On September 17, I was lucky enough to talk with my good friend Chad Allen on my podcast to discuss how to tackle writing a book for the first time. Chad is a former acquisition agent and helped me secure my most recent book deal for “Uniquely You” that will hit the shelves in 2019. He now works as a coach, helping people from all different walks of life reach their goal of getting published. Because so many people ask me how to write a book, this week, I would like to follow up on what was said in that podcast.
Whether you decide to publish through a traditional publisher or go it alone, Chad told me that the two most important things to do to get started for any aspiring author are to get in the habit of writing and build a platform.
To do both of these at once, I would highly recommend starting an online blog. Creating content for new posts is a terrific way to practice writing while building a following of people who want to hear what you have to say. That way, you can build a platform and establish yourself as a well-known thought leader. If you already have a website or were already planning to make one for your book, adding a blog section is actually quite simple—all you have to do is provide the writing and get started. Here is how you can build your blogging platform in three simple steps:
1. Write What You Love
Pick a specific topic for your blog by finding a subject that you either know a lot about or would never get bored learning about. Ideally, you should identify a topic where you can do both!
I believe that everyone has a passion that they could talk about for pages and pages. Just find yours! There is a framed quote from Albert Einstein hanging in the Southwest Michigan First office that says, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
So, don’t worry too much if your area of focus is outside of the mainstream; the most important thing is that it is authentic to you. Niche audiences are out there for almost every topic. For example, beekeeping may seem like too narrow or strange a topic for a blog, but you might be surprised by how many successful beekeeping blogs there are!I believe that everyone has a passion that they could talk about for pages and pages. Just find yours! Click To Tweet
By picking a subject dear to your heart, your passion will leak into your writing, and your followers will notice. You will also face less procrastination from yourself if you fall in love with your work! On the other hand, if you pick a subject that you feel might be more popular but you don’t care about, your writing might turn stale if your heart isn’t in it. You should blog because you want to, not because you feel like you have to.
2. Write Regularly
A good blog has regular posts. If you post sporadically, your readership won’t know when to check in with you, and they may drop away if you neglect your site for too long. Take a look at your schedule and decide how much time you have to devote to your blog. Then, make a writing schedule that you can commit to well into the future. Make sure you stick to it! If you skip one blog entry, it makes it all the easier to put off the next one too.
Also, writing regularly will help you develop a writing habit. You may even get comments that your blog posts are getting better and better. Writing is like going to the gym—the more you exercise your writing muscles, the stronger you become and the easier it gets to do the heavy lifting.
3. Give Your Readers a Reason to Click
You can take your posts in any direction you want. You can make a list post, turn a personal story into a blog post, or review a book/movie related to your subject. Just make sure that your posts do one thing: Create value for your readers.
Each blog post should have some takeaway that makes reading it worth your audience’s time. Maybe your post gives a few tips of the trade, reveals an old family recipe, or shares the results of some research you have been doing. The bottom line is that there are a lot of pages out there on the internet that people can choose to click on. Give them a reason to click on yours and keep coming back. Over time, you will be surprised how large your platform has become!