As a part of my author platform series, we’ve talked about overall platform, newsletters for authors, social media for authors, and now I want to talk about what authors should blot (and video and podcast) about: aka, content strategy for authors.
Authors often aren’t so familiar with that term… and I think it’s because often we create content without the strategy. Let’s start using the term more because we should be intentional with the content we create.
Let’s talk about what authors should blog (and podcast and video) about: content strategy for authors!
LISTEN TO EPISODE 200 – WHAT SHOULD AUTHORS BLOG ABOUT? CONTENT STRATEGY FOR AUTHORS
WHAT IS CONTENT STRATEGY?
Let’s define this thing. Because you probably know what it is, even if the term isn’t one you use. According to Hubspot, content strategy is “a strategy that takes your business goals, and then uses content as a primary means to achieve those goals.”
What kind of content are we talking about? Typically, this refers to things like blogs, podcasts, videos, and even could include things like posts on Instagram.
This is really hitting the question: what should authors blog about? What should they create YouTube videos about? Podcasts? What kind of microblogging content on Instagram and even TikTok??
See? You know what content strategy is. And you’re probably creating content.
But often, I think authors can miss out on the strategy part, or miss the mark altogether. Let’s change that!
Because the more strategy you use when creating content, the better your results.
And what results do we want? We want to sell more books without being smarmy. But what that looks like is connecting with readers and turning them into superfans who want to buy and read everything you write.
For authors, the goal of content strategy (should you choose to create content other than books) is to attract your ideal reader, connect with them, and see the relationship mature into superfandom.
MISTAKES AUTHORS MAKE WITH CONTENT STRATEGY
1 // SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME
Growth and content creation takes time. Whether you’re blogging or creating YouTube videos, you’ll have to learn a skillset.
Do you have time to learn the skills it take to blog well? Will you see a return on that investment of your time and money?
For me, content strategy is the LEAST effective in selling books and growing my readership. With time and attention, this can work well, but I wouldn’t consider it primary in terms of platform–in terms of sales or growing a readership.
2 // ATTRACTING THE WRONG AUDIENCE
Often, authors create content for the wrong reader accidentally. Too often, I see fiction authors talking about WRITING fiction, which attracts authors, not necessarily readers of their genre.
To effectively create content strategy, you need to consider your target audience and then what that audience is interested in. Often, that is NOT how to write or writing tips.
CONTENT STRATEGY FOR AUTHORS IN PRACTICE
Not sure what to write, create videos or podcasts about? Consider what your readers might want. Hang out in reader groups and see what readers are chatting about.
What posts get lots of comments? What do people engage with? What do they want to know, read, or watch?
Here are some ideas and examples:
- Roundup of books by topic. ex: The Best Clean Romances (for clean romance authors)
- Roundup of movies by topic. ex: The Most Hilarious Romantic Comedy Movies (for romcom authors)
- Five books readers wish were made into movies
- Ten books that were better than the movie adaptations
- Inventions that make space travel seem possible (for sci fi authors)
- Historical details authors (or movies) often miss (for historical fiction)
Consider what topics or interests readers in your genre might want to read about. Don’t just limit it to books. Think about food, pop culture, other entertainment, or more. Consider the things fandoms obsess over and how you can create content around that based in your genre.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF AUTHOR CONTENT STRATEGY
The great thing about creating content like this is that you have content to share beyond “buy my book” posts. You can share some of these posts in appropriate places, and may have more traction than just a link to your book.
But… make sure your post and blog are optimized for your books. Have links to buy your books or sign up for your email list. Promote yourself in a related way to the content you create.
Consider keywords, SEO- for YouTube and blogging specifically, Pinterest as well. What are people searching for? Create content around that!
- Check out this post on author SEO
CREATING YOUR OWN CONTENT STRATEGY
Spend time brainstorming and considering your content strategy. What is your WHY? What’s the main goal?
What kind of content can you post that will serve that main goal??
This is much easier for nonfiction than fiction, but it’s not impossible. It can work well, even if I do NOT consider content strategy one of my primary ways of selling books or growing my readership.
Realize that your strategy might be turning current readers into superfans OR it might be disoverability. Or both. You can have some posts that aim to grow current readers closer to you, while some posts might be more about discoverability where strangers may find you and read your books.
Again, consider that overall WHY. What’s your purpose? How can your content serve that purpose?
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CONTENT STRATEGY?
Author blog school is focused on blogging, but the overall principles work for other platforms as well. You’ll learn how to set up an effective author blog and utilize SEO (search engine optimization) to help you be discovered by people searching for particular topics.
Want to do better with your content strategy? Sign up for Author Blog School, a self-paced course on blogging and search engine optimization. For just $25, this course is a steal!