Friday, May 7, 2010

8 Ways to Use Blogging as an Interactive Marketing Tool

by Dana Lynn Smith

Here are some ideas for using blogging in social and interactive ways:

1. Encourage your readers to share your content with others.

Make it easy for readers to share your content by adding "share" buttons from Share This or Add This. Then ask readers to share by including text at the end of your best posts such as: "Do you know someone who might benefit from these tips? Just click the Share This button below to send a link by email or recommend this post on your favorite social site."

2. Actively solicit comments.

Get readers engaged by including a sentence at the end of some posts inviting comments. You can even write a post designed to elicit comments. Thank each commenter and make a further comment based on what they said.

3. Make comments on other blogs.

Making insightful comments on related blogs is a terrific way to boost your visibility and create links and traffic to your site. Subscribe to the top blogs related to your book's topic or audience and watch for posts that you can comment on. Comments should be helpful and relevant, not self-promotional.

4. Write guest posts for other blogs.

Contact other bloggers that cater to your audience and offer to write a guest article. Include a brief bio and a low-resolution photo. Google Blog Search is a good place to search for relevant blogs.

5. Create a feed for your blog.

RSS feeds allow your blog posts to be automatically delivered to your subscribers by email or through a feed reader. Receiving your blog posts regularly engages readers more. To create a feed for your blog, go to Feedburner.

6. Do a virtual book tour

Make guest appearances on blogs, ezines, podcasts or other forums to promote your book. Provide unique content to each host on your tour. Content can include interviews, how-to articles, book excerpts, videos, book reviews, or an article about how you developed the plot or characters for a novel.

7. Join a blog carnival.

Blog carnivals are a collection of links pointing to blog posts on a particular topic, or topics of interest to a particular group of people. Learn more and search for relevant carnivals Blog Carnival.

8. Hold a contest or drawing on your blog.

Use the blog comment feature to hold contests. For example, post a question and award a prize to the first person who leaves a comment with the correct answer. Or, write a blog post stating that everyone who leaves a comment on the post by a specific date (allow five to seven days) will be entered in a drawing to win a free copy of your book. Promote the contest on your social networks.

Excerpted from The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Successful Social Marketing, by book marketing coach Dana Lynn Smith. For free book marketing tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter and get your free Top Book Marketing Tips ebook on Dana's blog.

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