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How to blog your way to discoverability

Today’s guest blogger, Nina Amir, is on a virtual book tour for How to Blog a Book Revised and Expanded Edition: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time. A speaker, blogger, and author plus book, blog-to-book, and high-performance coach, Nina helps people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to action.  Some of her clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses, and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, National Book Blogging Month, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. As a hybrid author, Nina has published 15 books and had as many as four books on an Amazon Top 100 list at the same time. She last blogged for Build Book Buzz about “3 reasons you might want to wait to publish your book.” To find out more about Nina and receive a set of free blog-plan templates, visit www.howtoblogabook.com. To receive a free printed copy of How to Blog a Book, read on! 

How to blog your way to discoverability

By Nina Amir

Writers write, but they don’t always want to blog—even though this activity involves writing. The reason is twofold: In their minds, blogging equates to promotion, and most writers would rather be writing than promoting. Plus, they think they don’t have time for both blogging and writing.

Here’s the truth of the matter: Your blog provides the best tool for ensuring you and your book get discovered by potential readers in your target market. Not only that, blogging provides a way to write and promote your book at the same time.

In fact, your blog is the best tool in your promotion toolbox. Let me explain.

Your blog increases the reach of your message

Your blog serves as the “primary station” from which you broadcast your message. Think of it like a radio station. You have something important to say, so you say it—write it—on your blog each time you publish a post.

Your blog broadcasts to the Internet and all your social networks. Think of these like satellite stations. Each one receives the message and then broadcasts it out again, giving what you say, or write, more reach and more visibility.

Your blog provides you with a way to reach your potential readers with your message. In the process, you strengthen your brand, gain new readers and subscribers, and gain authority and visibility online.

That’s the first reason a blog is such an amazing tool. Here’s the second.

Your blog increases the discoverability of your book

Every time you publish a blog post, something magical happens. The bots, spiders and crawlers—computer programs—from Google and other search engines show up to “read” what you’ve written. They catalog the keywords, or search terms, in your posts. The more often they find the same keywords, the more often they “file” your blog under those terms.

Here’s what that means for you: If you publish posts often and consistently, and if you focus your posts on one topic (maybe two), your site quickly rises in the search engine results pages (SERPs). After a while, the potential readers of your book who search for related terms find your your blog on the first Google SERP. Maybe you’ll even have #1 Google ranking, which means your site is listed first on the first page of a Google search.

When people do a Google search for anything, they typically don’t look past the first Google SERP—the first ten results. And they only click on links that appear relevant. If your site comes up on that first page and is relevant to their search, they click through to your site. If you advertise your book on your site, they not only find you and you and your blog but your book as well.

That is called “discoverability.” You want discoverability online.


How to get found online by readers

Your blog provides the simplest way for you to get found by readers online—or to get your book found online. To put this tool to use effectively, you need to do three things:

  1. Write and publish posts regularly and consistently.
  2. Blog only about one or two topics.
  3. Share you posts on every possible social network consistently.

Write your book while you blog

Knowing all of this, you still may find the idea of blogging repulsive. I get it; it can take you away from writing your book. And you are promoting rather than creating art.

Look at blogging in a new way. See blogging as a way to write your book as you promote it.

Consider blogging your book, or writing it in post-sized bits that you publish on your blog and promote on your social networks.

When you blog a book, you publish the first draft of your book on your blog post by post. If you are like most bloggers, in the past you have published posts on a variety of topics. The only thing that links the posts is the fact that they are written by the same person or that you blogged about the topics or themes in your book. With the dual-purpose blog-a-book strategy, however, you publish short installments—300-700-word pieces—of your book on your blog. Each installment (blog post) comprises part of a chapter. As such, the posts work like a long series all focused on one topic or theme.

Blog visitors want to keep “turning the pages.” The continuous flow of related blog posts keeps readers coming back for more. And it gives Google a lot of content to catalog!

How to blog your way to discoverabilitiyPromote as you write

That means your blog enjoys more return visitors and more page views. You’ll also gain new readers because you blog in a focused manner. This practice drives up your site in the SERPs, making it more discoverable. When someone searches for information on the topic of your book, they are more likely to find your blog—and your book.

The only thing you need to do to make that happen is:

  • Write your book and publish it post by post.
  • Take 10 minutes in the morning, afternoon and evening to share your newest post on your social networks.

As you do so, you will build author platform—you will pre-promote your book. You also will build the foundation for effective post-release promotion. And once you finish blogging your book and publish it, you can continue blogging to promote it.

Or blog your next book.

Stop complaining about promotion. Instead, embrace blogging. Turn your blog into the best book-writing, author platform and promotion tool available today.

Win a free printed copy of How to Blog a Book Revised and Expanded Edition: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time by commenting below. We’ll randomly select one U.S. or Canadian commenter. (Sorry about the geography limits — blame the cost of shipping.) 

Subscribe to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter and get the free special report, “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources,” immediately!

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  1. thanks for this, Nina. I’m intrigued that you didn’t mention Comments made through the blog, or Subscriptions. For me, seeing my subscriptions go up and making those connections through comments have been a major reward. I’m still in the “promote the old book” while I toy with ideas for the new, so blogging weekly is not keeping me from writing. In fact, at the moment it’s where I’m doing the majority of my writing. The other piece I’d mention is that blogging for me has evolved. It’s currently broader (Life) than it was at the start (Cultural differences), but I’ve collected followers the have stayed with me and brought their friends. And, I think it’ll continue to evolve.

    1. Hi Janet!

      Comments are nice and show engagement, and historically they have helped discoverability. Most recently, a lot of bloggers have turned them off. Too much spam and one more hole for hackers. With Google constantly changing its algorithms, I like to stick with what I know works over time–blogging in a focused manner.

      As for subscriptions, they are great, but don’t help discoverability. They help your platform. That makes them enormously important, but a big email list or large number of blog subscribers won’t necessarily help you get found (unless all those people read and share your posts).

  2. I’m curious about something: Do you think putting your book on a blog takes away from the number of people who might buy it? Why buy the book when someone can read it on the blog?

    I’m thinking of blogging a non-fiction book, but I wondered if blogging a fiction book works as well, for SERP results, particularly.


    1. Jean,

      I answered this already, but the response seems to have gotten lost.

      I explain why readers will purchase a blogged book in this post: http://howtoblogabook.com/5-reasons-why-your-blog-readers-will-buy-your-blogged-book/

      You can blog fiction and rise in the SERPs if you focus on your topics and themes consistenty, especially in your titles and subtitles as well as tags.

      Know that publishers of fiction don’t like previously published work, but if you can get a nice following/readership, they will purchase your next book–and maybe go back and publish the blogged on later.

  3. Great advice! But if you are going to publish your book with a traditional publisher rather than self-publishing, your publisher would probably object to the actual content of your book being online. But, you could blog about the process of writing it, including places you stumble, or give backstory the book can’t accommodate.

    1. Not entirely true, Dorothy. If it were, there wouldn’t be so many blog-to-book deals. How to Blog a Book was almost entirely blogged and picked up by a traditional publisher.

      For fiction, this can be true. Most fiction publishers do not want to publish previously published material. But prove you can obtain an audience for your first novel by blogging it, and you will have an easier time getting a deal for your second novel.

      As for nonfiction, a successful blog (or blogged book) represents a successfully test-marketed book idea. That’s why agents and acquisitions editors troll the internet looking for them.

      1. I guess it depends on the publisher. When my photographer and I tried to give just teasers about the content of a nonfiction book we were working on on a FB fan page, our editor warned us more than once not to “give away” the story in fear people wouldn’t buy the book.

        Maybe it’s different if one is blogging a book that is looking for a publisher rather than one that is already contracted.

        1. I think that’s strange. My publisher lets me excerpt, use bits for blog posts and social media posts, etc. If people like what they see, they buy the book.

          1. I agree! It was frustrating for us, but I just want people to know that if they have a contract they need to let their editors know what they plan to do, just in case.

  4. Hi Nina,

    Do you think this will work for fiction books with traditional publishers? I’m traditionally published and wouldn’t want to jeopardize future contracts by pre-publishing on the Internet. Could we perhaps blog about the subject matters in our book? Thanks! Heading to look at your blog templates!

    1. Debbie,

      As I mentioned above, a traditional fiction publisher will likely not want previously published work. But if you prove yourself with a blogged novel, you can land a deal for your second book. The publisher later may publish your first one as well. Your fan base will help you land a traditional deal as well.

  5. Hi Nina,
    I enjoyed your article. Thank you. Can you tell me how one goes about getting subscribers for their blog? Is it a case of simply asking via social media? Should I offer an incentive of some kind?
    Jan Mann

    1. Jan,

      Yes, you need a call to action–something free to get them on your mailing list or subscriber list. But sharing your work on social networks–and sharing your incentive–will gain you subscribers.

  6. I’ve been blogging since 2005, and it’s been the best way that readers, potential readers, and the media find me and get engaged with my books, my topic, my message. I write about sex and aging, and while I don’t blog excerpts from my books, I do expand on topics from them. I use my blog to engage readers and keep them interested.

    One the best win-wins about blogging is that people find me who search for a topic that I cover. They may land on a post that I wrote 4 or 6 years ago that addresses their current concern. This leads them to read more and — when the stars align — buy my books.

    1. That’s such a big topic, Pushkar — too big to respond to in a comment. You can find lots of info online about that, though.


  7. I find this post refreshing and insightful. For a while I suffered from anxiety and immobility, especially when I saw the negative comments left by bloggers who read my first book. Now, I am inspired to shake off that mental dust, so to speak, and promote, improve my writing, and promote.

    1. That’s a great question, Walter. I don’t know how my guest blogger, Nina Amir, would answer this, but I’ll address it from my perspective as this blog’s owner/writer.

      I could turn much of this blog’s content into a cohesive, organized, helpful book. It would take a great deal of work, though, to first create a structure and flow. I’d have to decide on the first chapter topic, then search the archives for what I’ve written on that topic — and then on and on, chapter by chapter. A site visitor/reader would have to do the same thing — only that person wouldn’t know where to start with all of the content here. There’s no table of contents that links to all of the content for each possible chapter. In a nutshell, your head would explode if you tried to read this blog as if it were a book.

      Let’s presume that someone else is blogging according to a book outline, which is probably what you’re thinking of. If you’re reading along while the content is being posted over the course of several months, you’re getting the information you need piecemeal and slowly. If you’re reading it after all the book’s content is posted in the order it will run in the book, then you’re going to struggle to navigate the site and keeping locating and clicking through to the next post. It’s awkward and cumbersome — certainly not how I like to read.

      Finally, blog content that has been turned into a book has been smoothed out, with transitions and often updated information added. It’s a much easier read than going the post-by-post approach.

      Also, anyone who isn’t willing to pay a small price for a book that has the information they need isn’t part of the author’s target market anyway.


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