WordPress Blogging for authors of novels, novellas and other fictional material.
So you want to build a league of followers through your fictional writing but only see factual-driven content being promoted online?
It’s true, there are more bloggers writing attractive and interesting blogs to lure a wide range of readers using a one-stop line title and picture.
Open-source software like WordPress is a popular way for authors to get their message onto the web in the form of a DIY blog. It’s free, easy and there’s little more to do except think up stuff to write about.
But much of the blogging content out there is truth-based. Their authors measure and weigh bits of this world to create a factual (sometimes questionable) blog post of content that, on the surface, looks slick and helpful to their readers. But what about fiction? Where are the snippits of fiction to read? How does a writer promote fiction in the blogging arena with so much other stuff going on to take potential readers away?
More about that later in this blog.
First, let’s talk about the new blog you want to set up. It may alter the way you approach your fiction’s marketing strategy.
WordPress Blogging via two ways.
WordPress blogging is created in one of two primary web-zones:
WordPress.com is where WordPress starts. This site not only has the software but it hosts the blogs too. If you choose to go this way, WordPress.com manages everything, making sure the platform stays stable and free of spammers and hackers. When there are WP upgrades, it’s all done automatically. You don’t have to lift a finger. There is little left for a blogger to do except develop a regime of regular writing and posting it.
There is one other huge benefit the WordPress.com host offers bloggers and thats it’s Global Tagging System. When an author posts new content to WP and provides tags with it, it will go directly into the WordPress catalogue, appearing in the WP reader application. Currently over sixty million readers and bloggers tap into this tagging resource via mobile devices and computers. It’s faster and better at getting a blog to a large audience – no search engine needed!
The WordPress.com Cons
There are no pretty plugins for WordPress.com users. All the fancy-schmancy things you currently see (like pop-ups and call-to-action buttons) on site aren’t on offer here. You need a self-hosted site to have those features available.
The WordPress Reader converts all sites into the one theme. It’s pretty ordinary to look at but it’s highly functional.
Self-Hosted Site. (DIY)
You don’t need to be a programmer to manage your own site and add plugins to your favourite WordPress Theme. You can also add counters, floating sharing buttons and change your fonts. (And much more)
Other plugins bloggers find useful:
- Subscription forms
- Custom Backgrounds / Colours
- Photo Galleries
- Shortcode converters
- Search Engine Optimization
- Caching optimizers
- Ad inserters
- Spam / hacker blocks
Each plug in has its purpose and there are thousands of plug-ins on offer. Some work better with photographers and their image-based sites while others are designed for writers and text-based sites. It’s all free (the extra inclusions are sometimes monetized) to download and use.
The Self Hosted Cons
‘Managing’ does take a writer away from their writing to keep things ticking over nicely. All upgrades are managed by the owner of the site (or manager) and they must be prepared to make changes to the site if a plugin is no longer supported by its creator or runs on WP.
Self-hosting means you’ll lose access to the WP global tagging system but gain all those lovely plugins that create life and personality in any blog. The question most want to know is: Sixty million people seems a lot to lose in exchange for some plugins and a bit of work to install them.
Perhaps. There is a way around it.
I solved that problem easily with a cross-post plugin I installed on my home site that re-broadcasts all my content to another blog I have on WordPress.com! This WP.com site picks up the post and all the tags I assigned my original and then deposits them into a real WordPress.com post. I make sure there are plenty of backlinks too, back to my homesite so I don’t miss out on all the traffic that comes its way.
WordPress Blogging for Authors of Fiction
Two of the greatest traffic-building posts I sent into the ether looked like real stories. I dressed them up to be news items and timed their release. The greater one of the two was held back until a real-life event could be tied in with it. Readers were automatically drawn in and the numbers went through the roof. The current affair clouded the line between reality and fiction making it easy to hide my character’s real identity and purpose. People wanted to know who died that night and why. It looked authentic and was all very frightening at the time.
A big reveal at the end set readers straight.
Some writers choose to post excerpts of their writing instead. I have done this in the past too. I’ve found it works better on the WordPress.com blogs when the tagging is pointed directly at the genre that best decribes the excerpt. Dedicated readers of that genre tend to lurk, waiting for such tags to appear. It’s time-sensitive so the greatest amount of readers will happen in the seconds that follow a posting. Again, if you include backlinks to your main site (or the place readers can get hold of your fiction) then you’re certain to bring your readers much closer to your work. Too many authors forget to do this and lose this vital opportunity.
It’s all about timing and getting it right before letting a post go.