How can you create content for your blog without taking too much time away from your real writing? Personally, unless I'm involved in a heavy duty marketing campaign, I've found that blogging once or twice per week on average is enough. Sometimes I'll write about my new releases or latest events, but there's only so often you can talk about yourself without turning readers off.

I recently rebranded my website to Characters at a Crossroads. I realized that the one common thread in my books for adults, teens and children is that the characters are at a crossroads in their life. Like all of us, they have flaws and bad habits. And now they are at a fork in the road where they can either continue with those same negative patterns or get out of their own way, moving toward a more fulfilling future. My personal interests include meditation, positive thinking, self improvement books and random acts of kindness. In essence, I always strive to build my own character so that I can meet my personal and professional goals.

I decided to weave this interest into my blog. I created a Character Crossroads category and added a new Character Crossroads dropdown to my navigation bar. There, I archive links to my special posts that can help visitors build their characters.
http://stacyjuba.com/blog/character-crossroads/

My Note From Stacy explains about my author brand and how this new blog category ties into that: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/a-note-from-stacy/

This blogging feature encourages readers to keep coming back to see how they can continue building their character, and to sign up for my newsletter or follow me on social networks.

What can you blog about that gives readers a glimpse into your personality, interests and novels, and that answers the "What's in it for me?" question?

Although this is a recurring column, character building posts is just one aspect of my blog. I've also interviewed other authors, interviewed my audiobook narrators, and I've even interviewed reality show contestants as a tie-in to my reality-TV themed mystery Sink or Swim. If you want to make it really easy on yourself, create some standard questions and give them to each author that you host. Perhaps give them a choice of questions to answer or ask them to write an article.

I have my latest Guest Blog Guidelines posted on my website: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/guest-blog-guidelines/ (If you're interested, feel free to submit a post!)

Another thing I did was create a blog series called Books4RealityTVFans. http://stacyjuba.com/blog/2013/05/03...realitytvfans/

I invited authors of books with television themes to collaborate on a group promotion with my blog as the home base. I set up a master list of our books at the above link and then I spotlighted each book in a separate post. We also featured interviews with reality show contestants. This is an ongoing project for me as new authors are occasionally added to the list. (Anyone out there have a book with a reality TV show theme? E-mail me please!)

Just be careful not to get too immersed in blogging. Yes, it draws new traffic to your website and gets other people out promoting your site, but you don't want your fiction-writing time to suffer. Remember that you're an author first and a blogger second.


Planning:
Be organized. Keep track of your blog posts on your calendar or in a special folder or binder.
http://www.blogenergizer.com/ - offers a downloadable blog planner (fill-in the block calendar format) with tips and ideas for blog posts. You can also sign up for weekly blogging ideas and prompts.

Do you offer book spotlights, guest posts, interviews, or other opportunities on your blog? Please share them here and let us know how we can contact you.