Every blogger wants traffic, but how do you drive traffic to your blog? I’ve heard over and over one good way to do that is to develop relationships with other bloggers.
How will that help?
Because you might be able to help each other. The other blogger might be willing to interview you, review your book or have you write a guest post on their blog. (And they might actually pay for the post, which is an added bonus!) Or you might do some other kinds of promotions together, like a giveaway or contest.
And if you’ve done some work to cultivate the relationship and give something of value to the blogger, you might be able to leverage that relationship even more. If they are well known and connected, they might be able to help you make contact with others who can help promote your book.
The standard advice, then, is to find some blogs and start commenting on them. This doesn’t mean to write something like “great post.” The comments need to be meaningful. “This is a helpful post because I was struggling with this specific question and you gave me the answer in this way” is better. If you can add to the discussion by building on what the blogger said, that is better yet. The more thoughtful or specific your content, the more valuable to the blogger, and the more likely it will be you’ll be remembered.
Sounds simple enough. But how do you find blogs that are worth taking the time to follow, read and comment on?
One way is to think of keywords that you use to describe your own book and search for blogs that also use those keywords. So if your book is on weight loss for women over 65, you could search on “weight loss”, “women over 65,” “dieting over 65” and so on. Just go to google.com/blogsearch and try a few.
With a topic like weight loss, you may have to scroll down a bit to get past the big companies to find independent bloggers.
I tried this approach for my first book. Frankly, I didn’t get very far. My keywords were either too specific or too general. If the blog was related to my topic, it didn’t have much traffic. The ones that had traffic were too general. Many of this second group didn’t allow comments.
If this is your experience and the keyword approach doesn’t work, there is another route. Use google search to look for blogs, but think in categories. I tried categories like “Writing and publishing,” “book marketing” and “Christian author.” This gave me much more to choose from.
Once you make a list (and make it a long one: start with 20 or 30), visit them. Read a few posts. Do you like the content? Do they get many comments? Do you like the look of the blog? If you answer yes to these questions, hop over to alexa.com. Click on the site info tab and enter the web address of the blog you are interested in. Alexa will give you the traffic statistics.
After doing this research, you’ll be able to come up with a list of 10 or 15 helpful blogs that you will follow and comment on regularly.