I have a confession to make: for awhile, I let my blogs go stale. Yep. I used to create author websites, so I know it’s important to create fresh content for your author website, but let’s face it: Life gets busy, and we fall behind. Sometimes blog posts fall to the wayside in the face of higher priorities like book deadlines. And naps. But you don’t have to do what I did – you don’t have to let your author website grow stagnant. Here are a few ways to keep your website current without tons of extra work.
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#1 Decide How Often You Will Post Fresh Content for your Author Website
You decide: no one else gets to decide for you. Regular content can mean every day or every week, but it doesn’t have to. If every two weeks or once a month is what you can do consistently, do that – and then if you want to post extra, you can. Different seasons might require a different schedule, and that’s okay. Just don’t quit (or leave it for 2 years like I did!).
#2 Batch-Prep Your Blog Posts
If it works for your writing style, set aside some time to create blog posts for a month or two at a time. Get everything prepared and scheduled in WordPress (or your preferred site builder) ahead of time. You can get really efficient with creating your graphics and scheduling your social media this way (I use Coschedule to take care of my social media at the same time as the blog post), and then you can switch your brain out of blogging mode for a few weeks to focus on your book.
#3 Use Guest Posts Strategically
A guest post is a post written on your blog by someone else. Guest posts are great for SEO and social, because you’ll both be promoting and linking to that post. Writing guest posts for other blogs gives you some great Google juice too. But when you know you’re going to be busy meeting a deadline, this is a perfect time to schedule a guest for your blog. You get fresh content, they get some fresh eyes; everyone wins.
#4 Write Book Reviews
Sometimes authors wonder what kind of content they should create for their blog, especially fiction authors. Nonfiction authors can seem to have it a little easier; they can post content related to their area of expertise, and in doing so both serve their existing readers and attract new ones. But fiction authors sometimes wonder what belongs in a successful fiction author blog.
Book reviews are a great source of content for fiction and nonfiction authors alike. Writers are readers, so we’re reading anyways, right? Some of us are already reviewing books on Amazon or other platforms too. Book reviews make great blog posts for authors, because they serve your existing audience and invite new readers by giving them what they want: more books to read (and someone has help to vet out those books ahead of time!). When I want to find a fiction book to give to a friend or family member, I check out Chautona’s blog. When I’m looking for my dad’s birthday or Christmas gift, I check out book reviews from the Influence Magazine website.
A book review doesn’t have to be a long post, it helps support fellow authors, and can be a source of affiliate income for your blog too. Choose books that will be interesting/relevant to your ideal reader, so when you’re ready to promote your own book, the people reading your blog are the readers you’re looking for. Need more books to review? (Ok, who are we kidding?) Join a blog tour group like Celebrate Lit and you’ll never be lacking for fresh reads to review.
#5 Repurpose Youtube & Podcast Content
If you are already posting videos on Youtube, you can turn those videos into fresh content for your author website. You can write a short synopsis of your video, or you can extract the audio and create a transcript using a service like Descript, do some quick editing, and then post your synopsis/transcript with the Youtube video embedded in your post. You’ve created fresh content for your site, created a way for readers to become Youtube followers, and helped boost the SEO for your website as well.
If you have a podcast, you can do the same thing very little extra effort. Use the Simple Podcast Press Plugin to automatically create a post for each podcast episode. (For an example, see this post on Liz Tolsma’s author website.)
#6 Leverage Your Instagram Feed
Many of us are already using Instagram on a daily basis to reach our readers. You can easily, automatically display your Instagram posts and stories on your author website using the Instagram Feed or Instagram Feed Pro plugins from Smashballoon. These plugins will allow you to embed your Instagram feed right on your website, so when you post fresh content on the ‘Gram, it will show up on your WordPress site as well.
#7 Use Goodreads Widgets
Many authors use Goodreads to share book reviews and otherwise engage with books and readers. If you are a Goodreads user, you can display your latest updates and other Goodreads goodies on your website. Just go to your Goodreads Account Settings page, click the Widgets tab, select the settings for the widget you would like to use, and then copy the code into an html block on your WordPress site. For example, the widget below updates on this website automatically every time I update a status (such as completing a book or writing a review) on Goodreads.
Do you have any other great ways to keep fresh content on your author website?
Please share your favorites in the comments below!