June 26, 2012

Your Blog Strategy ... You Really Need One

by Rodney Page

You’ve signed all the paperwork, and your book is headed into preproduction. Now, everything you hear and read advises you to get busy on your premarketing, particularly writing a blog.

Well, okay. Sounds good, but what is your blog strategy, what do you write about, who do you want to read it, and how do you get them to do so?

I believe the key question in developing a blog strategy is answered easily: is your book fiction or nonfiction? If nonfiction, you’ll likely pursue a direct strategy. If fiction, your strategy will be indirect.

Direct Strategy for Nonfiction Authors

1.     What is your objective? It will likely focus on establishing your expertise. (Example answer: To be perceived as a top southeastern authority on growing dwarf azaleas.)
2.     Who do you want to read your blog? (Example answer: Amateur gardeners in the southeast.)
3.     How do you make them aware of your blog? (Example answer: Share blog content with appropriate publications, websites, radio shows, other blogs, etc.)
4.     What do you want the readers to think or do after they’ve read your blog? (Example answer: Believe you are an expert on dwarf azaleas; comment on and share your blog with others who need your expertise.)

Indirect Strategy for Fiction Authors

For fiction, the steps are the same, but the objective 1 is quite different. Instead of establishing expertise, the fiction writer will establish awareness of shared interests.

My book, Powers not Delegated, is a political thriller with a decidedly conservative slant. It is my first fiction work, and the target market and key influencers don’t know me from Adam’s house cat. Therefore, using my blog to tout my great writing and plot development skills would be futile. So, what can I do?

Perhaps the best way to illustrate my point is to answer the four questions for my own blog.

  1. To create name (brand) awareness at the national level and be perceived as an astute observer of current political events; provide informed political commentary consistent with the readers’ point of view.
  2. Target potential buyer subsegments, influential conservative media/editorial commentators, and conservative politicians.
  3. Share blog content with appropriate publications, websites, radio shows, other blogs, etc.
  4. “This guy knows what he’s talking about and shares my views”; “He writes well”; “I would consider buying his book”; “I (key influencer) would consider endorsing his book.” Comment on and share my blog with others who would enjoy my views.

Lastly, I suggest several “rules” for both fiction and nonfiction bloggers:

  • Stick to your plan; the temptation arises to veer off course and post something that has nothing to do with your blog’s strategy. Don’t give in.
  • Set quantitative and timing goals and stick with them. I write two blogs weekly and attempt to post them on Monday and Thursday mornings.
  • Always respond to any comments quickly and courteously.

I hope these strategy ideas help you. If you’re left wondering how to reach these goals, that is a separate post that I’d be honored to address in a future Suite T. Blogging is made for us writers! Now, get to it. Strategize, write, and grow your following.

(read part 2 of Rodney Page's Blog Strategy advice here)


Rodney Page is the author of the upcoming novel Powers Not Delegated
A native of Georgia, Rodney's business career includes a variety of senior management positions and consulting engagements in a broad range of industries, from startups to Fortune 500 firms. In 2005 Rodney co-authored Leading Your Business to the Next Level...the Six Core Disciplines of Sustained Profitable Growth. He lives in Atlanta. His passions include hiking, photography, reading, and, of course, University of Georgia football.

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