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February 13, 2014

5 Steps to Marketing Your Blog

Most of my marketing posts are more focused on how an author can market their book. But authors are not the only ones who need marketing tips. Do you have a market plan for your blog? Many bloggers have made small businesses out of what once was just a hobby. Through marketing efforts you can do the same with your book blog.

Here are five steps to marketing your blog:

First, we need start thinking about our blogs as online publications and not just a place we share our thoughts. Just as authors are promoting their published work, the blog is our published work. You are not just a blogger, but a publisher, editor, head writer. If you run a multi-contributor blog then you may have several other titles that apply.

Second, you need to establish your brand. One of the main ways bloggers have branded their blogs is by creating a logo, i.e. blog button. Unlike authors who should use their name for their social media, there should be social media in the blogs name. Almost all my social media is in the name of Girl Who Reads.
Third, define your niche. As you develop your brand, you want people to see your name and think of your 
niche. You see the "swoosh" and you think Nike running shoes. Often times having a tag line will help with solidifying your identity. What comes to mind when you hear "You're in good hands"? Allstate. Is your blog all reviews? Does it cover more publishing news? Is it critical essays on literature. All these have their place in book blogging community and knowing where your blog fits will help you better communicate your mission.

Fourth, become an expert in your niche. Anyone can become an expert in a field through self-learning and experience. You can demonstrate your influence and expertise by the number of followers you have. The other day I was reading guidelines for a company deeming a blog successful enough for their program. You only needed 300 followers to your blog (ie. Google Friend Connect, RSS feed subscribers, BlogLovin, etc), not Twitter followers or Facebook fans. Another way to demonstrate your expertise is by commenting on articles and posts discussing your topic. If you are a review blog, then articles about dealing with negative reviews, books you do not finish, etc. Make sure when you comment you mention your blog, e.g. "as a reviewer at Blog Name. Guest blogging and interviews can also establish you as an expertise. On Tuesday, I was quoted in an article with 11 influential bloggers, including an editor of You may also want to subscribe to HARO. News sources (like Washington Post and ABC News) as well as authors and magazine writers submit requests for experts/sources for their projects.

Fifth, promote your blog. You must be on social media. It is the best means of marketing your blog. I make sure to share my posts on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. I occasionally promote them on LinkedIn. On Facebook, it may be worth it to promote through an ad. If you are an advertising affiliate or accept paid advertising, then the cost of the Facebook ad may be balanced out by the revenue you garner. Other advertising opportunities include sponsorship of events, both online (hops and challenges) and offline (book festivals, local author appearances). Joining a bookish tribe on Triberr will increase the reach of your posts.

Bonus Tip: The best marketing effort for your blog is to continue providing your audience with quality content. Remember everything you post reflects on your reputation. Even if you are just starting, treat your blog like a business and you will see success.

What have you done to market and promote your blog?

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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