An Author Blog— Can it Help Sell Your Book?

flicker/francescopozzi_alt_author blogs

This has probably been beaten into you. Your blog can be a good marketing tool. Many authors start with author blogs. Marketing and blogging may even start while you are writing that first book and may start before the contract. Marketing is an ongoing process once you have that book contract. (Sometimes it seems I should have started the day I was born. Lol) Twenty years ago publishers used to market your book for you. Nowadays publishers are more likely to offer a contract if they know you have a marketing plan.

I keep telling myself that I will search keywords and put them in my title and blog. But I have never taken that step. If you know more about SEO or search engines optimization than I do and use it, your keywords will bring traffic to your blog long after the first post went out.

One of the ways your blog can market your book is by the very content of it. You as an author are giving your readers an offering of your writing every time you post. If the readers like your blog they may very well like your book. If it is a fiction book the writing will be an offering of your style and thoughts. And if it is a non fiction book it can show that you are an expert in your field. You will be able to use your research for writing your blogs.

And your blog is connecting to others, your cyber friends, the people who comment and follow you. You are making connections with each post on your blog.

One mistake I have made is not blogging to my reader audience. I have one audience for my blog and one for my picture book. Although some of  the audience of my blog is authors and writers, they are not my target reader for my picture book. Some of you may buy my book just because of curiosity and may even want to buy it for a present for a child you may know, but you are not the mommy bloggers I should be writing to. You are not the teachers and librarians who would be interested in reading my book for deciding if it is appropriate for use with teaching time.(My book, Annie’s Special Day deals with time and clocks) Yes, my target audience is parents, teachers and librarians and anyone who deals with kids learning how to tell time.

But one thing I have going for me by writing to you is exposure. The more I mention my book “Annie’s Special Day” the more often Google picks it up with its search engines. They in turn will move it forward to the top of their pages and more readers will find it and go to the sites it mentioned if they are interested. And that is not all. You, yourselves, will remember the book when you talk to mothers and grandparents of kids learning time and may mention it to them. Soon word of mouth will be selling my book.

What do you think? Are author blogs a way to sell books?

Do you use keywords and SEO when you write your blog?


About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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19 Responses to An Author Blog— Can it Help Sell Your Book?

  1. This is a question that I struggle with. When you write for children, who is the audience for your blog? You post was very helpful, thanks.


  2. cmalbrecht says:

    Some very good thoughts there. I never thought about working your way up in the search engines with more frequent mentions of a title, etc.
    I do think that writing a blog (or something) every day is a great way to sharpen a writer’s skills. Keep on blogging!.


  3. Enjoyed your thoughts, Clar. We write children’s books, but we need to target our audience — parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians in our blogs. I know that when I label my catagories and tags, I choose carefully. For instance if I put, autism, tattling, military families, children’s grief in my tags, my views soar. When I recently reviewed Tom Lichtenheld’s new book “E-mergency,” and put him in the tags, I had the largest views ever in one day, one week, and they still are viewing. People may not leave a comment, but I can see the search engines and who’s visiting. Your book should have its own special tags that identify it for parents who are searching for such books.

    I hope many of us review your book, so that we can let the search engines know there is an interest. And, I’d be blogging on some of the top KidLit blogs right now, so that when your book is out, that a well-known blogger reviews your book and gives you added publicity. I’d even try to get the publisher to get a copy of your book into the hands of the top KidLit bloggers. I have two publishers who have picked on my blog and send me books from time to time. It’s all daunting, I know. I am going to watch with great interest when “Annie’s Special Day” is released.


    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks for all the interest now, Patricia. I do appreciate it and am grateful for your comments. I had not thought about the tags. That is a valuable thing to know. I thought tags were just a way to navigate through your blog as are categories and will use tags differently now. I didn’t think the SEO picked up on tags, but of course they do.

      Thanks for this new item to consider. 🙂


  4. Widdershins says:

    I write my blogs first and then pick out a few keywords or phrases that I think might be useful via a SEO, tweaking them if I think they’ll still fit with the concepts I’m trying to write about and actually make sense to anyone reading it…

    I tend to think that doing the reverse is counterproductive to the creative process. it might indeed engender more hits on my blog, and that’d be useful if I wanted quantity over quality …

    There has to be a happy medium in this whole game, or we’d go bonkers!


    • clarbojahn says:

      I just googled keywords and got a lot of rubbish. There are all kinds of tools one can buy to determine one’s keywords but I couldn’t find a free tool. Where are you going to check on your keywords? And if you do it after you write, how do you know what the keywords are? 🙂 It’s all confusing to me. I know so little about it.

      One thing I did was take the seo spider and ran my blog through it. It was interesting but didn’t really teach me anything. I just saw my blog all written out in script. It left me saying “so what?”


  5. Kana Tyler says:

    What are your thought on a blog BY an author, but not focused so narrowly as about-the-book-type topics? I’m just thinking that an author’s fans presumably enjoy their writing, likely are curious about the writer, and might have more sustained interest in a blog (whatever its variety of topics) that gave them additional writing-and-insight about the writer they already enjoy… Thoughts? 🙂


    • clarbojahn says:

      My views can stem from my own experience this past year. I started this blog as someone with a book contract. I would write about my experiences as I stumbled through life, learning blogging as I went. Thereby my blog’s tag of “Life well lived under construction.” My readers never knew what to expect and some still don’t because I’m apt to post something related to and maybe only relevant to my life. I’m finally trying to blog about a niche now. Namely a marketing and picture book niche. They are still relevant to my life because I am a picture book author and am trying to market one now.
      So those are my thoughts, straight from my own experiences. It may be different if I was a famous author and had several books out and blogged about a sundry of topics. My readers have changes throughout this past year and now I’m trying to be more dependable in my topics so they know what to expect. However, note my last post, one on my sick dog. I’m still known to give one on “Life under construction.”
      Hope that helps. 🙂


  6. I think it’s difficult to find a niche. When I began blogging in 2009, I started a blog about caregiving – the topic of my memoir. The problem: while it’s the topic of my book and I’m well-versed on issues, (as life changed around me) focused on different issues. Perhaps I’ll figure out the blogging niche one day. I don’t use SEO, etc. I do see my blog’s readers (just via comments) have changed over the last year.


  7. Julie says:

    I think connections sell books, and blogs are great for making connections. If people like you, they’ll probably like your book.

    My two cents.


    • clarbojahn says:

      I agree with connections being top priority for selling. I hear the more often your book is in front of people the more often they’ll buy it.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. 🙂


  8. Pingback: Swimming in Blog Jello | Clarbojahn's Blog

  9. Lara Dunning says:

    When I first started my blog I really paid attention to SEO, but my blogs ended up taking up so much time to write. Maybe I was worrying to much I don’ t know. But, I finally just decided to write my blog and leave key words in there. At some point I’d like to take an SEO class to really get a better understanding of it. If it could be more a natural process for me and not take so much time I’d be more apt to write every post with that in mind.


    • Clar says:

      Yes, I would like a class in SEO, too. I just now typed in Search Engine Optimization and google gave me the tool, but I don’t know how to use it. It’s not self explanatory. I tried to type in my keywords but nothing came back.

      You’re doing good to know some keywords to use. Even if it is over and over again. 🙂


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