Cornerstone content refers to any article, post, or page at your site that draws new readers to your blog consistently, usually through search or by referral from other sites. Most people I meet who blog either aren’t committed, or give up too soon, before gaining momentum that builds on itself. “.com” is preferred because it’s most common, but “.net” or “.co” work just as well. On the next page, create your password, click the checkbox next to “I have read and agree to…,” then click “Next.”. So, for example, if you have an author website on SquareSpace, then start your blog there; don’t start one over at WordPress or Blogspot. Presumably, readers will enjoy knowing more about the context and ideas that affect your writing and being involved in your future work. Improved headline: Overcoming the Obstacles That Prevent You From Meditating, Jane Friedman Media LLC | Site design by Jane Friedman | proudly built with Wordpress + Vantage Theme |, Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published, Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book, How to Find a Literary Agent for Your Book, The Comprehensive Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with an Editor. Creating your account Get your growing tribe interacting with you and with each other by posing a simple question or taking a brief survey on their favorite things: books, movies, celebrities, you name it. app_id: "l71g1wjl" Officially launching your site Sometimes, cornerstone content might be a manifesto or download in PDF form. Another complication: “Blogging” has become a somewhat dated term. You could peek at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create post headlines to get viewers to click. When the sub-menu pops up on the right, scroll down and click “Menus.”. Well, if you have to ask, maybe you shouldn’t be blogging. Improved headline: What If You’re Dreading the Change of Seasons? The best bloggers have rarely been told to go do it. The number of contributors you can have depends on your billing plan. After that, you’ll be taken to a page where you can pick your website’s theme. I don’t recommend your home address for such a public venue. Here are several models to consider, based on how challenging I think they are (assuming you want your blog to “pay off”). To add contributors, invite them to your site. For every four posts on writing, post a … If your website platform does not support blogging, then it may be time to switch platforms. WordPress is a simple tool that helps you easily create a good-looking website. By an “author” we mean one of the default WordPress user roles as well as user profiles, you can create manually with intuitive tools. Create a blog header . Learn how your comment data is processed. I recommend capitalizing each of your names for easier readability, but that’s not mandatory. Step 3: Copy and paste into the text box the URL (web address, like www.JerryJenkins.com/books) you want to link to. See the other bloggers not as competitors, but as community members who may eventually become supporters of your work. With the Prime Plan, this is included free. To get a large readership will require a unique angle or spin—although this is true of any blogging effort. In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Picking a domain name Receive emails that include the full text of each new post, A Writer’s Guide to Fair Use and Permissions + Sample Permissions Letter, Writing With Sharpness: Q&A with Elinor Lipman, How I Landed a Book Deal Via Twitter—Unintentionally, Using Book Promotion Newsletters to Increase Sales. Well, that all starts with your own author website. If you need a strong introduction to guest posting how-to, visit this excellent Copyblogger post. Whenever you guest or appear on other websites, that’s an opportunity to have multiple links back to your own site and social network accounts. Nonfiction writers and experts have it easy: their subject matter lends itself to blogging, especially if they’re teaching workshops or regularly interacting with their target readers. Subject matter: Think about this in terms of your headlines for your blog posts. Fans of your work may enjoy the intimacy (though some authors prefer to have an air of mystery). Visit other author sites for ideas and to be sure you don’t duplicate (unless you choose to). The tenants simply rent. 6. If you haven’t got an author blog or website yet, here are the most popular free blog sites for you. Remember: this is, I recommend Bluehost as your hosting company, https://jerryjenkins.com/how-to-write-a-book/. Remember: this is your website. Create a landing page for contributor information- like this one. I talk about the basics of author websites here. Only about 10% of your readers (or even fewer) will make themselves known to you or engage with you on your blog, so it takes a while before you reach a tipping point, where there’s a concrete indication of growing activity or interest. A good author blog works in a similar way – writers give their readers a small, delicious free sample of their work in order to entice them to buy the book. This will be a strange way to begin a guide to blogging, but I want to save you time, trouble, and heartache. Their promotional prices apply to the first term only. Changing your site’s appearance. Scroll down to the “Home page” label, and click “Edit.”. Whatever you do, make sure your theme is “responsive,” which means it automatically adjusts to look good on any device. (My most visited resource on this site is Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published.). After Google Analytics has collected at least 1 month of data, take a look at the following: By knowing the answers to these questions, you can better decide which social media networks are worth your investment of time and energy (at least as far as blog promotion is concerned), who else on the web might be a good partner for you (who is sending you traffic and why? If I learned it, you certainly can. In the audio and transcript, he outlines tips for blogging and also how to make money from your blog, and why writers have a real advantage as bloggers. Blogging with the intent to promote literary citizenship opens up a lot of post possibilities, including: Key benefits: You’re building a great network of contacts as you build some excellent content at your site. For Writers & Readers 01-07-2021 | The Author Chronicles. This is not an exhaustive list of what you could blog about, but it gives you an idea of the most common options. The first thing that ought to pop up is your author website. Learn more. The cornerstone content on this blog can be seen right under “Most Popular Posts”—each one points to my 101 posts on how to get published. When you’re done, click “Save and Publish.”. Do think through how can you bring your own voice or perspective to a topic, theme, or subject matter without repeating what’s already out there. Cover template – Make additional changes to the page template such as the … If you’re like me, this will quickly become one of your favorite features. You can click the “no thanks” button. An author’s book nears its publication date (or perhaps the author is attempting to secure a traditional book deal). You started a blog, and now it’s time to start blogging. Remember brevity and professionalism, but be sure you include what visitors—including agents and publishers—would want to see. (This is also referred to as a permalink in WordPress.). that get shared on social and discovered through search. Make sure every sentence really needs to be there. Tell of your previous projects, and add links (clickable web addresses) to them. Is Your Writer’s Block Really Writer’s Indecision? You can write about the research, news stories, or current events that play a role in the construction of your books or other work. The essential publishing industry newsletter for authors. Of course, they don’t own your website. Be open, engaging, friendly, and personable. This is easier than it sounds—just use your name! Novelist DiAnn Mills uses Expect an adventure. The longer you blog, and the more of an audience you build up, the more you can ease back on frequency. It works beautifully with how-to or prescriptive nonfiction categories, and it can also work with memoir as well. Quality can be a squishy term; much depends on what your audience or readership considers “quality” or what kind of content is engaging to them. But not rightly so. Note from Jane: This post was first published in 2012. This is where the fun begins. You get better at it the more you do it, but I see many authors give up before they’ve put in enough hours to understand the medium. Let’s change this so it’s more applicable to an author instead of a business. Your author website serves as a hub for your writing. However, some writers should give up, because they don’t have the time or commitment to produce the right content or the best content for an online readership. Pick one that suits your taste. If you’re interested in blogging, but worry about the time commitment, then consider creating a multi-contributor blog, where several authors in the same genre (or targeting similar … I Spent Nearly Two Decades Writing and Editing My Book. 2. If you teach or speak, you’ll also have content that can be readily repurposed for a blog. Make sure your bio includes something that is unique about … You make sure each post is categorized and tagged appropriately. If you can approach blogging because it kind of does sound like fun, then let’s spark your imagination as to what you might blog about. Now you want to create a tagline. Don’t get wordy. This could also involve regular posting of specific media, such as photos or videos. She finds (or hears) advice that blogging is a good way to accomplish #1. Your goal should be to write a blog through which you can build a following. This will be that first page visitors see at your site—the welcome or landing page. Before you start, consider the following. Believe it or not, it’s rare to come across an informed, thoughtful, and careful interviewer and interview series. Then you will be taken to a “Welcome to Bluehost” page to create a password. After you finish your bio, click the blue “Update” button. Or you may despise the idea of involving readers in your work. Creating an “About” page Blogs … The next page gives you the option to customize your site. After you pick your theme, you'll be taken to the page below. It is no secret that authors write some of the very best blogs. This post is my 100th blog post – a milestone! I love to know people are visiting and what they think. Since more than half of website visits are made on mobile phones, this is crucial for your blog’s aesthetic. Launching your site And finally, avoid turning your guest blog into an article directory. Or think about other themes in your work that could inspire something fun: a collection of recipes; a character’s favorite books, movies, or music; or what research and resources were essential for completing your work. What search words bring people to your site? It took me 18 months to find the right angle—to realize I do best when I focus on business advice and digital media topics for authors. This is invaluable starting fodder for a successful blog: knowledge of one’s audience. Maybe you’ve already done this, unaware of a vastly superior option. Click “yes.” This will give site visitors access to you. Even though there are benefits to a minimalist design, I get more engagement by having a sidebar that offers tools to navigate the history of my blog and the hundreds of posts that live here. author pages build credibility for your site as a whole and for the individual authors and their individual brands Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal. Our editors have compiled a list of author blogs that they believe are truly outstanding. a page where you can pick your website’s theme. Step 1: Change the title of the page to “About.”. So, you’re convinced of the need and eager to enjoy the advantages of your own author website, but maybe, like me, you’re not a techie. After completing this form, scroll down and complete the “package information” section. November 10, 2020 by Nina Amir Leave a Comment. Why you should have an author website If you want to add a link to a site where visitors can buy your book or see a sample of your writing, here’s how to do it: Step 1: Highlight the text you want to turn into a hyperlink (making it clickable). You’ll find that as your list of followers grows, you’ll gain self-confidence. Guest post about Amazon Author Central pages by the uber talented writer–and my editor for Kindlepreneur –Val Breit from KeepCalmWriteOn.com. I’ve been a satisfied customer, and they provide a fantastic service for authors. Click the “Select Files” button on the page that opens, and find the photo of yourself you want to use. Click the “Dashboard” link on the left side of your screen. I like to give people as many avenues of access to me as possible: a URL, an email address, a P.O. Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. Click the blue “X” in the right-hand corner of the window. Until you start reaching hundreds of thousands of readers, Bluehost should be perfect for you. Pretty much anyone under 30 will be computer literate and can help you quickly master this. Next, give your visitors access to a welcome page (some call this the landing page) where they can get  acquainted with you and your site, even before you start blogging consistently. Frequency: To gain any kind of momentum, you should commit to 2-4 posts a week. Key benefits: You’ll likely be intimately aware of your readership’s needs and can quickly come up with content that interests them. Novelist Brandilyn Collins uses Seatbelt Suspense®. Add a personal touch by changing your site’s look. step-by-step guide to hosting your own website or blog. Now that you have an author website, you’ll soon enjoy: Congratulations! Choosing a hosting company The next page asks if you would like to connect your Jetpack profile to WordPress. That helps reduce the burden as well as increase the size of your audience starting out—since more people will be marketing and promoting the blog. This post will delve into what it means to blog successfully and in a meaningful way for an author’s long-term platform and book marketing efforts. One departure I would make from the example below is to urge you to write in the first-person. As a full novel takes a long time to write, blogs … Frequently Asked Questions The prices above reflect their standard 12-month plan. Just two more steps before your website is ready to go live on the Internet! Now that you have your own blog, you get to make … But even better, publishers will discover you have a following, a tribe—a platform. The problem is that few authors meet those conditions. These landlords are called hosting companies, so you rent your online space from them. That’s not the case, and that’s why consistency is so important. The last section on this page is “payment information.” Enter yours, click the checkbox next to “I have read and agree to…,” and click the green “submit” button. If your blog is high-quality, and generates conversation, they’ll be likely to recommend you or send you traffic. Does your About Me on your blog need a makeover? In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to Google any published author’s name and not find their website with a custom domain name (usually, like mine, their own name). Display your best writing skills. That required a lot of editing and reformulation (online writing can’t be dumped into print without a lot of work), but it reflects the value and depth of what appears on my blog. Let’s make your site look professional! For example, the best of my blog content is condensed into a book, Publishing 101. But again, it’s hard to gain traction if you’re switching it up all the time and not consistent in what you offer. Focus mainly on your writing, but add a little personal information as well. Click the blue “Log In” button and enter your email and password on the next screen. Domain Privacy Protection ensures that when someone looks up your website, they do not see your individual contact information, but rather Bluehost’s. The list ties in with the article, "The Author's Dilemma: To Blog or Not to Blog… It basically means celebrating and bringing attention to authors, writing, and books—the things you presumably love and want to support. For example, if you’re writing a memoir about addiction or caring for aging parents, your blog can offer information and advice (and stories) for people going through the same thing. It isn’t an activity authors should be dragged into, kicking and screaming. I urge you to avoid the temptation to settle for one of the quick and easy website solutions that looks like everyone else’s and has a small-time feel. What pages or posts are most popular on your site. Check back here on [date] when I plan to blog on [subject]. …which I’m about to show you in this guide. Where the difficulty lies: In my experience, burn out. How to Find The Time to Blog … Find out more. You may have to do some work in coming up with an angle or voice that stands out. It not only proves your legitimacy as an author … The better you know your audience, the better your posts will be. After that, click “Edit” under “Sample Page.”, Step 1: Change the title of the page to “Writing.”, Step 2: Change the URL extension to “writing.” URL stands for Universal Resource Locator (I had to look that up), and simply means the address you type in to go to any webpage. The landlord does. Cornerstone content often is a comprehensive, definitive piece that tackles a frequently asked question, issue, or problem—or features a very popular author or thing in popular culture that is searched for often. Next, click the “Save Menu” button on the right side of your screen. Keep it simple—“TimothyWoodfordWriting.com” is good; “TimothyWoodfordsGreatWritingWebsite.com” is not. It Finally Found a Publisher. After a few years, it’s tough to keep things fresh and interesting. Then you have to revise it, workshop it, revise it some more, write a query letter, do query research, … The author website can even let you interact with your readers through blogs. If you look at a month’s worth of your blog headlines, they should convey a strong message about what you cover on your blog and who it’s for. Some blogs have such a minimal design that it’s difficult to see the bigger picture of what the blog offers. Example: I’m working on my first novel, the story of a writing coach who tries to make technical-sounding computer lingo understandable to aspiring authors…. That becomes another showcase of your writing, and it also lets others contact you. You can further tweak, adjust, or enhance by scrolling down, finding your theme, and clicking “Customize.”, Use the sidebar to make changes. This is the best option for anyone writing and publishing nonfiction. Full disclosure: I get a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use this link to sign up for a Bluehost service. Amazon Author Central allows you to customize your Author Page on Amazon, so readers can see who you are, what kinds of books you write, and — most importantly — why they should buy them! She knows she needs to market and promote the book and/or build a platform. If even the idea of “hosting” a site sounds foreign to you (it did to me at first too), think of the Internet as an apartment complex. If you haven't already, here's how to join the Goodreads Author Program.Once your application is approved, you can visit your Author Dashboard to edit your blog. Unfortunately, authors have trouble staying focused and disciplined on one topic or subject matter, often because they get bored or they think readers will get bored. First, you have to write the story. Initially, you’ll have no shortage of ideas, and your first readers will share your insightful advice on social media and help you build a traffic base. But it can be most difficult for unpublished novelists to gain traction with a blog; only after the novelist has built a name for herself does a blog readership tend to develop. Some writers are successful with informal missives that comment on what’s happening day to day or that reflect on their personal life. This is the main reason the phenomenon of blogging came to be so popular. There is less and less spoken about the importance of an author website. Think about themes, hooks, or angles for an interview series on your site, and run them on a regular basis—but only as frequently as you have time to invest in a well-researched and quality interview. Eventually, if possible, you should guest blog for them. … Jane Friedman has written a great article on the importance of still keeping an independent author website, outside of social media. Why am I so forthright about this? You think about how readers would search for your content, and incorporate those search keywords into your post headline, post subheads, and more. Scroll down to “Contact Us” and click “Edit.”. Step 2: Click the chain link icon (circled in red below). Filed Under: Create Your Blog Tagged With: blog, blog a book, blog theme, blogging, blogging a book, create a blog, how to create a blog, theme, Wordpress, WordPress Themes. So identify the notable community players, or the people who you’ll want to build relationships with over time. The longer the term, the lower the monthly price. This takes you to your dashboard. Tie into current events or “look-alike” media whenever you can; for example, if you write romance and you know your readers love. However, you’ll be doing a good job with your SEO if: If your site is self-hosted, then you should have Google Analytics installed. A meaningful guest post means pitching sites that have a bigger audience than you, but they should also have a readership that’s a good match for your work. While that may seem a remote possibility now, new authors are discovered every day. If your book is strongly regional, create an insider’s guide or travel guide to that particular region. Pick one that suits your taste. This makes it easier to attract attention and build a community around common interests or perspectives. Author blog. The most successful blogs have a very focused angle and appeal to a very specific audience. I continue to update and expand it so that it remains relevant for today’s author. Exclusive audio: Blogging for Authors with Joanna Penn. Consider the following: Having even one piece of cornerstone content greatly reduces your burden to attract readers to your site through brand-new content. If you treat the practice seriously, all the content that you generate for your blog can have another life, in another format or within another publication. Click “Business.”. To add a new blog author: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Marketing > Website > Blog. I think it’s always worth getting a custom header for a new blog. When the sub-menu pops up on the right, click “Themes.”, On the next page, scroll down and click “Add New Theme.”. For unpublished novelists, this approach is challenging since people aren’t familiar with your work and may not care about your process (yet). Let’s wait on that for now too. I’ll get to those specifics a bit later. You’ll find more very effective examples there, which should give you some powerful ideas for your own. You can do this by downloading a new theme. Where the difficulty lies: Lots of literary citizenship activity exists online, in many forms. You can use your blog as a journal. Through other websites that link to you? Step 1: Change the title of the page to “Contact” or “Contact Me”—because there is no “us” if it’s just you. My author bio certainly does. 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It establishes you as a serious professional. In the writing and publishing community, weekly link round-ups are very common. You can also eliminate the blog … But if you make a continual series of impressions over a long period of time on the same topic, then it starts to click: “Oh, this person is blogging, and they’re regularly covering this topic.” Some writers assume, “Oh, everybody knows I’m blogging because I posted about it,” but no.
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