The Best Author Blog

April 14, 2011

Today’s guest post is brought to us by Allison Duncan aka @svallie. You can find her blog at http://allisondduncan.com/ where she… Well, we’ll let her tell you. Today she let’s us know how to improve our author blogs and truthfully, even if you’re not an author, if you have a blog there some good advice here.

There are so many more ways to use an author blog than as an advertisement sheet. However, I only have 1,000 words. So the real question is, are you doing what it takes to get the most from your author blog as you are currently using it?

Here are ten easy things you can do to boost your author blog ranking and widen your audience reach:

Be regular
No, I don’t mean up your fiber intake. What I mean is: have a schedule and stick to it. Do not just update your author page every six months. Worse still, do not just update your author page when you are about to drop fifteen episodes of your latest, podcast novel. Spurts will turn fans off instead of drawing them in as regular readers.

Update your page once a week. This is what the latest algorithms with Google require in order to count your blog as relevant. You will get a spike in traffic just by having something to say.

Submit your feed
Go ahead and submit your site’s feed to an author site. One of my preferred is the Book Blogs Ning site. You can get many people [that actively review books] viewing each post. Moreover, the more regularly you post, the more likely they are to actually check you out.

Post like you write
A lot of authors like to put up extremely light posts. “About to post to Amazon, will let you know more.”
Some of them are full of misspellings and bad grammar. Remember that your writing style on your blog is assumed to reflect how it is in your published work. Keep your style snappy and smooth so that you draw people in.

Networked Blogs
Facebook has an app called Networked Blogs. Like the Book Blogs site, Networked blogs pulls your feed and includes a thumbnail of your site. The feed is public even if you keep your Facebook profile private, so it is an excellent respecter of privacy. Some of my highest inbound traffic comes from this app, so don’t underestimate its power.

GoodReads.com
If you have an ISBN you are probably listed on GoodReads.com. If you cannot already find yourself or your book, you can always join their Author Program. This means you can post your GoodReads badge on your site allowing visitors to click through to your book. After logging in to the site, they then can rate and review your work.

If you are already on GoodReads, you can configure this plugin to post reviews from GoodReads to your page.

Use Keywords
Use the best words to describe who and what you are in each post. For example, I would describe myself as a WordPress [ding] consultant [ding] with a tech [ding] blog [ding] full of reviews [ding] and how-to’s [ding]. Total? Six keywords and every single one of them is accurate.

If your blog is about you, then you need to concentrate on filling your ‘About’ page with similar keywords. If your posts are about your Smashwords published works, then use the appropriate keywords for those.
Stick with the top five or six words that best describe what you are trying to convey in that post or page. As a final touch, make sure to use appropriate links to related posts on your site as well as similar sites.

Twitter Hash tags
Many writers use a plugin on WordPress sites that auto tweet a new blog URL. Most of them don’t bother to put in hash tags for that Tweet. The hash tags on twitter are similar to the keywords you need for the search engines.

If I run a search for “#Ebook” on Twitter, the last post you put up about publishing your wonderful e-book should be in that search listing.

Dressage for your site
All sites need to have a privacy policy, terms of use, and a site map [including an XML sitemap for the search engines to run]. If your site is missing any of these, you need to create them. Why? Google has decided that these pages lend an air of credibility and prestige to a site.

Sites without can take a hit on their score simply because they are missing these things. Do yourself a favor and install the Core Tweaks WordPress plugin if you have a WordPress site. It will help walk you through creating all these pages. NOTE: You need to deactivate any other plugins before you activate the Core Tweaks plugin. Reactivate the others once Core Tweaks has finished running.

Contact
This is a no brainer to most of us. I mean we all put up Facebook and Twitter buttons, right? Well if that is all you are doing, then you are losing a huge swath of your potential fans. Create a ‘Contact’ page on your site or blog so that they never have to guess how to go about getting a hold of you.

Some of the newer WordPress themes have a script that will automatically install a form in the Contact page. While this is handy for a less tech-enabled author, the truth is that an email address is utilized more than an in-page form. So provide both and then TEST to make sure the emails come to you.

Like the other pages I listed above, a contact page is checked for by Google and other search engines. If you fail to supply one, you are simply giving away free points.

Directories
There are quite a few free directories on the internet that will propagate your links. These cross-links add a lot of weight to your site. I suggest using the OneWayTextLink.com site.

It is free to register and has a tool that lets you track which directories you have submitted to as well as the date you submitted.

Remember, nothing can replace hard work. But if you start with a good base and use the right tools, you can avoid re-inventing the wheel.

2 Comments

  • Bryan Hollis says:

    Hi Allison,
    Well composed article. (Disregard any arrogance here) I have many web and blogsites. Two of these are article marketing (which is where I made my internet debut), so you can image the diversity in categories. When I first started tweeting the initial publication of the article, I never used Twitter #tags on keywords. I still developed followers, but when I discovered what the hash tag did, I used it accurately with respect to the article and could not keep up with new followers! Anyway, this is what “jumped-out” most here for me. Excellent job!
    Bryan

  • @Bryan – Thanks for the comment. I completely agree with regard to Hash tags. So many people use URLS but fail to make full use of this highway of readers.

    It is a shame that they are so often ignorant of the masses they are missing.

    Thanks for reading!

    Allison

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    There are so many more ways to use an author blog than as an advertisement sheet. However, I only have 1,000 words. So the real question is, are you doing what it takes to get the most from your author blog as you are currently using it?…