Using Your Blog to Build a Platform
By L. Drew Gerber
Writing a book is hard work, and even more difficult is finding an audience for it. These days, publishers and literary agents are often finding new talent and signing book deals with bloggers — people who already have a large following and are consistently sharing their ideas and thoughts with the world. (It makes sense: If a blogger has 2,000 daily readers, then he or she probably has 2,000 people interested in reading/buying their book.) As an author, you probably have brilliant ideas and unique takes on issues every day you can share. But if you’re not delivering your messages via a blog or similar platform that allows the world access to your voice, you’re definitely missing out on a golden opportunity.
A blog is an amazing tool to have at your disposal when building a platform for your book. If you already have a loyal following and engaged readership to your blog, you’ll have a receptive audience for your book as well. They enjoy your writing. They enjoy your ideas. They enjoy your voice. They enjoy what you have to offer. So your marketing platform is partially set. With a blog, you’re giving away something for free — you’re hooking your book’s target market with value.
If you don’t have that loyal following already set, you’ll need to drive traffic to your blog. Here are a few techniques you can employ to lure readers in:
Cross Promote — Build relationships with other bloggers you like and promote their site in turn. This is great for link building and reaching out to a wider audience. Send your book to them, do guest posts for them and have them contribute to your blog. Look at the blogging world as a community. Don’t isolate yourself.
Be Consistent — A lot of newbie’s to the blogging world will start off strong, but, may give up or not be as vigilant about writing new posts if they aren’t getting the traffic they want. Don’t give up though. You never know when the tide will come in, taking you from 10 visitors to a day to 10,000. Be consistent, even if you have only a few loyal readers, providing value on a regular basis. If you deliver thought-provoking and interesting ideas regularly, you’ll build upon the audience that you already have.
Media Coverage — When you land media coverage, make sure you talk about it on your blog. It’s another way people can learn more about you and your expertise. Be sure to include links to any TV clips, radio interviews, online/print placements or book reviews so your audience knows what you’re up to. It’ll build credibility with your current readers and will turn new readers into potential buyers.
L. Drew Gerber is CEO of www.PublicityResults.com and creator of www.PitchRate.com, a free media connection service for journalists, experts, and publicists. Sign up now for free publicity advice including a free online marketing course. Gerber’s business practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and companies with Online PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed (www.PressKit247.com). Contact L. Drew Gerber at: AskDrew@PublicityResults.com or call him at 828-749-3548.