Everyone says that visibility is the key to marketing and blogs and writing guest blogs are part of the process. Okay, so I wrote one guest blog and the blog host lost it ... or forgot I sent it or something ... and said if I resent it she'd find a spot for me NEXT YEAR. Needless to say, I declined. I did another guest blog, with a novel sample and sent it off and the host emailed me last night to say she couldn't open the attachments I sent.
My question: is anyone else as tired of doing guest posts as I am? Is there no other way to grab readers attention? Yeah, I know, go to forums ... but it's so tiresome. Everyone's flogging their books. Same thing on Goodreads. I await your suggestions. Breathlessly. Desperately.
I do them because I enjoy them. I think if you don't like them you might get tired of them. I love doing guest blogs and I've done many. I also contribute to a lot of blogs and article sites on a regular basis. I might get tired of it sometimes but that's when I take a break. But I enjoy doing it and they are good promotion.
My advice is to concentrate on promo you enjoy. If you do guest blogs only for promotion than you won't keep it up. You should be doing them because you WANT to, not to sell books. Doing guest blogs are no guarantee to sell books but they do give you exposure and you never know which blog is gonna bring you sales.
But if you don't like them, don't do them. Focus on something you enjoy.
Another thing about me, I don't always blog about books in fact I rarely blog about my books. I break down the subjects that are included in my work so I blog about those. For example, my novels have interracial romance subplots so I do guest blogs on general interracial relationship and dating sites and blogs. I do guest blogs on writing and writing tips on most writing blogs and a lot of times I do posts on something that has nothing to do with writing. I always tell authors that they shouldn't go from blog to blog talking about their books. What you do is talk about something interesting, not just promotion. People get bored with that. If you Google me, you will see I do blogs on all types of things. It's great promo because someone who drifts into a blog to see my post might not even be looking for books to read but they might like my post, check out my website and who knows, I might get a new fan.
It's fine to blog about your book sometimes but I don't think it's effective to do all the time. Also I get bored talking just about my books. I wanna talk about different things.
As for other things to do for promo you have to research different ideas, see what interests you and go from there. Nothing guarantees readers though, unfortunately. So getting your name out there any way you can is best.
Hi Stacy. It's not that I don't enjoy them. I just don't have time, and the hassles I've had with the blog hosts. I also do my own blog on crime, write novels and non fiction, practice my trumpet every day and I get cranky if I don't swim a mile twice a week and get 7 hours sleep a night and have some sort of a life.
Like your comment about interracial relationships tho. Both my novels have subplots that involve black characters living in New Orleans. I agree that constantly blogging about your novel is boring, tho that's what many blog hosts want. I often write about musicians, current and historical, and the inspirations they offer. But, again, it's mostly about the time. I've been going for 12 hours and it's almost 9 P here, so I'm gonna go watch the baseball game! :)
I understand, Susan. If you don't have the time then there might be better ways for you to promote. I don't even run a blog of my own anymore because I just didn't have the time to do it but guest posts work for me because that's something I can do on my own time. I just set them up when I can so I don't feel overwhelmed.
Most of the blogs I've been on are very lenient. A lot of them say they prefer you not to talk about your books because they don't like having just a post full of self-promo. I can see their point because too many blogs are full of guest posts with authors just talking about their books and unless the author does a giveaway I don't think people pay much attention to those. But if you can blog about something that fits the blog's audience it can be fun and beneficial.
But yeah, I see what you mean with time. It does take a lot of time. Last year I got burned out for doing so many blog posts in a row. That's when I learned not to schedule them so close together and to only do them when I can so I won't be overwhelmed.
I agree, don't waste your time with blogs that aren't popular. I only guest blog for sites with a certain amount of supporters or blogs I know are very popular. The thing with blogs is that they are geared toward a specific audience. There are a lot of people who read blogs religiously. I used to be one. I used to have an entire list of blogs and I couldn't wait until they were updated. So a lot of people do read blogs regularly and that's why if you do guest blogs for blogs make sure you fit their audience.
A lot of people now ask me to do posts. Some of the people who ask only have a few followers but when they ask, I don't say no. I appreciate that they thought of me so if I can I will do a post because I do enjoy it. But when I am hunting for blogs myself I only check out those blogs with a certain amount of followers or that looks like it gets tons of traffic. You can tell this by not only the sidebar which lets you know how many folks are subscribed to a blog but by the comments on posts. If most of the posts get a lot of comments you know that the blog is pretty popular as a whole. Still, comments don't always determine that. Some very popular blogs sometimes don't get any comments.
So it's just figuring out what is worth it. Not only should it be something you enjoy but you should feel you get something out of it. Everyone is not the guest blogger type and would rather do something else. Some writers love to do online chats. I find them useless. I don't think anyone pays attention to chats. I might be wrong but I don't. I also hate Blog Talk Radio. I don't see this being effective for selling books and I am not the type who likes to do that stuff. Some authors love to do BTR but how many folks are actually listening to these shows? I don't know anyone that does regularly but some authors love BTR. *shrugging* Just another point that different people enjoy different things. LOL!
Well said, Stacy. Now if only I could figure out how to get some sales in Germany and France! I put up an author page on the German site a while ago, got nowhere. The French site just went up, so I haven't done one there yet.
I do get a few sales in the UK. And when I put my price back up to $2.99 from 99cents on Nook, sales have plummeted. None so far this month.
However, the good news is I'm about to publish a short Volume 1 of my non-fiction series about women musicians, so my main focus now is getting that done and doing some marketing. And here I thought I was retired! :)
I wouldn't write them off. SEO (search engine optimization) can't be gained on the side. I get the majority of the traffic of my website, crimefictionbook.com, through search engines and links from other sites. The more links that direct to your site, the higher the search ranking.
The payoff is when someone types "crime fiction blog" in Google and gets to your site, which by just happened today to me.
I haven't done a guest blog yet. I volunteered to do one, wrote it, and the owner of the blog didn't get back to me. That's okay.
My question is this. Is it just as effective to participate in a discussion on an important site and leaving a link (like Benjamin and Susan have just done) for increasing awareness of your book? By the way, my website www.brianhoffmanbooks.com just went live, although you can't get books yet. December 6 is the target date.
I was on a 20-blog 'tour' in Spring and another 20 blog 'tour' this fall that I set up myself (2 stops to go). I enjoy taking part in these discussions. About half of the hosts ask for info about my books and my writing process, and I'm happy to share that. The others prefer that I address a topic touched upon in the books - for example, saying something about the Mexican holiday 'The Day of the Dead,' which figures into my latest mystery, "VIPER". I agree that these can be time-consuming, but I see it as a rather cost-effective way to get my name out there, meet readers, and be part of the mystery community.