The Most Powerful Social Media Tool for Building an Author Platform-Part 3

"Time's Touch" Image courtesy of  Cellar Door Films. WANA Commons

“Time’s Touch” Image courtesy of Cellar Door Films. WANA Commons

Taking time to connect with people. Connecting to them with words. Making others feel. In the end, that’s all social media and blogging are about. Part One and Part Two of this post began the discussion about why blogs are probably THE BEST use of an author’s time when it comes to building an author platform using social media. My final reason why all writers should seriously consider blogging is:

Good Blogs Connect to Readers the Same Way as Our Novels

Tweets are terrific and Facebook is fantastic, but blogs have a unique power to connect to our readers the same way as our novels. Blogs give people a chance to meet and fall in love with our writing voice. Voice is what makes each writer distinctive. No reader would mistake Hemingway for Faulkner or Tess Gerritson for Sandra Brown.

Voice is like an emotional fingerprint that is unique to each writer, and voice cannot help but influence our writing, all of our writing. Novels and blogs are our progeny, and they share elements of our creative essence. The key is to learn how to blog in ways which maximize our writing voice (which I happen to teach in my blogging class ;)).

Like writing great novels, writing great blogs is also about technique and skill. But, once a writer understands how to harness the power of the blog, there is no limit to what she can accomplish.

Blogs are long lasting and afford us an opportunity to cultivate our future fans before the book is even finished. Blogs help shape us into fitter, leaner professionals with the power to work exponentially instead of linearly. When Twitter tweets its last tweet and Facebook implodes into a black hole, your blog, your platform and your fans will remain.

Also, and this is a big point, blogs can be harvested for content and made into e-books either for sale or for promotion. Don’t give away your fiction for .99. Give away your blog-to-book for .99 with purchase of your novel. If people love your blog, then having favorite posts in one e-book is valuable. No need to hand away your art. Let your blog help you promote. Your blog is an investment that will just keep giving returns, and in my mind, it’s the best use of our time and our skills.

Last time I will mention this (until the next time, ha ha ha ha ha)…

If you want to learn how to create a good author blog that appeals to readers not just other writers, please sign up for my next class. Registration is now open and there are all types of packages for every price range. The class can be done at your own pace and in your own time and you will have a team of support.

What are your thoughts? Who are some of your favorite bloggers? What do you think makes a blog bad, boring, unappealing? Some of the WANAs out there, share your success stories. Brag! You worked for it!

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of January, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

And also, winners have a limited time to claim the prize, because what’s happening is there are actually quite a few people who never claim the critique, so I never know if the spam folder ate it or to look for it and then people miss out. I will also give my corporate e-mail to insure we connect and I will only have a week to return the 20 page edit.

At the end of January I will pick a winner for the monthly prize. Good luck!

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in the biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books.

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  1. #1 by Seyi sandra on January 18, 2013 - 8:48 am

    You’re right, I think blogging is a great way of connecting directly with your readers! I blog more and spend less time on FB and Twitter!!

  2. #2 by KM Huber on January 18, 2013 - 8:49 am

    For me, as a reader and a writer, voice is everything. I’ll read any genre, any poetry, any blog if the voice pulls me into the words. It’s that basic and that critical. As you say, blogging helps writers hone their voices and thus, their craft.

    Really fine post, Kristen.

    Karen

  3. #3 by Dawn on January 18, 2013 - 8:52 am

    Kristen, I have thoroughly enjoyed this series – thanks so much for the insight and information. My only question is, how on earth do I get more subscribers/readers at my blog??

    • #4 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 18, 2013 - 8:56 am

      Good content then using Twitter and Facebook effectively. A blog on its own is tough to get discovered. Twitter and Facebook can drive traffic. Working the WANA way. Work as part of a team. One of the reasons I really recommend taking my class is you automatically have a large team of support to help you build that following. You aren’t trying to do everything alone. Think of an Amish barn-raising. Everyone does a little for major results.

  4. #5 by Diana Beebe on January 18, 2013 - 8:58 am

    I like the idea of harvesting blog content. That makes me want to go finish that next post. :-)

    Also, I highly recommend the Blogging for Brand class!

  5. #6 by kimterry on January 18, 2013 - 9:28 am

    Great post, Kristen! I SO agree about the value of blogging. Having a ball connecting to my readers with mine. Now, even my students are reading it.

  6. #7 by Christine Ashworth on January 18, 2013 - 10:00 am

    Ooh. I could do an ebook of all my wine posts. Hrm! Food for thought! I am so looking forward to the class, Kristen…I desperately need a refresher. Cheers!

  7. #8 by Lalitha Prakash on January 18, 2013 - 10:57 am

    Very informative for freshers like me. Thanks a lot.

  8. #9 by Natalie Aguirre on January 18, 2013 - 11:39 am

    I agree. You can just say so much more with a blog. And reading blogs and following others is the way I’ve made friends. I’m not on Twitter yet, but on Facebook I haven’t connected in the same way as blogs.

  9. #10 by Kami Tilby on January 18, 2013 - 12:44 pm

    As always, very helpful and insightful advice!!

  10. #11 by gabrielablandy on January 18, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    Kristen – I came across your blog recently, about the time you wrote that wonderful post with tips for ADD writers, which I shall link to when I do my post for next week. I’ve been blogging for several months, but I was nervous about reading any advice books, though I couldn’t say why. But I just had to tell you because I downloaded Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer today and have read the first 25% with a smile on my face. I love the conversation that goes on when the ‘blind’ writer is climbing the wrong mountain!! But what I wanted to say was that I realised why I was avoiding ‘advice’ books. It was because I was afraid they would be soulless. So far, I see that your main principle is about truth, kindness and friendship, which is where I come from, and what I try to shape my blog around. I am SO HAPPY to see that it will get me there in the end. Thank you! Thank you!

  11. #14 by Joe Owens on January 18, 2013 - 2:32 pm

    I am not sure I followed the blogging to e-book comment. I would like to understand so i can learn how to select material for such.

  12. #15 by athenabrady.co.uk on January 18, 2013 - 2:33 pm

    If you put your heart and soul into your writing, it will shine through.No one wants a blog were the blogger is shouting their own trumpet all the time. As you say WanaMama, service first coupled networking are the way forward. It helps us establish a good audience if you “Show up” every day. following our dreams is hard work but the results for all the that effort can be magical. Great post Kristen, thanks for sharing.

  13. #16 by SimplySage on January 18, 2013 - 2:36 pm

    I don’t think my blog would make a novel. But it could still perhaps become an inspirational sort of book. This article encourages me to keep blogging.

  14. #17 by Lin Barrett on January 18, 2013 - 4:09 pm

    Of all the advice on blogging for writers of fiction, I think yours is the sanest I’ve yet seen. Rah, sanity!

  15. #18 by Lisa Hall-Wilson on January 18, 2013 - 5:36 pm

    Some of my favorite bloggers would be Jenny Hansen, August McLaughlin, Marcy Kennedy (all WANA alumni I might add) and Jamie The Very Worst Missionary. I follow a number of other blogs for information, but these I follow cause they’re fun, and they interact with their followers. Getting a handle on voice is something I struggled with for a long time. Think I might have it nailed down now. Onward and upward.

  16. #19 by danielocceno on January 18, 2013 - 9:17 pm

    I do not own one, but I am fascinated by pocket watches since I saw one on TV when I was a little boy. I include pocket watches in my novels like Sherlock Holmes carrying around a pipe. It is mostly to add to the word count and for visualization for the reader.

    “Good Blogs Connect to Readers the Same Way as Our Novels” – I can afford to self-publish on a blog so I agree, I am developing loyal readers. I hope; one is an editor who wants to pay me with “big bucks” to print my novels in paperbacks and hardback books for novels I have not written yet. Self-publishing might get their attention.

    “Also, and this is a big point, blogs can be harvested for content and made into e-books either for sale or for promotion.” – I do not understand this?

    I guess; your blog is my favorite at this point in time because I spend a lot of time on it, other than updating my simple archaic non-formatted scroll form blog.

  17. #20 by colonialist on January 19, 2013 - 4:34 am

    I know some author blogs which are brilliantly written and connect to books of equal brilliance – but live in splendid isolation. I am at a loss to understand WHY they don’t get the hordes of readers they deserve.

  18. #21 by LetSdeG on January 19, 2013 - 7:02 am

    Agreed that blogging helps us connect in ways that Facebook does not. The FB audience seems to feed the ADHD crowd that cannot focus on one thing for too long. the opposite of your blog audience, who you need to engage. I had seriously been considering closing my FB account but I think I may use it to build my blog audience. Great post.

  19. #22 by Caroline Clemmons on January 19, 2013 - 10:48 am

    Kristen, what I like from others and what I’ve had success with on my blogs is learning what sparked a particular book, something interesting/unexpected the author learned in research. I hate blogs where people mainly just say “Buy my book, buy my book.”

  20. #23 by LORRAINE REGULY on January 19, 2013 - 10:59 am

    Dear Ms. Lamb: My name is Lorraine Reguly, and I recently published a website, linking to your blog on my Links page. I would like to know if it is okay that I did this, and would appreciate a reply.  I can unlink you if you like! Please respond either way.  By the way, I am not interested in going into your “hat”; I am merely being respectful because I am unsure what the protocol is out here is cyberspace.  I am a writer, too, and you can check out my website (and thus your link) on my website at http://lorrainereguly.webs.com/ Sincerely, Lorraine Marie Reguly

    ________________________________

    • #24 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 21, 2013 - 11:06 am

      You are always welcomes to link to me. I encourage that and THANK YOU!

  21. #25 by Poke N Grits on January 19, 2013 - 2:54 pm

    thank you for sharing! I find all of this very helpful and encouraging! Cherie

  22. #26 by Maegan Provan on January 20, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award

  23. #27 by Joshua Lisec on January 21, 2013 - 8:13 am

    Reblogged this on Joshua Lisec.

  24. #28 by Eleanor Wood on January 21, 2013 - 11:12 am

    Just reading these posts is getting my gears turning for interesting new blog material. I’ve been needing some blog inspiration… and this is helping. A lot.

  25. #29 by Rose on January 21, 2013 - 7:36 pm

    Thanks for the info on blogging. I’ve subscribed now to a few favourite blogs and plan to start my own soon, as I’m becoming more sold on the idea.

  26. #30 by Gilliad Stern on January 22, 2013 - 3:40 pm

    I like the journey I have taken so far. Your classes have turned my blog journey around and I would recommend them to anyone. The ideas you come up with in your posts are also a great help!

  27. #31 by Paul on January 22, 2013 - 5:48 pm

    This is a great series. It has me thinking a little more about blogging than I have been…

  28. #32 by David Todd on January 23, 2013 - 2:34 pm

    Thanks for the column, Kristen. I began blogging at my own blog in late 2007 (in 2004 at a friend’s political blog). I’ve enjoyed it, though I only have 18 followers, I’m sure due to my lack of focus and marketing.

  29. #33 by Barbara Rae Robinson on January 25, 2013 - 7:33 pm

    Do you start a blog before you have books for sale? Or do you wait? I have a site started, but need to finish it. On WordPress.org. Do your classes include any information about putting together the site? Or just the blogging itself?

    Barb

    • #34 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 25, 2013 - 7:35 pm

      Start a blog as early as possible. Platforms take time to build. Yes, the class covers the basics on the tech side, but ideally I’d like you to blog from your author web site, and we have special WANA rates for web hosting.

  30. #35 by klunansky on February 22, 2013 - 10:16 am

    Reblogged this on Kim Lunansky.

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