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Promoting Books Through Blogs
Blogs are a great way to get attention for your book and links to your web site or blog. Getting links from blogs in your niche can send targeted traffic to your site as well as help you get better search engine rankings.
One popular technique to get links is to make comments on blogs. Although some people do "hit-and-run" commenting, where they show up, make a comment, then disappear from the blog, you will generally get the best results from becoming a part of the community. Make yourself known to the blogger and his or her audience by offering thoughtful comments on a regular basis. That means reading all of the posts and making comments when you have something useful to add.
First, identify the blogs that have the audience you want to reach. Technorati is a good place to start. Go to http://www.technorati.com/ and search for the terms you want to follow. The search function on the home page will identify posts with the search term. Using the advanced search function will allow you to find blogs about the search term. (If the difference isn't clear, a basic search for "publishing" might turn up a blog where the blogger posted about publishing his new book that is a collection of all of the other posts on his blog about building yurts. Although that particular post might be one where you could make a good comment, a blog about yurts is not a good match if your topic is publishing. With the advanced search you could find blogs where all or most of the posts are about publishing.)
Technorati gives blogs an Authority rating that is based on how many other blogs link in to the blog. Although a high rating can indicate lots of traffic, do not discount a blog just because of a low authority rating. You could still get traffic or search engine juice from being on a blog if they are a good fit with your subject.
Most blogging platforms use no-follow links in comments by default. That means that, at least in theory, the search engines do not follow those links and do not count them as links to your site for purposes of determining page rank, etc. There is some evidence that is not entirely true; however, getting a link that does not contain the no-follow attribute is probably better. There is a directory of "do-follow" blogs that pass page rank at http://www.dofollowblogs.com
There are lots of other blog directories and search engines, including Google Blog Search and Blog Catalog. Each search will turn up different results, so use more than one source to find the blogs in your niche.
Blogs all have RSS feeds. Once you identify the blogs you want to follow, subscribe to the RSS feeds in your favorite reader. One that is easy and free is Google Reader. You will have the latest posts from all of your chosen blogs updated automatically, all in one place.
You can also sign up for Google Alerts to be notified when a page or post including your keyword term is indexed by Google. I have found several commenting and guest posting opportunities this way. Go to http://www.google.com/alerts to set up this free service.
Always make your comments useful and thoughtful. As you start to have a presence on your selected blogs, you may find that yourself developing relationships with the blogger and others. Also consider offering guest posts to blogs where that would be appropriate. Even no-follow blogs usually give do-follow links on guest posts.
By being an active participant in the blogging community, you can create awareness of yourself and your book, and build your expert reputation. It is an easy and free marketing technique.
Copyright Cathy Stucker. For more creative marketing techniques, visit Cathy's blog at
James A. Cox
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