As mentioned in the post Create an Online Presence…Even Before Your Book is Published, you need to maintain a blog as one of your online marketing strategies if you’re aiming to earn from your self-published book. Why? There are several reasons. A blog, unlike a static website, is updated regularly, ideally with a minimum of one new post every week. Because a blog often has new content, it will look “fresh” in the eyes of the search engines, especially Google. Freshness is—among other things—usually associated with relevance. The more relevant your blog is in the eyes of the search engines, the easier it can be found by potential readers who are looking for the particular keywords in your blog or book. More than just helping to establish an online presence, though, a blog can also be used in other ways to directly and indirectly promote your self-published book. Here are three of them. Establish Your Online Identity Given that you have a product (a book), how can you make sure that potential readers can find it and buy it? Of course, you can upload your eBook to Amazon, but it is not enough to drum up awareness of your work. By having a blog, you can have a public face to show your readers. You can use it to lead readers to Amazon or any other online selling portals where they can purchase your book. You can also use your blog as an online portfolio containing links to all your work as an author. This is effective if you’re established already and have a number of published works out there. Alternatively, you can also focus the blog on one single book only. You can write regular content for a single-topic blog without running out of things to talk about. You can, for example, write some posts from the perspective of your book’s character as some sort of a behind-the-scenes scenario. You can also write about special promotions in the blog, book signing events, and even a review of another author’s book. The important thing to remember is to use the blog as your online persona. When readers arrive in your blog, they should know who you are (through your “About Me” page), what you have written (make that prominent in the home page), and how they can order your books (include links that will take readers to the site where they can purchase your work). Increase Email Subscriptions Another use for a blog is in expanding your email subscribers list. Email marketing, according to Copyblogger, is still the most effective in converting readers to customers. The simplest way to get people to sign up is to have a prominent widget on your home page asking people to subscribe. A more effective way, however, is to solicit email addresses actively. You can create a sampler from your published book (take the first two chapters, for example) and offer it as a free download in exchange for readers signing up to receive your newsletter and any recent updates. Once you have a list of email subscribers, it will be a matter of writing effective copy that can hopefully convince some of them to buy your book. Engage with Readers Blogs, by nature, encourage engagement. Readers can write their comments and reactions on your post, and you can respond to them. By showing that you’re taking the time to engage with them, your readers will learn to trust you. Over time, this can lead to more sales, not just of your current book, but of your succeeding ones as well. Setting up a blog is very easy and very cheap. It’s even free if you choose not to buy your own domain name. Provided you use your blog well, you will find that the returns will greatly exceed your initial investment in money and time.