Beyond Writing about Writing: Five Blog Content Ideas for Authors
Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers. –Brian Clark
“You’re not going to blog about this, are you?” asked my daughter. She’d caught me taking pictures of her socks. Not the ones she was wearing, but the pairs she drops in odd places around the house. And yes, I was hoping to do just that—blog about the misplaced socks. I didn’t know what the point was yet, but I knew the idea would come.
When I talk to writers about their blogs, most feel like they need one, but they’re not sure what to blog about. In some ways, nonfiction writers have it easy: we can write about our niche. But what do fiction writers blog about? And how do nonfiction writers who juggle multiple niches create a blog that attracts readers? Here are five fun blog content ideas for writers:
Write about your niche. Are you a nonfiction writer with an interesting niche? Do you write about healthy recipes, home improvement or the green movement? If so, you’re one of the lucky ones. You can blog about your niche or combine your niches to create a unique blog. Travel writer Joshua Berman writes about both volunteering and travel at his blog, The Tranquilo Traveler.
Write about your setting. One of my favorite blogs is The Outfit: A Collective of Chicago Crime Writers. I love this blog because the authors blog about their city, various locations in and around it, and fascinating true crime stories. How can you blog about the setting of your novel? If you’re a nonfiction writer, how about blogging about where you live? Travel writer Elizabeth Hansen writes a great blog about her town for tourists, La Jolla, California: LaJolla Travel Information: The Insider’s Guide to San Diego’s Favorite Coastal Community.
Write about your life. Readers want to know what it is like behind the magic bookshelf, how famous writers manage to write bunches of books, find an agent, market their books, and still make dinner for the spouse and children. A group of romance writers have joined forces to create The Goddess Blogs, where they write about their lives, their passions and their books. Nonfiction writer Heather Lende records stories of her life in Alaska (complete with dog photos!) as well as the ups and downs of being a writer at her blog.
Write about your main character’s vocation or hobby. My brain candy these days consists of chick lit mysteries and novels. Most of these are built around the vocation of the protagonist. In Lois Winston’s new crafting mystery series (Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun & Death by Killer Mop Doll), protagonist Anastasia Pollack writes about crafts for a popular women’s magazine. Every book contains at least one craft project and the main character has her own blog with more craft ideas, Killer Crafts and Crafty Killers.
Post photos, drawings, and videos. Okay, this works better if you take great photos or draw and paint really well—but I’ve fallen in love with a few blogs that marry art and writing. Artist and writer Jackie Morris has done just that with her blog, filled with lush photographs, delicious drawings and her poignant tales of loving books. Mystery author and cartoonist Colin Cotterill has posted his diary on his website, a monthly hand-written update about his life complete with cartoons. Author and artist Danny Gregory posts sketches and videos at his popular blog about writing and making art.
Your turn: What’s your secret to making your blog unique? What bloggers do you think get it right? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.