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15 Tips for Blog Touring

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on April 1, 2012

I haven’t posted on this topic for a while so it’s time for a revisit. I’ve just finished my blog tour for Shear Murder so these points are fresh in my mind. Here’s hoping they’re useful to you.

Write down possible blog topics as you write your WIP. This way, you’ll have a ready list of subjects available when you need them (i.e. research aspects, the writing process, what inspired you to write this story, world building details, themes, settings, etc.).

Compile a list of bloggers whom you would like to approach. Aim for popular blogs that get a lot of traffic but also include friendly authors who host guests and who may expose your work to a different audience.

Write a polite email mentioning your upcoming release and asking if the host would be amenable to you doing a guest post on his blog.

Schedule three to five guest spots a week around the release date and for the next few weeks. Space them out so you don’t clog the loops with your announcements. As courtesy to your host, don’t schedule more than one per day.

Read the host’s blog and determine a topic appropriate to the audience. Note if the blog is slanted toward readers or writers and also note the length of the articles. Some hosts will offer guidelines. You may also ask your host if there’s a particular topic he’d like you to address.

Vary the formats by doing some Q&A interviews, a chat with your character, “A day in the life” of your sleuth, or talk about a relevant hobby. Just be mindful to slant your post to the host blog’s readership.

Choose your blog title carefully so that the subject matter is clear and enticing to the reader.

Type up your schedule including, for each post, the date and day of the week, blog title and URL, host’s name and contact info, and your chosen topic. Save the file and print a copy.

Bring up this same schedule on your computer, remove each host’s contact info and name, and save it as a separate file. This will be your public schedule that you can post around the Web on your various sites.

Block off two weeks before your release date and write all the blogs. Or do them one day at a time, as long as they are finished well ahead of your tour start date. Include a book blurb, a buy link, and your social networking sites at the end of each post.

Consider offering a giveaway for commenters at selected blogs or as a grand prize at the end of the tour. Include this announcement in each post and also tell the hosts.

Send your article to the host along with an author photo, book cover photo, and a short biography. After you send each blog post to the host, mark that one as Sent on your schedule.

Publicize the blog tour on your social networks, website, personal blog, and elsewhere.

When the day comes, be available all day to answer comments. It’s helpful if you pop in to the guest site every few hours. Be sure to promote the event on all your social networks, including Facebook groups and listserves. Tweet about it several times a day with slightly different wording. Thank your host at the end of the day.

To evaluate your tour, write down the number of comments you received at each site. Consider which topics and sites brought the most responses and use this info when you plan your next blog hop. Good luck and have fun!

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What advice would you add?

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10 Responses to “15 Tips for Blog Touring”

  1. jennymilch said

    Great advice, Nancy! I don’t know that I would add a thing except to frequent a site called Book Blogs if you are unsure where you might like to go on your blog tour. There are some of the friendliest and most interesting bloggers around there, some just getting started and thus eager for material, others long established.

  2. Liz said

    Comments don’t necessarily equal read.

    Response to comments is polite and, in my estimation, essential. As I visit more blogs, I am beginning to drop those lacking in basic courtesy.

    Thank you for the opportunity for a reader to comment.

  3. Jenny, I’ve joined Book Blogs but I am not sure what to do there. I haven’t had the time to sit down and explore the site. I am not lacking for sites to guest post on during a tour, however. My problem is having the time to write all the blogs etc.

    Liz, thank you for visiting and offering a comment. Feedback is appeciated.

  4. utecarbone said

    Great Blog, Nancy! I’m going to bookmark this for my own planning. I don’t love blogging and often find I’m at a loss as to what to blog about, so I particularly like the idea of blogging about things relevant to the book. Thanks!

  5. msspencer said

    I’m savings this–thanks a LOT, Nancy. I would suggest one little thing: on the calendar (which I keep as you do) type in first your deadline date (whether required or your own) of at least 2 days before the blog will be posted–I find that helps ensure I’m done in advance & not scrabbling around the day it’s to be posted. I also copy & paste all the information–who to send to, email address of site owner, requests (cover etc.) so it’s all on my calendar. When posted, I copy & paste the direct link there too so I can go back easily.
    Another site is WMG Blog Exchange, a yahoo group. It’s not very active, but could be. M. S. Spencer

  6. Adding a deadline is a good idea, otherwise one might forget to send in the post ahead of time. As for another blog exchange site, thanks for the reference.

  7. PD Singer said

    Something to consider is that people may comment a day or two later, particularly if they find out about your post on some loop that they get via digest. So come back once or twice in the following days to reply.

  8. You are right, PD. I tend to forget that while I get an email whenever someone posts a comment on this site, I need to drop back in to my guest blogs.

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