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How do you get bloggers to share your content with their fantasy-fan readers?

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by BWFoster78, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    In another thread, Devor made some excellent marketing suggestions, but they were short on "how" details. He advised that we create a thread for each one. Here's the first:

    The advice is that you need to create a website to funnel readers from wherever they find you, presumably blogs and tweets and such, to the place where they can actually buy your book. The first step in that process is to get content out there where readers can find it. An obvious place to start would be to get featured on blogs that fantasy readers frequent.

    SO, first question: How do you get those bloggers to feature you?
     
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Do you have a site in mind? Everyone wants different things.

    The first goal, I would say, is to get on their radar. Twitter is great for that. If you follow and retweet somebody, and say something like "Great post here by BWF!" they're going to notice you and think, "Who is this guy?" They'll click your name, glance at your bio, see what you post and if you have a lot of followers. You might get twenty seconds of their time that way. That's enough to make someone aware of your existence. That's the first goal. I think G+ is great for that too, but I don't know it very well.

    The second step is to break the ice. They have a blog, or a site, or someplace of their own on the web. You would go there, comment positively on a post, mention how you found them (that's more important than you would think). Talk about them, and say something that contributes to the discussion. Pop in a few times over a few posts over a few weeks. If they respond, say "Thanks for the response!" at the top of your reply. Everything develops, of course - "Thanks for the response" becomes "I appreciate that you get back to me." That kind of thing.

    The next step is the hard one. You have to figure out what you can post that they would like to publish, and send them a PM. Be direct and upfront, then digress in the courtesies.

    Hey BWF! I had a few thoughts about why wizard jails make a great setting piece. If I typed something up would you be willing to take a look at it and think about posting it? I've really enjoyed your site and would love a chance to contribute. The latest post about talking trees was a lot of fun. Thanks for the good work and please let me know.

    It should go without saying that you need to be genuine every step of the way. If not, consider it said.
     
    BWFoster78 likes this.
  3. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

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    I would guess that you'd need one of two things in order to get a larger fantasy blog to feature you: either (a) credentials or (b) good content for them to post. Ideally both.

    Credentials:
    Ideally, a published story or two plus several existing articles in other prominent locations, like similarly sized blogs or magazines. Short stories published in reputable magazines. I wouldn't consider just having a personal blog to be enough. A large fantasy blog probably gets a lot of applications to be staff writers or a lot of submissions, so to stand out you need to demonstrate you're an authority worth taking time for.

    Good content:
    By this I mean an already written article covering a topic which is relevant to the blog you're submitting to, in a style that is appropriate for the blog you're submitting to, of a length that suits them, and is of a quality that exceeds their average quality. It also needs to be on a topic that hasn't been covered by them or widely elsewhere before, or at least hasn't been covered from the perspective you're covering it from.

    My information here comes not from first hand experience, but from reading what others have had to say in various threads in reddit and stuff, but that's the general impression I've picked up. If they're going to be a big boost to your marketing efforts, and possibly pay you for your work too (many do, after all), then what you give them has to be worth their time, money and effort to put up, which means it has to be good, and the only way to persuade them that what you offer is good is either to say "look, I've done this before, I know what I'm doing" or to show them you've got something ready for them already that meets their needs.

    Having a good relationship with other writers for the site can't hurt your chances either.
     
    BWFoster78 likes this.
  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    ^ Chilari makes some good points that I should have mentioned. You've got to look your best every step of the way. So if they're going to look at your Twitter or G+ account, the better that looks, the better the impression you make. If you're going to comment on their posts, having a link to your own site, and having that site brimming with content, is definitely essential. If you're going to send them a PM or an email, then having a signature that links to your best stuff is going to be important.

    Having it clear if you've been a guest poster elsewhere will also help. So every time you're featured, let it be known on your page.
     
  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    The weaker your rapport, the more direct and content-focused you need to be. If you're cold calling, have something ready, look like the expert. The problem is, they're also going to judge you more harshly. They won't want content that's up to their standards, but well above their standards. And they'll expect that you can bring your followers to them, which may or may not be true if you're starting out. For most people I think the better approach is to introduce yourself, underpromise, and then overdeliver.
     
    J Q Kaiser and J. S. Elliot like this.
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