The world of blogging is filled with good intentions, dashed hopes, ambiguity, and a vague, unrelenting feeling that no one will care what you write (including yourself).
Or is it just me who feels that way?
Regardless of how unnerving it can be, there are several great blogging benefits for fiction writers. Benefits that make it worth the effort. Here are a few:
- It improves your writing skills (Yes, writing more helps you to write better)
- It keeps you in the writing mode
- It opens up new, creative ideas
- It boosts your credibility (if done right)
- It keeps fresh content on your website (This is so important if you expect people to return to your site…)
All of these are good, but there is an even greater reason to blog if you are a writer of fiction. And if you keep this reason at the forefront of your blogging strategy, you’ll get the most out of all the reasons above.
As a fiction writer, you can extend “reader experience”
beyond the pages of your books to the pages of your website.
How to write a blog
I’d like to come at this from another angle – from the angle of a reader (which all writers are!). When I read a great story I don’t want it to end. Sometimes I come to love the characters so much that I hate to finish the book. Other times, the fictional world – the setting – is so vivid, so compelling, I find myself wanting to know more about it. And then there are times when I’ll read a scene or an exchange of dialogue and I wonder how the writer came up with it. And I’m not alone. Readers of fiction want to know these things and more!
Instead of using your blog as a newsfeed, use it to continue the world of your characters and their stories. Provide content that your readers can’t find anywhere else, like a scene that you loved but had to cut.
A warning: Your readers want to know more about YOU because you’re a writer and that’s pretty cool! BUT don’t make this about you…Make it about THEM.
How do you make it about your READERS?
Write your blog with as much passion and creativity as you write your stories. Think of your blog as another medium to share the world of your stories. After all, you ARE a storyteller.
I wonder…If J.R.R. Tolkien was living today, what would his website be like? I am certain he would be blogging, delighting his readers with Middle Earth, teaching us even more peculiarities of dwarves and hobbits. There would be maps to download and fantastical illustrations of creatures conceived in his imagination. We would want more Middle Earth, and we would have it.
What about your favorite authors, whether living or not? What would you like to see on their website that isn’t there? And I say, “isn’t there,” because chances are, it ISN’T there. MANY fiction writers haven’t yet mastered the art of extending the reader experience through web content. But YOU can!
Your readers will love you even more for it.
So, think like a reader. What do you wish your favorite authors shared on their websites? What would a reader like to experience on yours?
Take the next step
Write down 5 web content ideas that would extend your reader’s experience. If you’re having trouble, leave a comment below or send me an email and let’s brainstorm together. You might find that blogging isn’t so unnerving after all.
You might actually enjoy it.