Saturday, September 17, 2016

Be nice to your bloggers Guest post by Janet Nissenson

Be Nice To Your Bloggers – and They Just Might be Nice To You Back!

For indie authors, it’s often tough to get “noticed” by book blogs, and to have them help you out with promo posts and shares.  There are an awful lot of authors out there these days, and almost every blogger I know is inundated with requests for reviews, shares, promos, spotlights, etc.  These are just a few tips I’ve picked up along the way in this self-publishing journey that just might be helpful in getting your request acted upon.
  1. First and foremost, be sure that you have “liked” the blog’s Facebook page!  If you aren’t a fan, then you shouldn’t be asking for favors if you haven’t at the very least given them a like.
  2. Try as much as possible to interact with the blog.  This is not as easy as it seems, especially if you’re like me and like/follow several hundred pages.  Add in the fact that Facebook loves to play games with us and only show us a tiny portion of our page likes in our feed, and it makes it very difficult.  But when you can, make sure to like posts, post teasers or comments, etc.  If there are specific blogs that you really want a favor from, go directly to their page every so often and see what’s happening.
  3. Before contacting the blog to ask about any sort of promo post, be sure to check out the About section on their FB page (or their website) to see what sort of instructions they have about these types of requests.  Some blogs ask for a FB message, others prefer an email, others have a specific form to fill out.  Pay attention to what they are asking, and then follow the instructions.  Don’t PM them if they want an email, for example.
  4. Contact the bloggers by name(s) whenever possible.  Names of the blog admins are usually listed at either the FB page or on their website.  Whether you PM or email them, be sure to address them by name, and not just a generic “Dear Blogger” or similar greeting. There are a few blogs who admittedly don’t list their names for whatever reason.  In those cases I always start out my message by apologizing for not greeting them personally and explain that I wasn’t able to find their name.
  5. Don’t, don’t, don’t send bulk emails out to twenty or fifty blogs at the same time!  I know it’s time consuming, but send each and every blog a separate message.  Bloggers like a personal touch, and don’t want to think that they’re just another name on your list of hundreds.  If you’re having a PA do this work for you, consider handling at least some of it by yourself.  Developing personal relationships with bloggers is extremely important to getting posts made, and having a third party make this contact for you probably isn’t going to foster that relationship.
  6. In your message or email, be as pleasant and humble as possible.  I would never, ever dare, for example, to request a specific date or time or priority for a promo post, and always stress that the post can be made at the blogger’s convenience.  Using the words please, thank you, grateful, appreciative, etc. can go a long way to getting your request filled.  Keep your message brief and to the point, provide links, teasers, and a short blurb, something that the blogger can easily copy and paste.
  7. Offer to give back.  In return for their promo post, I always offer to return the favor by offering them a giveaway for their page, or offering to make a donation to a future giveaway or sign up for a takeover.  Even if they don’t take you up on the offer, it’s a nice gesture to make.  And if you do a giveaway, make sure to get the prize to the winner as soon as possible, ideally within twenty four hours.
  8. THANK them!  If they make a post for you, be sure to like the post and thank them for making it.  I rarely see this happening, and I fear many authors are just taking this for granted.  
  9. Remember that the vast majority of bloggers are doing this out of a pure love for reading and helping people.  None of them are getting paid for this, unless they offer paid advertising on their website or offer other author services.  With a very few exceptions, bloggers have full time jobs, families, interests, etc. of their own, and they are fitting the blogging in during their precious free time.  

Thank you to Breny for inviting me to write this guest post!  She has been an amazing help to me with book promotions, and I’m very happy to return all of her favors in this one small way.

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