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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
- 11 Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic
- 20 Simple Ways to Boost Blog Subscribers
- How to Get Visitors to Stay on Your Blog Longer
- Getting More Views and Traffic
- 7 Ways to Increase Your Blog Visibility With Social Sharing
- 3 Ways to Use YouTube to Drive Traffic to Your Website
- 5 Tips for Creating Shareable Blog Content
Check out the rest of the series:
- Part 1 – Introduction
- Part 2 – The Basics
- Part 2 – The HTML
- Part 2 – The CSS
- Part 2 – The Tutorials
- Part 2 – The Resources
- Part 3 – Books, Libraries, and Stores..oh my!
- Part 4 – Writing Your Reviews
- Part 5 – All You Need to Know About Publishers, ARCs, and Etiquette
- Part 6 – Get Visitors to Your Blog
- Part 7 – Get Organized
- Part 8 – Credibility
- Part 9 – Book Events