I love seeing posts about why blogs are a waste of time. Are they? They can be! If you don't have the right audience.
If I want to sell my teddy bears, I put them in a teddy bear magazine, Teddy Bear Review, or as in the case of selling them in Texas Monthly, I had a Texas bear, and in the MacNeill Galley, a MacNeill Clan Bear.
And I did all these for free!!! I didn't pay for advertising. I sold the magazines on my bears. :) That's always the preferable way to get your work out there. For free. Then you know it's a success. Because whether it sells or not, it was a free venture. Did these avenues help sell the bears? You bet!!!
In writing, I gear my topics on the shapeshifters romance blog toward some aspect of the shapeshifting world. I wrote about "Werewolf puppies or babies?" and "Sexy Shapeshifters" on http://shapeshifterromance.wordpress.com/. The first has had 576 views, the second, 487. They've both been top blogs for months. Would they be on a different site? Probably not. For my post on Destiny of the Wolf, a free giveaway, 290 hits. Even if the site only received a couple of hundred that day, it will continue to garner residual looks. Sometimes I get a lot of comments. Sometimes not. But even so, the site can still get tons more visits.
In otherwords, most people do not comment, they just read our blogs. This is a misunderstanding many have about blogging.
"But nobody's commenting! So they're not interested."
I read a lot of blogs but don't have any intention of commenting. One was about the woman who had a litter of kids. I try to stick to writing related topics when I comment. :)
Do you see notices about fellow authors blogging? Do you ever check them out? I've been in such a deadline crunch for so many projects lately that I haven't often had the time. But I try to. Here are some reasons!
You see where your fellow authors are blogging and many of these sites offer guest blogs and interviews and even sometimes reviews. When they do, you can ask if they'd interview you/ guest blog/review your work too. It's one more place for you to get to the word to a whole new audience! Notice the sidebars. Are some of the same blogs listed? No? Then it's often a whole 'nother readership group out there. And check out their links too. Sometimes you can find a whole bunch of related links to sites where you could blog also!
Also, commenting on the author's blog does a couple of things for you. It helps to encourage friendships with the author who blogged---I just commented on http://loveromancesandmore.blogspot.com/. The author follows me around and comments on my blogs too. It's a social networking ploy--and it works! I so appreciate her doing this for me, that I always try to drop what I'm doing to return the favor. I didn't ask her to, just a blanket note one day to a loop, and she commented on my blog, and we've been reciprocating ever since. Not officially, but just whenever. And your comments get noticed by others. I've had people check out my website and/blog through other blogs. And...you see the list really does go on and on--I've had people send me an email thanking me for my kind words, and I've had them comment on my blog, thanking me for commenting on theirs. Why???
Because we're back to the same old logic: lots of people read them, but not many comment. When we write these terrific blogs and don't get any comments, what does it make us feel like? Nobody's listening! :)
My kids don't listen to me. My mother doesn't. My friends don't. And here I make all this effort to blog and nobody in the whole wide world listens to me. :) But they do. That's why on some blogs I co-blog, we've got some regular followers now. They NEVER comment...just like in the workshops I give, some of my students take my classes time after time, but I never hear a peep from them as they lurk along. Sometimes I get a message at the end of the class that they absolutely loved the class but were too busy to participate. But sometimes I don't hear a word from them, and then I see them in all of the other classes I give. :) And they spread the word too. Sooo, even if we don't think anyone's listening, maybe they are. And maybe not this time, but maybe the next time. Which means we have to keep posting. :)
I recently had a request out of the blue to guest blog on: http://idonotwanttowaitiwantthebooknow.wordpress.com/
It feels pretty darned good to begin to get requests from blog sites to have an interview! Just like having Toronto RWA ask me to present a workshop for them in the fall, all expenses paid. Getting the word out there is half the battle. But once you show you're willing, then you never know when or where the next unsolicited offer might originate. I will be guest blogging on Feb 11 at I Do Not Want to Wait, I Want the Book Now. :) And the lady who runs the blog already picked up a copy of Destiny of the Wolf! I'm excited about doing the interview...now if I can figure out something new and different to say!
I commented on a review a reviewer did of one of my books, and have done so a few times...is this not kosher? But I wanted to thank the reviewer, and since then have made friends with some of them. In one case, the reviewer had picked up my book from the library. And she wasn't into werewolves, but loved mine, so I thanked her. In another case, the lady was a bookstore manager. I didn't realize it! But she wrote to me asking for book marks or anything else I had and she handsold my books, selling them out right away. Sooo, should you comment on a review? If the review moves you and you feel the urge, by all means! :) Just thank the reviewer for their review. They're people too, and oftentimes they're so pleased you like what they had to say, you'll have made a friend. I always give snippets of the reviews on my own posts, and you know, I've reviewed a lot of books too and when I found my review was being linked to a couple of the authors' sites because they loved the reviews, I received a whole bunch of website looks too. :) Who is this reviewer who had such glowing praise for the authors' books? And then?
Okay, you wanted to know about blogging for bucks, yes, reviewing others' books in a good way--which means you truly loved the book--can help your sales, too. On Amazon, I've seen where someone who has bought the authors' books have bought mine. How do I know this? It shows the covers...this customer also bought this book in addition to mine. And voila! Here are some of the book covers for the ones I've reviewed, and blogged about. :)
What I've found is that the reviewers often don't realize that we, the reviewee, might see the review! :) Google alerts help sometimes, and sometimes readers will click through the website link and I'll get notified through statcounter.com. But most of all, even if they realize we might see them, they never expect us to say anything. Anyway, if you're so inclined, it's another option.
I believe that the site needs a more teen-oriented, visually-stimulating look. If anyone has examples, please send them to me and I'll forward it to the powers to be. But also, linking to other teen sites, and them linking to ours will help to promote the site. :) Which will hopefully equate to sales.
I've got to get on with writing my next wolf saga, so hope everyone has a terrific Sunday!
And happy blogging, everyone!!!