Looking for a fresh spin on your book promotion strategy?
Many book marketing experts generally discuss “big ticket” marketing activities like starting your own blog, social networking, article marketing, book tours, etc. Those are all great ways to market your self-published book. Once you’ve gone through that list and are looking for fresh ideas, you may consider blog commenting. Commenting on others’ blogs can yield many positive results. For example, you can get backlinks to your site (which can improve your search engine ranking) and connect with even more readers who may be interested in your book.
A blog comment is (in the simplest terms) a reply you post to someone else’s blog post. For example, you can leave a comment on this post by entering your feedback into the box under the “Leave a Reply” heading. Of course, there is an art to being successful at implementing this strategy. However, it’s not very difficult to learn how to effectively comment on others’ blogs.
Before starting on your blog commenting journey, it is important to make sure you have correctly set up your online platform. You should have your own website or blog (with your own domain name). Ideally, you should have also set up social networking accounts and have them “open for business”. Once you have this all set up, you’re ready to find blogs and start leaving your feedback for the owner and other readers.
Here are some tips to use as you get started:
- Make sure you find a relevant blog to comment on. For example, if you’ve written a book about changing tires on a car, you want to find a blog post that discusses something about tires and/or changing them. You can use Google Blog Search to quickly and easily locate a blog in your niche.
- Read the post in its entirety before you comment. This is also about relevancy. If you haven’t read the blog, you aren’t prepared to contribute to the discussion.
- Position yourself as an expert but don’t come off as a wise guy (or girl). You want to give people reason to take an interest in your comment. However, you don’t want to appear as if you know everything — even if you do.
- Maintain a professional appearance at all times. This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but you should be respectful if you have to disagree and respect other readers and their right to express their opinions.
- Make sure that your comment is adding value to the discussion. While you may find value in the blog post, comments such as “Thank you” are better left unsaid — unless you can add more to it and thus add more value to the conversation.
- Be brief. Now is not the time to be long-winded. Keep your comments brief and to the point.
- Make sure to link back to your website/blog when you comment. If you forget this, you will have wasted your time. Sure, you have added information to the blogosphere, but what have you truly gained if people who read your feedback and found it useful have no way to contact you?
- Make sure to fill out the fields appropriately (refer to #7 above). Each blog will most likely have an area where you can enter your name, email (most likely not published), URL, text of your comment, etc. Don’t change up the order on this. For instance, you shouldn’t add your website address to the comment box; it should only be placed in the URL field.
- Mention someone else’s book/blog/website where appropriate. All of your comments should not be “pushing” your book. Vary your comments. Others will have more respect for you and know that when you mention your book or website, you are making an appropriate reference.
- Don’t SPAM any blog. Ever. Write your own comments, keep them relevant, and stay away from any questionable “blog commenting” services. A good rule of thumb is — if you would be ashamed to call the blog owner and let them know what you’ve done, you shouldn’t do it.
DISCUSSION: Have you used blog commenting as part of your book promotion strategy in the past? What tips and tricks can you add to this list?