Facebook posts, etc.
86. Ask a provocative question. Encourage people to share their answers in the comments section for that post. Joel Comm once tweeted this question: What would you do if you discovered $100,000 hidden away in your basement? He got 3.5 pages of replies in less than an hour.
87. Solicit help. When Jeff Rivera was fighting gay prejudice in Costa Rica, he asked his Facebook followers and others to write emails to a list of government leaders and thought leaders in Costa Rica. It helped.
88. Celebrate milestones. Blog about your company anniversary, the two-year anniversary of the publication of your book, the 700th post on your blog (coming soon right here).
89. Announce awards and honors. If you receive any awards for your book or honors for yourself, blog about them. Link, of course, to the site of the award giver as well.
90. Excerpt your book. Run a series of excerpts from your book. They can be short paragraphs, tips, entire chapters, a story, whatever you want to share.
91. Ask for feedback on your blog and blog posts. Ask for feedback on your website design.
92. Share personal stories. I tweeted and posted on Facebook when I had a heart attack scare a week ago. Not only did it personalize me for my followers and fans, but it encourage me when I received so many good wishes.
93. Have your dog or cat write a blog post. Chances are, of course, that you’ll have to write the post, but do it in the voice of your pet.
94. Ask your wife, husband, child, mother, father, or favorite aunt to write a guest blog post. The post can be about you, your book, your website, or whatever they want to write about.
95. Invite your friend or neighbor to write a guest blog post. Again, the post can be about you, your book, your website, or whatever they want to write about.
96. Create a scavenger hunt. Ask your readers to find a specific blog post where you wrote about XYZ. Or have them find three specific passages in your book. Or three webpages on your website. This scavenger hunt can be a great tool to encourage people to explore your book, blog, or website in greater depth.
97. Solicit money. If you need to raise funds for the reprinting of your book or to produce a book trailer, create a Kickstarter.com project and promote it through your blog. Better yet, have your child create the project and let them write about it on your blog. Children can be very effective promoters of their parent’s work. And cute.
98. Recruit joint venture partners. When you are working on an Amazon Bestseller Campaign or a BookTourPalooza blog tour, solicit partners via your blog. Write about what you propose to do, and ask your readers if they want to help. You can do solicit JV partners for any promotion campaign.
99. Create a holiday. Anyone can create a new holiday, commemorative week or month, special day of recognition, or related date. You can check out CelebrateToday.com where I feature over 18,500 such special events. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Memorial Day were all days created by individuals or organizations. Take Your Daughter to Work Day was created by the National Organization of Women. What day could you create to promote your book or the topic of your book?
100. Ask for contributions to a new book. I did that for my 4-Minute Momentum series of books (still working on them). Here are some sample 6-word memoirs from the book Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak. I bet the authors solicited many of these memoirs via their blog or social networks. – Married by Elvis, divorced by Friday. It’s like my heart has sciatica. It’s worth it, despite your mother. She defines happiness, I defy gravity.
101. Share a mistake. Admit it when you make a mistake. It makes you human. Humans are more fun to read.
102. Create a meme. That’s what Tim Ferriss did in creating his fourhourworkweek.com/blog. Here are a few memes being created on Twitter: Let’s go all the way tonight, no regrets, just spuds… #replacelovewithspud – Come for the funeral, stay for the all meat buffet. #funeralhomeslogans – #mysuperpowerwouldbe Teleportation! NO MORE TRAFFIC! NO MORE WAITING AT THE AIRPORT!
103. Invent a new word, and blog about it. Something like the two words I recently created: booktourpalooza and blogtourpalooza (with accompanying websites soon to come).
104. Interview book reviewers.
105. Make a list – like this one. People love lists. And they love to pass them on. Please tweet about this list. And come back to visit again. I’ll be adding more ideas as you pass on your great ideas – and as I come up with more of my own.
People care about novelists and book authors. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to be professorial. You don’t have to be journalistic. Tell the truth. Keep it simple. Cut a vein and let it bleed on the screen.
As noted in this update to the original post, this list can also be used by nonfiction writers. I focused on fiction because fiction writers often ask what they should blog about. Or what they should write articles about. Or what they should do for press releases.
The above ideas, obviously, can be used for more than blogging: article syndication, press releases, new products, newsletter articles, videos, Facebook fan pages, tweets, website content, and much more.
Copyright © 2011 – John Kremer. John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books as well as webmaster at http://www.bookmarket.com, http://www.bestsellerlaunchformula.com, and http://www.tenmillioneyeballs.com.
Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com
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