Now that I have started to blog and have begun to post my deeply held opinions on the subject of marketing Christian books, the challenge is to actually get lots of people to read my blog. I have, of course, already posted my blog on my websites, added it to my email signature, and announced it to people in the industry via the discussion groups I am a member of. Being the marketing professional that I am, I know that this will not drive a whole lot of new traffic to my blog. I need to generate word-of-mouth advertising to get people to read my thoughts and opinions (this of course has an inherent assumption that people will think they are worth their time to read).
Most best-selling books and products do not become best sellers through a large advertising campaign alone. At some point, word-of-mouth begins to outpace the advertising campaign to increase the popularity of a product. And word-of-mouth only takes hold if people find the product worthwhile. For example, the recent best selling Christian fiction novel’s, The Shack, success was made almost exclusively through word-of-mouth. By the time the book was well on its way to becoming a best-seller, the publisher had only spent about $300 on advertising.
On the Web, word-of-mouth promotion of a product is known as viral marketing. The buzz about a product, video, or website is picked up and spread via social networking sites and email. Of course, not every new blog or product goes viral on the Internet. However, there are a few techniques to help increase the chances of a new blog becoming viral. One technique is social book marking. Social book marking is another form of social networking. It is about placing those websites that you like on a social book marking website for the world to see. The old method was placing the websites that you liked and wanted to revisit in the “favorites” file on your own computer. This new method posts your “favorites” online so that not only you can access them, but your friends can too.
For many people, social book marking sites are taking the place of the old search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.). People are choosing to use social book marking sites to search for information using key words, because the sites that show up on a book marking site are those sites that actual people like, not ones that have the most number of tag words or external links and the other criteria the traditional search engines use. (Did I just use the word traditional to refer to the Internet?).
So, here is the scoop. I, the author of a blog, can bookmark my blog posts on social book marking sites and tag them with key words so that they will appear when people search for those key words on the social book marking site. I have signed up with www.delicious.com and www.stumbleupon.com. There are many more social book marketing sites including www.digg.com, and www.reddit.com. However, if I alone tag my posts, they will not be very popular. I need to also invite the readers of my blog to bookmark the posts that they like and think other people derive benefit from reading. To do this, I insert a little free widget at the end of each blog post (you can get one at www.sharethis.com or www.addtoany.com).
If you like what you have read, I invite you to use the Share/Save widget at the end of this post to bookmark this post on one or more social bookmarking sites that you belong to. The widget makes it easy. Just try it – click and follow the directions.
Which social book marketing sites do you use?