For publicity purposes, there are essentially two kinds of blogs, those that are an offshoot of another form of media, such as a newspaper, magazine or radio show; and those that are independent stand-alones. Either way, they are usually written by a single individual or a small group and have a very personal feel to them.
Like people, blogs can be quirky, opinionated and prejudiced. You are off to a great start if you think if them as people – as funny as your Aunt Bessie or grumpy as your old Uncle Carl.
1) Blogs Are Not an Afterthought
When it comes to media, some rank contacts in order of ‘importance’, with television being the golden ticket and blogs being something you try once other possibilities have been exhausted. However, for many books blogs can be a more efficient, achievable and targeted form of publicity than any other.
2) Specific Searching
So how do you find the right blogs for you? Start with a Google search, being as specific as possible to pinpoint the ones that are interested in your subject. You will also find directories, listings and newspaper and magazine guides to the best blogs. Finally you can run searches at blog platforms blogger.com and wordpress.com.
3) Think Audience
It is important that you identify only those that show an interest in your subject, otherwise you can waste a lot of time, both yours and theirs. For every blog think about who it is aimed at – it should be pretty much the same as the audience for your book.
4) Show Some Respect
Most bloggers work hard at their craft and their work is as finely tuned to their audience as yours. Bloggers are no more second-rate journalists than self-published authors are second-rate writers.
5) Get to Know Bloggers
By commenting on blog entries and communicating with blog owners on Twitter and Facebook you can get to know them. Be personal and friendly – show them that you are a human — not just a publicity machine.
6) Blog Tours
A Blog tour is a scheduled set of interviews or articles on a number of blogs – usually timed to happen within a week or two. They are a great way to aim your publicity work to a particular time scale. You can schedule blog tours yourself or some publicity companies can do it for you.
7) Genre Publicity
Blogs can be particularly powerful within genres. Whether it is crime, sci-fi, romance or even a topic like health or business books, the movers and shakers within the subject area are very often bloggers with thousands of die-hard followers who are voracious readers.
8) Social Media
Blogs, Twitter and Facebook fit together almost seamlessly. When a good blog review or article is posted be sure to use Twitter and Facebook to let others know about it.
9) More Than Reviews
Some bloggers only post reviews and their own personal messages but most dedicated blogs will include interviews with authors, subject related articles that may mention your book or will even allow authors to “guest post” their own pieces.
10) Do it Yourself
Don’t forget to create your own blog. You are a writer after all…
Ben Cameron is Director of Sales and Marketing (UK and Europe) at Smith Publicity, an ALLi Partner Member. Smiths offer generous discounts to Alliance Writer Members. For further details, see our August Newsletter or email: [email protected]