As many of my readers know, I'm a big fan of virtual book tours and I've even written a book on the topoic. Today I'm pleased to share a guest post from Bryan Cohen as part of the tour for his new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2.
by Bryan Cohen
Blog tours are taking over the internet. After staring my latest blog tour to celebrate my new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2, I searched for #blogtour on Twitter to see what I was up against. The search came up with tweets for hundreds of blog tours! Blog tours were relatively young when I did my first tour two and a half years ago. Nowadays, you need to figure out how to stand out. Here are five questions you should ask yourself before writing a blog tour post.
1. How is this new?
While "there's nothing new under the sun," there's always a new way to say something. Are you going to write the millionth post with the top five fiction writing tips? Instead, why not go outside the box? Whether you think big or think small to get to your new idea, make sure it hasn't been done one too many times before.
2. Is the post relevant to this blog?
You've done it! You've scored a guest post on a blog with 10,000 followers and you're bound to find new readers and a rabid fan base! Before you start counting up your prospective book sales, make sure your post idea syncs with the blogger's usual subject matter. If you're posting on a book marketing blog, your post on creating unique characters for fiction is unlikely to hit home. Your post doesn't have to be a retread of what the blogger has already written, but you need to make sure your new potential fans are interested in reading the post in the first place.
3. What's the point of your post?
Most blog tours are all about promoting a product. Since most people don't like being pitched to directly, you need to figure out what it is you're doing with your post. Are you giving other authors advice so that they'll trust you as an authority on the subject? Are you trying to get people to know more about you so they'll like your writing style? Are you trying to go viral on a really popular blog?
You don't necessarily need to know what the point of your post is when you write a rough draft, but the finished post should be focused on a particular goal. If your post is a mishmash of multiple goals, you're less likely to achieve any of them. Figure out the point of your post before you send it to its new digital home.
4. Does it fit with your product?
I'm lucky. I'm writing a book for other writers. As long as I write blog posts for prospective authors, I'm good to go. If you're promoting a science fiction series, a post about book marketing might not do the trick. You need to make sure your posts target your desired audience.
5. Would you read it?
Here's the real test. If you saw your post come up on your Facebook or Twitter feed, would you click? Be honest with yourself. If the answer is yes, you're on the right track. If the answer is no, something needs to change. Play around with the subject matter, the title and the first few sentences to make the post something you'd be interested in. Because if you would click, your new fans will as well.
Asking these questions before writing any post will help you get the most out of your tour. Blog tours can be grueling, but with a little extra work, they can get you just the marketing push you need.
About the Author
In honor of his new book, Bryan Cohen is hosting the "1,000 Prompts, 1,000 Dollars" Writing Contest on his website. Click the link to find out how to enter! And click here to check out the rest of Cohen's blog tour!
Bryan Cohen is an author, a creativity coach and an actor. His new book, 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, Volume 2: More Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More is now available on Amazon in digital and paperback format. His other books include 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts, The Post-College Guide to Happiness, and Ted Saves the World. He has published over 30 books, which have sold more than 20,000 copies in total. Connect with him on his website, Build Creative Writing Ideas, on Facebook or on Twitter.