Creating Buzz with Blogs—Book Buzz, Part 3

Kim mentioned blogs in her comment to Tuesday’s “Trusting an Author” post. Without a doubt, blogs have given the average Jarred and Josephine a voice in the public arena, one not previously found except in Letters to the Editor or a possible five-second sound bite in front of the local news crew. (So, what do you think about Katrina? about Kobe Bryant? about Brittany? about the latest American idol?)

But the amazing truth is, finding blog readers is really no different than finding readers for a book: it also requires buzz. The difference is, there are people out there who know what it takes to build up a blog’s profile, if you’re willing to work at it. These things include ways to position your blog on search engines and exchanging links with others.

It also means joining in with others who have similar interests and forming a community or communities of people who might be interested in what you have to say. This can be done in a somewhat informal way through blog rings or in a more defined way through sites like MySpace or ShoutLife or Linkdin.

There are also numerous discussion boards, some started by authors, such as Stephen Lawhead or Ted Dekker; some started by editors such as Faith in Fiction; some connected to membership groups, such as ACFW; and some connected to webzines, such as Mindflights. The point is, there are many, many places on the web to put your name out, and with it, your blog address.

The thing to be aware of, however, is that blogging, and trying to create a buzz for your blog, can serve as turn-offs rather than positive invitations for people to listen to what you have to say. In fact, Nicole just posted on this subject on her blog, Into the Fire, in an article entitled “Saturation Point.”

There is a large range when it comes to the types of blogs. Some can come across like mass-market mailing. These are sites that exist to sell things, and ninety percent of the posts are contest offers designed to introduce the reader to a product. Those can sometimes have a healthy number of visitors—people looking for a bargain.

Other sites, however, are designed for personal use—a real journal of thoughts or events in which others are invited to read along.

Still others are somewhere in between, having professional goals but with a personal spin.

Any of these can work, but the key is, if you’re doing a mass-market mailing, don’t lead your readers to believe they are receiving a personal note. Blogs that promise one thing and deliver another are disappointing and can turn readers off.

We’ll continue buzzing about buzz, and if you have questions or suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

4 Comments

  1. (Thanks for the plug, Becky.)

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  2. Becky,
    As always, I learn so much when I come here. I need to find out more about “getting my name out” because I want my blog to be a useful tool for finding good books and introducing the authors behind them. When I read here and on many of the other review blogs, I still feel so ignorant!

    I’ve got a lot to learn, but with folks like you sharing what you know in such a great way, maybe some of it will rub off!! 🙂 I’m going to work even harder now to make my site a place where folks feel welcome and want to come read about great books!

    Thanks Becky!

    Kim

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  3. Well, Kim, you are the ideal blog visitor. I’m serious. I appreciate the validation—not just the kind words but the action response. Wow! Thank you!

    And of course, you made me want to visit your site to see what all you do with it! That’s the way to get your name out there. 😀

    Becky

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  4. Hey, Nicole, I thought your article was timely!

    Becky

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