Today, I’ve a very informative guest post from Rebecca at Unbound Pages which shows 5 Ways to Market Your Book Blog. It fits in great with my series of posts on Marketing Your Blog and I’ve learnt loads from it myself. Thanks Rebecca! Hope you all enjoy this post as much as I did.
Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be guest-posting today on Trish’s blog! Before we get started, a little about me. I’m Rebecca and I blog over at Unbound Pages . I’ve been blogging for a little over three years now. I started out as just your standard book blogger (if there is such a thing) and now I’m a resource for book bloggers trying to grow their blogs. Other important things: I love pizza. I pretend I’m a runner. I love zumba. If I could have one superpower it would be flight. And I wish I could have a pet dragon.
5 Ways to Market Your Book Blog
Today, I wanted to talk to you guys about marketing your book blog. You work really hard on a post. It’s gold. You know everyone is going to love it. You get it all scheduled and ready to go. It goes live. You’re super excited! And then… crickets. How can no one be loving this post? You spent so much time and energy on it. It’s great! But days pass and no one comments. What’s wrong?
You’re not marketing your book blog.
You can’t just post something and expect people to magically find it! Yes, some of your traffic will be through organic search, but you can’t rely on that, especially when you’re just starting out. So what are you supposed to do? How do you get the word out about your blog? How do you gain loyal followers who will share and comment on your posts? Isn’t that the question we all ask as book bloggers? Everyone wants to know how to grow their blog. Everyone wants to gain more followers. I know there are a lot of bloggers out there who will tell you they don’t care about the numbers. But deep down, I think we all care. Some more than others, but still. None of us want to be shouting into the void with no response. Well don’t worry. I have five ways you can market your book blog and gain followers that will keep coming back for more.
This is the most obvious answer isn’t it? Social media is a fantastic way to make friends with new bloggers. Twitter is the biggest social media outlet for book bloggers. That’s where we hang out. Jump on Twitter, follow a bunch of book bloggers and start engaging. Respond to a tweet if you have something to say. Share their blog posts and tag them in the tweet. Things like this get people to start noticing you. If you respond enough or share enough, they’ll likely share your posts and follow you back. The key to social media is to be nice. The other key is to be on social media a lot. You should be tweeting approximately 5 times a day, posting on Facebook two times a day, posting 1-2 pictures on Instagram and repinning images on Pinterest ten times a day.
Now I’m not saying you have to be on all those social media outlets. I would choose two and focus on them. Right now, I’m on all of them, but my big focus is Twitter & Instagram since that’s where majority of the book bloggers are hanging out. I am trying to work on my Pinterest though because it can be a HUGE source of traffic.
Other social media tips:
• Utilize that bio – Twitter & Instagram will let you put hashtags in your bios. Use them. On Pinterest, add keywords after your name like “book blogger”.
• Hashtags are your friends – 1-2 hashtags on Twitter is great for exposure, Instagram you can really go crazy on. I would say ten hashtags is good for Instagram. Find the hashtags everyone in the book blogging world is using and start utilizing them. This will expose your blog to new readers.
• Curate epic content – Don’t just share something for the sake of sharing. Make sure it’s content that’s valuable to your readers
• Make sure your handles all match – this makes it easy for people to find you on all social media channels. And it keeps your brand consistent. Try using your blog name.
• Profile and cover pictures should all match as well. For cover or header photos, I use my blog logo. Having your profile pictures match help your readers recognize you across all social media outlets.
• Link to your blog in your bio
If you have the means, go to bookish conferences like BEA and ALA (Book Expo America & American Library Association). These events bring together tons of book bloggers. Not only does this help you meet new bloggers, it also solidifies online relationships you’ve already built. There’s something about meeting someone in person that just solidifies that relationship. I’ve met some of my best friends through book blogging and getting to hang out with them in person at these conferences have been the best experiences. Even if you’re shy, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s so rewarding and people are super nice. If you can’t afford a big conference, try for something smaller. Go to an author signing in your area. Lots of book bloggers show up at these events as well. I live just outside of Washington D.C. and there’s a whole group of bloggers called YADC. I’ve met some awesome bloggers through this group and I get to see them at any author signing that comes to the area.
If you’re going to go to a conference, you’re going to need business cards. You’ll want to hand these out to bloggers so they remember who you are. Every year after BEA I gather all the business cards I got and go on a Twitter follow rampage. I follow every single person I spoke to so we can start interacting more online. Your business cards should include your logo, your blog name and url, your email address and your social media handles. I include my Twitter & Instagram handle because those are the two social media outlets I’m most active on. There’s a lot of blogger debate over whether or not you should put your address on your cards. I say no. The first year I went to BEA I had my address on my cards, but I didn’t get added to a single mailing list based on that. I use the same cards with publishers as I do with bloggers. I ask the publicists I speak to for their cards and send a follow up email with my address.
Oh hey, I’m doing this one right now! Guest posting is great for meeting new bloggers. Why? Because you get exposed to a whole new audience. I’ve probably never talked to many of you reading this post. Many of you may have never heard of me. But now you have and hopefully we can become friends! Most bloggers are super nice about letting you guest post. Trish immediately said yes when I pitched her my idea as have several other bloggers. Just send a kind email with your idea and why you think it would be valuable to their audience and most likely they’ll say yes. And if they don’t? That’s okay! You can just pitch the same idea to another blogger. There are hundreds of book bloggers for you to pitch to. Somebody is bound to say yes.
Okay I’m pretty new to this. I’ve only Periscoped a handful of times now and I recently held my first ever webinar, but both are a great way to get new followers. The great thing about webinars and Periscope is that it gets your actual face out to your audience. Remember how I said earlier that there’s something about meeting someone in person that solidifies the relationship? Well this is as close as you can get without actually meeting someone. Going on Periscope or hosting a webinar and answering your readers questions shows them that you care. Giving them valuable information tells them that you want to help them. It doesn’t have to be teaching someone something either. Valuable information could be in the form of a book review. Or your thoughts on a book to movie adaptation. Maybe they changed a bunch of stuff and you hated it. You tell your followers via Periscope and they saved $12 at the theater going to see a terrible movie they’re going to hate. Go you! Webinars are good for teaching or for Q&A. It’s a great way to get to know your followers better. I know going on camera live can be nerve-wracking. I actually started by making little mini Snapchat videos. Then I graduated to Periscope and finally I took the leap and hosted a webinar. You can also co-host a webinar with another blogger so you’re not doing it all by yourself.
Okay, so those are five great ways to market your book blog, but there’s one thing that you need to successfully complete all of these.
In order to promote your posts on social media you need awesome blog graphics. Why? Because people are way more likely to click on a social media post if there is an attractive image attached. It’s true. People are very visual. Two of the biggest social media outlets, Pinterest & Instagram, are both highly visual outlets. You have to have beautiful images on both to gain any traction. You can share your posts on Pinterest all day, but if the graphics are subpar, no one is going to click on them and no one is going to repin them. Sad and harsh, but true.
Okay, so you don’t really need graphics to attend a conference. But you’ll need them for your follow-up post. And you’ll need them to create the business cards you’re going to bring with you. Those business cards don’t magically create themselves. Sure there are companies with pre-made templates like Vistaprint. But if you want to look a little more professional I suggest designing your own.
Many times you’ll need to create a graphic to go with your guest post. Sometimes the blogger will take care of it themselves, but most of the time they’re going to ask you to provide one. I made the graphic that goes with this post. And remember, you’re posting on someone else’s blog so you’re going to want to make sure that graphic is awesome.
You’ll need awesome graphics if you’re going to host a webinar to promote it properly. Your graphic has to have all the information such as the name of the webinar, what it’s about, the date and time and the link to the registration page. It needs to be eye-catching to draw people in.
Your content is what’s going to keep people on your blog. But your graphics are what’s going to initially draw them in.
But what if you don’t know how to create graphics? Or you don’t have an eye for design? You don’t have to be a designer to create awesome graphics. I’m not, and I do just fine. Which is why I created a free e-course “Create Your Own Graphics” to teach book bloggers how to create graphics for their own blogs. You can enroll in the course by clicking the image below.
Thanks again for letting me take over your blog, Trish! And thank you to all you wonderful readers who let me into your lives today. I hope the post was helpful! If you have any questions you can alway reach out to me on social media!