I’ll be the first one to admit that I didn’t have the faintest idea how to really use my blog effectively to promote my book. I knew my key mistake were: not blogging as often as I should and not having a theme or a solid idea of what direction I wanted to go with it.
Initially, I had the idea of posting my quirky personal commentary and additional fun insights into the various scenes in my book on the exact days that they appear in the diary entry structure throughout my memoir. And that’s what I did in some of the early posts, which you can see here: http://thebreak-updiet.blogspot.com/
I’ve since realized I need more than that. I need not only entries that tie-in to the content of my book, but also posts that focus on topics of interest to my readers: tips on how to get over a break-up, online dating, communication in relationships, etc. I’ve also heard that if you tie your blog to celebrity news or hot topics in the media, that will also bring you new traffic from Google searches.
But here’s the thing, I’m also a bit of a technotard when it comes to figuring out how to promote my blog and get my voice heard in such a noisy online world. So, in my search to find resources to solve some of these deficiencies of mine, I’ve started to collect useful tips about blogging. And, instead of keeping all this great info to myself, I thought I’d share a very helpful article I discovered.
TAG, YOU’RE IT!
by Penny Sansevieri
One of the biggest questions I get from authors is: “I have a blog but how do I get people to it?” Well first off, you want to keep blogging, but there are other things you can do too, and we’ll discuss two of the most powerful ones here.
If you’ve spent any kind of time online, you’ve probably heard the terms: tag or social bookmarking. But what *exactly* do these terms mean?
If you think of the term “tagging” like you would a name tag at a party or networking event it will start to make much more sense. Generally, when you post a blog, it’s recommended that you “tag” it with various terms appropriate to the message of the blog. The Wikipedia definition of “tag” is: A tag is a keyword which acts like a subject or category. This keyword is used to organize web pages, subjects, and objects on the Internet.
When you think of it this way, what you’re really doing is organizing each of your blog posts so that folks can find and search them. By tagging each of them with specific keywords, you’ll come up faster when someone searches those keywords than if you left your blog blank. Make sense? Ok, then let’s get started learning how to tag. (I promise, it’s very easy.)
When creating tags, there are two types that you can create. You can imbed your blog with tags using services like Technorati (more on that in a minute) or you can go to social networking sites and tag your blog as well. Honestly, I recommend a combination of both.
Social bookmarking is a way of “bookmarking” favorite sites (i.e. yours) so you can easily share them (via tags) with the Internet community and especially folks who are searching on your search term. I’ll explain how to get your site bookmarked but, for now, take a look at sites like www.digg.com and del.icio.us.com – these are the top two social bookmarking sites you’ll want to use. There are others but we’ll discuss these in a minute.
Ok, here we go!
Simple steps to tagging:
1) Create a blog post: just write your blog, don’t worry about doing anything different.
2) Identify some keywords you’ll want to use: just pick some keywords, as many as you want. Don’t worry about getting too scientific with this, just be thorough.
3) Create your tags: head on over to http://www.egmstrategy.com/ice/tag-generator.cfm and generate tags (this will be choice #1). Once you input the keywords make sure the default button is checked at Technorati. Then go to the bottom and click “generate code” – this code will get posted right into your blog. It’s that easy! (tip: always post this code at the end of your blog) When you’re done you’ll see code in your blog like this: http://www.redhotinternetpublicity.com/blog/?p=45
4) Social bookmarking: simply put, you want to tag each of your blog posts in one or all of the following social networking sites. The one slightly time- consuming piece is that you’ll need to set up accounts for each of these but once you do, it will take you a minute or so per post to add a social bookmarking tag to each of them. Here are some of the most popular social bookmarking sites you’ll want to use: digg.com, Del.icio.us, myweb.yahoo.com (this is still in beta but I recommend using it anyway), blinklist.com, spurl.net, reddit.com, furl.net, and stumbleupon.com
5) Nuts and bolts: each of these sites has a different set of criteria for bookmarking your blog post. If you’re blogging every day this might seem pretty tedious. If it’s too much work to tag and bookmark each of your posts, handpick a few each week and focus on those. The idea is that you want to get these keywords out in cyberspace so folks can find you.
Ready for a final tip? If you want to impress customers with your endless list of resources why not share your Del.icio.us page with your readers/customers? Del.icio.us gives each registered member their own page with all of their bookmarks. Ideally you’ll want to include other resources besides your own blog but a link to this page could be a fantastic way to gain additional exposure not just for your blog, but to your wealth of resources as well. (here’s my page: http://del.icio.us/bookmkr)
Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com
Now, all I need to do is carve out time to implement Penny’s great tips! Give it a try yourself and let me know how it goes!