Many people don’t know this, but prior to writing my first novel, I was a blogger. Every day, I’d sit down with my morning coffee and write posts that needed to go out, read my friends’ blogs, try to learn more about how to truly succeed as a blogger. And then, I stopped. My days became so consumed with writing that I no longer had the time to focus on something I truly loved.
Now, I spend most of the time I’m on the computer and not working on my next project (okay, and if I’m being honest, more time than I should when I am working on my next project) on social media. One of the most common complaints I hear from book bloggers is that they aren’t getting page views. It’s easy to blame Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms for the stagnant stats, but I think there’s another huge culprit.
When you look at your blog, what is on the page to entice a reader to click on your page rather than another blogger’s link?
If your page is filled with the same cover reveals as fifty or sixty other blogs, you’re relying on someone seeing your post first, because there’s no reason for a reader to click on sixty links leading to the exact same information.
If you take part in a promotional tour, what goes along with that promo post to tease the reader so they have to click? A lot of bloggers will probably say it’s their review. Unfortunately, those aren’t likely to get you page views if someone isn’t actively seeking opinions on that book or if they’ve already read a few reviews. Most readers won’t click on forty reviews before deciding whether or not to buy a book. Personally, I think the most I’ve sought out is three when the first two bloggers didn’t have the same experience. Beyond that, I’ll go to the site where I’m going to buy, skim some of the reviews there, and then decide whether or not to click.
How can you make your blog more appealing to readers?
In order to grab a reader’s attention, you need to offer them something they can’t get everywhere else. One blog does a weekly roundup of new releases. As a reader, that’s awesome because I don’t have time to know every book that’s been released. Another blog loves posting their dream casts for the books they read. I go there after reading a book to see how their vision compares to my own.
Think outside the box! Did you read a book about a sexy bartender? Find a great cocktail to try out and post it on your blog, and tell readers you were inspired by that book. When you do things like this, make sure you take a picture and watermark it with your blog name so people can share it, pin it, tweet it, or whatever else. Having your blog name on there puts your blog name into the minds of others who come across the recipe on social media.
When you sign up for a tour, look at what the author is offering. If you can only choose one option and you really want to review the book, email the author to ask if you could review and something else. You’re not helping grow your blog when you post the same information as everyone else.
For example, with my upcoming tour, only about 8% of bloggers asked for exclusive content. When I asked, in general, why bloggers don’t ask for other content, many said it comes down to time. I understand that. I’ll admit that when I put a variety of content offerings on the sign up form, I get a bit anxious that a ton of people will want something and I’ll be pulling an all-nighter to get that to them. That’s why I have options that put the burden on me, the author, because I don’t want anyone to feel they have to spend hours putting together an interview for my characters or me. Many authors offer playlists, their own dream casting, bonus scenes, etc to go along with their tours. Take advantage of that!
When you read a book on your own and you’re going to review it, drop the author a line and ask them for something specific. I will fully admit that if you email me and say, “Do you have something extra I could post with this?” my mind will draw a blank. On the other hand, if you email me and say, “Hey, I loved this book and I was wondering if you could write a short guest post about how you came up with the idea?” I will find a way to write that post while I’m watching TV at night.
There are new blogs popping up every single day. It’s not going to get any easier to connect with readers, but it can be done.