Saturday, March 09, 2013

If I Were Ann Landers...This Is What I'd Tell Authors About Blog Comments

Sometimes I write little Question and Answer pieces in my SharingwithWriters newsletter. Sometimes they are pretty basic, sometimes more advanced.  That's because I want authors of every ilk and every level to find something in it to build their careers.  This is one of those nerve-racking problems that sometimes afflict even authors who have been promoting using blogs for some time.
 
 


Making Blog Comments Work for You
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QUESTION:
 
One of my friends on a list-serve wanted to know why the comments she added to blogs just disappeared into thin air.
 
ANSWER:
 
Kathy, maybe you're not signed in to the host server for some of these blogs. I'm really not crazy about blog services that require one to register. It may discourage people from following your blog. Still, many services do that. And if you write your comment and then publish without signing in first, your efforts may get lost.
I always try to remember to highlight and copy my comment before I click on the SUBMIT button. Just in case. Also, double check to be sure the comment is really lost before you panic. The blogger may have chosen to vet comments before he or she lets them appear on the blog. You should get an announcement to that effect in a little box at the top of the screen.
 It is a good idea to be signed up for a Google account (and others). When you sign, be sure to include an image for an avatar. That way your comments will be less likely to get lost and when they do appear, they'll do you more good because your logo/avatar will help with your branding.

There are advantages, too. When you have a Google account, as an example, you can sign up for their free Alerts service. Alerts is a great way to learn who is mentioning you on the Web so you can drop by and leave other comments.

Using blogs (your own and others') is something you'll learn more about in my Frugal Book Promoter: http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo, along with hundreds of other ways to promote your book.

My husband has a new book out and by commenting constructively on suitable blogs and forums, he's been selling about 20 books a day. As a newbie! Of course, it is nonfiction and much needed by his target audience, but it still goes to show that comments (done right!) work. Stephanie Meyers (the author of the Twilight series of books and movies) writes fiction and she used comments as a major part of her personal marketing campaign ("personal" meaning what she did apart from what her publisher did). In fact, the way she used blogs to market was covered in the business section of the LA Times! Obviously there is more than one way that blogs can benefit your marketing campaign.

Hope this helps!

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  Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and how to books for writers including the award-winning second edition of, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers . The Great First Impression Book Proposal is her newest booklet for writers. She has three FRUGAL books for retailers including A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. Some of her other blogs are TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor .

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