Blogging Versus Article-Writing, and Which Will Help You Sell More Books
The old ways don’t work so well anymore. It’s time to go where the readers are
There was a time, ten years ago, when people read blogs. They’d actively seek blog directories, use a thing called an RSS feed into the blog aggregating software plug-ins.
Blogs were cool.
Bloggers made great money from ad revenue. Some had huge followings. Google loved blogs, because the content changed all the time. New got clicks.
But those days are over. Sure, there are many successful blogs, but they’ve been in the business for years, if not more than a decade. For us, our efforts are better spent packing our manual typewriters and heading-over to the place where our potential readers already hang-out.
It’s time to write content for others.
I’ll tell you, I don’t even like the word blog. Blogging is just article-writing on your own platform. Whether is journal-entry-rant-style, or a well-thought synopsis of a book, a blog entry is an article.
The problem with blogging is the eyeballs.
Same problem with starting a new anything. You’ve got no followers when you start. You’ve got no traffic. You’ve got no tribe. But if you choose to post all this new content on your own site, not only do you not have nay traffic today, you won’t have any next month either.
The world isn’t looking for your blog.
We want the answer.
We want the least-friction possible, between us and the best recipe for DIY mosquito spray.
I’m going to answer number one. Maybe two and three, tops, if I’m not happy with one, but that’s it. Your blog is on page 2,304 of my results.
So, what are we supposed to do?
We’ve got stuff worth reading. That’s not the issue. The problem is, we’ve got no one to read said stuff. Instead of writing and hoping we get six new followers to our blog by Christmas of next year, we head to where the readers are.
First, decide who you serve
This is a critical step. Your tribe may hang-out in a seedier neighborhood than my tribe. You must decide who you’ll serve before you go all half-cocked and start posting articles everywhere.
I like Medium.
Maybe you find great success in Forbes, the Huffington Post. Or one of a million different choices.
Uncover who you want to serve and find the seedy, back-alley places they like to go to read their content. Maybe it’s a few places. Find your favorites. We can’t be everywhere, so it’s critical to make economical writing choices.
I have no idea how many readers use Medium daily. But I know it’s a lot more people than visit my website. I went strait to the source. I serve writers and creators. Medium is a great place to lurk where those exact folks like to spend their time.
Do your homework up-front.
Not all sites serve all audiences.
You don’t want to spend a bunch of time writing for people with no interest in your work, right?
A little research goes a long way, before you sit down to pen your first piece.
Create specific content and entice your tribe to join your platform
Once you’ve found your tribe, you’ve reached a slight problem. The content site owns all your potential customers. You’re merely a guest on their platform (the nerve).
If we want to build our own tribe, we’ve got to write targeted content, which take a polarizing stand, and eliminates those who aren’t a good fit for our little club. Those who are a god fit become entranced by our sweet article, as we invite them to come hang-out at our house for cookies and cartoons after school (I’m on strong cold medicine right now, you’ll have to deal with the shenanigans a minute).
Don’t be pushy.
You don’t even have to ask people to join your tribe.
At the bottom of every article you write, add a link to your amazing, free offer — something you give in exchange for your reader’s email address. If you don’t collect your readers’ email, you leave your tribe behind.
Email is the one thing we writers have, that levels the playing field, no matter how small our businesses are.
If our content matches our tribe, which matches our email-enticing offer — we’ll have a steady stream of new readers moving over to our tribe before sunset. Bigger platforms have BIGGER numbers of readers. It’s nothing against you, just math.
It’s a lot better than starting a blog in 2019.
Podcast, maybe. But blog? Nah. It’s time to start writing some articles and posting them where our readers already congregate.
You’re a writer. You want to sell more of your work, not less. It’s a lot easier to be the guy with the hot dog cart, during lunch time, in the middle of a baseball game (the big content platforms), than it is to be the same guy on a vacant, dead-end street at four a.m. (your blog).
The platforms did the work and built the audiences. It’s time for you to borrow your tribe and build your own platform. This is how we sell more books.
We’re waiting for you.
August Birch (AKA the Book Mechanic) is both a fiction and non-fiction author from Michigan, USA. A self-proclaimed guardian of writers and creators, August teaches indie authors how to write books that sell and how to sell more of those books once they’re written. When he’s not writing or thinking about writing August carries a pocket knife and shaves his head with a safety razor.
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