Simple steps to blog your way to success as an author

I’m going to be upfront with you – I’ve stolen the title of this post. Fortunately, I’ve, er, borrowed it from Bernadette Schwerdt, head copywriting tutor at the Australian Writers’ Centre, and, in particular, episode 30 of her So You Want To Be A Copywriter podcast.

I’m pretty sure she won’t mind, because Bernadette and I are on the same page when it comes to blogging.

As Bernadette says, for copywriters, ‘blogs are one of the fastest ways to increase your thought leadership, get your website onto page one of Google, and convert casual visitors into paying clients.’

And the same goes for all types of writers.

Blogging has fallen out of favour in author circles over recent years, but the fact remains that a blog can help expand your network and community, keep your website fresh (which Google loves!), bring more visitors to that site, and give you the opportunity to promote your books and writing to people in YOUR space.

But blogging also takes work, so when I saw the subject (see headline above) of episode 30 of So You Want To Be A Copywriter, I jumped in.

If you can create your blog posts quickly and easily, you’re more likely to create them, right?

Before your start

Spreadsheet lovers of the world rejoice, for the secret to writing quick and easy blog posts is … planning.

Step 1: Identify your word count
For Bernadette, this is the most important thing you can do. How many words does this blog post need? 500? 750? Nominate a word count for yourself and give yourself a constraint.

“Constraints are good in copywriting,” says Bernadette. “I call it the edges. If you think about a little container, like a Tupperware container, they provide edges, and once you’ve got those edges you can fill [the container]. But if you don’t have those edges, the thing just rolls on and becomes a bit of a nightmare. It’s one reason people don’t write blogs – because they don’t have these structures in place.”

According to Hubspot, Google’s current sweetspot for blog posts is around 2100-2400 words.

“It seems a lot,” agrees Bernadette. “In the past it’s been perhaps 500 words. The algorithm does change and, at present, they’re valuing high quality content – which is great for writers!”

Step 2: Get clear about what you’re selling
Copywriters are often called upon to sell products, from ski boats to superannuation. But authors and writers of all kinds shouldn’t skip this step.

“What do you want this particular blog to do?” asks Bernadette. “You can’t put everything in one blog post, so think about your target audience – what problem do they have? What are they interested in? Can you identify the early stages or questions that people will have?”

Once you’ve done that, think about ‘three mistakes’ or ‘ten questions’ or ‘five top tips’ that will offer a solution to that problem or answer the questions they have.

Step 3: Identify your target market
This step comes back to what you’re selling? For an author, you can’t sell your book to ‘everyone’, you need to think about who might be looking for your book or your course or your writing right now.

One of the traps that new author bloggers fall into is to write about writing. It’s what you know, it’s where you are. But at the end of the day, you want to bring potential readers – or those who buy on behalf of readers if your readers are young – to your website to get to know you and your work.

So think about your ideal audience and the questions they might have – about you, about your book, about what you value, about what you write about.

Step 4: Think about the outcome
“What do you want this blog to do?” asks Bernadette. “The blog post you’re writing is a commercial enterprise, so make sure you think about the outcome.”

As an author, you’re writing to bring potential readers and book buyers to your website.

Make sure that each blog post has a ‘call to action’ in it – send the reader to an extract of your new book, a buy link, a podcast interview you’ve done, an event you’re involved in, your newsletter sign-up box.

Step 5: Put yourself in every post
Make sure your bio is at the end of each blog post, not just on your bio page. Most people who are brought to your website via search or social media link will never visit another page – make sure everything you want them to know is on that page. Write a clear bio that hits all the high points!

Writing the blog post

For Bernadette, structure is the key to quick and easy blog posts. Break your post into sections before you begin.

“Set it out with the bare bones and put a word count next to each section,” she says.

For example, let’s say I’m writing a 900-word blog post about my five top tips for writing great blog posts (see what I did there?).

Headline: 6-10 words
Subhead: 6-10 words
Call to action: 30 words
Bio: 50-70 words

If I write to the maximum here, I’ve written 120 words before I even begin! Then it’s a matter of dividing the rest (that [middle]) into five – one paragraph of approximately 155 words for each tip.


If you create a skeleton for your blog post, fleshing it out looks so much easier than if you just launch in with a random idea.

Of course, this blog post is just the bare bones of Bernadette’s advice in her podcast episode – listen to it here for the full picture.


Author bio
Author Allison Tait smilingAllison Tait is the author of three epic middle-grade adventure series for kids: The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. A presenter at AWC and former co-host of the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast, Al is currently editing her latest middle-grade novel The First Summer of Callie McGee. Find out more about her at

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