What is a ‘Blog’ and what can it do for me?
A Blog (Web Log) is a free and simple way of gaining an audience for both you and your work. It is a regular entry written by you and hosted on a blogging site. Blogs provide news or commentaries on particular subjects and sometimes more personal content, like an online diary. All entries are searchable online and can be read by an online audience. However, they do need to be current and updated regularly, in order to create an interest.
How do I get started? The most popular general blog sites are Blogger (which is powered by Google) and WordPress (who also supply good platform and even a ready made author ‘theme’). The first step is to create an account and select a name for your Blog. It may be a good idea to just use your name, so then it can be related back to your book (and any future books you may write). Both allow you to choose your own template and design, once this is chosen you can “Create Post”. This will take you to a basic page, very similar to an email, where you can start typing, changing font styles and add items (links, pictures etc).
What is the etiquette for blogging? The key is to keep your blogs frequent and try to update regularly. This will help to build your audience who will then return often to read more. It is also best to keep your blogs short yet compelling. This is an opportunity to tell readers what you are writing about and you can even share portions or snippets of your work and invite comments. Also, involve your audience by posing questions and even try commenting on other blogs to generate discussion.
To gain maximum exposure You can always publish a snippet from your blog on your Twitter or Facebook accounts and link back to the full entry on your blog site. You can also feature an RSS subscription button on each of your blog pages, which will give readers the option to be informed when you publish new blogs.