In this third instalment of my thoughts on blogging I thought I would compile a list of to-do’s if you ever want to publicise your blog in a big way. Before that I like to put on a disclaimer to say I am not an expert nor am I advocating all of these are the best way of publicising your blog, but I just feel like listing down all my thoughts and observations about it.
Get the basics right
Before I embark on a list of items I think would promote your blog in a big way, I think it’s helpful to step back and think about what is the fundamental of a good blog. Your blog layout must be clean and attractive, easy to read. Blog content must be insightful, enticing and entertaining and you must post fairly regularly. You probably want to carve out a niche. Read good books….
Phew, getting the basics right is one hell of a tough job.
Beyond the basics, I think there are many ways of publicising your blog…
- Start with your family and friends and publicise your blog on all social channels, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, yahoo updates, google+ digg it, put it at the end of your email signatures etc. – I’m the opposite of this, I’m a shy blogger and I don’t really want any of my relatives and all friends to know that I blog and give them the chance to pry into my private thoughts about books (or about anything at all!), therefore I don’t advertise my blog URL through social networking channels. I don’t twitter, I am hardly ever on Facebook…. but you may want to do this, I think it’s quite effective!
- Next, you publicise your blog by commenting on other blogs. Self-explanatory and a method which works very well but requires a lot of hard work to keep it up.
- You participate on reading challenges, circuit tour and read-alongs. The more the better. 🙂
- You host reading challenges and read-alongs.
- You do blog or literary hops.
- You host some giveaways. I don’t host for publicity purpose though, I host giveaways because I like to give back to my readers who have given their time to me but giveaways almost always draw a lot of attentions.
- You attend and participate in book blogger events, book launch or book blogging appreciation events.
- You participate in memes.
- You become one of Amazon‘s top 50 reviewers and soon readers will know that you actually run a book review blog. 🙂
- You post your reviews at Goodreads, Library Thing or Shelfari and other book sites to draw a different bookish crowd into your book blogging midst.
- If you write for other journals or newspaper, it would be worth mentioning your blog.
- You link back to other blogs. Spread some good will by introducing your readers to other similar reviews or other blogs.
- Spread a little TLC by giving away awards to deserving blog. There used to be a lot of awards going around when I started in 2009, now I hardly see them anymore. I wonder why?
- If you are lucky, you get put on WordPress “Freshly pressed“.
- Be a guest blogger or write for other blogs.
- Add an email subscription button or RSS feed at the top of your blog. Encourage one click convenience to subscribe to your blog. WordPress a “Follow” button that makes it easier for your reader to subscribe to your blog.
- At the end of each posts, supply a link of “Related Post“. Blogspot or blogger website does this very well with pictures and link, can someone tell me how I can do the same on wordpress?
- The expert says you market your blog better if you get your own domain. I’m not convinced!
- It seems the more tags you have the easier it is for user or readers of the same blog hosting site to search for relevant posts. – again I don’t use that many tags, and most of my tags are meaningless anyway!
- Create a SEARCH sidebar to make it easier for reader to search your old posts. How many times have I tried to look at past reviews of my favourite blogger whom I know have wrote a fantastic review on the book but cannot find any button to trace back the post??!! 😦
- If you have A to Z review index or annual index of book read that will draw attention and make it easier for readers to read your past reviews.
- Allow for pingback and trackback. Don’t stop other reader from pinging you!
- Make sure you allow google search engine to search your blog. Stopping google stops you from publicising your blog to people outside your own community.
- Stats counter for hits and number of comments are another great marketing tool. Readers are usually impressed with blog which receives many comments and high hit stats, it gives an impression that something good is going on in there!
- Create a blogroll or sidebars of other blogs you visits and hopefully yours will show up on other blog’s sidebar as well. Blogspot has sidebar which provides a snippet of your latest post which I thought was quite cool. Commentluv does this as well, it’s just that I don’t know how to set it up!
- Establish a brand. A consistent gravatar, a certain kind of look and feel, a catchy name etc. (Unfortunately, I don’t even like my blog name which was created in a haste!)
- Maintain a good relationship with the community (see: What I talk about when I talk about blogging)
- Don’t make it hard for your readers to exchange ideas on your blog (see: What I talk about when I talk about commenting on blogs)
There you go, my 28 tips of promoting a book blog. I’m a business graduate, not an IT graduate. I learnt all about market segmentation, marketing strategy and consumer behaviour for many years, both as an undergraduate, a post graduate and at work, yet as you may have realised I don’t use half of the strategies of what I have suggested up there but I thought it’s a useful list for any new book bloggers (or old bloggers) who wants to garner some attentions and also a place I could consolidate my thoughts about blog publicity. I for one never intended to have this blog to make money.
What do you think? Do you use any of these strategies? Do you market your blog purposefully? or it doesn’t matter to you? Do you have any other strategies to share?