Welcome to this week’s edition of Bumblings Blog Tips!
Honestly, I feel like kind of a phony writing this. I don’t use Goodreads much anymore. But the topic was suggested, and I want to keep the people happy! But since I don’t have a lot of first-hand experience, this post will be short.
Goodreads is important for a lot of bloggers. It’s a great way to reach more casual readers who aren’t looking at authors’ blog tour schedules, in Facebook groups, etc. But how do you convert them from Goodreads friends or followers into blog readers?
Even though I’m no Goodreads expert, I do know a bit about social media marketing, so I have a few tips:
1. Use Your Blog’s Name on Goodreads
This one may not bring you any direct traffic, but it tells the Goodreads world, “Hi, I’m a blogger and this is the name of my blog.” That’s going to be really important for branding.
If you sign up through Facebook (like I did before I blogged) or decided to use your real name, things can get confusing. Your Goodreads friends also may not associate your Goodreads reviews and activity with your blog, which you want them to.
For example, let’s say you’re friends with Sally Smith on Goodreads and you use your real name. Your blog’s name is Reviews and Stuff (creative, I know). Then one day, Sally is on Facebook or Twitter and sees a link to a review on Reviews and Stuff. She likes it, but doesn’t subscribe or follow or anything.
If she knew that Reviews and Stuff was written by you, whom she talks to and reads all the time on Goodreads, don’t you think she would have been quicker to subscribe?
(Note: If you don’t want to confuse people you know in real life you’re friends with on Goodreads, you can always use a picture of yourself or include your name in your bio. That’s what I do.)
2. Utilize Your Goodreads Bio
Like any social network, Goodreads lets you write a bio. Take advantage of it:
- You must, must, must add a link to your blog. There’s a form in the edit profile area where you can add the URL, and it also doesn’t hurt (for SEO purposes) to mention it elsewhere in the bio.
- In interests, add some interests as well as the genres you read and blog about. Goodreads search uses keywords, so new readers can find you through there.
- Use the big bio box to tell people about your blog.
3. Join Goodreads Groups
Groups are more for networking and making friends than directly promoting your blog. In fact, most groups won’t be cool with you posting all your reviews and tour stops.
But, most groups have a discussion thread that acts as a directory for bloggers. Additionally, groups are great ways to make friends. And if you follow the other pieces of advice in this post, your friends should easily be able to find your blog. Voila!
4. Post Repurposed Reviews
Note (very carefully) that I did not say to cross-post reviews. That’s a bad idea.
Why? Duplicate content. A longer post about duplicate is coming eventually, but I briefly explained it last week.
But additionally, you don’t want your Goodreads reviews to outrank your blog ones.
So, what do I do? Well, ideally (because I’m months behind on cross-posting and actually haven’t done anything lately), I’ll start off a Goodreads review with something like “For my full review: [link to my blog review],” with a shortened link to the blog post with the review.
Most people put it at the end. But if the review is longer than a paragraph, the end is usually hidden behind a “See more…” like (oh hey, like a post excerpt!). By putting it at the beginning, you’re making sure everyone browsing past your review sees the link.
So, after that, I leave a review that’s just a few sentences instead of copy and pasting the whole review. I noticed quickly when I started using Goodreads that my shorter reviews got more likes and comments than the longer reviews. So I figured that more people were reading them because they didn’t see 10 paragraphs and go, “Whoa, I don’t feel like reading that.”
So the short reviews serve two purposes: preventing duplicate content, and engaging Goodreads users and making them easy to read.
5. Connect with Bloggers and Authors
Let’s not forget what social networks are for: making and talking to friends! Find other bloggers and send them requests. Friend authors you review (you can also message them links to your reviews in case they haven’t seen them).
So, I’m obviously still learning how to use Goodreads as a blogger. But what are your favorite marketing tactics over there? Leave them in the comments!
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