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Virtual Blog Tours for Authors

Virtual Blog Tours for Authors

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Published by Dvorah Lansky
Imagine being able to take your book on tour, around the globe without leaving home! Enjoy the informative guide and put what you learn into action, while reaching more readers and selling more books!
Imagine being able to take your book on tour, around the globe without leaving home! Enjoy the informative guide and put what you learn into action, while reaching more readers and selling more books!

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Published by: Dvorah Lansky on May 15, 2012
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Seven Tips for Maximizing Your Own Blog Tour

By D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed Author and Marketing Wizard www.BookMarketingMadeEasy.com

Note: This Free Report is intended for your personal and professional development and enjoyment. You MAY share it with others as long as you do not alter it or misrepresent it in any way!

DISCLAIMER AND/OR LEGAL NOTICES: The information presented herein represents the views of the author as of the date of publication. Because of the rate with which conditions change, the author reserves the right to alter and update her opinion based on the new conditions. The report is for informational purposes only. While every attempt has been made to verify the information provided in this report, neither the author nor her affiliates/partners assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. Neither the author nor her affiliates/partners shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages resulting from the use of this guide. All links are for informational purposes only and are not warranted for content, accuracy or any other implied or explicit purpose. Please note that some of the Web sites listed in this report do lead to affiliate products for programs that we whole heartedly endorse. If you purchase products through these links, the author may receive a commission.

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 1

About the Author
D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed., Author, and Marketing Wizard has been marketing online and mentoring leaders since 1994. She is the bestselling author of Book Marketing Made Easy: Simple Strategies for Selling Your Nonfiction Book Online. As the producer of the annual Book Marketing Conference Online and the founder and lead instructor of the Book Marketing Made Easy Academy, D’vorah coaches and trains authors around the globe, in online book marketing strategies. She is passionate about online marketing as well as helping authors grow their business and their brand. D’vorah has conducted several successful book tours, the most recent leading to her book becoming an Amazon Bestseller in less than three weeks from publication. You can reach D’vorah and see an example of a virtual book tour in action at www.BookMarketingMadeEasy.com. Note: The contents of this report are designed to benefit authors who are willing to invest the time in writing articles and doing interviews as a way of being introduced to new audiences. I have conducted two extensive book tours. My most recent tour facilitated my book becoming an Amazon bestseller in three categories. You can read all about that virtual book tour at: www.BookMarketingMadeEasy.com/virtual-book-tour. Additionally, you may want to check out our new course on the topic at: www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com/course as well as our Online Book Marketing Specialist Program at www.VAClassroom.com/author

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 2

Introduction
Welcome and bravo to you for your interest in blog tours and virtual book tours. Conducting a virtual book tour will literally “put you on the map” as an author and connect you with a wide range of new audiences. I’d like to tell you a little about this concept and why I am so passionate about sharing it. A few years back I discovered the concept of the “blog tour” and “guest blogging” from blogging expert Nicole Dean. She developed a program called “The Blog World Tour” where she spent the summer touring blogs around the Internet. By going through Nicole’s materials I was not only able to quickly pull together my first blog tour, I’ve had the honor and privilege of connecting with some amazing leaders who have been extremely supportive and seemingly as excited about participating in my blog tours, as I am about hosting them. You may be asking what the difference is between a blog tour and a virtual book tour. A blog tour can be conducted by authors and non-authors alike. The purpose is to gain visibility and endorsement by association with experts in your field. During a blog tour authors can discuss their book as well as write on a wide variety of topics. A virtual book tour follows much of the blog tour model, with the focus being on the author sharing the message of their book and providing opportunities, both in writing and audio visually, for new audiences to get to know them, as an author. A natural result of a blog tour / virtual book tour is that you will be able to connect with people who write on topics that your readers and you are interested in and you’ll have the opportunity to gain exposure across new networks and get to know more people. As you begin to plan out and schedule your tour, you will be growing and strengthening relationships with bloggers who will be welcoming you to their site as part of the tour. While you are a guest blogger on their site, you will have opportunities for building relationships with their readers and new audiences who discover you via the social networks. You may be asking “how will people discover me via the social networks?” Once way is to encourage viewers to comment on and share links to your blog posts, on the social networks. Many new people will discover you this way and begin to follow your progress and your blog tour. Give thought to what message and ideas you’d like to share with the world. What audience, leaders, educators or marketers would you like to get to know personally or get to know better? What do you want to become known as an expert on? Decide on your niche focus, schedule several times a week to write and take your blog tour on the road!

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 3

While this short report is not a comprehensive step-by-step guide on blog tours and virtual book tours, it is packed with helpful tips and valuable information. If you are well versed in blogging, you’ll be able to use these tips to enhance your own tour. If you’d like to learn more about virtual book tours, or would benefit from a step-by-step program, check out our flagship course “Virtual Book Tours Made Easy” or our Online Book Marketing Specialist Program (which includes the virtual book tour course content!) Have I got your ideas flowing yet? If you are inspired, please join me on my blog tour. You can find out more by visiting www.BookMarketingMadeEasy.com/virtual-book-tour. Be sure to stop by and let us know about your blog tour, your results, and what you learn along the way! Here’s to your book marketing success!

Testimonials from Authors
"D'vorah Lansky has simplified the mystifying world of Blog Tours with a practical step by step plan for finding blog hosts, communicating with them and creating content. She also includes wonderful work sheets for tracking all the blogs and the tour dates." Mal Duane, Author of Alpha Chick - www.AlphaChick.com

“D’vorah, I wanted to write and let you know just how much I am benefiting from participation in Book Marketing Made Easy Academy. Before learning from you I was in a dark void of understanding about how to meet the marketing requirements placed upon new authors today. Now, having learned the innumerable strategies, resources, plans of action, and how to implement each one, each step of the way – I have light for the path of my writing career.” - Sam Bradley – www.HopesHarbor.net

"D'vorah Lansky is a born teacher. She loves to teach and every module, bonus item, and recording is done with finesse. I look forward to everything she has to offer. Best of all, she is teaching exactly what she says in her objectives, and then, over delivers. She is a true marketer. Her love of marketing is contagious!" - Kate Loving Shenk, Author of Prayer Prescriptions - www.KateLovingShenk.com ©All Rights Reserved D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed. www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com Page 4

Table of Contents
About the Author ................................................................................................................................... 2 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................... 3 Table of Contents ................................................................................................................................... 5 Tip #1 - Get Organized & Put Your Systems in Place ............................................................................... 6 Tip #2 – Decide on a Focus for Your Tour ............................................................................................... 7 Tip #3 – Put a Spin on the Program by Also Hosting Guest Bloggers ....................................................... 8 Tip #4 - Prepare Your Posts & Keep Ahead of Schedule .......................................................................... 9 Tip #5 – Enhance Your Blog with Specialized Plugins and Widgets........................................................ 10 Tip #6 - Have a Blog Contest That Encourages Commenting ................................................................. 11 Tip #7 - Promote Your Blog Tour .......................................................................................................... 12 Get Ready to Take Your Show on the Road .......................................................................................... 13 Recommended Recourses .................................................................................................................... 14

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 5

Tip #1 - Get Organized & Put Your Systems in Place
As you begin to prepare for your blog tour you will want to make sure that you are well organized and that you have your systems in place. Here is a check list of ideas to help you get started:  Decide on the length of your tour and how many blogs you will visit. You can for example blog five days a week or three days a week for three weeks. This gives you time to build momentum and harness the power of this program  Create a bulleted list of topics that you’d like to write about and put that list in sequential order. In this way you’ll know what topic to write about each day  Make sure your book blog or author blog is up to date and features the key components of a book or author blog  Test all the links on your site  Remove any content or promotions that are no longer current or relevant  Make sure your name and photo are prominently displayed on your blog  Set up your Networked Blogs account and link it with your Facebook Account. (As soon as you have 20 blog owners following you, your blog content will get syndicated on Facebook.)  Make a list of friends, colleagues and associates who may have a blog in your niche and contact them to see if they’d like to be part of your blog tour  Make a list of additional blogs you’d like to visit and blog owners you’d like to connect with. Askfor introductions to blog owners you’d like to connect with or reach out and warmly introduce yourself  Setup a Facebook page for your blog tour and install the widget for that page onto your blog  Add an opt-in box to the top right sidebar on your blog so that you can grow your list of subscribers.  Create a report to give in exchange for names and e-mail address so you can build your list  Create an excel spreadsheet so that you can keep organized. You can keep track of things such as the, name of the host blogger, web address, dates you'll be touring that site, how many articles you'll be posting, topic of articles, how you'll be providing the content (word doc or blog login with "author" access), etc.

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 6

Tip #2 – Decide on a Focus for Your Tour
As an author, give thought to what you’ll be focusing on during your tour. Will you be speaking about the message behind your book? Will you be sharing actual content from your book? Will you be sharing about your journey? You can of course blog about all of the above. You’ll also want to give thought to who in your target market serves your audience and find ways to connect with or be introduced to these experts. You can do your research ahead of time, visit their blogs, begin interacting as a participant in their discussions, and connecting with them on the social networks. Deciding on your Blog Tour Focus What topic could you hold a blog tour on? Here are some things to consider that will help you to identify your topic as you begin to schedule your tour.     What are you passionate about learning or teaching? What are your readers interested in knowing more about? Which bloggers have you wanted to connect with? Where does your target market “hang out?”

Your blog tour or virtual book tour, is a powerful way to develop your author platform while being introduced to potentially thousands of new readers. There is much that you can do on your own and there is much that you can delegate to others. The primary activity for you to focus on is the writing of the articles (blog posts), and connecting with potential hosts. When you visit blogs, you’ll often see icons to the blog owner’s social media profiles. Take time to connect and interact. Plan ahead of time and begin building relationships before your tour takes shape. This will give you a strong base to work from when it does come time to plan out your tour schedule.

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 7

Tip #3 – Put a Spin on the Program by Also Hosting Guest Bloggers
In addition to you posting articles on other blogs, you can encourage your hosts to post content on your blog! You can schedule these posts to appear on the same day, thus doubling the announcements and the traffic. During my first blog tour I suggested this to my hosts as a way of strengthening relationships. The suggestion was met with unanimous excitement! Putting together a blog tour is a lot of fun, it does also require a fair amount of time and effort. By having systems firmly in place, you will streamline the process and make things much easier on yourself. You’ll also be able to best guide your guests and hosts, making it very easy for them to participate in your blog tour. Scheduling Your Tour and Your Guest Bloggers A tool that has helped me to stay organized and has helped my hosts and guests stay on schedule is an online service at www.TimeDriver.com . This allows you to set your schedule and your availability and allows your guest bloggers to actually schedule their desired week. Even though the systems requires you to select a time for your appointments, I let people know that while they will see a "time" listed, that for the purposes of the blog tour, they can disregard the time and simply select the week that they would like to reserve. Check it out as it is quite a handy tool! Keeping Organized and Streamlining Systems for Your Guests and Hosts    Confirm Blog addresses and whether you and your hosts prefer to post via “Author level permissions Login” or by sending blog posts in a word doc Confirm when they’ll post or when they’ll be sending you their posts Make arrangements to have your guest bloggers send you their posts and images a few weeks before their scheduled date so that you can stay ahead of yourself and schedule the posts ahead of time Provide your hosts with your posts and images at the same time Send a reminder the week before each stop on your tour and confirm that they have scheduled your posts to go live during your scheduled week

 

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 8

Tip #4 - Prepare Your Posts & Keep Ahead of Schedule
By establishing systems and keeping to a schedule your blog tour will likely go off without a hitch. You can avoid and unneeded stress by scheduling posts ahead of time and making sure that you have your content prepared several weeks in advance. This way if you want to take a vacation or have pressing appointments and projects requiring your attention, you will be able to attend to those things without worrying about what is going on with your blog tour. You may find it works best for you to carve out a week or ten days and churn out all the content for your blog tour during this time period. You can then schedule your posts to go live during the dates of your tour. If that seems like too much to bite off all at once, consider focusing on writing your posts for your first three blogs. That way you’ll be ahead of schedule. As long as you continue to churn out content for your future tour stops, you’ll be ahead of the game. Suggestions for Streamlining Your Blog Posts      Create a template file that you can use for each of your posts. This can include things like your image, signature lines, URL, etc. Decide which URL to list in your post signature. I recommend using a Pretty Link for this. See tip #5 for details. Establish a writing schedule Write your posts ahead of time and schedule them to go live on specific dates Participate in any blog challenges that happen to be taking place during the course of your tour.

Hot Tip for Generating Content An extremely effective way to both generate content and begin to build a relationship with the blogging community is to simply provide a way for people to ask you questions. If you can collect these questions ahead of time you can utilize a question a day as the focus of your blog posts.

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 9

Tip #5 – Enhance Your Blog with Specialized Plugins and Widgets
As you may know, WordPress plugins can extend the functionality of your site. Most plugins are free. However, be selective in your use of plugins; there are thousands upon thousands and they will slow down your site if you add too many. I’d like share a list of plugins that I recommend along with a detailed description of one of them. To find out more about each of these plugins you can visit www.WordPress.org/extend/plugins and do a search. Recommended Plugins      Comment Luv – automatically adds a titled link to the commentators last blog post Twitter Tools – posts a tweet every time a new post is published. Tweet Meme –easily allows your blog post to be retweeted Editorial Calendar – schedule your posts with an easy drag-and-drop feature Pretty Link – see below

Pretty Link is one of my favorite marketing plugins. I use it to create a professional image when I am posting links to products or books that I recommend, including the URL to my book on Amazon.

An example of a pretty link would be: www.BookMarketingMadeEasy.com/amazon - which I use instead of the big long URL that Amazon provides. Using Pretty Links also makes it easier to provide an attractive looking URL at the end of each of your articles for your blog tour!

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 10

Tip #6 - Have a Blog Contest That Encourages Commenting
Having a “Commenting and Tweeting” contest is a great way to build community and gain more exposure for your blog tour. While you are a guest blogger, make sure that you take time to frequent your blog posts and respond to any questions and comments. When establishing your contest parameters, rules and prizes plan for the following.    What action do you want people to take and what activity do you want to reward? Examples: The most thought provoking post, the most posts, the most tweets, or a random post Will you be awarding prizes per blog or tallying the results over the course of the entire tour? How will you keep track of comments and tweets? Suggestion: Select a Twitter hashtag specific for your tour and use www.hootsuite.com to track that hashtag as a keyword. Hoot Suite will allow you to track other pertinent information as well, such as your twitter ID. To track comments, you or your assistant can visit each of your posts and tally the results at the end of the tour. What prizes will you offer? You may want to offer your book or your own products as prizes as this will provide an additional way for you to build a relationship with the participants. How will you notify the winners? You can visit the website or email address they listed when registering their comment. Will you be doing something special to recognize and celebrate the winners? One idea is to feature them on your blog and tweet the announcement on twitter.

 

Once you’ve had a chance to develop your plan of action, I’d love to hear about it. Please share your ideas, results and questions on the site.

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 11

Tip #7 - Promote Your Blog Tour
Now that you are all organized and have your systems in place, it’s time to start promoting your tour. There are many things you can do, including having the hosts of the blogs you’ll be touring to, announce your tour dates to their list as well as to their followers on the social networks. I have found the most effective way to get traffic to my blog is to blog about my blog tour and then tweet about it. Additionally, I’ve found the Networked Blogs application on Facebook to be invaluable. See below for specifics.

Harness the Power of the Social Networks      Create a Facebook fan page specifically for your blog tour or steer traffic to your main Fan page, if the focus relates to your book topic. Add the RSS feed of your blog to your Networked Blogs application on Facebook and add the application to your fan page wall. Set up a Hoot Suite (www.HootSuite.com) account and create columns for your tour hashtag, your twitter ID, and any other relevant categories Encourage your readers to comment on your posts and the posts of your guest bloggers and have your Commenting and Tweeting Contest details easily accessible on your website. Visit the websites of the people who leave thoughtful comments on your site and leave a thoughtful or thought provoking comment on their site. Be sure to thank them for their participation in your blog tour. When registering to post a comment on other peoples’ blogs, you have the opportunity to list your blog URL. You’ll notice that when your comment goes live that your name is hyperlinked. When anyone clicks on your name, it will take them to your blog.

Have fun with this and do something to promote your blog tour each day.

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 12

Get Ready to Take Your Show on the Road
If you are looking to grow your list, develop your blogging skills and become known as an expert in your field, then a Blog Tour or Virtual Book Tour is an excellent program to focus on. Take it one step at a time and utilize this guide as a roadmap. If you have a book tour planned or have conducted a virtual book tour, we’d love to hear from you. Stop by our Facebook group and join in the conversation. http://Facebook.com/groups/BookMarketingMadeEasy If you are interested in a step-by-step program in developing your own blog tour or virtual book tour, check out our comprehensive course at: www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com/course If you are interested in working with authors and supporting them in online book marketing strategies, check out our Online Book Marketing Specialist Program at: www.VAClassroom.com/author

Here’s to your book marketing success! D’vorah

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 13

Recommended Recourses

www.BookMarketingMadeEasy.com

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

www.BookMarketingMadeEasy.com/bestseller

www.GreetingCardsforAuthors.com

www.WebTeleseminars.com

©All Rights Reserved

D’vorah Lansky, M.Ed.

www.VirtualBookToursMadeEasy.com

Page 14

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