By Gregory A. Kompes
Web logs, "blogs" for short, started out as online teenage diaries, a way for kids to express their experiences and voices online. Over the last ten years, these teenage rant pages have evolved. From the writer's perspective, a blog is now a respected way to form a personal connection between you and your readers. Writers with panache and personality can quickly build a readership; and a large blog readership will result in more sales of your books and services. Offered in a variety of easy-to-use styles, blogs are a great way to build your Writerpreneur brand.
How to get started. A basic blog is easy to create. Visit Wordpress.org, download the free software, and upload that software to your domain hosting service. The software comes with a basic template, but a little searching on the Internet will reveal thousands of free templates. Just upload the files to your host and change the design for your site. The WordPress dashboard is where you'll find all the tools you need to manage your posts, comments, pages, designs and widgets (add on tools for fun and interactive blogs).
What to post. The main reason to create a blog is to connect with and build your audience. Frequent posts-one or more a week-will keep your readers coming back. An ongoing, niche-topic commentary increases your credibility as an expert in your niche. This will build your readership and result in more book and service sales. Blogs are also the perfect place to announce events like book signings, speaking engagements and new book and product release information.
Benefits of blogging. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction , copy or technical, your blog, if updated regularly, is a source for current information and ideas. Regular contact with your audience builds trust. Blogs aren't one sided; your readers can also share their comments and opinions with you. This will help you better understand your readers, which can make you a better niche writer. Having a strong Web presence increases the likelihood that new readers of your topic will quickly find you through search engines, because most blog sites automatically handle all the Search Engine Optimization of your posts. (If you don't know yet what that is, trust me, it's a good thing.)
It's possible to earn income directly from your blog, too. Beyond selling your own books and services, many bloggers take advantage of ad placement, click advertising, partnerships, and affiliate programs. Before you jump in, make sure your blogging platform allows for what you need. And then why not get blogging?
Gregory A. Kompes, The Writerpreneur, is an Internet self-promotion expert. Gregory is the author of the bestselling 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live and the Writer's eBook Series that includes Endorsement Quest, Should You Write an eBook, and Your Online Media Kit. He is co-founder of the Patchwork Path anthology series, Presenters & Programs, the Writer's Pen & Grill, and Laudably Tarnished: A Poetry Workshop. Gregory is editor of The Fabulist Flash, an informative newsletter for writers, and the award winning Eighteen Questions, a Q&A series that collects and shares the experiences of published authors.