Monday, 19 August 2013

How to Teach an Old Blog New Tricks

I recently guest blogged for a fellow author and thought I'd share the post here as well. I think it might be relevant for a lot of you who have blogs and like me find it hard to keep the new and fresh content coming when you're busy with other things in life. 

So, without further adieu...my post.

Blogging is a fairly new phenomenon for me. I hadn't investigated it much prior to being published and I only set up my blog as an interim online presence, while I got my head around designing a website. The website is mainly an information spot about my books and who I am, it contains excerpts and book blurbs which I hope people enjoy reading but...it’s not a good site for my day to day communication needs on the internet. The intention was to do away with the blog once the website came online but I discovered, the website wasn't as interactive as my blogger page. Now I have both which, until recently, posed a problem.

I’m no expert, but I have been told that in order for a blog to be successful and attract followers you need a constant stream of content. If not daily posts then at least new information a few times a week. Trying to juggle writing, social network commitments and maintain both the website and blog meant something had to give. Unfortunately, that often meant a blog post every few weeks. if I was lucky. My blog became the totally neglected country cousin that I thought about periodically, felt guilty about not talking to more often, but still didn't call. I tried revamping it in a few different ways and although the inclusion of author interviews increased the number and regularity of posts I still had to either write the blog or run around finding willing participants to appear as guests. It turned out to be as time consuming as before and the number of posts only increased in fits and starts. The posts still weren't regular. Then I found what appears to be the answer to my content problems.

There are people (I think they are actually Angels in disguise) that you can pay to organize blog tours and other promotional events for authors. Now I didn't want to conduct a blog tour, I haven’t got a new book release for a little while yet, but I did want blog content…can you see where this might lead.

I spotted a post on Facebook asking for bloggers to add their name to a list of participants willing to host sections of the tours being organized. I followed the link, read the information, had one of those ‘der, why didn't you think of this before’ moments, filled out what I’ll call the ‘include-me-form’ and my problems were on the way to being solved. It was that easy.

A few days later I got some emails asking me to be a host for events being organized. The emails have been coming in a fairly constant (but not annoyingly so) stream each week since then and I have regular posts scheduled two or three times a week between now and October. When I add the blog posts I write each week as well, I’m heading toward a blog every second day or so and all with very little effort on my part. Here’s how it works.

I get the information about what tours or book release events are coming up, look at my calendar, select a date that suits me for someone to appear and reply to the email. All the information (books cover pics, buy links, interview, blog or book excerpt) relevant to the tour is sent to me in advance, I copy and paste it onto a new blog post and schedule it for the date I've agreed it will appear. I then send the blog post link back to the organizer. Easy-peasy...go me J

The beauty of it is, I get to choose who and what goes on the blog. If there is something I don’t think will suit my readership then I don’t participate in that event. So if you write sweet romance and don’t want any adult content, from say an erotic author, on your site you just decline to be part of that event. I can get a bit racy at times, so I haven’t found any content that I’m not happy to include on my blog so far, but the option is there for me should the situation arise. The benefits are numerous. I not only get content for my blog, I also get traffic to the sight from readers who may not have heard of me or my books. The increased traffic comes from the featured author and the event organizer promoting the posts on social media instead of it just being left up to me to get the word out. At the same time, I'm helping promote other authors work and giving my blog followers useful information about new books and competitions for them to investigate. It’s a win-win from my perspective.

I hope you've found this little post informative and that it helps others (who have blogs sitting empty most days of the week) to see there is a way to boost your blog profile with very little effort or work on your part. I know this is probably a blog directed more toward authors and bloggers than readers but I hope you've enjoyed it.

For anyone interested in finding out how to sign up with the same group I use the information as follows, just click the words become a tour host to go to their website: Writer Marketing Services: Become a Tour Host

If you happen to be one of the Angels in disguise I mentioned above or you know a good blog tour organizer for people to link up with just leave the information in the comments section for other to check out.


2 comments:

  1. This is gold! Thanks Jan - signing up for stuff that suits my demographic now. xx

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    1. No worries, Shan, glad it was of use to you.

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