Marketing Monday: When You Don’t Have Anything to Say (Author Sites, Part Seven)

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lightbulbmoment_titleIn a perfect world, ideas for blog posts would just flow without effort. (In a perfect world, any part of the writing process would flow.) Sometimes you have something specific to say. But what about those days that you just can’t think of anything interesting about which to write?

In honor of those days where blogging feels like a trek through the Fire Swamp, complete with Lightning Sand, here’s a not-quite-definitive list of blogging ideas for fiction authors. You can bet you’ll be seeing some of these first ones from me in coming days.

If you’re not promoting a book, you may have to adapt some of these for your purposes, but they work well for all genres. In fact, if you’re not promoting a book, you have even more leeway to play.

Topics Relating to Setting

Do your books all take place in the Pacific Northwest? Do you write in a specific time period? Then you have a wealth of information at your disposal for blog posts. You can take a wide view (for example, a Celtic fantasy author might write about the broad history of Ireland or Scotland) or a narrow one (a historical writer setting books in New York in the 1800’s might focus on particular details of architecture or culture.)

A few specific ideas:

  • A photographic look at your book’s setting
  • Interesting facts about the area
  • Old photographs/newspaper clippings/research materials
  • The inspirations for specific locations
  • How to plan a vacation to your book’s setting

Topics Relating to Characters

Chances are, you have at least one character with an interesting backstory, job, or quirk. And you probably know enough about that backstory, job, or quirk to fill a dozen blog posts. Readers love to delve deeper into characters they already know. Make it interesting enough, and it might be the nudge needed to get them to pick up the book!

  • Information on a character’s career, vocation, or hobby
  • Character dossier or interview
  • The story behind how your characters came to be
  • Character inspirations/casting choices

Topics Relating to Theme

Much of the fiction written for the inspirational market relates to wider themes and challenges, whether those are personal, social, or spiritual. If you’ve written a book that deals with human trafficking, you can talk about everything from the shocking statistics you learned during research to the personal impact that research made on you. A word of caution: most people are looking for light, uplifting or inspirational stories when they comb blogs, so you may need to consider whether heavy or dark subject matter is appropriate for your blog. It all depends on your goals for your writing and your blog itself.

Topics Relating to Tone or Area of Interest

Even if your material doesn’t relate specifically to your book(s), you can always target topics according to the tone or area of interest of your readers. Readers of particular genres will gravitate towards certain topics. Some examples to get you started:

  • Chick lit: fashion or celebrity gossip
  • Romance: Romantic getaways, ideas for special occasions with your mate
  • Mystery: Unsolved mysteries, most mysterious travel destinations
  • Fantasy: Interesting historical facts, period weaponry or costuming

Hopefully, this list gets your wheels spinning. But if you need more ideas, check out these other helpful lists:

 

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Comments

  1. Melissa Tagg says:

    This list is FABULOUS, Carla. 🙂 I often feel like I’ve got blogger’s block…you’ve just restocked my tickler file. (We use the phrase “tickler file” at work constantly but I once used it outside my office and got the strangest look. Sooo now I have no idea whether that’s a common phrase or just one of our office oddities. 🙂 )

    • Carla says:

      So glad it’s helpful, Melissa! “Tickler File” must be a corporate thing. I use it too. (As a matter of fact, my tickler file with all its odds and ends was one of the only things I took from my last job.)

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