Hello, SE’ers! It’s Jan again here to talk about another marketing tool. And it’s one I think most all of you are very familiar with.
First the question.
Are blog tours worth the effort?
I think the answer to that question will be as varied as the people answering, so I will throw out my answer.
With several successful blog tours under my belt, I say a resounding YES!
I’ve learned some things along the way that help make the tour more interesting for the readers, and more manageable for the author. Those tips are what I will share with you today.
- Content – We’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it, Content is King. If every stop on your book blog tour is the same, it’s boring with a capital B! So each post needs to be unique, entertaining, and engaging.
- Variety of Hosts – This one is as important as any. We all circulate in pretty much the same blog circles, so once we’ve seen a post, we’ve seen it. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy seeing new content in the same circles, but to expand the outreach (which, after all, is the goal), you need to reach outside your circle.
- Short is best – This is something I’ve preached before and it comes from my own busy world. When I see a long blog post, I skim over it at best, and often, depending on the time crunch, pass it on by completely. For the simple reason that we are all super busy, short blog posts are better received than longer ones. (no more than 600-700 words)
- Spread the posts out over a period of time – I had to learn this the hard way. With my first big tour, I did back-to-back posts seven days a week and I had a total of 32 posts. Needless to say, I was totally wrung out and exhausted by the end of that tour, so it was a hard lesson learned. My suggestion is that you do no more than three or four posts per week. Studies have shown the optimal days for blogging are Tues – Thurs. Weekends get the least amount of traffic as a lot of folks disconnect from SM on the weekends.
- Include short excerpts in your posts – I enjoy sharing short snippets from the book that’s on tour and readers seem to enjoy them. It may take just one short excerpt to make a sale.
- ALWAYS ALWAYS – include purchase links in your post. Don’t make your host or hostess have to go look it up. That being said, clean up your links. If you don’t know how to do that, ask me. Here’s a list to double-check before you send your posts out to hosts:
- Clear images in either jpeg or png format (some hosts prefer jpeg as they are smaller)
- Error-free content!!!! There is nothing that will kill a sale faster than a typo.
- Purchase link or links (it’s best to create a Universal Link)
- Social Media links
- Author Bio (I use a bio box)
- Book Trailer link (if you have one)
- Start the post with a ‘Thank You’ to your host. Make it personal!
- Use Canva or BookBrush to create some Memes to accompany your post. Again, it’s great if you can make it relevant to the subject of the post.
- DON’T wait until the last minute to send the post to your host or hostess. Make sure you send it at least 7 days in advance to allow them time to get it uploaded to their site.
And those are just the basic steps to consider when creating the posts. Be prepared for a time investment. Of course, you can copy and paste the items of the post that are the same and that helps. It also helps to prevent the possibility of leaving something out (which I’ve done).
Once the post is live you MUST engage with the people who have bothered to share the post and leave comments. I cannot stress this enough.
This may be the single most important part of a successful blog tour! So don’t be lazy. Show your appreciation. Visit, share and comment!
Some folks who are on tour choose to reblog each guest post. I did that with my first big tour. On the last one, I created a static page on my blog and listed the link to each post as it went live. That worked best for me.
There are some paid tours that I’ll talk about in my next post. But for now, this includes the nuts and bolts of creating and managing a successful tour.
Now, it’s your turn! Have you done book blog tours? What are your thoughts on them?
If you have missed any of the posts from this Marketing Series, here are the links:
#MKTG Part 1 – OVERVIEW – BOOK MARKETING OPTIONS
#MKTG Part 2 – FACEBOOK ADS AND PASSION PAGES
#MKTG Part 3 – FACEBOOK ADS DETAILS
#MKTG Part 4 – TWITTER ADS
#MKTG Part 5 – INSTAGRAM
#MKTG Part 6 – PINTEREST
#MKTG Part 7 – IN-PERSON EVENTS
#MKTG Part 8 – GOODREADS
#MKTG Part 9 – AMAZON
#MKTG Part 10 – More AMAZON ADS
#MKTG Part 11 – AMAZON A+ CONTENT
#MKTG Part 12 – LinkedIn
#MKTG Part 13 – BOOKBub Ads