Attracting Readers to Your Author Blog – and Keeping Them Engaged

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email-icon-2-11993685In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

You plan to independently publish a book, and you know you need to build a readership if you want to sell any books. Blogging about your book is a great way to start – but who is reading your blog? How do you keep them interested and engaged? The experts recommend that you get interested blog readers to sign up for regular updates by getting their emails. In this way, they will automatically see your blog posts in their email inbox and be far more likely to read them.

Author and consultant, Tim Grahl of Out:think makes the case that emailing potential readers has far more impact than just blogging or using social media. His book, Your First 1000 Copies is a guide to writing and marketing a book, and it tells independently published authors how to maximize their blog’s potential using an email subscription service. He goes on to recommend setting up an email newsletter that is more robust than the blog posts, and to use email extensively after getting permission from subscribers.

As a teacher who is mentoring a group of student authors, I decided to tailor this approach to my students. I know they don’t have time to make email newsletters or to do a lot of extra work above writing their blog. Therefore, I kept our approach simple. The students each have an email subscription form on their blogs so readers can just put in their email addresses and get the blog posts sent to them automatically. Most students used WordPress’ email subscription “widget” that can be added to the blog website. The students will not be emailing anyone directly from their own email accounts. In this way, the students are engaging potential readers and book buyers, but in the most basic and appropriate manner.

Next week, my post will look at how to use social media effectively as an author.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with weekly tips you can use in your classroom as I describe how I am mentoring six high school science students to become published authors by April 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.

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