B is for...Blogging! I have a very strong belief that every single person involved in the publishing process, every editor, author, writer, and illustrator, should have a blog. When you have a blog, it allows people to connect with you on a more personal level and to feel like they really know you. By having that gateway into your thoughts, ideas, and daily life, they build a connection with you. This connection is essential to expanding your network and your circle of influence.
I also believe that it is important to post on a regular basis. I have found blogs where I love the published content, but they only post once a month, or less. This is so frustrating! I often end up turning away from the blog because their content is published so sporadically, making it not worth my time, even if the posts are fantastic. A successful blog, in my eyes, should post at least once a week. If you can publish more often than that, all the better!
I also think it is important to have a theme. It doesn't have to be narrow, but most of the posts should fall within a certain field. If you are writing a book about skydiving, it is perfectly okay to write about the writing process in one post, and about a skydiving experience in the next. You just have to make sure the reader knows that there is a connection there, so they don't get confused or lose interest. It also makes it easier to find your blog, because when people search for blogs, they are usually looking for something on a specific topic.
My biggest tip to bloggers is also my biggest pet peeve as a blog reader: have a Follow By Email button! In fact, have as many ways to follow your blog as possible available to your readers. Though Kindles, Nooks, and other ereaders and tablets are becoming popular, they are still not a standard in every household, so simply offering an RSS feed is not enough. Also, while Google Friend Connect is awesome, it requires your readers to come to you for content, instead of delivering it directly to them. While I don't think that either of these two options should be excluded (in fact, they help you reach a wider audience), I think the biggest advantage you can give yourself is to install that Follow By Email widget. This way, people can simply enter their email address and receive your newest posts straight to their inbox. Your mind-blowing posts are guaranteed to reach them and will, hopefully, encourage them to share their blog with others, because your blog is readily available to them.