July 25, 2012

Your Blog Strategy ... part 2

by guest blogger Rodney Page

Last month I wrote on the importance of developing a blog strategy. I hope you found the comments helpful, and thanks to you who provided feedback.

Several of you requested additional information regarding the “how’s” of creating awareness for your blog. I’ll share some ideas that that have been effective for me. But remember, your blogging objective, target audience and desired actions of your readers are unique.

Following is a recap of the major elements of a blog strategy for a non-fiction writer. Today we’re focusing on the third question.

  • What is your objective? It will likely focus on establishing your expertise.
  • Who do you want to read your blog?
  • How do you make them aware of your blog?
  • What do you want the readers to think or do after they’ve read your blog?

First, develop a comprehensive list of appropriate publications, websites and other related blogs
When blogging to promote a non-fiction work, this task isn’t quite as daunting as it may seem. You are likely already familiar with many of the specialty or trade publications and websites appropriate for your topic. To identify other bloggers, start with these blog list websites (…and there are many others):

Now, get creative with your Google search terms. Below are a few generic terms, applicable to almost any subject, to add to your topic search:
  • Marketing
  • Customers
  • Media
  • Articles
  • Comment
  • Editorial
  • PR
  • News
  • Recent articles
  • Experts
  • Readers
  • Books
Second, communicate with a person, not a blog, website, or publication
For the targeted blogs, websites, or publications you choose to target, identify the names and email addresses of living, breathing human beings. It sounds simple, but it seems to be getting more difficult as the ‘humans’ hide themselves behind website pre-formatted email templates…and when you fill out one of those, it’s the same as addressing a letter ‘To Whom it May Concern.’ If you’ve searched and searched and can’t find a name or email address, here’s a little trick: in the Google search window type @the organization’s website URL. You’ll be surprised how often names and email addresses turn up.

Third, learn something about the blogs, websites, or publications you will contact
For goodness sake, read a couple of blogs, scan recent press releases on the website, review the last couple issues of the magazine. Weaving a few pertinent facts into your message will work wonders. Doing so demonstrates you are familiar with and taken the interest and time to learn about them.

Lastly, realize that in order to get, you must also give
If you want another blogger to re-post your blog, will you reciprocate? If it would be a boon should a regional publication mention your blog, are you willing to highlight the magazine in your blog before you ask for their help? If a brief mention of you and your expertise on a prominent website would boost your book sales, will you take the time to contribute to the site’s online forum?

I hope you find these additional thoughts useful and, happy blogging!

Rodney Page is the author of the upcoming novel Powers Not Delegated
A native of Georgia, Rodney's business career includes a variety of senior management positions and consulting engagements in a broad range of industries, from startups to Fortune 500 firms. In 2005 Rodney co-authored Leading Your Business to the Next Level...the Six Core Disciplines of Sustained Profitable Growth. He lives in Atlanta. His passions include hiking, photography, reading, and, of course, University of Georgia football.

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