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Monday, June 8, 2015

The World of Book Blogging: A View From Book Expo



While attending Book Expo America’s blogging conference, I realized a few things that we should all be aware of it.

First, few if any secrets will be revealed in terms of meaningful strategies, lists, resources, or ways to really breakthrough, either as a blogger or as an author or publicist to influence a blogger.

Second, the bloggers, even the popular ones, have their own concerns, fears, obligations, and limitations.  They want to maintain their status and grow as well.  They want to monetize their content, rise to another level of influence, and figure out what else they should or could do to grow as a writer.

Third, by gathering hundreds of likeminded people we feel a room of energy and good will.  Writers – whether authors, bloggers, or news media - share a common skill and brain.  It’s great when we can listen to each other and recognize ourselves.

Fourth, the best part of these conferences are the networking opportunities.  It’s so easy to connect with others and these interactions will only serve to expand our careers.

The panels address, not surprisingly, typical issues that have confronted bloggers for years, including:

·         How often should you blog?
Some do once a day, once a week or once a month.  One panelist said you should blog as often as you feel compelled to do so, especially when you have something to say.

·         How long should your blog post be?
Some subscribe to the micro blogging approach.  Others say 250-1200 words is the norm.  One panelist said she experiments with 3,000-5,000-word posts.

·         How do you grow your readership?
Vague answers circulated about using social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterst.  You grow readers by posting quality content frequently and then taking time to push it to influencers who will share it with others.  Or so we hope!

·         What’s the five to ten-year future of blogs?
The normally insightful, verbose panel really offered no clues as to what will be, for admittedly, no one has a clue as to where things are going. We know things change – and at a fast rate when it comes to technology.  Anticipate change will happen.  Some suggested building email contact lists in case your followers suddenly disappear because FB shuts down a page.

What obligations do book bloggers have to publishers?  None, because they don’t work for them. Bloggers are more like the news media but not quite.  Most aren’t trained and educated on the ethics, techniques, or perspectives the media embraces.  Should bloggers post on every book they request?  No, but if they keep asking for books and never do anything, the publisher could feel properly motivated to cut that blogger off.

What trends are happening?  Is there a new hot site or a particular blog we all should follow?  Nothing earth shattering came from the morning panels that I sat in on, but each person can take in one idea that resonates with them and feel they came away with a worthwhile tip or resource.

I came away with some good networking connections and the happy conclusion that my four-year-old blog is doing many things a blog should and could do. I thank you for reading and supporting it.

In Case You Missed It…

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015


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