Following on from her advice on why writers need an agent and a comprehensive ‘who’s who’ of children’s writers agents, Sarah Webb offers some essential tips and advice on another vital component for any writer, blogging. Blogging offers writers a direct line to their readers; a means of updating them on, and including them in, your creative process.
So you have a shiny new website and you want as many people as possible to visit it. After all, what’s the point of putting time and energy into the whole online shebang otherwise?
I’m a writer, not an internet expert, but luckily I have access to many people who are far smarter and more net savvy than I am, and I’ve picked their brains just for you.
The one thing they have all agreed on is that having a fancy looking website is all very well, but CONTENT IS KING. Content is what drives readers to your website in the first place and it’s what keeps them coming back time after time. And a WEEKLY BLOG is a great way of adding to that content, and updating your website on a regular basis.
Luckily, I like blogging. I like telling people about books, writing, the publishing world. I have something to say. And that’s so important – having something to say.
When I started my blog several years ago it was originally called ‘The Launch Lizard’. I covered book launches I attended in Dublin and all over. But there aren’t so many of them anymore, and I tend to put any launch photos or info up on Facebook these days instead.
So I decided to make it a blog about what I do – about writing. From the feedback (and thanks to anyone who has sent in a comment or emailed me), it’s been useful to other writers, and I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy doing it which is also important.
Blogs work best if you are passionate about subject and willing to share everything you know with an on-line community.
Irish book commentator, David Maybury has a great blog where he posts all kinds of articles, reviews and links – all related to children’s books. It’s well worth checking out. He puts in a lot of work and he has a lot of readers because of this. www.davidmaybury.ie
If you are a writer or an author/illustrator, maybe you could blog about your own work – how you write your books, your techniques, and how you got published, found your agent etc.
I’m always jealous of illustrators as they can make your blogs really come alive with their art. But everyone can share photographs – pages from their writing notebooks, book cover art etc.
The important thing is to make your blog interesting, relevant and useful. Yes, it takes time and effort, but if you want readers, that’s what it takes, hard work and lots of it!
Also think about your target market. Who exactly are you writing for?
A good blog should also say something about who you are too. That’s why I believe that writers are ideally suited to blogging. They have a writing voice and they aren’t afraid to use it.
And finally, post your blog on Facebook and Twitter and encourage people to share it and retweet it.
Good luck with your own blog!
In a nutshell:
1/ Content is King
2/ Try to blog at least once a week
3/ Find something interesting and useful to blog about
4/ The more work you put into your blog, the more regular readers you will have
5/ Share you blog posts on Facebook and Twitter
Sarah Webb blogs at www.sarahwebb.ie