March 05, 2008
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING THAT WORKS - Part VII: Subtly Promoting Your Book on Other People's Blogs | printable version
During Week I, we talked about sad assumptions and irrational expectations new authors usually have about book sales. We then discussed the dire need for an author to have his OWN website (not a URL controlled by someone else!) and a periodical (ezine/blog) to market their book.
During Week II, we discussed how important it is to offer a free excerpt of your book. We also shared URLs to "free article" websites where you can post your excerpt as an "article."
During Week III, we talked about posting your free book excerpt on FreeBookExcerpts.com, a free service for everyone, including book lovers. Authors can post excerpts and readers can discuss them.
During Week IV, we cozied up to websites that have a good Google ranking.
During Week V, we asked websites, ezines, blogs and magazines to publish an excerpt from our book.
Last Week, we subtly marketed our book to online discussion groups.
This week, we're going to subtly promote our book(s) on other people's blogs.
In case you're a newbie, a blog is a regularly-updated personal journal that is posted online. Special software enables bloggers to post their comments instantly online. No HTML! Yea! Blogs have exploded in recent years because they make publishing online so easy and because they are usually of a more personal nature than professional websites. Blogs seem to attract the voyeur in all of us.
This article may seem long but you have tons of real estate to cover when promoting your book through comments boxes on blogs.
Finding the blogs is very easy. At the very end of most blogs, you can see a box where readers can instantly post comments. Some require you to login but many allow anonymous posts (meaning you don't have to get an account through that particular service/blog to post a comment). Some blogs are moderated. If your comment doesn't appear instantly, it will after/if the blog owner reviews and approves it.
I've sold several copies of my book, DON'T CUT ME AGAIN! True Stories About Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC), by simply posting comments to blogs that are discussing VBACs.
When I find a blog post that may be attracting my book's target audience, I read the post and then post my own comment. I don't do any hard selling at all as doing so may be considered offensive (spam). I give my opinions and experiences (and I really enjoy doing that!) and then I sign my name like this:
Author, DON'T CUT ME AGAIN! True Stories About Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
Here are some of the most popular blog hosting services:
http://www.blogspot.com (owned by Google.com)
http://www.blogger.com (also owned by Google.com)
To find even more blog hosting websites, click ìfree blogî into your favorite search engine.
First, make a list of the top five keywords/phrases that you think your book's audience might be searching for online.
Now, let's find some blogs that are currently catering to your potential readers.
http://www.blogspot.com and http://www.blogger.com
These sites are owned by Google.com. If you go to their homepages directly, you won't find any simple way to search the blogs they're hosting. So, do this instead. Go to http://www.google.com. At the top of the page, under ìmoreî there is a drop-down menu. Click on ìblogs.î You are now in google's blog search engine. Type your first keyword/phrase into the search box and start finding blogs to post comments under while subtly using your name and the title of your book as your signature (as I've done above). Once you finish with your first keyword, search for the other four as well.
Go to http://www.wordpress.com. On this site, you have to find blogs using their categories instead of keywords. The categories appear on the right-hand side of the homepage. Click on the most appropriate category and start finding posts that may be of interest to your book's target audience. When posting, again subtly promote your book by using your name and the title of your book as your signature.
DAY 47: livejournal.com
Go to http://www.livejournal.com. Click Explore LJ (top, left-hand corner), and then find the search box under ìFind people and communities interested in.î Type your first keyword/phrase into the search box and start finding blogs to post comments under while once again subtly using your name and the title of your book as your signature. Once you finish with your first keyword, search for the other four as well.
BLOG SEARCH ENGINE
A well-known blog search engine is: http://technorati.com
Technorati searches and organizes blogs and other independent, user-generated content online. You can use their search box to find more blog posts that may currently be attracting your book's target audience.
Unfortunately, you're going to notice some spam posts in there. Just skip those.
When you find a legitimate one, click on the title of the post. It will take you to a page where you can see a small version of the post with a link to the post just above, as well as a screen-capture of the actual blog and a link that takes you to the blog's homepage. The post may not be the newest post on that blog so I suggest using the link that takes you to that specific post. But, you may want to go to the blog's homepage and see what else you can find of interest there.
You'll also notice that Technorati ranks each blog. The lower the ìrankî number, the more popular the blog.
If you have way too much time on your hands, there is a large list of blog search engines on this page:
Not everybody chooses to allow a hosting service to carry their blog for them. There is software that allows anybody with even a small amount of technical expertise to set up a blog on their own website.
If you go to google.com or your favorite search engine and type in your first keyword/phrase along with the word blog, you will probably get a pleasant surprise. For example, when I type divorce blog into google.com (no quotes!), I get a list of more blogs than I will ever have time to read and comment on.
This should be considered an ongoing online book marketing activity. There are new blog posts being made all day long, every single day. Stay on top of them and you'll continue to sell books.
YOUR OWN BLOG?
You can, of course, start your own blog at a variety of sites. But, if you already have your own website and ezine to maintain and publish, I wouldn't recommend setting up shop on these sites just to republish what you've already published on your own. I've found it's less labor-intensive and more effective to simply comment on other people's existing blogs, where you can take advantage of a preexisting audience.
Next week, we'll have even more free online book marketing fun. See ya then!