Saturday, 1 November 2014

3 Ways To Promote Your Blog Without Abusing Comments

I haven't been in the book blogging community for too long, it's not that much over a year, but in that time, I've developed habits and quirks from other bloggers and have since learnt that some of these habits and quirks aren't always good, especially those concerning promoting your new blog. I remember first getting started, admiring bloggers like Giselle at Xpresso Reads, Jasprit and Rachel at The Readers Den, Kara, Lyn and Bekka at Great Imaginations and Mel at YA Midnight Reads just to name a few and wondering how on earth I was ever going to gain an audience like them, talk to publishers like them, receive ARC's like them, be as great as they are. I created a Twitter account, Facebook page, got to know NetGalley, but the biggest things I did was I left relevant links on their blog posts, commented only when I had something worthy of commenting and created connections with them, either as friends or people I admire.

I considered these some of the most important features when promoting my blog across a community that already vies for so much attention. There are more than likely millions of other book bloggers out there, trying to catch the attention of you, the person reading this right now, and it's a difficult game to play, but I learnt very quickly and very easily that becoming something similar to a virus, leaving links to relevant links on people's blog posts and reviews, tagging them in every tweet that promotes a post of yours similar to there's and just commenting for attention and in order to leave links, was a very very bad idea. It's okay though, I understand why you all do it, I've not become a snobby, stuck up blogger over the past year, I used to do a little of that too, mostly the leaving my last post link on comments.. but it was something I quickly grew out of. Why? Because after a few months, I started receiving the same treatment..

I don't care how old my blog is, I still get excited over comments and views, it's a simple, and slightly vain thing to feel, but the idea that people care about my content, take an interest and read it is still a wonderful, enlightening feeling, but when I check out that comment and get greeted with 'nice book haul, looks cool. *insert all promoting links here*' or 'you're wrong, this book was rubbish, here's my last post, here's my blog, here's my twitter, f4f?' it's like a having a stranger give you a balloon and pop it right in your face. It's undermining, disappointing and if I can be quite frank, very rude. Take this post for example, it's probably going to take me a total of 30-40 minutes from start to finish, coming up with the name, creating, editing and rewording the content so it is of minimal insulting level and spell checking every damn word to make sure that it's enjoyable, but informative, showcases my feelings and is also something that people can form their own opinions on, so if people do comment below and tell me their opinions, or want to tell me just how unfair I'm being to newer bloggers, I want them to do it because they want to, or have something to say and have spent the time to do it without expecting anything in return. Sadly, it doesn't always work that way.

Leaving links on my posts is fine, especially when it's Top Ten Tuesdays, Five Friday Favourites or posts that cover a similar topic, for example, somebody left me a link to their post on NetGalley on my NetGalley Negatives post and I enjoyed that, because they'd read my post, told me their opinions and directed me to where I could find more. It was a relevant link on a relevant post that was in every way possible, relevant. Leaving me your review link for no reason other than to promote is not good. That's why I don't have CommentLuv on my commenting system. I feel some people would abuse this system if I had it, commenting just to promote their blog and it's something I don't want to happen anymore than it already does, so I'm giving you three small tips on how to promote your blog without abusing your comments.
  1. If you have a post you'd like to gain more recognition for think about your title. An interesting title can go a long way in gaining an audience for your blog and blog post. Cait from Notebook Sister's has a fantastic natural approach to titles by making them humourous or rhyme, while Charnell from Reviews from a Bookworm tackles titles head on and approaches the subject in her title. Both of these ways work and can make a huge difference to views.
  2. Consider promoting your posts on Twitter and Instagram using the #tag features. This allows you to get noticed for specific words in your post or title and always brings more traffic to your tweet or image whenever you use them. Popular tags for both sites when book blogging are #review, #discussion, #bookstagram, #readathon and #giveaway so it might be worth thinking of using them in the future.
  3. Search out blogger directories or blogs that focus on featuring your posts in lists for other people to check. A popular one is Saturday Link Up which allows you to leave your posts in their list and check out other peoples posts without leaving your links on those blogs or being annoying.

Do you think it's wrong to promote in your comments?

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