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Monday, February 10, 2014

Blogging Tips for Authors - Why I've Been Doing It All Wrong

I started  this blog a little over a year ago. Traffic is decent: about 1,500 hits a month. But recently I realized my entire approach has been wrong.


I'm a proud member of ASMSG (Author Social Media Support Group). We've recently begun an exciting initiate to create genre-based social media hubs. To facilitate this, I offered to go through our 800+ membership list and group each writer by genre. This meant I had to look at hundreds of author's websites and blogs, as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts. I quickly realized a problem.

Most authors write or blog almost nothing about their set genre. Horror writers give cookie recipes. Erotica authors post pictures of their children.

So what's wrong with this? It ignores the basic rule of Marketing 101: focus on your target market.

For the last year, my blog has been scattered. I started by focusing on marketing tips for authors. The problems is, authors are not the target market of my writing. I was attracting lots of hits to my website but few of them were coming form people with any interest in the books I write.


Simple. Write topics that your target audience will care about. This will bring them to your page. Over time, you will build a relationship with them. They may decide to pick up your book. Or they may tell their friends how great your blog is.

If you don't know what your target audience is interested in, you have bigger concerns than what to put on your blog. Hopefully, you are part of your target audience. Most people write what they know and love. I love comics and fantasy so that's what I write. What kind of blogs do YOU go to? Mimic those.

Check out celebrity blogs. You won't find Martha Stewart blogging about the war in Syria.

If you're stuck for a place to start, here's a great tool: HubSpots Blog Topic Generator. Type in a few nouns and it will give you 5 relevant blog topics.

For example, I typed in Fantasy and Science Fiction. It gave me "10 Quick Tips About Fantasy" and "The History of Science Fiction". It gave me a few others but, since I'm going to be using them on this blog, I don't want to give away all my secrets.


Over the next month, there will be some changes here. I'll still post the occasional tips for indie writers but I will no longer discuss pure marketing. The target market of my books doesn't care about marketing and there are more qualified marketing experts than me. Instead, I will be focusing on genre-specific topics I care about as well as sharing some research into strange and unusual news around the world. I'm a total fan boy for conspiracy theories. You can expect more of that and less lectures on how to set prices for your books.


Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo

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