Marketing Your Blog
Seven strategies to help authors stand out from the pack
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It’s great to see authors start blogs to help them build robust author platforms. Authors can write articles, create attractive sites, and post all their book and pub- licity information in one place. But too often this trategy just doesn’t work, because if you want people
to visit your blog, you’re going to have to market your blog.
That’s not as daunting as it might sound. It just means
sharing your stories and ideas with people who have the same
passions. Below are seven ways to market your author blog.
1. Comment on Other Blogs
Comments allow you to write in your own voice, demonstrate
your expertise, and introduce yourself to new audiences.
Comments are also a great way to connect with other bloggers.
Identify the top five or 10 blogs that speak to the audience
that you want to attract. Post meaningful comments that
advance the discussions there or respond helpfully to other commenters. Keep leaving comments like this and you’ll soon get
on the radar of fellow bloggers. And links in your comments
can bring folks back to your blog.
2. Post in Forums
There are plenty of discussion boards and forums online, many
with huge readerships focused on specific topics. Sharing your
experiences on these sites will enhance your reputation, and your
forum signature should include links that lead back to your blog
and its resources.
Look for groups with recent activity related to your subject
on LinkedIn, Goodreads, Google Plus, or specialty sites with
their own social networks. Finding the right groups and contributing valuable content will attract other forum readers who
may be curious about what else you have to say on the subject,
so link back to your own articles when it’s appropriate.
3. Social Traffic
To find people to connect with on Facebook, Instagram,
Pinterest, and Twitter, identify authors similar to you who
already have big followings, and start following the people on
their follower lists. It’s likely that you share their interests, and
you can quickly grow your own following this way.
4. Guest Posts
Most bloggers are happy to consider articles from legitimate
authors within their fields.
If you’ve established a relationship with the blogger before-
hand, it’s going to be much easier to get your article considered
for publication. When you blog as a guest on someone else’s site,
they are “loaning you their microphone,” so make sure you’re
familiar with the content on the blog and the kinds of questions
readers ask. Make sure you subscribe to the comments on your
post and answer questions as they arise. And promote your post
through your own network. You’ll be much more likely to be
5. Blog Carnivals
A blog carnival is a regularly published collection of links to
articles submitted by bloggers in a specific field. Bloggers may
take turns hosting the carnival, or the carnival may be run by a
Carnivals are probably the most overlooked form of blog
marketing, likely because they aren’t as popular as they once
were. But, if you can find a blog carnival with good circulation
in your field, start submitting your best articles: it will pay off
with new traffic.
If there’s no carnival, consider starting one yourself. Either
way, having your article appear in one of these carnivals can
bring you a spike in traffic, as all the bloggers included will
promote it to their own followers and fans.
A series of short informational videos about basics in your field
posted to You Tube and other sites can open another traffic
stream back to your blog. Book teasers that sell your story or
characters, how-to videos, opinion pieces, and product and service reviews all make great video content.
Optimizing your video listings with the right categories and
keywords will help bring them to the attention of the people
who might most enjoy them. Add links to related articles on
your blog in the video’s description field, or embed them in
interactive hot spots in the video itself.
Contests can offer free copies of upcoming books, one-on-one time
with authors, valuable prizes and freebies, and critiques and evaluations. If there are no book or writing awards for your specific
niche, why not create one? You can advertise on social media,
bringing entrants to your blog to make their submissions.
Publicizing contests with the appropriate media and press
releases when the awards are announced can help attract new
readers to a special page you set up for the awards on your blog.
All seven of these techniques are free, and you could grow an
incredible site using just one or two of them. Which strategies
will work for you? You’ll have to try them to find out what your
readers respond to.
Great content, effectively presented, is the foundation of
high-traffic blogs. Finding the best way to market that content
will mean that you’ve won at blog marketing. ;