When I work with aspiring authors on their proposals or as a publishing mentor, I often advise them to build platform by becoming a guest blogger for other popular blogs. When we work on the promotion section of their proposal, we talk a lot about guest blogs and virtual book tours. Indeed, once their books are published, guest blogs and book reviews by established and popular bloggers represent great publicity and promotion strategies for authors. However, an etiquette exists for contacting and working with bloggers.
Today, Drew Gerber, CEO of Wasabi Publicity, Inc., is back as my guest blogger to tell us a bit about using this strategy for book publicity and promotion.
Connecting with Bloggers to Promote Your Book
By L. Drew Gerber
When it comes to promoting your book you can’t forget about bloggers. Successful bloggers have a targeted and engaged audience that you would love the opportunity to reach out to. Whether it’s self-help, green-living, finance — you name it — the people who follow these blogs look to the blogger as someone who represents their voice and provides new and cool insights into what’s cutting-edge in their niche.
Before you begin pitching bloggers, you’ll have to find them first. It’s easy to search on Google for bloggers related to your expertise. If you’re a green-living author, you can simply type in “green-living blogs” and you’ll find links to these blogs, articles mentioning them, blog posts about these blogs and blog posts about these blog posts about these blogs. Usually you’ll find the most popular blogs related to your expertise, and because they are the most popular they will also be the hardest to break into. But right off the bat though, you have your goal: Get your book reviewed on that blog!
If you’re just starting out, you should find a less popular blog or one who maybe has even more of a niche following your book would be fit for. Sites like Technorati are really helpful in narrowing down blogs and bloggers to start building relationships with. You’ll definitely find the most popular ones and the most popular posts, but they also have comprehensive directories with each blog’s authority ranking on the particular subject manner, i.e. green living. You can search Technorati just like you would search Google and start browsing blogs with the reach you’re committed too. Make a realistic list of five or so blogs you’d want your book reviewed on, then get ready to begin building your relationship with them.
Before you reach out to the blogger, make sure you know the blog and you’re keeping up with the kinds of content that is being posted. Note if they have guests that do book reviews and ask yourself whether or not this blog is truly a good fit for you and your book. If it is, start by posting comments with good commentary or additional thoughts wherever you can. The goal here is to show the blogger and its followers you’re an avid and engaged fan of what they have to say, and you have a genuine interest in being part of this community.
Once you’ve established yourself in the community, it’s time to reach out to the blogger with an email. Make it short and simple, telling them you really enjoy the blog and was wondering if they were in need of anything. Ask if they accept guest-bloggers or do reviews of books. By now though, you should have a good idea whether they do or don’t, but ask anyway and give them a taste of what you could offer. The key here is to be extremely polite and not to overload them with information. Keep it short and sweet. It could take a couple of exchanges before they ask to review your book, but remember it’s relationship building. It takes time.
Once you’ve had your book reviewed, be sure to show your gratitude. Now don’t worry about finding their home address and sending them a thank you card or gift basket. But really the most important thing you need to do is follow-up with an acknowledgement. They’ll appreciate it.
So by all means, brag about yourself to everyone you can possibly brag about yourself to. Get on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and tell the world about how your book was featured on this blog. Provide a link and drive as much traffic as you can to the blog and really be a voice for support. Send them to the blog’s main page not just to the page you’re featured on. The idea here is to increase the whole blog’s readership and create returning fans. Make sure you keep on top of the comments and respond and engage the community of followers who are commenting on your feature.
And then keep it up. Play an active role in this newfound community where you now belong. Try to prvide fresh content whenever and wherever you can and stay in contact with the blogger and continue to develop your relationship.
About the Author
L. Drew Gerber is CEO of Wasabi Publicity, Inc. (www.PublicityResults.com) and creator of www.PitchRate.com, a free media tool that connects journalists, publicists, and experts. Gerber’s business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with Online PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed (www.PressKit247.com). Contact L. Drew Gerber at:AskDrew@PublicityResults.com or call him at 828-749-3548.