Friday, December 22, 2017

The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors - #FridayReads #GiftsForWriters

Anne R. Allen is the author of the Camilla Randall Mysteries and a number of humorous novels. She blogs with New York Times Bestselling Author Ruth Harris. Their blog is listed as one of the top 100 websites for writers by both Writer’s Digest and The Write Life, and is visited by tens of thousands of readers each week.

Anne has learned how to blog the hard way by trial and error (she even had to deal with a hacker locking her out of her own blog!) and now she is sharing all this knowledge so other authors can take a short cut. I found myself nodding wryly several times, and I wish I’d had a book like Anne’s to help me along when I started out on the wild Web. It might be satisfying and character-building to work something technical out for yourself, but writers really should be doing more fictional character-building and less fiddling with WordPress plug-ins.

Anne makes the important distinction between authors who blog to raise their profile and promote their books, and capital-B Bloggers who are in the game to make money from their blog. There is a lot of information about how to do the latter, and if you follow this advice you could find yourself lost down a rabbit hole chasing clicks for affiliate pennies. And it is tempting for writers to seek an alternative source of income – after all, many of us have worked as freelancers or even staff journalists. Blogging is so similar to the old weekly opinion column that the idea of not getting paid per word can be hard to swallow. Anne reminds us to stay focused on producing the next book, a far more important use of our valuable time.

Authors don’t need fancy websites; your readers judge you on your latest book, not whether your home page greets them with Java animation. What you do need is a professional online presence (and a decent author bio – and Anne includes a handy guide on how to write this) so that the search engines pick up your name and list useful sites when someone googles you: your blog; your Amazon profile; Goodreads; Facebook; Twitter. It’s worth remembering that social media platforms can collapse or unexpectedly terminate your profile, but your own website is yours; if you use your blog as your home base you can easily redirect readers to new sites or accounts if you need to, and they always know where to find you.

The Author Blog is aimed at beginner bloggers, new/pre-published authors, and technophobes, but even this jaded veteran blogger picked up some good tips, and gained fresh perspective and motivation. I’m already looking forward to simplifying my routine next year. The Author Blog ebook is a perfect virtual stocking filler for an author friend.

Reviewed by Elle Carter Neal
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  1. I need this...and I just bought it for my Kindle. I'm hoping to be inspired. If it's half as good as Anne's blog, I'll be very happy.

    1. You won't be disappointed, Pat. If her blog is like meeting Anne for a quick lunch, then the ebook is like spending a whole weekend with her.

  2. I have been blogging for a few years now, but I can always use pointers.

    1. Sometimes we get so bogged down (blogged down?) in what we're doing that it can be useful to take a step back and look at it from someone else's perspective.

  3. Thanks for the introduction to this book, Elle. It is certainly something any of us, no matter how long we have been blogging, can use. I will check it out.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.


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