Posted by : Blogging Leader / Social Media Expert - Donnette AuthorBlog@Strategicbookmarketing.com
The popularity of blogs has soared in the last few years. There are now over 100 million blogs tracked by Technorati, a popular blog search engine. According to demographics collected by the Pew Internet Study, blogs have become mainstream and represent virtually every audience and topic area.
You can use blogs to:
• Develop an audience for your work
• Promote your book
A blog bears many resemblances to a book. Both have a title and subtitle that reflect the content of a book. Blog posts can be organized into categories which serve as a kind of table of contents to classify and group related material. Blog posts, typically 300-500 words in length, represent the raw content of a book. Links within posts or on the blog roll serve as a bibliography, showing references to source material.
How do you attract people to your blog? Initially, through searches individuals make on popular search engine sites like Google, Yahoo and MSN. By using popular keywords in your blog title, subtitle, categories and posts, your blog will begin to turn up in these searches. You can discover these keywords using keyword discovery tools or simply checking out popular blogs in your topic area. The more you blog, the more others discover and link to your blog content, the higher will be the ranking of your blog site in search results, and the greater the traffic you will receive.
Blog software usually provides a basic set of statistics that allow you to track important information such as number of visitors, page views, referring sites and average time spent by each visitor. Page views and comments left by visitors for specific blog posts provide an indicator of popular content. This makes blogs an excellent way for you to field test
and select material to be included in your book.
Once you have cultivated an audience, you can transform your blog into a great marketing platform. For example, you can promote your book on a special page, featuring your bio, a book description, excerpts, press releases and testimonials. Thus your blog can double as a book website. You can also promote your book to a wider audience by arranging a blog tour. A blog tour is a series of scheduled guest appearances on related blogs, where you have the opportunity to talk about your book. This is a low cost, high impact method to discover new readers for your work.
Whether you are publishing independently or trying to sign on with a traditional publisher, blogging can be key to your success. More publishers are now starting to view the blogosphere as a fertile ground to find
promising writers. Why? As an author who blogs, you can quantify your audience and this is attractive to risk averse publishers.
Blogging is a low risk, low cost way to build your audience while you are developing your work, and then promote your finished book to that same audience. Give it a try!
(lnformation from Tom Masters, author of Blogging Quick and Easy)
Benefits of Blogging
By Rebecca Talley, Blog Consultant
The internet has provided authors with a worldwide audience for their work. One of the best ways for authors to connect with that audience is through a blog. Blog is a catchword that refers to a web log. Blogging, the act of maintaining a blog, allows authors to promote themselves and their books.
A few benefits of blogging include:
1. Blogs provide an opportunity for authors to connect to their readers in a personal way. Those who visit an author’s blog can leave comments and develop a more personal relationship with an author. Cyber friendships develop between bloggers and their audience. Those who become fans of a certain blogger, or author, may be more likely to purchase books.
2. Blogs allow an author to create name recognition. Every time the author posts a blog, the search engines pick it up and those who blog frequently find their names at the top of the search engines. Utilizing the tag function of blogs will also drive traffic to a blog and increase a blogger’s audience.
3. Blogs can guide interested readers to an author’s website where readers can learn more about the author and his/her book(s).
4. Blogging helps an author hone his/her writing skills and provides an opportunity to obtain feedback on book ideas.
5. Blogs can be used to promote books by offering contests and other incentives to purchase books.
It’s easy to set-up and maintain a blog. Several services provide free blog space and templates including, Blogger and WordPress. By following the simple instructions, an author can have a personalized blog set- up and running in less than an hour. It’s simple to add gadgets like counters to track visitors, links to other bloggers (who will generally link back to the author), photos, images of an author’s book cover(s), links to websites the author has found helpful (visitors always like to find something useful at a blog), and other functions.
John McLain, a relatively new blogger, who is the author of, How to Promote Your Home Business, says, “It’s a good medium for self-expression. It’s also an opportunity to share information and knowledge with others who may benefit from the experiences I’ve had in launching and running a home-based business.” He also believes that blogging is an excellent way to make contacts and network with others. Using a counter has allowed John to track his visitors and with regular blogging, he believes he will see those numbers increase.
The best advice for building a blog readership is to blog regularly and to visit other blogs consistently. Authors need to leave comments for other bloggers so they can track back to the author’s blog. The way to gain regular readers is by visiting, and commenting on, other blogs. This will increase readership dramatically.
Blogging is an effective way to build a base of people who are interested in what an author has to say and will be most likely to purchase books that the author writes. The internet allows authors to communicate with a worldwide audience and blogging is the easiest and most effective way to tap into that audience.
Virtual Book Tours Via Blogging
Virtual book tours are becoming more popular with authors who have the desire to promote their books but lack the resources to fund a traditional tour. Virtual book tours, or blog tours, involve contacting bloggers who are willing to post a review on their blog and/or website. Usually a Virtual Tour Consultant coordinates the dates so that the author’s book receives a promotional blitz within a certain time period.
Recently, John McLain toured blogs with his book, How to Promote Your Home Business. John had never heard of a virtual book tour and did not have his own blog. With some guidance, John easily set up his new blog and joined blogland before we scheduled his virtual book tour.
While touring the blogs, John’s book received excellent reviews.
Rachelle Christensen, an owner of a home-based business called Story Time Felts, wrote on her blog, “I have been a home-based business owner involved in direct sales for the past ten years, so I was interested to see how John McLain’s book might help me. Would it have anything I hadn’t already learned in the past ten years? I must report that YES it does! McLain covers everything from press releases to trade fairs to websites in his book. He writes in a succinct and interesting way to excite and
motivate his reader to have a successful business.”
Author Anne Bradshaw, a regular virtual book tour participant said she noticed a surge in her blog readership when she reviewed John’s book. She also said she notices that when she posts a book review her readership increases.
The main purpose in maintaining a blog is to develop a readership. When bloggers with a loyal following recommend a book, their readers take note. In scheduling a blog tour, it’s important to include bloggers who have a following because their recommendations can have a positive impact on book sales.
The internet has opened lines of communication previously unavailable to authors. People from all over the world can now connect with authors through blogs. Virtual book tours can help promote a book worldwide and develop interest. The more buzz about a book, the better. Books involved in virtual book tours can jump to the top of search engines, which can create even more interest in the book and the author. Virtual book tours can help authors stand out from the crowd.
John McLain thought his virtual book tour was very successful and that the reviewers were all thoughtful in their comments. When asked what he learned from the tour he said, “Primarily I learned about virtual book tours and how they can be helpful in connecting you to others online with similar interests.” He also commented that a virtual book tour is “certainly worth doing.”
While virtual book tours are only one way to promote a book online, with the ease of technology, virtual book tours are an accessible promotional tool for authors and are definitely here to stay.
Author and blogger Alison Palmer had this to say,”How to Promote Your Home Business: Free, Easy & Low-Cost Ways to Market Any Enterprise is just the type of resource I’ve been looking for.”
How to Promote Your Home Business is short, sweet and to the point. It gave me the “here’s what you need to know” and “here’s how to do it” information I like without a lot of fluff. Mr. McLain is also serious about the “low-cost” aspects of self-promotion.
How To Enter The Blogosphere
By AEG Staff
For lots of people, starting anything on the computer, particularly the Internet, can be a daunting task riddled with the fear of breaking something, opening yourself up to scams, and signing up for something you never intended to.
So for our AEG and Eloquent authors who are just getting started, here is a step-by-step guide about blogging.
1. Visit www.AEGauthorBlogs.com
2. Click on the “Start a Blog Now” link at the top.
3. Follow the instructions. It’s that easy, and most importantly, you will have access to a Blog Coach at all times.
Frequently Asked Questions
A. We realize that different people have different experience and skill levels when it comes to using a blog or website. So when you have a question, that’s what your Personal Blog Coach is for! Your Personal Blog Coach goes beyond just answering your questions. We provide step-by-step, click-by-click examples, video tutorials, and more. We make promoting your book EASY!
Your Personal Blog Coach is a completely different kind of tech support. It’s tech support that’s available to hold your hand along your journey to blogging success!
Q. Can I use my own domain?
A. Yes. Your Professional Author account allows you to use your own domain name. Your Personal Blog Coach will help you with this.
Q. Why isn’t this a free service?
A. You know, it’s really strange, but the consultants that will be helping you, your Blog Coaches, won’t work for free. (smile). Seriously, this is a great platform for you to get started with the assistance you need, and then later, you can always move to a free platform if you wish.
Q. Why not just use WordPress.com, it’s free?
A. Yes. WordPress.com (and Blogger for that matter) are free. But remember, you get what you pay for. (Besides, we include many features not even available on WordPress.com, or that you would have to pay for anyway…such as Advanced Site Statistics, Advanced Widgets, and the ability to easily integrate YouTube Video into your posts.)
WordPress and Blogger fail to provide the most professional publishing platform that authors, such as yourself need.
Most importantly, they fail to promote your writing in the professional way AEG does. Being a member of the AEGauthorblogs.com community provides you promotion that is simply not available any where else. AEG and Strategic Book Publishing are experts in book promotion. That’s why you are already an AEG Author! Now is your opportunity to take advantage of all the promotion they are willing to provide you!