Book Blogging 101 – Chapter 4
Networking your Blog
Now that you have your blog set up, your editorial calendar mapped out and your blog posts ready to go, it is time to use that extra time for Networking.
Networking is a Blogging Buzzword. It is basically, just reaching out to other bloggers to hopefully lure them into visit your blog. Traffic to your blog is a wonderfully pleasant circle. The more traffic you get the more your blog attracts the search engine’s attention, thus the more traffic you get to your blog. The more traffic you get, the more you attract the attention of the industry you blog within, which leads to sponsored giveaways, which leads to…you guessed it – more traffic. That initial bit of traffic though, is the hardest to gain.
If you were to compare your blog to a store, it would be like opening a store within a strip mall. Yet, unlike the usual 3 – 10 stores, there would be thousands, all stacked one on top of each other, all selling the same thing to the same group of people. Sounds daunting, right? It can be. Yet, if you go out there, into the throng of people and shake hands, introduce yourself, tell potential visitors about what sets your shop apart from the rest, you have a better chance of attracting visitors.
Step 1: Set up Social Networking accounts. Social Networking. Right!
Twitter: Set up an account (same names as your blog) and start following others in your field. Amass a good group of other bloggers or industry professionals and start joining in on the conversation. If one of those bloggers just makes a statement tweet (what I would call fishing for reactions) play their game and respond back with a response. Get conversations going. Remember though, it is not a chat room, twitter is a large promotion tool and conversations are usually short but full of information. Make sure when you respond, your tweets are pertinent. If you have blogged about a topic they seem interested in, then send the link, but never do this unless prompted.
Facebook: Join apps like Networked Blogs, or Facebook groups that have to do with the genre you blog within. Say hello. Leave your link.
LinkedIn: I haven’t been won over by LinkedIn yet, I actually closed my account, but there are groups, much like Facebook that you can join to promote your blog.
Google+: Much like Facebook and LinkedIn, but more broad.
Step 2: Guest Blog.
Find other bloggers in your own niche and request if you can do a Guest Blog, or Review. Tailor and Target. I don’t know how many times I’ve been approached by Lawyers, Retailers of an odd assortment of items, Mommy Bloggers and others non-niche writers that query a Guest Post. And I always think – WTF would a Guest Post about how to pick out the right fanny pack have anything to do with parajunkee.com? Obviously these bloggers have done a base research on how to network and are just searching out bloggers with a certain footprint. They didn’t follow up on the second tip of networking. Guest Blog on blogs that are similar to your own, that your content will convert readers to your own blog. If you blog about books on a blog that promotes computers, how is that converting smartly? You might get a few conversions, but it wouldn’t be your smartest move. If you want to have readers that are interested in books, blog on blogs that attract readers. Have your Guest Posts ready and state in your queries what topics you would like to Guest Blog about.
Step 3: Join a Group
Like you join groups on Facebook there are forums and Social sites that are dedicated to what you are interested in. Search out these groups and join them. Post within these forums. Always link back to your blog. Within large groups sometimes they have threads strictly for promoting your blog or website.
Step 4: Participation
A lot of blog groups have memes that are sometimes a fabulous way to network. Look around your peer’s sites. What are they doing? What are they participating in? Join in. Start a conversation, participate. Much like if you were at a party and there was a Conga line – the best way to meet people is to join in on the fun. Stop standing in the corner and go out there and make friends!
Step 5: Think Medium
Your success is not going to happen over night and you are not going to make a splash by targeting the top bloggers in your niche. Most of the large blogs are bogged down with numerous queries and pitches. Target other newbies and start-ups to make your first connections and then participate with them to promote each other. They might have great ideas that you haven’t thought of, you will also probably establish lasting relationships. The blogs that I started with are still active and we do fun promotional things together and ask for each others advice all the time.
Tune in Next Week for Section 3 — Figuring Out Your Look/Style
Book Blogger News:
Adults reading YA?? Who fracking knew?
According to this BIG surprising Market Research survey it has been revealed that most adults want to be teens again, while teens want to be adults. Okay, no it didn’t reveal that, but it did reveal that 55% of readers of YA are 18+ — no big surprise here. [Top