Blogging is a simple but powerful way to raise your author profile and build awareness of your work. There are many blogging platforms, but we recommend Medium for its easy-to-use and attractive user interface and large number of users.
Here are some tips for getting started:
Blog posts with images get 94 percent more views than those that don’t. If you don’t have an image, create a graphic or find an image online that has a Creative Commons license. Making your blog posts visual and easy to scan is key.
Blog posts that include a question mark in the title get nearly twice as many social shares. Stay away from exclamation points in titles; they cause sharp declines in social sharing.
The preferred social networks for blog-post sharing are Twitter and Facebook, closely followed by LinkedIn. Make it easy for your readers to share there—and anywhere else you know to be important to your audience.
Readers tend to absorb the first and last three words of a headline, making a six-word headline ideal. Aim for up to twelve words, or 40 to 60 characters.
Here are eight headline strategies backed by psychology:
Whether or not you are ready to start your own blog, you can consider a blog tour. A blog tour is similar to a book tour in that you go to different venues to promote your work. In this case, however, you offer content (a post, a review, an interview) about your work on relevant blogs. As UC Press author Hilary Levey Friedman reported, “These days a blog tour is a far more realistic goal than a book tour and likely one that helps you reach more readers.” Blogtour.org is a good starting point for planning a tour.
The University of California Press publishes a blog with breaking news about our authors, books, and journals. We love it when authors contribute to the blog and urge you to consider submitting a short piece. Ideally, you should try to submit a blog piece on your work in the two weeks before or after your book’s publication date or following a national news story relevant to your work.
Limit your post to 800 words or less.
Make your post current or personal and relate it to your UC Press book. Even if your book is about ancient history, build connections to contemporary research or news. You might also use a personal experience to frame your post—your current research or even a link to another online source that you enjoyed reading and found relevant.
If you are savvy with HTML, please supply an HTML doc. Alternatively, please submit a .txt or Word file.
If you would like to include a link in your post and you are not supplying HTML, please put square brackets around your link in the text. Here's an example: "As you can learn from my website [http://www.jamespowell.org], I am a geologist, former professor, and nonprofit executive who took up writing . . ."
Please send your blog submission to your marketing manager.
You can include video or audio files in your blog post by either uploading them to our website or embedding files that exist on YouTube. For files you would like us to host, please provide your files in the following formats:
H.264 QuickTime, must be in mp4 format
FLV Flash format
If you want us to embed media files you're hosting on YouTube, just let us know where to find them.