Hi Everyone! On Monday, I had the honor of presenting on the BEA Bloggers panel: Creating Community and Driving Engagement. I truly enjoyed presenting alongside my fellow panelists David Lee King and Stacey O’Neale along with our fabulous moderator Jennifer Conner. For those of you who aren’t familiar with BEA Bloggers, it is a blogging conference for people who blog about all aspects of the publishing industry (i.e. book blogs, author blogs, publisher blogs, etc). This year the conference had an amazing turnout! In fact it was so amazing that I didn’t have enough handouts. The following is the content from a handout I made for my portion of the panel:
“I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”
Tips For Curating Community Building Blog Content
- Consider using Twitter hashtags in the titles of posts that are regular features on your blog. This will make the older posts in the series easier to find for your readers on Twitter.
- At several different social media conferences I have heard repeatedly to use Google Adwords to find key words and phrases to use in post titles. You can find the keyword generator under Tools and Analysis on the Google Adwords site. You do not have to create an ad to use this tool, and it is a great resource for finding out how many monthly google searches certain words and phrases get. For example: I entered Deadlocked Charlaine Harris into the keyword generator and found that Deadlocked Charlaine Harris gets 8100 monthly searches while Sookie Stackhouse Books gets 49,500 monthly searches. Tip: If you use one of these keywords and phrases in your title make sure you use it in the first paragraph of your post.For some reason or other it makes it more googleable (is that even a word??).Why am I giving you tips for building a better blog post title in a session on building community and driving engagement? Because you need to attract readers to begin building a community on your blog. No readers = No Community.
- Do not be scared to write about books in fun and creative ways. Some of the best book blogs have the most off the wall bookish posts. A book blog does not only have to publish reviews. People will love you for your creativity regarding books and publishing. A few examples from my own blog include the features If You Like Mad Men, Michael Ian Black Week, and Mandy’s Blogger Book Club.
- Do have a running personal narrative on your blog. Whether you participate in the Wordless Wednesday (Link up at WordlessWednesday.com. I’m not sure who the host is.) or Saturday Snapshot (hosted by At Home With Books) link ups or write long posts about your personal life, readers will be more likely to reach out to you via comments, tweets, and emails if you let them get to know you. Note: If you participate in Wordless Wednesday or Saturday Snapshot, you can still use photos with a bookish theme: a picture of yourself reading, a picture of your TBR pile, a pretty picture of your favorite reading spot, etc.
- There are plenty of bookish link ups to participate in. Consider participating in “Waiting On” Wednesday (hosted by Breaking The Spine), It’s Monday! What Are You Reading (Hosted by Book Journey), Mailbox Monday (Hosted by Martha’s Bookshelf) and Kid Connection (Hosted by Booking Mama). There are many more book related link ups out there. These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Email me at wellreadwife [at] gmail [dot] com if you have a weekly link up, and I’ll list it in a link up roundup I’m working on for my #BookBlogHelp column.
Pinterest and Book Blogging
The Following is an excerpt from an post I wrote back in January of 2012 on my blog, The Well-Read Wife entitled “Pinterest and Book Blogging: Use the Latest Social Media Craze to Your Site’s Advantage.” If you have already read this article, scroll down a little further for more Pinterest tips:
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a social networking site that allows users to curate and develop virtual “pin boards” with pictures and links from around the web. Users can link to sites they find across the internet or they can repin other users pictures and links. Pinterest is very useful for party planning, discovering the latest home décor trends, and oohing and aahing over super cute shoes.
How Can Pinterest Help A Book Blog?
Oddly enough, I find that I am getting almost as many hits on The Well-Read Wife from pinning my posts to Pinterest as I do from posting them to Twitter. At first I found this weird because I have over 3400 Twitter followers and only 300 Pinterest followers. So why am I receiving as nearly as many hits from Pinterest as I am from Twitter? I think it may have something to do with the reasons people use Twitter and Pinterest respectively. I use Twitter to catch up with friends and keep abreast of current events and celebrity gossip. I think people use Pinterest as a resource. What are some great kid friendly recipes? How can I put together an elegant centerpiece for under $10? How about a great DIY project? All of these things can be found on Pinterest with a quick search. (Please note: I have updated my social media stats in this article since the January post.)
So why wouldn’t someone search for a great book to read? That’s where we book bloggers come in. Pinterest has the potential to be a very useful part of your book blog’s social media plan. Pinterest has the advantage over Twitter and Facebook when it comes to our particular niche, because it promotes the cultivation of information in as simple a way possible. Unlike Facebook, Pinterest users don’t have to restrict their searches to information pinned on their friends’ walls. Users can choose to search the entire site. So while a user may not be following your profile, they can still look at and click your link even if they don’t repin the link or choose to follow your profile.
The graphics included with each pin make the links more enticing to users than looking up and following a hashtag on Twitter (as Tweets are typically just text with a link). Seeing that The Hungers Games is a great book written out in a Tweet is one thing, but seeing The Hunger Games beautiful cover graphic along with a positive review is a completely different experience. Pinterest has the ability to appeal to reader’s visual senses as well as the cerebral.
There are so many possibilities when it comes to Pinterest being a resource for book lovers! Possible board topics include book quotes, books turned into movies, book inspired art, and so much more. As book bloggers, we are very lucky. Because of cover art, we typically have a beautiful graphic to go with each post we write. We need to use that to our advantage and pin away, because it will get the word out about the books we love to a wider audience!
(This post was also syndicated on BlogHer! Thanks BlogHer!)
More Pinterest Tips:
- For more “pinnable” content install the Pin It button on your posts. You can find instructions for installing the Pin It button on the Pinterest site. Just hover your cursor over the About tab and click Pin It Button for more instructions for how to install the button on your site. The set of instructions you are looking for is the fifth item down on the page. Once you install the button, your readers will be able to pin your posts as long as you activate the button for each post on your draft dashboard. (This is how it works on WordPress. I’m not sure how it works for other platforms. Quick Tip: On WordPress, each time you edit your post you need to redo the Pinterest graphic for your post or the Pin It button will not show up. So edit the post. Click save. Then go back and edit the Pin It button graphic. It’s time consuming but worth it.)
- On the same page on the Pinterest site where the directions for the Pin It button are located if you scroll up a bit, you will find directions for installing a Pinterest follow button for your sidebar. There are a variety of button styles you can install on your site, so that Pinterest users can follow you.
- I have a Directory of Book Bloggers Using Pinterest on my blog. It is a great place for other pinners that blog about books to find each other. If you would like to be added to the directory email your blog title and Pinterest url to me at wellreadwife [at] gmail [dot] com.
If you have any questions about book blogging at all, feel free to email me at
wellreadwife [at] gmail [dot] com. I’ll do my best to answer any questions you
have. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll point you in the right direction.
I met so many amazing people after the session ended. Please take me up on my offer to email me. I love y’all! – Mandy