In a recent post I said that the way to build up a widely-read blog was simple - provide good content. That is still the fundamental quality required of any successful blog. Of course, it still pays to advertise your blog, especially if you want to accelerate your brand recognition.
Here are a couple of the ways I've tried to advertise this blog.
1 Everybody's favourite - leave Comments on other people's blogs. This really works provided your Comments are meaningful or witty or preferably both. The recipient will eventually check back to see who you are. This tactic has the immense benefit in that it allows you to target your potential re-visitors. I only leave Comments on blogs I like, written by people I admire. People that will add something to my blog if they ever pop over here.
2 Every now and again I write a Post that I think might interest more people than simply my current readership. The post titled "Publication date for my new novel" which I wrote a few days back was just such a post. In fact, I wrote it deliberately with the idea of leveraging it into a marketing tool. I chose the subject (writing) and the treatment (humorous) deliberately. As a result, once I'd published it on my blog I was able to send out an e-mail teaser (title: Writer employs scientific method to determine publication date of new novel) to nine A-listers in the literary blogosphere. Why nine? Well, I knew that what I was doing was pretty close to spamming so I justified my actions by restricting my campaign to only nine recipients. Such a small number couldn't really be spam, could it? Okay, I spammed them. Sometimes a marketeer just has to do what...
Two literary bloggers picked up on the story, not a bad hit rate. Bookninja was first. Within minutes of their publishing a link to my blog I started getting visitors from Canada where Bookninja is based. About fifty over a two day period. Bookninja described the Post as very funny and - somewhat inaccurately - reported that I was a "young writer". I'm fifty-eight years old and my picture leers out at anyone who visits the blog. Maybe I am still young in terms of what I've actually published. Still in the womb in fact.
A few days later POD-dy Mouth responded to my e-mail and posted up a link and I received another sixty or so visitors over the next couple of days. The day after that Amazon's Bookstore Blog (no, I didn't know they had one either) picked up on the Bookninja story and pointed out that I was anything but young (thanks Amazon). That brought me another twenty or so visitors. Finally, the Grumpy Old Bookman plugged the story yesterday (he was on my original e-mail list) and that's probably why you're reading this now.
So, quite a lot of leverage for one post. It remains to be seen how sticky the Post proves to be but if history is any guide I'm sure a few of those new readers will hang around if I continue to deliver the goods in terms of content.
Oh, then I had another idea. I thought the Post - which was humorous and book-related - might be of interst to people in the book trade, where I definitely need to raise my profile. So I sent the e-mail teaser out to half a dozen agents and a couple of publishers. Well, you never know, do you. No response from any of them as yet but...nothing ventured, nothing gained. And I've hardly got anything to lose.