Are you a blog tour lover? Are you a professional blogger? Are you a writer promoting your work with a very active blogging life?
Then this is for you!
I definitely am!
Here are a few tips and some advice on how to prepare and run a successful blog tour, especially dedicated to all my writer friends out there 🙂
Long or Short:
Which is Better?
Well, you’re not alone. Myself and several of my author friends have talked at length about this and truthfully, there are pros and cons to both methods.
The main pro for a long tour is that you get lots of Google fodder out there for readers to find in the search engines. If you do your blog tour correctly, and have original content at each stop, then Google will not penalize you by taking a piece of duplicate content out of the search engines. Believe me you don’t want that! I’ve had it happen. While the main pro for doing a long tour it’s not the only pro, another pro for doing a longer blog tour is that you potentially reach a larger audience, especially if your tour includes popular book blogs. While both of these pros can certainly lead to more book sales, a longer tour has a few cons as well that you as an author will have to weigh carefully before deciding which type of tour you’ll do.
One of the cons is that a long blog tour can be exhausting, especially if you work a day job too. And have a family. Another reason it can be exhausting is that many tour companies try to cram too many blog stops into a couple of weeks, or a month expecting authors to have original content on hand and on time which can be difficult if you’re an author juggling a million things. Even if all you do is write, it can be hard.
Another con of a long blog tour is a lot of blogs require authors to give something away in addition to providing original content. While this can help you as an author, it can also become expensive if you decide to give away say a piece of jewelry or some other boon instead of a book. The problem with giving away e-books is that while easy to do, if you give away too many of them you devalue your book because chances are whether you request winners not to do so or not, many people figure if they win an e-book it means they can give away copies of it. This means if you the author give too many of them, and then your winners give away copies as well, then those people give away a copy and you get the picture I’m sure. Too many free copies can result in e-book piracy pretty quickly. As an author you’ll need to find a way to keep blog owners happy with regards to giveaways without giving away too many copies of e-books, but still not break the bank for prizes. It’s a fine line and all of us as authors walk it.
Short blog tours have the disadvantage of not giving you as much Google fodder for the search engines. Another problem may be that the larger blog tour companies may not want to book shorter tours because they don’t make as much money on them. I’ve actually had blog tour companies try to talk me into longer and more grueling tours just so they could make more money. It wasn’t about what was best or convenient for me as an author, but whether or not I was padding someone’s pocket. This can be a real disadvantage for the author who would rather have a shorter blog tour full of quality stops and great original content that the author has taken the time to write well.
The advantages of a shorter blog tour are obvious I think to most authors.
First you don’t spend as much of your advertising money which is important since what you do spend has to be effectively budgeted. Another advantage is that you can take the time to write quality content and pick prizes that readers will appreciate and enjoy. Also you won’t break the bank when choosing prizes because you’ll be doing a shorter tour and won’t need as many of them.
When it comes to blog tours, my feeling is more is not better. If you overload readers with a whirlwind tour of twenty or more stops in a month or less, they are in my opinion less likely to go to all your stops. One because they don’t have the time. And two because after a while even with original content they may lose interest.
In my opinion, a shorter tour is better. You may not reach as many readers, but the ones you do will be far more appreciative of quality content and quality prizes on five or ten blog stop than those overloaded by twenty or more stops. Either way, here is how you’d want them to react ongoing through all the stops!
How to Prepare for a Blog Tour
Blog tours are an essential part of an author’s marketing arsenal, but many authors make them far more difficult than they have to be. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Authors can relatively easily get through a blog tour with a little preparation ahead of time. Here are some tips for preparing for your blog tour.
1. Decide ahead of time how many stops you want to make and how much you want to pay.
2. Choose a series of topics that relate well to your book. For example, if you have a character that is an interior decorator, you might write an article on Feng Shui.
3. Write your articles ahead of time. Preparation is everything. If you have already written and completed the articles before you schedule the blog tour then you’ll be ready as each stop comes up to send in your article and promotion material for that stop.
4. Create a folder on your desktop and save all your articles for your blog tour there. Also add your cover art in 200×300 size, an excerpt, a blurb and a bio and bio photo. This way when it comes time to send out your article and promotions information you have it all in one place and can easily access and e-mail it.
5. Locate a blog tour company that will work with you for a reasonable price for the number of stops you want to make. Don’t allow the blog tour company’s representative to talk you into a longer tour if that is not what you want. You’ll spend more money, and end up running yourself ragged trying to come up with more articles for the extra stops.
When it comes to doing a blog tour, preparation is half if not all of the battle. If you try to do it on the fly so to speak, you are most likely going to run into problems, exhaustion being just one of them. When you figure things out and prepare your tour before you even book it, then you will have a much more pleasant time and can focus on getting to know the people in your audience who respond with comments, questions and e-mails.
Oh, by the way, this is me while I’m writing this blog 🙂