Blogging Strategies That Work in 2020

No, blogging isn’t dead. But it has changed, and every writer must be disciplined and strategic in their efforts.

There are a lot of mixed messages out there about blogging and whether authors need to do it. If you want to save time, money, and energy, here’s the easy answer: Blogging is not critical for every author and you don’t have to do it. So if you’re eager to be let off the hook, you have permission to ignore blogging altogether.

But blogging does remain one of the most straightforward paths to build and engage a readership over the long term, at least for writers. Blogging, at its core, is a special genre of writing and can be a wonderful creative outlet that doubles as one of your marketing superpowers. But for blogging to have a real payoff for your career or author business, it has to be done with a particular strategy in mind, and executed with some discipline.

In this 90-minute live class on October 7, Jane Friedman will teach you the principles of strategic blogging and the best practices she’s learned since she started blogging consistently in 2007. She’ll discuss what blogging is (it’s a funny term and its meaning has changed), how to get readers for your blog, and point to the key strategic models used by author-bloggers today. (Jane’s model: content marketing. Another one is literary citizenship.)

This workshop will cover:

  • What blogging can accomplish and what it can’t accomplish (hint: blogging will rarely secure you an agent or editor—that’s a poor goal to have)
  • Why blogging tends to be a failed enterprise if you’re posting your poems, short fiction, or personal essays on your blog (novel excerpts also don’t work)
  • A discussion of who should not blog (perfectionists, for one)
  • The importance of cornerstone content to your long-term success and readership
  • How to research the blogging community and identify your “competitors” (who should turn into your colleagues or collaborators in the end)
  • The principles of strong online writing
  • Why blog posts can succeed or sink based on the headline alone (you must learn how to write decent headlines)
  • How to decide what goes on your blog versus what goes in your email newsletter
  • How to harness the power of visuals to increase sharing and readability
  • The basics of search engine optimization (SEO)
  • How your website, email newsletter, and social media use connect to your blogging practice, and ultimately work together to strengthen your online presence.

Most authors who blog either aren’t committed, or give up too soon, before gaining momentum that builds on itself. This session may be important in deciding if blogging might ultimately be a waste of your time if you lack the ability or commitment to produce the right content or best content for an online readership.

Who should take this class

  • First-time and unpublished authors who have heard that they should blog to build their platform, but aren’t sure if it’s right for them or the best use of their time
  • Published authors who have tried blogging but feel like it’s been a muddle
  • Authors writing and publishing books in any genre who think blogging might be a good way to market and promote, but aren’t sure how to go about it properly
  • Creative writing students and graduates of MFA programs who want to blog to open up career opportunities or build their platform

Who should NOT take take this class

  • Writers trying to land a blog-to-book deal. That path is not discussed in this webinar—aside from explaining why it’s not a recommended strategy.
  • Writers who want to post their entire book on their blog, or who want to serialize their novel or memoir at their blog. This is not recommended.
  • Writers who want to monetize their blog right away. While monetization will be touched on, most income arrives from indirect sources, like writing and speaking gigs or sales of products and services (like books!). This webinar does not discuss online advertising revenue for blogs.
  • Writers looking for in-depth instruction on SEO. The topic will be touched on, but this is not a class about SEO.

How do I know if this webinar is worth the cost?

This is an important question, and it’s a tough one to answer—especially since so much online education is available free of charge. Furthermore, every student is different, and a valuable webinar for one person can end up being a disappointment to another. For this reason, we offer full refunds if you register, attend the entire class, and fail to get the information you were looking for. Please email us directly to request a refund.

Do I have to attend the live class?

No. Everyone who registers will get access to the recording. However, if you’d like to attend live, keep reading.

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology. You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 10 minutes of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
  • Time: 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m. Eastern Time / 10 a.m. Pacific Time
  • Fee: $25

The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Rev’s automated closed caption service, which is about 80%+ accurate. For students joining the class through the Zoom app on a mobile device, you can disable the closed captions by going to your settings and turning off closed captions.

Jane Friedman

About the instructor

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors and publishers. She has been blogging professionally since 2008, and her current blog at JaneFriedman.com enjoys more than 100,000 visits per month.

Jane’s newest book is The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press); Publishers Weekly said that it is “destined to become a staple reference book for writers and those interested in publishing careers.”

In addition to being a columnist with Publishers Weekly and a professor with The Great Courses, Jane maintains an award-winning blog for writers at JaneFriedman.com; her expertise has been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, PBS, CBS, the National Press Club and many other outlets.

I was not disappointed. Or bored. And no, you won’t get the same stuff browsing the Internet. I won’t give away any of her secrets because you can go to her blog, website, and Twitter where she generously shares her knowledge of writing and publishing. But you won’t get a bag full of tools all packed up and ready to go like you will on her webinar. 

Rahma Krambo

student

We feel like we’ve been stumbling around in the dark for too long and your advice feels like someone turned on a light in the distance to give us a direction to walk. The feeling is one of liberation to have fresh ideas to explore and we’re relishing the opportunity. Thank you for all you’ve done to free up a block that has been existing in our author business for too long. We have a direction and are charging forward with pens and megaphones in hand.

Warren and Betsy Talbot

client

I learned more from Jane in my one-hour consult than any other class, webinar, or book. Not only does she explain everything and really drill down to what you need to do, she offers practical and time-saving tips as well as advice and resources to move the project forward. I highly recommend her services. She is, in one word, amazing!

Susan Cingari

client

You’ll receive the following

  • Access to the 90-minute interactive class. After 75-90 minutes, Jane will take questions using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 90 minutes.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to get a recording of the presentation.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive a copy of the slide presentation in PDF form.
  • Additional answers to questions, if needed. If there isn’t time for Jane to answer all the questions during the live event, she will answer them in writing afterward. All participants will receive the answers with the follow-up recording.
  • Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.

System Requirements to Join the Webinar

We will be using Zoom webinar technology.

You’ll need:

  • An internet connection: broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Speakers: built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth

Recommended bandwidth:

  • 600kbps (down) for high-quality video and 1.2 Mbps (down) for HD video
  • If you connect through audio only: 60-80kbps (down)

Supported operating systems:

Supported tablet and mobile devices:

  • Surface PRO 2 running Win 8.1
  • Surface PRO 3 running Win 10
  • iOS and Android devices
  • Blackberry devices

Supported browsers:

  • Windows: IE 11+,  Edge 12+, Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+
  • Mac: Safari 7+, Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+
  • Linux: Firefox 27+,  Chrome 30+

For a detailed listing of system requirements, check Zoom’s site.