How Can Authors Reach (Non-Writer) Readers Online?


On Monday, Sierra Godfrey posted a blog on What Will You Do With Your Blog When You're Published? This is a question that has weighed on my mind often these last few months. I've been blogging for almost two years now and have stuck almost exclusively to writing topics. However, though I know writers are--first and foremost--readers, I also know that the bulk of the audience I'm trying to reach with my books are not writers so would have no interest in posts on adverbs. :) So does that mean I should shift my focus to more reader related topics and broaden the blog's appeal?

Reach Out

Photo by Stuart Pilbrow



Well, I don't think so. And here's why. I'm not convinced that your average, non-writing reader is signing up to read their favorite authors blogs daily or weekly no matter what the blog is about. I know there are exceptions and for YA authors, this is probably different because teens may actually want to connect with authors in that way. However, in general, my guess is that most people hanging around authors' blogs are, well, other writers. Even I don't visit my favorite authors blogs regularly unless they are writing-related or perhaps having a contest--and that's saying something because I love blogging like I love puppies. I just don't have the time or the inclination.

So I don't have any intention of changing my blog focus at this point. I like talking about writing. It's what's on my mind and I learn by doing research for posts. However, what's a girl to do if I want to reach readers online or if I eventually have readers out there who want to connect with me online in some way?

Here's my take: Twitter! (and Facebook *grumble*)

Okay, so you all know of my love for Twitter. I haven't exactly made it a secret. But here's the beauty of it. You can be random. In fact, I encourage some randomness. It gives people following you a way to connect very easily.

The Importance of Being Random...

You can have a theme on Twitter. Some people only tweet writing links and that's great. (In fact, I love those people because it's super helpful to me.) However, they are appealing to a certain niche--like my blog is. But if you broaden what you tweet, you can connect with lots of people from all kinds of backgrounds.

For instance, I tweet about writing, I get writers responding and retweeting. I tweet about my toddler throwing a monster tantrum, I get parents responding and starting conversation. I tweet about 30 Seconds to Mars, I get loads of fellow women chatting with me about how yummy they are. I tweet about a book I'm reading, fellow readers join in. It's random, sometimes silly, but I'm amazed at how I'll tweet something totally offhand and that will inspire someone who's never messaged me before to chime in and chat. It's great. I've met so many new people this way.

If someone wants to get to know me online, Twitter gives them a pretty well-rounded picture of my personality. And I think this is what will appeal to a reader. I know that I love following my favorite authors on Twitter and they rarely tweet about writing. But it's fun to hear about whatever is going on in their lives. We get to see that they are real people and even reach out and message them. It's easy, relaxed, and fun.

So that is my plan for now. Keep the writing blog and continue being as random as I want to be on Twitter (and try to keep active on Facebook which I kind of hate but I know many prefer it to Twitter). I think this will allow me to continue networking and enjoying my online time with other writers, but will also provide an avenue for me to connect with potential readers as well.

So what do yo think? If you're published, how do you handle your online presence and blog? If you're pre-published, do you see your blog changing once you have a book deal? As a READER, how do you (if you do at all) connect with your favorite authors? 

And if you're not following me on Twitter, you must rectify that situation immediately. Hit this button in the next ten seconds or this blog post will self-destruct: