Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Blog Incest

I love blogging. I think we all at least kind of like it, or we wouldn't do it. It has some great advantages. I love the knowledge and information that spreads around the blogosphere, and feel like I've learned a ton. There are so many awesome people to meet and interact with and learn from.

But here's the thing. As awesome as blogging is, when you really look at it, the blogging community is a bit incestuous. We join a group and basically blog for each other. Only certain people read blogs (usually other bloggers) and unless your some mega celeb blogger or something, you don't get huge numbers of visitors outside that circle.

There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, either, unless you're trying to use your blog to market a book. Sure you reach your blog niche of awesome people, but even if every single blog follower bought your book, most of us couldn't live on that. So what do you do? How do you break out of the awesome but incestuous blog circle?

  • Social Media: While the whole incestuous problem can sort of be applied to social media as well, its a larger incestuous circle and can still help. Especially the big sites like Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and now Pinterest. It's a good option, because it's fun and free, but still, only a small percentage of book sales actually come from social media sites, so try using other sources too.
  • Magazine ads: Relevant magazines, of course, Writers Digest or New York Times. Go specific too, like Elle for romance or maybe tech magazines for sci-fi.
  • Publicists: No reason to go crazy on this, but a wisely chosen smart publicist can help get you interviews and spotlight time. Could end up being exactly the boost you need.
  • Unique to Your Book: If your book is set in a zoo, find zoo or wildlife communities online, take out adds in zoo magazines, see if zoo's will carry your book in their gift shops. Find what is unique to your book and form a marketing campaign around those special things. 
  • Shoulders of Giants: If possible, getting some big-time sponsorship can definitely help. If someone big reads and likes your book, even a casual mention on one of their big-time social media presences can have big results. 
What do you think? Any other ways to take your book and blog to a broader audience than the niche blogging community?

Sarah Allen
(Last year: B is for Bowie)


  1. How about taking part in readers' communities like Goodreads and LibraryThing?

  2. I've been thinking the same thing recently. This is a great post, because I defintely need ideas along these lines.

  3. Thought provoking - great ideas and a great "B" topic.

    Fortunately I don't use my blog for promoting my actual writing - I use it to test out things I think have potential, my actual writing projects never make it to my blog.

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

  4. WOW! What a title! I do NOT want to be involved in an incestuous (is that a word) relationship!?!

    I love my blogging buddies.

    Maybe you could get "outside" people to view your blog by writing on topics outside of your norm. I know I wrote a post about teenagers (inside my norm) going dumpter diving (outside my norm), and I get a TON of hits from Google searches because of the dumpster diving.

    And, I gave you an award! Stop by my 4/1/12 post to pick it up.

  5. It is certainly something I have been thinking about lately. While having other bloggers read your blog and comment on it is amazing, you are always going to want to branch out further and try to really make the most of what you are doing here.

  6. Brilliant. Blogging can become a buy-me buy-you book exchange, if you don't meter yourself.

    I blog to make friends, and to learn the craft and business of writing. While incestuous -- such an ill-sounding word -- it is also a close-knit community full of communal wisdom.

    As for selling books, FB and twitter and blogger are pennies on the dollar of a minimum wage part-time job.

    The time social consumes v. the return is paltry. Even the big-dog bloggers I see with +1k followers are not selling the tens of thousands of books they would need to sell in order to become profitable.

    My advice: If you are serious about writing, WRITE, don't blog. Blog in your spare time, should you have any.

    Anyway, lovely way of putting this. Wish I had thought of it!

    - Eric

  7. Your title today, cracked me up along with the monkey picture.


  8. Social media is great for promoting abook as long as the author avoids spamming the networks. I think promoting the author works better than promoting a book, if that makes sense.

  9. I suppose I should think about all this stuff, but as I can't see far enough ahead to the day when I'll be published, I'm happy tootling in my little world :-)

  10. I think social media is just one tendril of the writing world.


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