When told that they have to start blogging to promote their books, authors often make this mistake: They follow the advice of marketing blogs.
Blog in a niche, they are told. Write about topics related to your books, some say.
The truth is, blogging for authors is a very different beast. It's not just about your product. Really, an author's blog is really about the author. That's why the best kind of author blogs are the ones that don't just promote the author's books but also help readers get to know what makes the author tick.
Here are my favourite author blogs that'll give you some idea on crafting your own:
Blog type: Slice of life, multi-interest
Roni is my kind of writer - she blogs about whatever she wants. You just never know what you're going to get with her blog. Between the promotional posts about the books that she's releasing, there areposts about her crazy TBR, songs that make her cry or a review of a classic romance novel. The variety not only makes her blog more interesting but reveals her multi-interest personality.
Blog type: Issue based
Mike is the only person I know that can talk so deeply about how the Christian faith influences one's writing (and vice versa). His posts are always carefully-thought-out monsters, and worth mulling over.
Elizabeth Spann Craig
Blog type: Writing and publishing advice
Want to see how good design can enhance an author's platform? Visit Elizabeth's site. It's so well designed, with the right elements all in place, that there's no trouble navigating to where you want to go. You'll learn plenty about the industry at her website as she is very free with her advice. She also gives back to the community with her twitter shout outs on articles that she found useful for writers.
Alex J Cavanaugh
Blog type: Pop culture
Although the design of his website is wee too cluttered for my taste, I love how Alex has combined his love for pop culture with his work as a sci fi novelist by writing reviews about the latest movies and TV shows. I think it's a brilliant way of attracting readers to his blog, though I'm pretty sure Alex does it because he loves writing about them. He also gives back to the writing community by forming the Insecure Writer's Support Group where he gives other writers a platform to promote and talk about their work - a great way to form a community.
Blog type: Slice of life
I fell in love with Tom's wit and cats through his books, and it was to my absolute delight that his blog is as equally enjoyable. He writes about what you may think of as "mundane" stuff. His (very funny) dad, walks in the English countryside, and of course, about his cats. His wonderful prose makes these commonplace topics shine.
Anne R. Allen
Blog type: Writing and publishing advice
Writers shouldn't write about writing on their blogs because they'll only be attracting other writers, not readers. So goes the advice. However, I don't believe writers should be limited in what they want to blog about - writing is, after all, a big part of who we are! Anyway, Anne dishes out very good advice about the craft in her blog. I like how she ends each post with a shoutout to contests or writing submissions for writers and sometimes, a little promotion of her books. I think that's a subtle and not-too pushy way of marketing - by giving back to the community first, then talking about your work.
But do you know what I most admire about Anne? She takes time - a lot of it - to answer e-mails and readers' comments. Anne once tookseveral e-mails to help me with a writer problem, and I really appreciate her for that. She's one of the most engaged authors out there and believe me, that'll win you loyal fans.
Whatever (John Scalzi)
Blog type: Slice of life, issues, writing and publishing advice, interviews
Scalzi began blogging during the era where mobile phones were the size of your arm, so he's got a lot of practice and a lot of readers to show for it. But his secret is really no secret: Great content, an engaging style and ability to engage his readers. Go learn at his feet, padawan.
Terrible Minds by Chuck Wendig
Blog type: Writing advice, interviews, slice of life
First, I adore his website's design. Clean, white space which makes it easy to read his funny, expletive-riddled prose. Chuck also promotes other writers' works, encourage his readers to write through his various writing challenges and actively engages his readers.