Making Your Blog Visible: Marketing involves actively pursuing your audience. The key idea here is being active. A little extra effort can go a long ways towards gaining readership.
Post frequently – especially if you want to increase your readership. Once you’ve established the readership you want, then slowing down your publishing rate isn’t a terrible thing. But posting frequently keeps you visible to search engines and your followers/subscribers’ blog reader. At the very least you won’t lose readers because you don’t post often enough to maintain their interest.
- Fellow book bloggers are a valuable resource. They can give you ideas and answer questions you may have about blogging. In order for them to get to know you, leave a thoughtful comment on their blog. Engaging in conversation increases your visibility. Finding book blogs with similar tastes as your own and leaving comments there increases the chances that their readers will become your readers. We all like comments so, give some to get some.
- No matter where you comment on the Web, leave your blog’s URL attached if the commenting system asks for it. Leaving an unsolicited URL in a comment is a bit tacky. And I freely admit I’ve done so. But now I know better. It especially looks disingenuous when you do it on several blogs. Bloggers and readers will notice copy-and-paste tendencies! We are a community and read many of the same posts and comments. So, be good to each other by giving the kind of attention you want to receive.
- Participate in Memes and Challenges: A great way to advertise your blog is by participating in the Book Blogger Hop on Fridays hosted by Crazy-for-Books. Again, you give in order to get. With the Hop, the more blogs you visit and comment on the more visits you are likely to get than if you remained silent or didn’t visit any of the participants.
- Social Networking Sites – like Facebook and Twitter can help you get going and maintain readership. By clicking the “share” button at the top of Blogger you can make an announcement to, for example, Facebook friends, telling them you have written something. I highly encourage you to open such an account if you don’t have one and start following, fanning and tweeting away. Blogging is a part of who you are now and you should share it with people you care about and vice versa. Other sites to consider: Goodreads, Shelfari, Library Thing, My Space, Book Blogs.
- Utilize Key Words to attract search engine results – Understanding a little about key words can help increase your visibility. For instance, I find it’s not always effective to simply use a book title and author name in the post title. Use the book title and author name within the body of your post. For whatever reason, Google picks up on this and makes it easier for people to find your post through search engines. Check your Google Analytics to see which key words searchers are using that are the most effective (i.e. they remain on your site for more than 2 seconds). Try to determine why a keyword is/is not effective and use that knowledge to your advantage. See, I told you Google Analytics is useful!
- Ping the Old Fashioned Way – if you can’t find yourself through search engines. Try manually adding your blog URL to Google’s index and sites like BlogBuzzer. A ping is sort of like leaving a message for search engines that says “I’m here!” Participating search engines will then add you to their inventory of searchable blogs. You may need to do this for each post (or at least the ones important to you).
- Giveaways and Contests– Even if you’re not a fan of the “must be a follower to enter” idea about giveaways, let’s face it, it works. Also, giving extra entries for those who post on social networking sites or their blogs about your giveaway can also generate traffic. Not every giveaway needs be run this way, for sure, but it does help your stats if you feel your blog is being neglected. Understand that many readers will not enter because of the contingencies. And just because a person follows you for a prize doesn’t mean they intend to read your posts. But many will participate if the giveaway is generous or interesting to them. Even without contingencies, you can still snag readers with a good freebie. Post giveaways on websites like Book Blogs in addition to your blog.