Historically, novelists have endured a mind-numbing failure rate. Social media has, for the first time in writer history, given us a break in the clouds. We now have a way of building a platform and increasing word of mouth by forging relationships, etc, etc. Yeah, you guys hear me preach this every week and I am happy you are still here, because this can get very overwhelming.
I happen to be a HUGE proponent of writers having a blog. But today we aren’t going to talk about writing blogs. I am going to give you guys the next best thing. Be a Blogger Booster. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable blogging just yet or feel you don’t have the time. Okay. Fair enough. But I am going to give you an activity today that will increase your social media influence exponentially.
Three Ways to be a Blogger Booster
1-Comment on Blogs
Really. That’s all. Ideally, comment on blogs with large followings. Many people go to the more popular blogs for more than the posted content. Hey, check out my comments section. Sometimes I think my posts are just an excuse for all of you to have a party, and often you guys are WAY more interesting.
It’s like really wonderful, perfect cake. Yeah, we are there for the moist chocolate goodness, but the icing is just as important…if not the best part.
If you run across blogs that have a healthy comments section, that is a clue that this is an established and even growing community. Commenters befriend each other and hang out. I know because I have met many friends this way. They were regular at commenting on my blog (or other fave blogs where I was the commenter) and I went to their blog and on and on.
In fact, it is very common to see the same people congregating on each other’s blogs. It is a huge…are you ready for this? NETWORK.
Even if you don’t have time to blog, at least take time to read blogs and leave thoughtful comments. People will see you are vested and have something worthwhile to say. They will get to know you and hopefully like and support you, especially if you have a presence on Twitter.
I see it happen all the time. This blog has been responsible for more friendships than I can count and that is AWESOME. It is just proof that the best bloggers are just great community-builders.
Ouch! I got a cramp patting myself on the back! 😀
2-Literally, Comment ON the Blogs
No, I am not repeating myself. I have a lot of people who tell me they loved a post, but they tell me on Twitter or Facebook. Hey, I am all for getting compliments. It mitigates the feelings of gross inferiority I feel every day when I realize I have chosen to be a professional writer who must always be entertaining, like forever…
I love the comments; all bloggers do. The problem is that when you comment on Facebook or Twitter? It is fleeting. My Twitter feed will scroll out in a couple of hours. Facebook? You could comment, but it is good for maybe a day.
Comment ON the physical blog and your comment is there indefinitely. I regularly repost links on Twitter to older posts. Like, say a writer is really having a hard time with POV, I will send out the link. Everyone who reads that post also sees the COMMENTS.
I have blogs I posted six months ago that get more hits than the new blog posted that week. That means new people are SEEING those comments *wink, wink, nod, nod*
So if you want to comment, and you want that comment to have some social media impact for YOU, make sure that comment is in the comments section of the actual blog. If you really want bloggers to love you, then feel free to put the comment in both places. Just copy and paste.
3—Do a Mash-Up
Make a list of all these blogs you visit every week and that is your blog. If we do nothing else, we can do a mash-up. What is a mash-up? A mash-up is just a list of blogs you’ve read in the past week (and ideally, commented on) that you feel are worthy of making that special list. If you get good at collecting quality blogs, people will subscribe to your feed just because you give them great links.
Oh, and us bloggers? We will LOVE you.
So what does being a Blogger Booster Do?
It Creates Community
Bloggers will know you, recognize you and, if you support us enough, we will LIKE you…a lot.
When I was at RT, one of the PR experts recommended that an author with a book about to be released needed to sit down and e-mail as many bloggers as possible and see if they would do a review.
In fact, I raised my hand on that one. There are few things that will annoy bloggers more than unsolicited spam asking for us to put out effort for someone we don’t know from a hole in the ground.
Yeah, sure. I will read your indie published 110,000 word high fantasy in my infinite free time, and write a favorable review, even though I have never talked to you or so much as seen a “Great blog” from you in my comments section. Yeah…I am right on that, right after I organize my sock drawer and paint my toenails with glittery unicorns.
Bloggers are always looking for stuff to talk about. Many will even do reviews. I do them on rare occasions, but not for random people who e-mail me a form letter.
One of the best ways to get on a blogger’s good side is to regularly comment on her blog and even repost on Twitter and Facebook. We totally dig being included in a mash-up.
If you do all these things then, LATER, when you are staring down the barrel of needing good reviews? It will feel a heck of a lot less weird asking for a favor. A blogger, particularly a book blogger, will be far more inclined to help you out if you have been giving in the relationship for a while.
My new book actually has a blurb from Nationally Best-Selling Author James Scott Bell, BUT I had mentioned how awesome he was in a number of blogs and had promoted Jim’s books many, many times…and then told him on Twitter. When it came time to ask for a blurb, I can attest that it was terrifying…but it was easier because I had actively been giving for a long time before I did any asking.
Commenting on blogs can do the same. It can build rapport with key influencers with large followings, and it only takes a few minutes a day. Maybe you don’t have time to blog, but you can make time to comment and even do a mash-up. Just those two activities can plug you into communities that number in the tens of thousands.
What are some other ways you guys can think of to be a blogger booster? Do some of you blog and have a cool reader story you would love to share? What are some of your favorite types of blogs? Why do you like them? What makes you guys subscribe to a blog?
Some important announcements below the contest information.
I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of April, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of April I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!
Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.
May 9-13, 2011, I will be teaching an on-line Building Your Author Brand with Social Media Class for only $15 to support the wonderful Long Island Romance Writers.
I will also be teaching TWO social media classes at the Books ‘n Authors and All that Jazz Conference this Saturday at Weatherford College in Weatherford, TX. The conference is FREE.
My new book, “Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer” will be out in less than a month!
No Mash-Up of Awesomeness today. Been sick with a cold, so wasn’t on-line to gather blogs.
Until next time….
In the meantime, if you don’t already own a copy, my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writers Guide to Social Media is recommended by literary agents and endorsed by NY Times best-selling authors. My method is free, fast, simple and leaves time to write more books.