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ASK EM — Blog Etiquette

Keyboard with Tips and Tricks Button.

Today’s topic of ASK EM is one of my pet peeves for a lot of reasons. For those of you who don’t know, I am the marketing person for two small presses. Besides running their blogs, I run this blog and I’ve even had a secret undercover blog for tour companies.

I can’t express enough what a pain in the ass blogging can be. It’s time-consuming, annoying, frustrating. Especially when you’re relying on others for your content. So here are some tips about blog etiquette:

1. SHOW THE HELL UP — this isn’t hard. You write something short and sweet, say 250 words. Not a huge time investment, do we agree? But DO NOT ask for a blog date then crap out on it. It’s like never showing up for a doctor’s appointment. Pretty soon you’re not going to get an appointment.

2. KEEP IT SHORT AND INTERESTING — I’ve posted blogs that are the length of a short story. Seriously–you could charge .99 for them on Amazon.

When writing a blog, consider your reader. It’s probably someone sitting at work and secretly peeking at your blog post. Readers have 3-5 minutes to spend on your blog. If it’s too long, they’re going to leave before they’ve gotten the gist of your post.

3. FORMAT — I can’t stress this enough because it is the biggest pain in the ass to format someone else’s post!

Do not send a blog post that is one big, fat, thick, irritating, black blob of text! You don’t want to read that, and neither do we. White space is your friend. I write my blogs on Word and add an extra space after every single paragraph.

When you send this to a blogger, they’re going to cut/paste into their WordPress or Blogger screens. By adding extra spaces, it is already formatted.

If you don’t add extra spaces, it looks like this:

I’ve sent your book to over 75 reviewers including Manic Readers review depot and Long and Short Reviews. However, reviewers are overloaded so you may not receive more than 1 review. Don’t worry if this happens—it’s a good opportunity to promote your book again.I tweet everything daily and post on FB daily. I place a blog on the RS blog, as well as a Speed Date My Hero question/answer session (attached here if you don’t have it yet). I also tweet facts about you taken from the PQA form you filled out early on, as well as your website, twitter, fb, etc.I put your info up on The Romance Studio release parties.I suggest you do a blog tour. If you have dates, I’d be happy to share them via social media. Also, giveaways are good, but I personally like to give away items other than my book. We want the readers to buy the book. Hope this helps! Let me know if you need anything.

You have to admit, this could be spread into 4 paragraphs that would be easier to read!

4. ADD LINKS — often people add hyperlinks to their posts, but sometimes they do not translate on WordPress/Blogger. You end up with dead links and the blog owner has to track your ass down via email or swipe links from the Internet.

Again, irritating and time-consuming. If you’re good at adding hyperlinks to your posts, kudos to you! If you don’t have a damn clue what I’m talking about, please place the full link so the blogger can decide how to handle it.

Ex:

Somethin’ Dirty is now available at Samhain http://store.samhainpublishing.com/somethin-dirty-p-73226.html

Somethin’ Dirty is now available at Samhain

5. FOR THE LOVE OF THE POPE PLEASE PUT A SIGNATURE — I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve placed a blog and been like…who the fuck is this person? Treat blog writing like a letter. Sign your name, put your links. After all, this is another way to advertise yourself!

6. KEEP IT INTERESTING — Think about your favorite celebrities. If you read a dull interview in People magazine about Jennifer Aniston’s new hair and all the products she uses…wait! We do read that trash! Okay, if we read a big list of Jennifer Aniston’s movie credits including links to all, you’d probably yawn and turn the page to read about J-Lo’s butt surgery. Right?

Give us interesting blogs! We want character interviews, what inspires you, your favorite recipe, how you manage a writing career along with a family/day job, your hobby, your pet, where your book is set, something unique about your hero, your heroine’s purse obsession…the list could go on for a mile!

Hint: We really won’t read your backlist titles and links in an awed voice.

7. KEEP PICS TO A MINIMUM — Please, please, if you’ve ever taken a bit of advice from me, let it be this! No blogger wants to download, save, then upload your pics to their blog. It results in hard drives chock full of garbage, which we later must delete. However, you need pics and covers with your blog post. But do we need 19 pictures and 32 covers? Oh hellz no.

Simplify!

8. DO VISIT THE BLOG — after your post goes live, you want interaction with the blog owner as well as the readers. Add a fun tidbit to the comments section or thank people for allowing you to blog or for stopping by.

Moral of the story: Blogging is important, peeps. Having good manners can mean success. Commit the crimes above (and all at once!) and you won’t have very many people willing to showcase you.

Thanks for reading!

Em~

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7 comments on “ASK EM — Blog Etiquette

  1. Brilliant post and great blogging advice! 🙂

  2. I used to host other authors on my blog and I cannot tell you how many contacted me, then never responded to my gentle reminder ‘your post is next week and I still don’t have it’ or even ‘tomorrow is your day; do you still want to be my guest?’ even though I’d contacted them a month in advance, then the week before! Or the ones who didn’t send links….or pictures….if I had time, I’d go to their site and lift the ones I wanted.

    Another pet peeve was the ones who didn’t promote their own interview. If I’m taking the time to host you, and spend an hour or two promoting you on social media and chat loops, then you don’t do the same, don’t complain when nobody comments. There’s only so much I can do on my end.

    If they send me the first chapter of their book, I find a nice ‘stopping point’ to cut it down. Nobody’s going to read all of; they’ll get bored and leave.

    Excellent post!!

  3. Great post and I agree with every point!!

  4. Excellent post! Right on all points. Another pointer I’d like to add is never add the photos to the word doc with all the information. It is next to impossible to lift the image(s) from the word doc. And on the slim chance you do manage to get blogger and word to work nicely, the photo knocks all the formatting in blogger out of alignment.

    Thanks for all the pointers, Em! Now if you could do a post on good topics to write about… 😉

  5. Most of that I’d already learned through trial and error, I wish I’d read this post a year ago. I would have printed it out and taped it to my laptop! And I’ve stopped working with repeat offenders myself, so I know how useful this info is for authors trying to get their name out there. Marketing can be a bitch, but common courtesy still wins every time. Thanks, Em!

  6. Any tips for new bloggers who are still new to reviewing? Thanks!

    • If you’re getting guests to post, I’d give them clear instructions on your blog. What you expect and when, and don’t be afraid to say…you missed the deadline, I’m sorry, but you’re out. 🙂

      Best of luck!

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