Feature: The Newbie’s Guide to Book Blogging Part 6 – Get Visitors to Your Blog

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Getting visitors to your blog isn’t hard. It just takes a lot of time to get it together. You won’t see results right away since you’re a newbie, but you will gain a following if you work hard, and keep blogging every day.

Here are some tried and tested methods that I myself have used, and experienced as a fellow book blogger and web designer. But first a little lesson in SEO practices..


 

What is SEO?

SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization which means when a visitor types in keywords through a search engine (i.e. Google), your blog should appear on the results page. How do you get to be on that first results page? Read on to four SEO tips for your book blog.


4 Simple SEO Tips

Write with Keywords in Mind

When you’re writing the title for your post, think about how people search. They use keywords and ask questions, so in return, you want your title to be as relevant as those search results. Place keywords in your blog post titles, reviews, URLS, and image names. I even rename all my files so they are keyword friendly. The most searched for HTML tags that bots crawl for are the and the tags.

Set your URLS with Keywords

There’s an option in WordPress to make your URLs the post name instead of the date. (Settings >; Permalinks >; Post Name) This URL: http://booknerd.ca/review-a-beautiful-dark-by-jocelyn-davies is a lot easier to read than this URL, “http://booknerd.ca/?p=123

Add Captions or Descriptions to your Images

In your HTML, make sure to consistently use the alt=”This is a caption”>; in all your image tags. Bots find these from search engines, and that’s what will appear in their results. This is probably one of the highest hits I ever get on my blog, people searching for images.

Switch Links with Others

Send your love to other book bloggers, and add their link to your blog roll. By driving traffic to their site, their blog is also driving traffic to yours. You can also switch blog buttons if you prefer the images instead of text links.


Social Media for Book Bloggers

Facebook

Let’s face it, everyone has Facebook, and what better way to promote your book blog than to your own Facebook audience? Some of my friends and family members are die-hard book lovers as well, so I get them to like my Facebook page. But that’s only a small number of people. So how do you use your Facebook page effectively without spamming everyone with links that go straight to your blog? You add content on your page. I find posting a cover reveal with a link to Good Reads garners a lot of views. Or that new book trailer that was released or even events around your city. People will love that you’re finding this information for them and will thus ensure your credibility towards your blog. Do the work for your visitors, and they will love you for it.

Twitter

Not only do you need eyeballs on your site, but you need to engage with your visitors. That’s the key with the book blogging community, involving each other in social discussions. Twitter is the key asset here everyone, authors use it, publishers use, and book bloggers use it. So if you haven’t already joined Twitter, I suggest you do so. I believe Twitter is almost like worldwide chat room. You can tweet to others from all over the world. Not only is it a way to talk with other book bloggers, you can use it effectively to drive traffic to your blog. My number one referral is Twitter, so whenever I have a new blog post, I tweet about it. I sometimes tweet about it throughout the day just so everyone can see it.


YouTube

Did you know there’s a whole other book community called “BookTubers”? Instead of writing reviews, they record videos of their reviews. They even have their own fair share of drama (*coughs*), but what I love about it is that they’re all there talking about books. I started a YouTube channel to showcase my book hauls from Kristi’s In My Mailbox meme. I had no idea how much traffic I could get to my blog through YouTube. Once I started linking Tynga’s Stacking the Shelves posts in the descriptions, the views started to rise. Yes, YouTube can definitely drive traffic upwards. But I also think it’s just another way to promote all the books we get. It’s also a ton of fun to read everyone’s comments. They also get super excited about books!

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Host Giveaways

Easily one of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog is by hosting a giveaway. People love winning things so why not give the people what they want? You can give away some of your old books, a box of ARCs, duplicates, set of books, new releases, swag and even eReaders. It really depends on your budget since you can’t afford to ship all over the world, opt for shipping in your country.

Tips on Hosting a Giveaway on your Blog

Promote Your Giveaways

Send your giveaway or contest links to contest directory sites I learned this trick from my years working at a magazine, and I still use it to this day. Some aggregator sites can give your blog massive amounts of traffic. In one single day I had 866 unique visits alone. These sites act as a directory and they link and share giveaways and contests from all over Canada. Best thing about them? It’s free to add your giveaway link. I’m pretty sure they have a handful of ones for other countries. Do your Google search and bookmark these sites. These go directly to the form so you don’t have to search for it.


Host a Milestone Giveaway

If you create goals, and your visitors meet them, an easy and simple way is to reward them. It’s also another easy way to celebrate your mini goals for your blog.


Join Giveaway Blog Hops

A host blog will create a theme centered around books of course. For example, Book Twirps and Refracted Light Reviews host Monthly New Releases Giveaway Hops. Blogs sign up using a linky tool and in return on their blog, they host a giveaway. Visitors can than hop from blog to blog entering all the giveaways. It’s a great way for new people to find your blog, and to get your blog out there so people can visit.


Ask Publishers to Host a Giveaway

If you have a wonderful relationship with one of your publisher contacts, why not ask them to host a giveaway? They love getting the books in people’s hands, and what better way than to host a giveaway on a book blog? Asking can’t hurt. The only limitation is that most publishers will want the shipping provided by a US/Canada address or in some cases, only a Canadian mailing address.


Use Rafflecopter as your Giveaway Widget

It’s a breeze to use, and install. All the book bloggers use them so they’re consistent and every visitor will know what to do. I suggest you join it! Make following you a mandatory entry. Either by following you on GFC or RSS (Feedburner). You’re giving them a choice so visitors won’t feel like you’re making them do something just to enter. Raise the amount of entries when you’re making them do things that require more effort such as commenting on another of your blog posts, or tweeting the giveaway. Another trick is to give away a book that has a “buzz” around it. One last thing is to also make it international. A wider range of people = more entries. Ship via TheBookDepository.com, your wallet will thank you. The shipping is free all over the world.

NOTE: this post is not finished yet. I haven’t had time to finish it. I’m super sorry. I will edit this section after.


More Resources

These can be applied to any blog which is why I posted them below. There’s a wealth of information out there you guys. Make sure to use it to your advantage!


Check out the rest of the series:

22 Comments

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  6. Liv

    October 15, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Loving the guide 🙂

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  8. Jamie (Jay)

    May 17, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Thanks for sharing some great tips here, especially the SEO tips.

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  11. Janssen Sy

    December 6, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Great resource to check on. Thanks

  12. Maria

    November 9, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    I am still new to blogging even that i use my blog for several months. First i would like to point out this is is a very useful article. The thing is Rafflecopter is not for every blog. Those bloggers who have a free wordpress blog cant have Rafflecopter and when they dont have enough cash to update their blog (because they use most of them to books or other stuff) Rafflecopter is a NO NO option. Thats why most of them goes for a simple comment and email when its about giveways 🙂

    • Giselle

      January 18, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      Hi Maria! Thanks for your comments 🙂

      There’s a way to get around that. All you have to do is create a button and link to your Rafflecopter giveaway. Keep it prominent and easily read and people will click through.

      And there’s that option with a simple comment and email as you suggested

  13. Tiff

    September 24, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Giselle is my hero(ine). Thank you so much for helping us new bloggers out!

  14. Allyson Rida

    September 23, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Thank you! I am a newbie and I definitely need to build a reader base! I have done social medias, but the keyword thing is worth noting, and I actually don’t have a blog roll on my blog, a little afraid of a long sidebar… Anyway, thanks for the advices! 😉

  15. Christina K.

    September 23, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    This is such a great resource for everyone! YOu really explain clearly – thank you!!

    • Giselle San Miguel

      September 24, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      Welcome!

      Thank you, I try to keep it simple so anyone can no matter what their skill and experience is, can understand!

  16. Reeka

    September 22, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Another great post as usual! Your guides have been some of the most helpful yet =) Thanks again!

  17. Lynn K.

    September 22, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    Very helpful post! I never thought of the keyword search at all. I like video reviews (some vloggers are so expressive and truly enjoyable to watch) but I don’t watch that many due to slow internet connection.

    • Giselle San Miguel

      September 24, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      I love it when they get excited about the book. In return, it gets me excited

  18. Rebecca

    September 22, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Such an awesome post! I’ve not a newbie, I’ve been blogging for a year, but I still love hearing ways and ideas on how I can improve. Seriously, thanks so much for sharing these informative, helpful posts! For newcomers especially, this information is GOLD.

    • Giselle San Miguel

      September 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Glad to be of help! Especially from a book blogger who’s been blogging for a year <3

  19. Grace Lo

    September 21, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Wow! This is so unbelievably through! Like justpeachy36, I wish there was a post like this when I started blogging. I’ll have to get around to the Youtube thing sometime though . . .

    • Giselle San Miguel

      September 24, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      The YouTube community is wonderful as well. You don’t necessarily have to join, if you don’t want to

  20. Jenn@OwlReadIt

    September 21, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I love The Book Depository for having international giveaways! I’m still trying to think of what to do for our blogoversary in January.. should be good! And we are almost at 1000 GFC followers, which will warrent another giveaway 🙂 I really like giving away books, I just wish I could do it more sometimes.

    I will admit that I’m pretty terrible at getting on Twitter though 🙁

    • Giselle San Miguel

      September 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      I never even knew it existed until a book blogger used it for a giveaway. Whoo hoo, a milestone giveaway is always so much fun!

      Me too. I try to do a giveaway once a month

  21. justpeachy36

    September 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I wish I had seen a post like this one when I first started blogging. This is extremely informative and full of great information for new bloggers and even some of us that still have a lot to learn. I appreciate the time it took to put this together.

    Great Post!

    • Giselle San Miguel

      September 24, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      You are most welcome!

      Yes it took a while to write, and I wasn’t even done. Last week was crazy busy. Hopefully I can add more tutorials too

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