Connect with Others to Promote Your Book

March is National Small Press Month, which celebrates small publishers and showcases the unique voices of the authors who choose them. This makes March the perfect time to promote your self-published book! To help you take advantage of this, I am offering promotion advice and ideas on the blog every Monday this month. Be sure to check out the previous posts: Why March is the Best Time to Promote Your Self-Published Book, 10 Ways to Promote Your Self-Published Book in March, and Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Self-Publishing.

This week I’ll share an easy way to connect with others and promote yourself and your work — blog comments.

1. Find blogs.

Find blogs by fellow small press author, other people in the publishing industry, and people interested in the topic of your book.

2. Read the blog.

Read several posts to get a feel for the author and his or her readers. Never comment on a post without reading the entire post! You can’t contribute to the conversation if you don’t fully understand what the conversation is about.

3. Position yourself as an expert.

This gives people a reason to take interest in your comment. Just be careful not to act like a know-it-all. No one likes that person.

4. Be professional at all times.

Disagreeing is okay, but always be respectful about it. It’s okay for other people to have a different opinion.

5. Add value.

Make sure your comment adds value to the conversation. Simply commenting things like “Thank you” or “Nice post” don’t add value.

6. Be brief.

Now is not the time to write a novel. Keep your comments short and to the point.

7. Include a link.

This is key! Always include a link to your website or blog. If you don’t, you are wasting your time. The link is how you will promote yourself and your work and allows people who were interested in your comment to contact you.

8. Fill in all fields appropriately.

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.

9. Share the love.

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.

10. Never SPAM!

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.

Check back next week for more promotion ideas.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

10 Tips for Implementing Blog Commenting As a Part of Your Book Promotion Strategy

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Be brief. Now is not the time to be long-winded. Keep your comments brief and to the point.
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?