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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Guest Blog: Elaine Cantrell: The Blogging Life For Me


There are so many articles about book promotion that it can give you a headache trying to sort through all the information.  Interestingly enough, a lot of it overlaps.  So, after spending hours reading through article after article, I think I’ve found a couple of things I feel comfortable putting into practice, things that most people swear by.   

The thing I enjoy most is blogging.  I set up my first blog at My Space, but I soon realized that wouldn’t do so I moved to Blogger where I’ve been ever since.  (http://www.elainepcantrell.blogspot.com)  Most people like Blogger because it’s super easy to manipulate, but others have pointed out that you don’t own the site.  They prefer to have more control over their blog.  They make a good point, but for the present I’m sticking where I am because it truly is easy to use.  A note here, when you set up your blog be sure you use your own name as I did.  

Okay, what does it take to have a blog people actually want to read?  First, you need to change your content frequently.  If people see the same old thing day after day, they’ll soon find someone else to follow.   As an added bonus, new content gives more words for Google to search.   

What kind of content do you want?  That depends on whom the blog is written for.  If the blog targets authors, for example, articles on writing as a craft would increase your readership.  No matter who your target group turns out to be, your content should be interesting and allow your personality to shine. Readers like feeling as if they know the author on a more personal level.  

The blogs I personally like best are those with a mixture of things, so that’s what I’ve done at my own blog.  I have a feature called Beyond the Book.  Each Tuesday I allow readers a glimpse into my character’s lives after the book ends.  Also, on Fridays I write a fashion column.  On Saturdays and Sundays I share excerpts, and the rest of the time I’m open to guest bloggers.  Many of my readers have expressed an interest in pets, so on June 8 I’m planning to introduce a new blogger, my dog Rascal.    

I think it’s important to be consistent with your blogging.  If you set aside a certain day to blog, do it every single week at that particular time.  Don’t skip days or you’ll disappoint the readers, and they’ll go away.

Use pictures as well.   Some authorities say don’t use too many pictures, but I like them and include them regularly.   Be sure you give credit for any pictures that you use.    

Mostly, you’ll have to experiment and find what works best for you.   Truthfully, I probably should replace my fashion column with something else.   The readership isn’t growing as much as I’d like, but I enjoy the column so I’ll give it a while longer to catch on.  

Don’t forget to add links out and keywords to your content.  

Building a readership doesn’t happen overnight, but be patient and consistent, and it’ll pay off in the long run.

BIO
Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina.  She holds a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University.  She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators and is also a member of Romance Writers of America.  Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest.  When she isn’t writing or teaching, she enjoys gardening, quilting, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments.

Find Elaine at:
http://www.pinterest.com/elainecantrell


BLURB:
Liesel Wolf has a secret, a dangerous secret she’ll go to any lengths to conceal. When she’s paired in a charity game with sexy marshal Andy Bryce, a man with secrets of his own, her carefully constructed world comes crashing down, and Liesel’s on a collision course with her past.

298 comments:

1 – 200 of 298   Newer›   Newest»
Sandy said...

Elaine, I agree with you on the blog. You need to pick a day to blog and stick with it.

I, also, like to talk about many topics rather than promote my books or talk about writing because I want readers at my blog. My blogs about my pets have drawn a lot of people to my blogs. Another thing is anything with controversy drives people to a blog. lol

Adele Dubois said...

Nice to meet you, Elaine. I love your book cover! Best of luck with your release.

~Adele

Paris said...

Hi Elaine and welcome! I have to agree that there is so much information out there it could give you a headache!

Best of luck with your blog and BTW, where do you find your vintage Christmas ornaments:)

Elaine Cantrell said...

Sandy, controversary is a good idea. I'm giving that some thought. Thanks for stopping by.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Adele, it's so nice to meet you too! I'm glad you like the cover. The first time I saw it I wasn't sure if I liked it, but it fits the book so well that I warmed up to it pretty soon.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Paris, most of my ornaments came either from Ebay, flea markets, or a family member's attic. This year my ornaments will be on a white tree which is different from what I usually do, but a white tree is historically correct for the ornaments I've collected.

Tracy Krauss said...

very practical advice, Elaine. I like blogger as well for the reasons you stated - its easy! I also like the ease with which to follow others and keep track of my own followers.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Tracy, if it's complicated, I can't do it.

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