When you, the writer, decide to create a website to promote your works, an early question is whether to go with a blog or a static, standalone web page. Different factors that go into that decision, but most writers would find strong benefits to blogging.
Starting with a blog is easier and cheaper than starting with a static website and offers writers some unique advantages:
- You can create unique content with your writing skills and other interests.
- You can easily and cheaply maintain a unique and sophisticated blog.
- It’s an unbeatable opportunity to present your personality and Interact with your readers.
Create Valuable Content
The first criterion of quality for both search engine spiders and human readers is whether the site provides useful information or entertainment, in other words, content. If you can answer questions or provide useful information to you readers, preferably both, both readers and search engines will reward you with traffic, inbound links, comments, and — in the case of Google — coveted PageRank.
Writers are uniquely qualified to provide what the internet what it is most hungry for: information, well-written and engaging. When you choose your topic carefully, finding a niche where you meet people’s needs or wants, you will naturally build the platform to promote your book. If you wish, you can craft the site to give you an income that permits you to write your books without worrying about the rent.
Of course you can write great content for a static HTML site, but it takes more time and energy to create and code pages than just to post a note to your blog.
Also, articles on static sites tend to be more uniform in length and tone. Blog posts, on the other hand, have more flexibility. Among the longer, more substantial posts on the topic, there’s also room for shorter notes, timely opinions, and a sense of the blogger’s personality.
Express Your Uniqueness
The open source WordPress content management system is used by more than 12 percent of the top million websites in the world. What that means for the rest of us is that the WordPress development community is constantly creating themes and plugins for every conceivable blogging objective.
There are premium themes and plugins, and many of them are good. But if you’re blogging on a budget, you can do just about anything you want with free software. And you can find a stunningly designed theme that you can customize to your satisfaction, leaving you with a unique website and user experience.
Depending on your technical inclinations, you can dive into the customization or you can just set it up and start blogging. If you really don’t want to get PHP or HTML under your fingernails, you can get some technical help. But because it’s so modular, it will cost much less than to get a web designer to design your site from the ground up.
Interact with Readers
It’s a widely quoted aphorism that word of mouth is the best way to sell books. It makes sense if you think about it, because even though reading is mostly solitary, people like to share the experience of reading — thus the bestseller lists and conversations about books and book clubs.
The blog, the first of the social media on the web, gives readers a chance to get to know the writer as a person, to ask questions, make comments, continue the discussion on their own blog.
These interactions make the writer a person in the readers’ eyes, and it gives a place for readers to interact with each other, as well as the writer, building a community around the blog.
The feeling that “I’ve had a conversation with that author” increases the reader’s loyalty and increases the chances of a book purchase at some time.
For the author, it reduces the sense of working in a void.
Benefits of Blogging
If a writer hasn’t entered the Internet yet, it’s time to start. Don’t let the technical aspects put you off. Plenty of people have asked the same questions, and you can get lots of help for free or for a small investment. As in everything, there’s a tradeoff between price and convenience — but you get to make the decision how much time or money to spend. At the end, you’ll find yourself involved in a lively conversation about the subject that matters most to you.