How to Start Blogging: A Definitive Guide for Authors

How to Start Blogging for Authors

Photo credit: M i x y via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

This post was originally published in 2011 and has been extensively updated.


This will be a strange way to begin a guide to blogging, but I want to save you time, trouble, and heartache: The average author does not benefit much from blogging.

Yet blogging is still recommended to authors as a way to market and promote. Why? Because blogging does work, if certain conditions are met. The problem is that few authors meet those conditions. This post will delve into what it means to blog successfully and in a meaningful way for an author’s long-term platform and book marketing efforts.

What it takes to become an effective blogger

First things first: I define “blogging” as publishing material to a site that you own and control—such as your author website. Blogging is sometimes conflated with online writing for other websites or blogs, but that’s not what’s being discussed in this post.

Blogging is an art form

If you approach blogging as something “lesser than” your other writing, you’re more likely to fail at it. While blogging can be less formal, less researched, and more geared for online reading or social sharing, to do it well requires the same kind of practice and skill as crafting a novel. You get better at it the more you do it, but I see many authors give up before they’ve put in enough hours to understand the medium. Furthermore, to stick with blogging for long enough for it to pay off, you have to actually enjoy what it means to blog, and how online writing can be different from print.

The good news is that if you treat blogging seriously, all the writing or content that you generate for your blog can have another life, in another format or within another publication. For example, the best of my blog content over the past 8 years is condensed into a book, Publishing 101. That required a lot of editing and reformulation (online writing can’t be dumped into print without a lot of revision), but it reflects the value and depth of what appears on my blog.

Blogging is often straightforward for nonfiction writers, less so for novelists

Nonfiction how-to authors have it the easiest of all, because likely your subject matter lends itself to blogging, especially if you’re teaching workshops or regularly interacting with your target audience. You probably know off the top of your head the questions that get asked most frequently, the topics that are most popular, and the problems that surface again and again. This is invaluable starting fodder for a successful blog.

However, with a little creativity and imagination, fiction writers can have successful blogs as well. In the literary community, there’s a concept known as literary citizenship, which I like to describe as marketing and promotion “lite.” It involves talking about books, writers, and things that surround the literary community that you want to see flourish. It could mean interviewing other authors, reviewing or talking about books that you’ve read lately, or otherwise featuring or focusing on other people in the community.

Consistency is critical—you need to make a commitment

There are two types of consistency: frequency and subject matter.

Frequency: To gain any kind of momentum, you should commit to two posts a week. Some people may be able to get by on one post a week, but you’ll struggle to gain traction. Ideally, starting out, you should post 3-5x per week. The longer you blog, and the more of an audience you build up, the more you can ease back on frequency.

Subject matter: Think about this in terms of your headlines for your blog posts. If you look at a month’s worth of your blog headlines, they should convey a strong message about what you cover on your blog and who it’s for. A potential reader should be able to easily tell if they’re going to benefit from reading your posts on an ongoing basis. Authors can have trouble staying focused and disciplined on one topic or subject matter, often because they get bored or they think readers will get bored. But again, it’s hard to gain traction if you’re switching it up all the time and not consistent in your coverage.

If you’re interested in blogging, but worry about the time commitment, then consider creating a multi-contributor blog, where several authors in the same genre (or targeting similar audiences) band together. That helps reduce the burden as well as increase the size of your audience starting out—since more people will be marketing and promoting the blog.

It takes patience to build a readership unless you’re already well-known

People may have to see links to your blog posts for months before they actually click through to read one—or before they even become aware that your blog exists. This isn’t necessarily through any fault of your own; there’s an incredible amount of noise around us, and enormous demands on everybody’s attention. If you make a continual series of impressions over a long period of time on the same topic, then it starts to click: “Oh, this person is blogging, and they’re regularly covering this topic.” Some writers assume “Oh, everybody knows I’m blogging because I posted about it,” but no. That’s not the case, and that’s why consistency is so important.

The more time you spend blogging, the more value you build for readers over time and the more they find you. Your efforts will snowball.

Also realize that only about 10% of your readers (or even fewer) will make themselves known to you or engage with you on your blog, so it takes a while before you reach a tipping point, where there’s a concrete indication of growing activity or interest.

What should you blog about?

If you’re at a complete loss when faced with this question, maybe you shouldn’t blog; I discuss why here. Sometimes I’ve told authors that the best bloggers are those who weren’t told to go do it. This is a little harsh—I think people can learn to love it—but blogging isn’t an activity authors should be dragged into, kicking and screaming. Nor should you feel like it’s a burden to come up with ideas; ideally, your problem is too many ideas.

However, it is important to think through how can you bring your own voice or perspective to a topic, theme, or subject matter without repeating what’s already out there. This is easier said than done. It took me 18 months to find the right angle—to realize I do best when I focus on publishing industry trends and digital media topics for authors.

The most successful blogs have a very focused angle and appeal to a very specific audience. This makes it easier to attract attention and build a community around common interests or perspectives.

No one should blog in a vacuum

Before you start a blog, it’s best to identify the other key people already blogging in your area—the influencers. Start reading and sharing their content, and comment at their blog. Eventually, if possible, you should guest blog for them. See the other bloggers not as competitors, but as community members who may eventually become supporters of your work. If your blog is high-quality, and generates conversation, they’ll be likely to recommend you or send you traffic. So identify the notable community players, or the people who you’ll want to build relationships with over time.

Choose the right blogging platform

The best platform to use is whatever you use for your author website—do not be tempted to build your blog somewhere else. You want everything under the same umbrella for search engine optimization and long-term marketing strategy. So, for example, if you have an author website on SquareSpace, then start your blog there; don’t start one over at WordPress or Blogspot.

If your website platform does not support blogging, then it may be time to switch platforms. I talk about the basics of author websites here.

If you don’t have an author website, or if you’re doing a multi-contributor blog, then I recommend using WordPress. It’s well-supported, continually developed, and runs on about 20% of all websites today. Here’s my step-by-step guide to hosting your own website or blog, which doesn’t take longer than 10-15 minutes.

Before you launch the blog

Before you start, consider the following.

  • Blog title and tagline. There are no hard-and-fast rules here, but it should be clear to new visitors what your blog is about and what they’re going to get from it.
  • Readability. If your blog is meant to primarily be read, then don’t hamper readability by making the text too small, too tight or (worst of the worst) white type on a black background. Be aware that pop-ups, ads, or a bad layout can also hamper readability and drive readers elsewhere.
  • About page or bio. If your blog content is interesting, people will want to know more about the person behind it. Don’t make them search for this. Create a separate page, and be sure to include a way to contact you.
  • Comments. You’ll need to decide how difficult it will be for people to comment on your blog, plus you’ll need (if only for yourself) some kind of policy on how you’ll handle or moderate discussions. Will you approve every comment before it goes live? Will comments be automatically published if they’re not spam? An open commenting policy that doesn’t require sign-in helps you get more comments, but you’ll want to make sure you’re receiving email alerts when new comments are posted, just in case you need to delete anything spammy or inappropriate that gets through. Fortunately, major blog platforms (like WordPress) help you streamline your comment system to automatically eliminate spam activity. If you have any trouble, then install Akismet, the industry-standard plugin to eliminate spammy comments.

How to craft quality posts that get read and shared

Quality can be a squishy term; much depends on what your audience or readership considers “quality” or what kind of content is engaging to them. The better you know your audience, the better your posts will be.

However, there are some principles that will help ensure that your posts are more likely to be engaged with and shared.

  • Don’t be afraid of length. Somewhere along the line, people started thinking that ideal blog posts are 500 words, even less. That’s simply not true. In fact, when it comes to search ranking, Google looks at the substantive nature of the content and will rank your content lower if it appears shallow. Social media is typically better for quick shares, brief commentary, or short statements—or anything that doesn’t merit more than 100-200 words. The most successful posts at this site are regularly longer than 2,000 words. However, the longer the content, the more readable it needs to be, which brings us to the next point.
  • Improve scannability. Most people skim online content and make a very quick judgment call as to whether it merits paying closer attention. If so, your content may be saved for later—or readers will slow down and read the content from beginning to end. To make your content easily scanned, add subheads, plenty of paragraph breaks (one-line paragraphs are acceptable), bulleted lists or numbered lists, bold lead-ins—whatever it takes to make your posts more easy to grasp and see if it’s valuable.
  • Add at least one image. You’ll notice that I always begin posts with an image. Psychologically, this typically improves the perceived value of the post—plus these images get pulled and used when the post is shared on social media. It’s OK if the image isn’t directly related to the content; it can be metaphorical, as long as it’s attention-grabbing or colorful. Blending in is the opposite of what you want. (You can find plenty of free-to-use images at VisualHunt.)
  • Ask a question at the end. If you want to get people active in the comments, you’ll do better if you end the post on a question, where you ask people to share something specific about their knowledge or experience. Active comments are generally seen as a good thing because it increases the time people spend on your content, which is a signal of engagement for search engines and thus contributes to search ranking.

Your post headlines are critical

If people saw only your post headline (e.g., on Twitter), would they feel compelled to click on it? Remember, the headline is often the only thing people see when they’re surfing online and looking at search results, so it’s one of the biggest factors in whether your post gets read. Here are a few considerations:

  • Is the headline specific or literal? There’s very little room to be clever, cute, or abstract with blog post headlines. Plus, for search engine optimization, you need to be thinking of what keywords might belong in that headline that will help people find your post.
  • Is the headline intriguing or provocative? I’m not advocating clickbait headlines, but it doesn’t hurt to create mystery, intrigue, or play on people’s curiosity. You cross the line into clickbait when the headline doesn’t deliver on the promise made, or if the headline is overly sensationalized to get clicks.
  • Does the headline offer a benefit? All of us have limited time and energy to consume content online, so we’re always thinking WIIFM? (What’s in it for me?)

Here are some actual blog post headlines that I helped an author improve, to be more specific and attuned to keyword search.

Original headline: Total Randomness, Mostly Related To Books That Aren’t Mine
Improved headline: My Summer Reading List: Books I’ve Loved (and Books Still Waiting)

Original headline: Turn, Turn, Turn
Improved headline: What If You’re Dreading the Change of Seasons?

Original headline: Wanna Have Coffee?
Improved headlnie: Overcoming the Obstacles That Prevent You From Meditating

Consider how to create cornerstone content

Cornerstone content refers to any article, post, or page at your site that draws new readers to your blog consistently, usually through search or by referral from other sites. Cornerstone content often is a comprehensive, definitive piece that tackles a frequently asked question, issue, or problem—or features a very popular author or thing in popular culture that is searched for often.

The cornerstone content on this blog can be seen right under “Most Popular Posts”—each one points to my 101 posts on how to get published.

Sometimes, cornerstone content might be a manifesto or download in PDF form. Chris Guillebeau is well-known for 279 Days to Overnight Success that drew thousands (if not millions) to learn about his blog and his message. Michael Ellsberg distributed a manifesto called What Would It Mean That Your Life Is Perfect?

Having even one piece of cornerstone content greatly reduces your burden to attract readers to your site through brand-new content. If it does its job, the cornerstone piece will bring a steady stream of new readers over a period of weeks and months, some of whom will become loyal followers.

If you’re very serious and strategic about this, I recommend reading How to Increase Website Traffic.

Make it easy to browse and share your posts

Some blogs have such a minimal design that it’s difficult to see the bigger picture of what type of content the blog offers. Even though there are benefits to a minimalist design, I get more engagement by having a sidebar that offers tools to navigate the history of my blog and the hundreds of posts that live here.

  • Calendar/archive. People new to your blog may want to dig around in your older posts. Make it easy for them to do so by offering a post calendar or archive.
  • Category search. Blog content should be organized into 5-10 different categories that are of high interest to your audience. For example, if people read an interview or book review on your site that interests them, they may want to browse all previous interviews or book reviews. Make this easy by categorizing the posts correctly and making the categories visible with posts.
  • Most popular posts. For new readers of your blog, it’s helpful to have a consistent box or sidebar that tells readers what your most popular posts are.
  • Sharing functionality. Make it easy for people to share your posts on Facebook, Twitter (or just about anywhere else) by adding sharing buttons to the bottom of your posts. This functionality is usually built-in to most blogs.

Improve your content’s discoverability (SEO)

Search engine optimization really requires its own post. However, you’ll be doing a good job with your SEO if:

  • You use WordPress or Squarespace, which are already optimized for search.
  • You make sure each post is categorized and tagged appropriately.
  • You think about how readers would search for your content, and incorporate those search keywords into your post headline, post subheads, and more. If your site is self-hosted, then install WordPress SEO by Yoast, which will give you both the tools and education you need to optimize your content for search.

To learn more about how to create content that will attract search traffic, here is a comprehensive guide.

How to grow your readership

Here are some of the tried-and-true methods for generating traffic.

Use social media

Link to new blog posts on each social media network where you’re active. But don’t just post a link. Offer an intriguing question, lead in, excerpt, or explanation of why the post might be interesting to people on that specific social network. While it may be possible to automate postings across your social networks whenever a new blog post goes live, don’t. It’s more effective to give each post a personal touch based on what you know appeals to that particular community.

Install Google Analytics and study how people find and read your content

If your site is self-hosted, then you should have Google Analytics installed. If not, get started today—it’s a free service and easy to set up. After Google Analytics has collected at least 1 month of data, take a look at the following:

  • How do people find your blog? Through search? Through your social media presence? Through other websites that link to you?
  • What search words bring people to your site?
  • What pages or posts are most popular on your site?

By knowing the answers to these questions, you can better decide which social media networks are worth your investment of time and energy, who else on the web might be a good partner for you (who is sending you traffic and why?), and what content on your site is worth your time to continue developing (what content will bring you visitors over the long run?).

Create free resource guides on popular topics

If you’re a nonfiction writer, then this probably comes naturally: Put together a 101 guide, FAQ, or tutorial related to your topic or expertise—something people often ask you about. (My most visited resource on this site is Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published.)

If you’re a novelist, this strategy may take some creative thinking. Consider the following:

  • If your book is strongly regional, create an insider’s guide or travel guide to that particular region. Or think about other themes in your work that could inspire something fun: a collection of recipes; a character’s favorite books, movies, or music; or what research and resources were essential for completing your work.
  • Create a list of favorite reads by genre/category, by mood, or by occasion. Tie into current events or “look-alike” media whenever you can; for example, if you write romance and you know your readers love The Bachelor, create a list of books that fans of the show would enjoy reading.
  • If you have a strong avocational pursuit (or past profession) that influences your novels, create FAQs or guides for the curious.

Create lists or round-ups on a regular basis

A very popular way to make people aware of your blog is to link to others’ blogs. If you can do this in a helpful way, it’s a win for you, for your readers, and for the sites you send traffic to.

In the writing and publishing community, weekly link round-ups are very common. (See Joel Friedlander and Elizabeth Craig.) You can create such lists or round-ups on any theme or category that interests you enough to remain dedicated, enthusiastic, and consistent for the long haul—at least six months to a year, if you want to see a tangible benefit.

Run regular interviews with people who fascinate you

Believe it or not, it’s rare to come across an informed, thoughtful, and careful interviewer and interview series (or—not just someone looking to fill a slot or post generic content based on pre-fab questions).

Think about themes, hooks, or angles for an interview series on your site, and run them on a regular basis—but only as frequently as you have time to invest in a well-researched and quality interview. Such series also offer you an excellent way to build your network and community relationships, which has a way of paying off in the long run.

Be a guest blogger or interviewee on other sites

Whenever you guest or appear on other websites, that’s an opportunity to have multiple links back to your own site and social network accounts.

A meaningful guest post means pitching sites that have a bigger audience than you, but they should also have a readership that’s a good match for your work. If you need a strong introduction to guest posting how-to, visit this excellent Copyblogger post. If you’re not the type to write guest posts, then consider proactively offering yourself up to be interviewed as part of other bloggers’ interview series.

Whenever you make an appearance on another site, always promote the interview on your own social networks and create a permanent link to it from your own website.

Above all: You need patience

Here’s what my blog traffic looked like in its early years.

Blog Traffic

  1. December 2009. This is when I took the trouble to make my site something more than a feed of social media updates and started using WordPress. I posted 3-4 times per month.
  2. Mid-2010. This is when my traffic reached about 100 visits a day.
  3. January 2011: I began a weekly series at my site, unrelated to writing and publishing, that featured mother-daughter interviews.
  4. July 2011: This is when I began regularly blogging about writing and publishing at JaneFriedman.com (rather than at Writer’s Digest).

After about two years of consistency, I reached about 60,000 visits per month.

Blog Traffic 2

Today, I’m approaching 200,000 visits per month. Most people I meet who blog either aren’t committed, or give up too soon, before gaining momentum that builds on itself. It’s true, however, that some people should give up, because they’re not producing the right content or the best content for their audience.

To figure out whether you should start—or keep going—a good next step is to read Guillebeau’s 279 Days to Overnight Success.


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Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the co-founder and editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors.

Jane currently teaches writing and publishing at the University of Virginia and is a columnist for Publishers Weekly. The Great Courses just released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. She also has a book forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, The Business of Being a Writer (2017).

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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140 Comments on "How to Start Blogging: A Definitive Guide for Authors"

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Porter Anderson
5 years 3 days ago
Great piece, Jane, and no surprise from such an experienced hand at this as you, thanks. I’d like to add clarity of byline as something that’s far more important than many bloggers realize. A blogger wants her or his work spread around the communities, per your smart comments above about sharing functionality and improving discoverability. But that blogger also deserves credit for that content. Some of us, in fact, work very hard to #CreditWriters (a Twitter hashtag), even in the tight confines of tweets, to be sure our authors get the recognition they deserve. When you’re blogging, burying your identity… Read more »
Monique Heard
Monique Heard
3 years 12 days ago

Thanks for that great insight I’ll definitely apply that to my blog

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[…] Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers | Jane Friedman This post is for writers totally new to blogging, about to start a blog, and/or feeling dissatisfied with their current blog. Source: janefriedman.com […]

Anne R. Allen
5 years 3 days ago

This is great. What I wish I’d had when I was starting out. I’ll spread the word.
Thanks, Porter for the great idea of putting your twitter handle front and center on the blog!

Porter Anderson
4 years 11 months ago

Well, Anne, I bow to YOU in so many things related to blogging, so it’s really nice of you to pick up on the @Twitter handle issue. And thanks to Jane for getting us all sorted so well. I’ve been totally lucky to have met her early so I’ve had the benefit of her wisdom before getting too far in, myself. Cheers – 

Robert Lee Brewer
5 years 2 days ago

Totally loved this post, Jane. I agree with Porter that one of the worst things a blogger can do is hide his/her identity and handles on other social networks. That’s why I always suggest using your name as a handle on other social networks (if not taken). In fact, I use you as THE example for why folks need to act now on claiming their name online.

Marly
4 years 11 months ago
Robert: Would you mind helping a fellow blogger? When I clicked on my name in my comment, instead of going to my blog, which for me is the point of having a profile, it took me to something called Yahoo Plus, which is less than useless for me. It gave my full name, my age and what state I live in, which I don’t want people to know, but didn’t go to the blog, which I did. When I clicked on your name, it went directly to your blog the way it’s suppose to. (By the way, it’s  a cool… Read more »
Porter Anderson
4 years 11 months ago

Thanks, Robert — couldn’t agree more about the importance of using your name as your social-media handle (rather than blog title, etc.), if for no other reason so that you get continuity of community from one project to the next. I love how when we arrive at Jane’s page here, what’s right up top is JANE FRIEDMAN. Her wonderful McLuhan-powered “electric speed” line is the tag, not the center of her universe, which is excellent. I use her as my best example for folks, too. 🙂

Anonymous
Anonymous
5 years 2 days ago

I’ve had my blog for a couple of years but this has really helped focus my thoughts about it! 

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Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers | Jane Friedman | Research Education | Scoop.it
5 years 2 days ago

[…] Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers | Jane Friedman […]

kathryn magendie
kathryn magendie
5 years 2 days ago

Thank you for these great tips! My regret is that when I started my blog, I didn’t use my name. I’d change that if I could do it over again.

Barbara Forte Abate
Barbara Forte Abate
5 years 2 days ago

Thank you Jane (and Porter for your extremely helpful addendum) this is truly blogger gold! I’ve had my blog on my website for about a year and still feel as if I’m crawling through the trenches. To say I needed this post doesn’t even begin to cover how much I NEEDED this post 🙂

Porter Anderson
4 years 11 months ago

My pleasure, Barbara, Jane did all the heavy lifting. 🙂 

Patricia Gligor
Patricia Gligor
5 years 1 day ago

This was a very informative post. Because I’m relatively new to blogging, I need all the help I can get and this article provided a lot of important information. Thanks, Jane!
I’ve written two women’s mystery suspense novels and I’m in the early planning stages of a third. I’ve recently created my own writers forum, a blog for writers and avid readers. I’d like to invite everyone to visit my site.
http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com

Harleena Singh
5 years 8 hours ago

Hi Jane,

This is just the kind of comprehensive information I was looking for a long time, forwarded to me by another fellow writer. I needed to learn more about WordPress, as I currently have a blog with Bloggers, and thanks to you, I can understand WordPress better now!

Thanks for sharing!

Marly
4 years 11 months ago
I’d agree that asking the question, “What is my purpose?” is a really good place to start, as well as, “How unique is what I’d like to share?” There has to be millions of blogs written specifically for writers, and just as many subjects those bloggers can cover. Before I started mine, http://www.awritersconundrums.blogpsot.com, I’d read Karen Wiesner’s books, “First Draft in 30 Days,”  and “From First Draft to Finished Novel,” and they helped me so much in learning not only how to outline my book idea, but also how to organize it and write it so it would be memorable,… Read more »
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[…] Jane Friedman: Being Human at Electric Speed […]

Marly
4 years 11 months ago
Jane, or anyone else who can answer this: I’m sorry to bother again, but I just found out that Blogger.com just lost my awritersconundrums blog. There are at least four posts on it, but it says there’s nothing there. When my makingmyownwork blog was up, it quite frequently wouldn’t let me post anything on it for a week or two at a time. Since Blogger is so unreliable and there is absolutely no help available, I tried putting the “Conundrum” blog on WordPress, because I’ve heard it has great technical support, but it seems horribly complicated to me. Just picking… Read more »
Marly
4 years 11 months ago
Jane, or anyone else who can answer this: I’m sorry to bother again, but I just found out that Blogger.com just lost my awritersconundrums blog. There are at least four posts on it, but it says there’s nothing there. When my makingmyownwork blog was up, it quite frequently wouldn’t let me post anything on it for a week or two at a time. Since Blogger is so unreliable and there is absolutely no help available, I tried putting the “Conundrum” blog on WordPress, because I’ve heard it has great technical support, but it seems horribly complicated to me. Just picking… Read more »
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Week Links 8-28 | Journeys in Steam
4 years 11 months ago

[…] Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers By the amazing Jane Friedman: This post is for writers totally new to blogging, about to start a blog, and/or feeling dissatisfied with their current blog. https://janefriedman.com/2011/08/24/blogging-for-writers/ […]

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[…] Jane Friedman, e-media and writing professor at the University of Cincinnati and a contributing editor to Writer’s Digest offers practical blogging tips of use to writers new to blogging at https://janefriedman.com/2011/08/24/blogging-for-writers/ […]

SashaHitchner 'BOZ'
4 years 11 months ago

Thank you jane for always being so helpful. Blessings. 

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[…] You do not have to blog, and if you don’t have much interest in the form, then please don’t pursue it. As with any form of writing, it takes a considerable investment of energy and time to do it right and get something from it. (See my 101 crash course here.) […]

Rich B
Rich B
4 years 8 months ago

Thank You!  Very much. And Happy Holidays.

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[…] from the Writer’s Digest Editor’s Intensive  weekend in Cincinnati where Editors, Jane Friedman,Alice Pope and Chuck Sambuchino had promoted the idea of social media-facebook,twitter and […]

Hope Roberson
Hope Roberson
4 years 8 months ago

Thanks for the information!  The links were great too!

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[…] Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers. This is one of those posts I’ll be referencing for years to come. Everything but the kitchen sink. […]

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What I’ve learned about blogging … so far » labbydog.ca
4 years 7 months ago
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Make it easier for Jane Doe to find you.
4 years 7 months ago

[…] If you can commit the time on a regular basis for research and writing, consider a WordPress blog. […]

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[…] After you have a draft of your post, go through this checklist from Jane Freidman’s advice on getting started as a blogger: […]

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[…] Jane Friedman also provides some good technical tutorials on starting a WordPress blog (go to the second-last section of her blog entitled “If You’re Starting With WordPress”). […]

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[…] what are you going to blog about?  To quote Jane Friedman, “Most successful blogs have a very specific angle, topic, or audience. This makes it easier to […]

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[…] her tweets an awful lot, too. Her blog is geared toward writers, but she gives some great advice here about getting started blogging that just about anyone with a blog could find […]

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[…] it, though I hope this time not to lose it in the first place); and this get started guide from Jane Friedman.  Yet already I am getting cold […]

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[…] Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers — which links to 5 of my own brief screencasts for getting started with WordPress […]

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[…] Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers […]

Margaret Duarte
Margaret Duarte
3 years 10 months ago

Hi Jane. I see your main website is self-hosted through WordPress.org. I built a website with a connecting blog on WordPress.com. Would it be wise to take the plunge and self-host now while my site is still young? Also, I know how important it is to start collecting visitor’s email addresses. How do I add a subscription box (such as Mail Champ) to my website’s home page for newsletters, etc.? The answer to this second question probably depends on your answer to the first.

Margaret Duarte
Margaret Duarte
3 years 10 months ago

Jane, there are so many choices of themes at wordpress.org. Do you have any favorites for authors?

Barrie Collins
Barrie Collins
3 years 8 months ago

Dear Jane, this is wonderful. As a new writer, (first book just self-published, been writing for 10 years), this is just what I need. I’ll be staring a blog in the next month or so your advice is just what I need, and I notice your site came up on top in my Google search so your keywords/meta tags must be spot on.
You write very clearly, thank you.

Juliet O'Callaghan
3 years 7 months ago

I’ve linked to this post on this Authonomy thread http://authonomy.com/forums/threads/107744/so-whats-the-point-of-a-blog-/

I found it invaluable when starting my blog in August.

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[…] Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers from Jane Friedman. […]

John A.
John A.
3 years 6 months ago
From what I can gather from your article when one starts a blog, the true niche where one succeeds will be a changing work in progress for quite some time. It doesn’t happen right away when someone decides to start blogging. Would that be a fair assumption? I have decided to try my hand at blogging in the political arena and know there is tons of competition. I think where I may initially begin may be totally different once I find a good niche….maybe 6, 12 or even 18 months down the road. The same would could be said for… Read more »
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[…] to start with the familiar terrain first: the direct How To, by taking a look at Jane Friedman’s Getting Started Guide: Blogging For Writers.  Jane, with her blog’s jewel of a tagline, Being Human at Electric Speed, belongs in the […]

Raeshma
Raeshma
3 years 5 months ago

I have so much to learn. I have been reading a lot about creating a self-hosted WordPress site. I am a new author. My publisher created a WordPress site for me, but I want to create a self-hosted site. The current website domain contains the publisher’s name. Though I appreciate their efforts, I feel stuck with it. I feel the need to build my own brand. 🙂 I hope I can do this on my own, using your handout. Thank you.

Joseph George
3 years 5 months ago

Excellent!

Carson Greenley
3 years 4 months ago

A lot of great suggestions. I just started out on wordpress two days ago and this was super useful. Will be back to read more articles very soon!

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[…] remember that your information marketing writing career does NOT require a college or graduate degree, and it is not judged by a composition teacher […]

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[…] I also recommend reading my older posts, Please Don’t Blog Your Book: 4 Reasons Why and Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers, especially if you think blogging is the right choice for you. While my views don’t mirror […]

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[…] It has become almost mandatory for writers to have blogs these days. I started my first blog, “Looking At Life,” when I wanted to capture observations and thoughts from my schooldays at The Lawrence School, Lovedale. Later I started “People At Work & Play” my “professional” blog which spoke of careers, people management and the like. Now that I am retired and am full time into writing, I have a writing blog, which is what you are reading. If you are a writer wanting to start a blog or an aspiring writer, here are some tips from an expert.… Read more »
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[…] Jane Friedman: Get Started Guide: Blogging for Authors […]

Lauren Kirk-Cohen
Lauren Kirk-Cohen
3 years 2 months ago

This is really helpful – thanks! 🙂

Small Writer
Small Writer
3 years 28 days ago

Thanks to this wonderful and very useful.

article

article on democracy

Democracy

Aakash Prasad
3 years 27 days ago

Thanks Jane for sharing such great ideas. I really liked your article on blogging.
The best point I liked reading here is about the going through the checklist. Specially in improving the readability of the blog by adding it into paragraphs, numbered lists and the images.

Monique Heard
Monique Heard
3 years 12 days ago

I was apprehensive about blogging but now I’m excited to get started. Thank you so much for taking the time to create a step by step guide for beginners.

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[…] Get Started Guide: Blogging for Writers by Jane Friedman […]

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