As an author, you’ve probably been told you should be blogging. Blogs are an excellent way to engage your audience and establish yourself as an authority figure. Still, many find the idea of blogging overwhelming and the actual process of writing blog posts almost unbearable. But with a little bit of planning, a few shortcuts, and some tips from the blogosphere, you can be posting and engaging with readers in no time. Here is our five-part series on blogging to help you get started:
Part One: To Blog or Not to Blog (why you should blog)
Part Two: A Blog Without a Cause (what to blog about)
Part Three: Taming the Blog Monster (managing your blog)
Part Four: The Blog Without a Name (promoting your blog)
Part Five: Blog Vital Signs (tracking your progress)
Now that you’ve set up your blog, developed your content, and shared your posts, you’re probably wondering why you’re doing this in the first place? Does it really help you sell books?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Blogs are one of the best ways to create a community of followers. Still, you want to know your time is worth it and that your efforts are working, so it’s best to track your blog statistics. Luckily, there are a couple of free tools out there that make it easy to do so.
This free tool from Google lets you track how many visitors come to your site, how they are finding you, and what content they are viewing most. This is a great way to see what’s working, what’s not, and how well you are doing.
Spredfast is a social media dashboard that lets you post and manage multiple media channels from one portal. There are several packages available, but you will need to contact them directly for pricing as it varies on a case by case basis. The depth of reporting changes with each package, but even the basic package lets you see which users are sharing your posts, how many people are viewing them, and what your total engagement with your audience is like.
- Share impressive numbers with your publicist or publisher to show demand.
- Identify which content people are interested in—or not interested in—so you can adjust new information to meet those needs.
- Track how offline trends affect online trends.
- Work with your publicist to improve your overall marketing strategy.
Check the stats frequently so you can easily see the correlation between trends and content and adjust accordingly. Above all, don’t get so caught up in numbers that you ignore what people are actually telling you. Comments, also, are a great way to track your progress and get ideas for new content and books.