Making a Name for Yourself {Discussion}

Posted 7 June, 2013 by Amanda / 9 Comments

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Blogging is HARD. If you’ve ever searched for a road map only to come up empty handed, you’re not alone. (Re)Discovering the Basics chronicles one blogger’s (Gaby’s!) journey to finding her own way in the online world. Together, we’ll open the discussion on how we blog and what both new and established bloggers can learn from each other.

Amanda’s note: Twitter, more than any other social network in the book blogging world, is essential to making a name for yourself. I’d say at least half–if not more–of the people I’m blogging friends with today I’ve met on Twitter. And not because I was promoting myself either–because I connected. If you’d like to read the reasoning behind this discussion series, you can check out my interview with Gaby.

Making yourself stand out in the book blogging world is fairly difficult. Think about all of the bloggers you know. Then multiply by like a million (yes, that’s an exaggeration) because there are TONS of us. So how do you make yourself stand out? Well, we’ve already discussed having a unique blog design and name but that’s NOT ENOUGH. You really have to get yourself out there. But how do you do that?

Well, there are the social media standards. Personally, I have a Twitter and Facebook for my blog. A lot of bloggers I know don’t bother with Facebook and that’s fine, but Twitter really is key. That’s where you’ll be able to follow other bloggers and get to talking. All you have to do is engage someone you follow. If they make a comment that you have an opinion on, respond. Don’t be shy because chances are, if someone’s tweeting something, they WANT a dialogue. Now, you can’t make the people you interact with follow you back, but you never know what kind of friendships might form. I mean, Twitter’s how I’ve met a lot of MY blogging besties – and actually, it’s where I met Amanda. So GOOD JOB Twitter.

Anyway, aside from making friends, Twitter is a great place to advertise your blog. Tweet content regularly. You can even download TweetDeck or something like it to schedule Tweets if you know you’re going to be busy and want to really push your content. Facebook is also good for pushing content, but, in general, I find getting followers on Twitter is much easier than getting likes on Facebook when it comes to blogging.

Another way to get some blogging exposure is to volunteer to help out with blogging events. If someone on Twitter’s looking for help, OFFER IT. Good example? Amanda needed someone to supplement reviews and posts on her blog. I knew I couldn’t review for her, but I offered to do a series of discussion posts and HERE WE ARE TODAY! Along the same vein, when talking to your blogging buddies, see what common interests you have or what kind of features you might want to start together. You might both have smaller audiences, but two smaller audiences are bigger than one smaller audience, right? Besides, becoming a blogger who’s easy and good to work with is ALWAYS a good thing.

One other amazing way to network and make the connections worth having is to go to events like BEA. For a lot of people that’s a big expense and it’s just not doable. That’s fine. But if you can go, you really, really should. It’s an amazing experience and you meet all kinds of bloggers who might even know who you are – even if you don’t think they should (ie: me throughout the course of BEA). A smaller version of BEA is author signings. Depending on where you live, this ALSO might not be possible, but if it is, make an effort because you NEVER know who might be there.

[It’s also worth noting that the things mentioned in the last paragraph can also apply to chatting up publicists. I haven’t done much of said chatting, but I probably should. I mean, you want your blog known, right?]

I think the bottom line of this post is that you shouldn’t be shy or afraid. Don’t feel like you can’t just respond to someone’s Tweet if you have something to say. If you see a blogger IN REAL LIFE you recognize from their Twitter avatar, just walk up to them (I cannot tell you how many times I did this at BEA). Everyone I’ve met so far has been crazy nice and, honestly, if they weren’t, I’d probably just walk away and that’d be that (this goes for Twitter too). Put yourself out there. As long as you’re nice, polite and enthusiastic, there’s really not so much to lose and so very much to gain.

OH! And remember to collaborate with other bloggers. This might come after you make friends, or perhaps before (y’know, if you know where to look for blog tours and such, which I didn’t talk about anywhere in this post because it’s not something I personally do but YOU MIGHT WANT TO), but it’s definitely worth keeping in mind!

PS: Giveaways don’t hurt. Ever. I wouldn’t recommend doing giveaway after giveaway (that might lead to the poorhouse) but it’s definitely a way to grow your audience and make a name for yourself!

How are you marketing your blog? Do my strategies sound like things you do? If not, what DO you do? And don’t be afraid to say you don’t have a strategy for this – that’s fine! But just know it IS okay to think about this stuff when you interact with others. Just remember to be sincere. ^_^

Filed under: Discussion,

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9 Responses to “Making a Name for Yourself {Discussion}”

  1. Social media is something I really need to work on with the blog. I’m not on Facebook and, to be honest, the though of having to update something else besides the blog, Goodreads, Amazon and Twitter makes me want to cry a little, but I need to make Twitter work for me a bit better. I’m just not on it enough, though I was in the beginning and it was an AWESOME way to meet people. Now that more and more authors are on Twitter though, it’s even better because we can access them in a way bloggers and readers never really could before. LOVE IT.

    And, I of course highly recommend any events like BEA just like you said Gaby, it’s a blogger and book lover’s paradise! I meet so many fun people in the lines and the various events there:)

    • SOCIAL MEDIA IS HARD. HARD. HARD. HARD. But it’s so important. >.< I feel like I'm totally addicted to it at this point. My fingers itch for my phone all the time. But it is fun, I suppose, so it's not the end of the world.

      And I'm glad you have so much fun at BEA!!! ^_^

  2. I have actually been using Twitter a LOT more than I used to. I was too shy to talk to anyone when I first started blogging, but I find myself getting more and more comfortable with it. I love it now! It’s definitely intimidating at first, but like blogging, you’ll grow more comfortable with it as you go on.

    I agree about BEA and author signings, as well! I haven’t gone to any yet, but the Austin Teen Book Festival is happening in September that I’m going to. I’m sure I won’t be the only blogger there, so I’m excited to connect with people there!

    This was such a great post, and definitely helpful!

    • Social media can be super scary, but I’m glad you’re getting the hang of it! So important.

      The Austin Teen Book Festival sounds so amazing! I’m so glad you get to go!! I wish I could go to all of the book festivals/conferences always but, alas, money and jobs don’t approve of this desire, so I cannot :(

      AND I’m really glad you like the post! ^_^

  3. I’ve been completely inactive this past winter so I hope to get more active on Twitter and Facebook. With posting more regularly, I’m going to use your advice and see where it leads me b/c I’m going to have to sort of start from scratch. It IS so easy to get caught up in just doing giveaways, tho. It kind of helps that Kathy is off for the summer ;)

    I also have a few feature ideas up my sleeves that include other blogs… shhhhh!!

    Awesome advice, all around the board, tho!!! :D

    • Giveaways ARE great but unless they’re publisher sponsored they can get PRICEY and I don’t know about you, but for me? The phrase: “ain’t nobody got time for that” comes to mind. But I do hope you get back to blogging and social media-ing more and SOON!

      Glad you like the post! ^_^

  4. I’m on board with all of your strategies. The biggest thing I have found is to try to help others. I try to promote and help other authors/bloggers as much as I possible can. That is huge because I have met some wonderful folks this way and these things have a way of coming back to you. I also totally agree with what you said about Twitter. I struggle with starting conversations or should I say tweeting interesting content, but I do enjoy engaging others and responding to others tweets. Keep up the great work. I love your blog!

    Paul R. Hewlett

    • Supporting other bloggers is definitely the best. Every time someone tweets one of my links I basically cry because it’s the nicest ever. As for talking to others: Just say whatever. Worst thing? They won’t reply. Life could be so much worse ;-)

  5. Okay so I don’t think I really have much of a strategy for this, but I do agree that Twitter is a must for bloggers!!! I didn’t have a Twitter account until I became a blogger and frankly I don’t know why, cause it is awesome! And I have met, like you some really amazing people! You are right, you just have to risk a reply to someone. When you do that you will be amazed at what happens. Most people respond back. Not all, but most. I have had wonderful and meaningful conversations right there on Twitter.

    As far as using Twitter for my blog I try to tweet about my post at least 3 times a day. I really don’t like to do more than that because I don’t want people to be overwhelmed by all me, and I don’t want them to think I am selling myself. I used to get online 3 times a day just to do this, but thanks to you I downloaded TweetDeck and I can now schedule my tweets!!! Yay!! Less stress and worry for me, now if I can’t get to it, than I don’t have to worry about it.

    As far as Facebook goes, I don’t really like it. I don’t have a large following there and truthfully sometimes I forget about it, until I have a blog post to promote. Great discussion!!!

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