October 4, 2012

How You Can Organize and Run Your Own Blog Tour – Part 1

Posted in Blog Tours tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:31 pm by Christine Rice

As most of you know, I recently finished up a month-long blog tour for my book, Freelance Writing Guide. I feel the blog tour was a success, because all of the bloggers posted on the correct days, there was effective communication between me and the bloggers, I made some valuable connections for the future, and it generally went smoothly and was easy to keep up with. Below I will share with you my tips on organizing and running your own blog tour.

For a month-long blog tour, you will need to start organizing it one month in advance.

I started announcing my blog tour around July 23rd (my blog tour started August 29th). I posted my announcement and my request for bloggers to participate on Facebook, Twitter, Writer’s Digest Community, LinkedIn, and here on my blog. Doing those posts was a good means of self-promotion, but it did not draw the interest of many bloggers who would participate in my blog tour. So I checked all of the blogs I had followed on WordPress by looking at my “reader” on the main WordPress page. I also checked the Blogger blogs I followed through Google Friend Connect (GFC) by going to a Google blog that I knew I followed and clicking on my profile picture in the list of followers; that brought up my GFC profile, which had a list of all the blogs I followed.

I checked out each of the blogs that seemed to be for writers or readers, to see if the blog owner was a book reviewer or an author interviewer. These types of bloggers usually have a page on their blogs that explains what types of books they review and/or their book review policy, what types of authors they host on their blog, and their contact information. If they reviewed nonfiction books or hosted nonfiction authors, I contacted them by sending them a message from their blog’s contact form (located on a page of their blog), or by emailing them if the email address was provided. I rarely came across bloggers that provided no means of contact. But if that was the case, I posted a comment on their “about me” page or on their most recent blog post.

I had not followed enough blogs in the past to acquire enough bloggers to host me, so I had to look at additional methods. In a comment to my blog post on here, Patty Apostolides kindly suggested I check out Book Blogs. I had never heard of the term “book blog” before, but I quickly learned what it meant. A book blog is a blog where the blog owner posts book reviews on their blog, and sometimes author interviews and giveaways. Book Blogs was where I found most of the bloggers for my blog tour. I will tell you how. After joining Book Blogs, the first thing I did was scroll through every one of their interest groups (currently there are 490) to find the ones that related to my purpose of acquiring bloggers who’d be interested in hosting me. Every time I saw a possible group to join, I wrote the name of the group down on a notepad. After I had gone through all of the groups, I separately typed the name of each of the groups I had on my notepad into the search bar on the group listing page to bring the group up. I reviewed each group a second time and joined the ones that were most compatible with my needs (to save time from joining groups that would not be very effective for my purpose). Some of the groups I joined were: Authors Needing Reviews and Interviews, Self-Published Book Reviews, Network Your Blog, Advertise Your Work, and Promote Your Books!. Network Your Blog was the most helpful, because it had the most members.

For the groups I joined, I looked through the forum posts, and used the search bar for the forums that had an overabundance of posts where it would take too long to look through them all. I commented on bloggers’ posts, who were looking to review books and host author interviews on their blogs, telling them about my book and asking if they would like to host me. I also provided my email address – since I did not follow all of the forum posts I commented on, because I ended up with a large amount of emails in my inbox from other people’s comments – because I would not get notifications for their posts. I clicked “stop following,” a link that is just below the main post on each forum post, if I did not want to get notified of followup comments.

Next, and this was the most proficient way to get in touch with bloggers, I went through every comment on the Network Your Blog forum post entitled “Bloggers Seeking Authors, Guest Posts, Giveaways, Or?”. That post was 27 pages long when I got to it, but it was more efficient to look through that one post with hundreds of bloggers on it, than to search for bloggers on individual posts. So I started from the last page that had the most recent dates and worked my way to page one, by reading each comment and looking into the bloggers’ blogs to see if they were compatible with me and my book (indie author of nonfiction book). Then I contacted them – not by replying to their comment on the forum post, because they probably unfollowed the post like I did, but by finding their email address on their blog (sometimes it was in their forum post comment) or (second best) by using their blog’s contact form.

In part 2, I will talk about what to write in emails to bloggers, how to maintain an effective “contacts” list in your email program, how to maintain an effective exchange with bloggers, what to do when bloggers don’t respond to your emails, and how to schedule the bloggers’ posting dates for the blog tour.

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11 Comments »

  1. Whew, that is a heck of a lot of work and pure dedication to your craft, but it paid off for you. I’m looking forward to part two.

    • Yes, organizing the blog tour was very time-consuming, but so worth it. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had. I did it as efficiently as I could, while still being effective. I’m hoping this post (and the subsequent parts) will help save people time and effort because they will have the instructions before they tackle it. Are you thinking about having a blog tour?

  2. Wow, what a bunch of useful tipps, thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Christine! I’m still pondering over whether or not I’d like to do a blog tour (and if so, for which one of my books), but I’ll definitely keep your advice in mind :)

    • You’re welcome, Saoirse. I’m happy to share my experiences to help others. How about doing a blog tour for all of your books or the book you are most proud of? I hope you will read part 2 of this blog post series, because there is more helpful information to come.

      • Right now, I’m planning my Birthday Blast with a giveaway and–hopefully–lots of blog posts and interviews going live on my birthday (Oct 30). After that, we’ll see.

      • I wish you much success with your Birthday Blast.

      • Thanks! :)

  3. I’m not planning a blog tour where I have to post a blog each day, but more along the lines of getting my books and info in front of people. I did search out my own blogs to blog on with my previous books in the past, but it was before the word “blog tour” came about I think. I read part 2. Very thorough advice.

    • A blog tour is a great way to celebrate the release of a new book, while getting the word out about the book shortly after its release. I think the blog tour was initially designed to increase sales on Amazon, because the more people that buy your book on Amazon in a given day, the higher your Amazon ranking, which can lead to more sales. Therefore, condensing the promotion so that the book is promoted every day is the strategy of the blog tour. With that said, a blog tour can occur at any time – the book doesn’t have to be a new release – and a blog post doesn’t have to be posted every day, which is actually quite hard to obtain anyway. But a blog tour is known as being a small promotional window (1-4 weeks) where there are at least several blog posts each week. If you want to get your books and information in front of people, you don’t need to have a blog tour, per se; you could just use a blog tour strategy: ask bloggers to review your book and post the reviews on their blogs (or wherever they see fit even) or ask bloggers to host you on their blogs for interviews, guest posts, or giveaways. This can be done at any time and it’s called marketing. This is one website where I submitted my books recently for free to advertise: Coalition of Independent Authors. Best of luck with getting the word out about your book. I hope you will come back for part 3 of this blog tour series.

  4. ansuyo said,

    Thanks for the information. I am totally ignorant about this stuff. Hopefully I’ll need it some day soon. :)


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