One of the biggest struggles for professional writers, including those who write every day, is to write content for themselves and their own blog, and to keep up with content marketing. Just like the mechanic’s car always needs repairs, the writer’s website always needs more writing.
Unfortunately, to build an audience you need more than just content. You need to focus on content marketing, which means the right content shared the right way at the right time. No matter what your writing profession, whether that is a freelancer, a non-fiction writer, or a creator of fiction, you are creative, and can apply that creativity to your website.
Sometimes you may wear more than one of these hats, and you need to create different kinds of content to cover the different things you need to market. Here are some simple tips on content marketing for writers.
What’s in a Name
While this should be a no-brainer, many authors fail at this simple step: choosing a domain name is your first impression on your potential readers or clients. It needs to reflect who you are, what you do, or both.
This name can be yours, provided your name is unique and easy to say and spell. If not, you may want to use initials or abbreviate your name somehow. You can also add what you do: Yournamewrites.com for instance. This covers a multitude of areas of writing, in case you change what you do, and it makes your domain stand out.
It also has keywords in the domain itself, and ones that are easy to include in the meta data and other search engine information regarding your site. (If you don’t know what these things are, hire a professional to help you set up your website from the start, or learn about them).
Be careful, though. Carefully proofread the name you have chosen. Make sure your abbreviations don’t spell anything unfortunate or inappropriate, or that by running your name and what you do into one word, there are no words formed that are undesirable. You don’t want to be known as the initials for the American Ski Society, or have a mistake like americanscrapmetal.com. We’ve all seen the internet jokes about horrible domain names. You don’t want to be one of them.
What to Talk About
The most frequent thing writers talk about on their blogs is the writing process: what they do, how they do it, and different pet peeves they have about the English language and people’s use of it.
The problem with that is you will run out of interesting material quickly, and everyone is doing the exact same thing. You won’t stand out, and the people you will attract to your blog will be other writers. They are not your primary audience, readers are.
So what do you talk about? There are several ideas, but the thing to keep in mind is to engage the reader with the stories you are creating, or to show off your freelance expertise in certain areas.
- Your characters: Introduce the reader to them, and tell them more about their favorite person to read about.
- Your world: Created a unique world? Tell the reader of your blog all about it in a way that makes them want to visit that world through your books.
- Your Research: Whether you are a freelancer or write fiction, you probably do some fascinating research about various things, from business to serial killers. Share that research with your readers.
- Your Expertise: Most writers did not start out with writing as a career. In fact, most have had several jobs and careers before they became a writer full time. Talk about those things and what you have learned and applied to your writing from them.
Keep things light, and don’t be afraid to interject humor even into serious topics. It’s important to let readers know you are human, and that you have the ability to laugh at yourself.
Topics to Avoid
We’ll start with the two most obvious ones: politics and religion. Nothing will drive readers from your blog or website faster.
Of course, there are exceptions to this. If you write political thrillers, or you are a religious fiction or nonfiction author, talking about religion and politics might be an essential part of your blog. However, you need to be careful even then. As a general rule, here are some guidelines for things not to talk about.
- Don’t take a polarizing stance: people on one side or the other will hate your blog, and those in the middle won’t be keen on it either. Also, most often a polarizing stance leads to a very small audience. That audience can then be potentially divided by your stance on another topic.
- Stay Away from Hate: Don’t display any hostility toward a certain group or social class. You will not only alienate that class of people, but also those who empathize with them.
- Respond in Love: Even if you take a stance that is not popular, be sure that you respond in love and kindness, not in anger or frustration. There is nothing wrong with feeling those things, but expressing them on your blog or website can have disastrous consequences.
On the other hand, also be sure that you stay away from boring, overdone topics, especially about writing or reading. If it has been done before, and done well, don’t do it again. Do something different to stand out and engage your audience.
Sharing is Caring
Creating great content is one thing, but getting it read is another entirely. Once you have a solid website with good content, you need to share it on social media, find a link building company to assist you in getting link placements through guest posts and find other ways to share your work.
Without visitors, your website is just a placeholder on the web, and won’t have any real impact on your traffic. You need to share your blogs, your site, and encourage others to do the same.
This is why that great content is essential to your success. To share, you must have something worth sharing.
Your website is often the gateway for people to read your work, and to interact with you and even hire you. You need to make sure it is the best it can be, and has content that is worthwhile and compelling. As a writer, you already write. Take time to do some writing and marketing for yourself, and you will be much more successful.