Professional book editor reveals the top 10 ways to promote your blog posts as an indie author!
In these modern times, more writers are self-publishing their novels instead of seeking representation from a literary agent, meaning that every aspect of the process falls to the author. Unlike traditional authors, indie authors don’t have a marketing team, so they have to take full responsibility for promotion and sales after their book has been published.
An effective way to promote yourself as an indie author is to create content consistently. Some authors create YouTube videos, others run podcasts, and many write blog posts to achieve this. Blogs in particular have become a popular choice because…well, we writers write for a reason – many of us hate speaking or showing our face on camera. Blog posts also give the audience the chance to use their imaginations, something many readers love.
In this post, I'll be giving you my top 10 ways to promote your blog posts, which will be broken down into four categories.
Category 1: Self-promotion
Self-promotion is the easiest to achieve as it simply involves being yourself and expressing enthusiasm for your writing, but before we delve into the three points within this category, I must remind you to inform people that you actually have a blog, which may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many readers won’t know about your posts.
As an example, I’m a professional book editor with a website, social media profiles and a growing portfolio of edited work, but I’m still always promoting my blog posts to my email subscribers and Instagram followers – because if I don’t keep promoting, my audience will assume that my blog no longer exists.
Anyway, there are three main ways you can best self-promote your blog posts and indie author platform in general.
You have to become your content. As individuals, we’re all unique, so creating a general identity for yourself as an indie author is the first step to promoting your blog posts. Anyone who has read your books, follows you on social media or has subscribed to your mailing list should know about your blog, and anyone who reads your blog posts should feel a connection with you.
Making your blog a part of your indie author brand will help you to easily promote your posts. However, if you’ve only just started your blog as a newly self-published author, consider sharing your blog with your immediate circle first - family, friends, and colleagues – then strangers can gradually follow suit.
And don’t forget to personalise your writing style, tone, and topics – the worst thing you can do as an indie author with a blog is appear too generic; it’s important to make yourself stand out. As a result, more people will take an interest in you and stick around.
2. Social Media
A top place to get a readily available audience searching for content is on social media. For example, a simple LinkedIn post could lead to thousands of eyes on your blog, and sharing your blog posts on various other social media platforms will always help to promote your content.
However, you have to find ways to link your blog posts to the latest trends in your niche. Find the most relevant communities, hashtags and topics that match your posts and share to your heart’s content.
Consider posting snippets and excerpts from your blog (and books) to make your social media followers eager to read the rest.
For instance: if you received ten new readers from five different platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest) on a daily basis, you would get 1,500 more eyes on your content in a month; 18,250 in a year.
Trust me, you could get thousands of post views by creating a consistent marketing strategy and allowing your audience to easily access your links.
Another way to access a large group of curious people is by frequenting online question and answer forums, such as Quora, Reddit, Yahoo and Stack Overflow.
For example, if you’re a self-published fantasy author and you offer writing advice to other aspiring fantasy authors, you may come across such a question on Quora: “How can fantasy writers create authentic magical creatures?”
Both of you need each other for different reasons – they need their question answered and you need more post views - so it's your job to make yourself known by reaching out. By providing helpful answers on platforms like Quora and Reddit and inserting a link to your blog in your advice, you have the potential to broaden your audience and ultimately get more interest in your books.
Category 2: Reader-promotion
Once you’ve taken the baby steps outlined in the self-promotion category, you’ll likely have a significant audience size, but to widen your readership even further, you have to make your readers your ambassadors.
Having loyal readers is similar to having a fanbase, and a faithful audience always leads to more blog traffic and readers, so it’s crucial to keep the same readers coming back for more. Your readers shouldn't feel like they’re just viewers, they should feel a connection when they read your posts.
A perfect way to create a connection between yourself and your audience is to display your appreciation in your blog posts, reply to their comments, laugh at their jokes, give them tasks to complete, and even offer a few giveaways every now and then.
If you become a part of their day, week, or general routine, they’ll share your posts (and books) with the world.
However daunting it sounds, creating an email list is crucial if you want to keep your readers close. Not only does it improve the bond you have with your readers, but regular emails also serve as a reminder.
As much as your current readers love you, they’re also busy, so try to get them to subscribe to your mailing list and welcome them further into your world.
Setting up an email list isn't as difficult as it probably sounds - there are multiple email marketing platforms out there, such as Wix, Mailchimp and Convertkit, though some are cheaper than others.
Once you’ve set up an email list for your indie author brand, the easiest method to get subscribers is by creating freebies to encourage people to sign up. These days, people are getting more and more protective over their email address – and rightly so – so your followers aren’t just going to hand it over, which is why freebies are the way to go.
For example, if you’re a fantasy author, you could create a free PDF called “50 Unique Names for Your Fantasy Kingdom” or “Top 15 Ways to Write a Gripping Fantasy Novel”. Something like this will entice your audience and make them eager to learn more, therefore giving you their email address in exchange for your free guide. Simples!
Once you’ve published a few blog posts as an indie author – I recommend at least ten – you might want to check out some other indie authors who always run a regular blog on their websites. Not only could you learn from them, but there are also opportunities to grab with both hands.
Collaborations are an effective way to promote your blog posts (and books) as they allow you to befriend other content creators and get in front of other audiences. For example, if you have 500 followers on Instagram and another fellow indie author has 900, a collaboration with them would get you in front of all those other people.
But what counts as a collaboration?
Well, here are a few ideas:
Write guest posts for each other’s blogs – this generally involves being credited and having the post linked back to your website and social profiles, so a great way to get more eyes on your content. (Write a guest post for my blog here!)
Going live on Instagram together – you could have a live conversation with a fellow indie author to discuss a relevant topic, such as the self-publishing journey, for example, to help other aspiring authors. As a result, you’d be sharing each other’s audience.
Offer a joint giveaway – for example, you could team up with another indie author who writes in the same genre and help each other to promote the giveaway, which could be a free copy of your debuts, inevitably leading to more followers and more interest on your posts.
Category 3: Content Promotion
The more you grow as an indie author, the more your blog can promote itself, but the main aim of content promotion is to increase the number of first-time visitors to your blog and make them stick around.
A lot of indie authors make the mistake of purely focusing on the content of their blog, and it’s understandable to trust how interesting or impactful your blog posts are, but you also need to go the extra mile of making your posts fun to read.
Consider reading as many other blogs as possible and making notes on which parts you find interesting and the areas that make you want to continue reading. Perhaps you could also take a few online courses on content creation to help improve your craft and overall blog design.
As much as blogs are written content, they need to be visually appealing as well; like a sofa, its purpose is to offer a place to sit, but if it looks bad, you’ll likely want to sit somewhere else. The addition of images, animations and ads will break up the writing and make the text easier to digest, especially for first-time readers.
When you have a bunch of blog posts, it's normal that some do better than others. For example, one of my most popular posts is all about how to create strong female characters; I never expected it to do so well, but it’s outdone some of my other posts I assumed would be more popular.
With this in mind, it's important to use each blog post to promote the others, which is called interlinking. You can either interlink your content by adding a link directly to the text, like this one which will lead you to another blog post, or break up the text by writing “RELATED POST: XYZ” throughout your articles. By doing this, you’re encouraging more readers to stay on your blog as they accidentally fall down a rabbit hole and end up reading more posts than they initially intended.
9. SEO Writing
SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimisation", and incorporating SEO keywords into your content is the best way to rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing. For example, since the launch of my editorial business, Stand Corrected Editing, I’ve been incorporating relevant SEO keywords such as “book editing services UK”, “manuscript editing services UK” and “copy editing services UK” into my blog posts to rank higher on Google to therefore receive more clicks on my website.
However, it’s not about just cramming as many SEO keywords into your content as possible – Google will notice and penalise you for it – it’s about adding them into your posts naturally. However, if you’ve written a blog post that has nothing to do with your books – like this post has nothing to do with book editing services, you can always add your SEO keywords to the alt text of various images you add throughout your articles – I do this and it really helps to boost my SEO.
If you’re a novice when it comes to SEO, there’s an abundance of information online to get you started – I’d recommend Yoast, which offers online SEO training (free and paid) and also Neil Patel, who’s an expert when it comes to SEO and ranking higher on Google.
Category 4: Paid Promotion
If you’re one of the few indie authors who treats your author platform, brand and books like a business and you have a reasonable budget, you may want to invest in paid promotion to increase your blog traffic and book sales. Paid ads can be incredibly helpful, so they could be the boost you need.
10. Ads & Influencing
You may not like the idea of paying for anything, especially as a struggling indie author, but paying for ads and influencing could be the best thing for your blog and books, especially if you’re serious about earning money as a self-published author.
If you plan to act on the other ideas mentioned in this post so far, you’ll definitely see a growth in blog traffic after as little as a few months, but the more your indie author blog grows, the more money you could earn from your blog with the help of Google AdSense, affiliate marketing and your book sales.
At this stage, you likely have some income to spare for social media ads, so why not consider promoting your blog on Facebook for a month or so and keep track of your traffic? Or you could direct the ad towards freebies to collect email addresses, and then steer those subscribers to your blog posts – either way, it’s a win-win!
If you want to take things further, you could also pay social media influencers to promote your blog posts. Unlike paid ads, influencers already have a huge audience of keen followers, so if an influencer tells their supporters that your blog is amazing, you’re bound to receive an influx of online visitors, and ultimately, more book sales.
Thank you for reaching the end of yet another blog post, it means a lot and I really appreciate your support! I hope you’ve found this post helpful and I wish you luck with your journey as an indie author. 😊
If you’re still writing your manuscript but plan to self-publish your book soon, get 15% off all my book editing services right now! But hurry, the offer ends soon!
Hey! I'm Chelsea and I'm a professional book editor at Stand Corrected Editing, my independent editorial business in the UK. If you would like to have your manuscript thoroughly edited by myself, please get in touch!
With my book editing and proofreading services, I hope to spread my knowledge and expertise on how to make your novel a success, and be a mentor to others who desperately want to pursue a fruitful career as an author!