2 Things Every Author Should Know About Bloggers
As an established or aspiring author, you are probably familiar with the concept of giving free copies of your books in exchange for honest reviews. There are lots of blogs that review books only. Even brands do this. I mean that’s why Amazon’s vine program is so coveted. People love getting free things, I mean who wouldn’t? Even the so called celebs get freebies all the time. So what are 2 Things Every Author Should Know About Bloggers before giving away free copies of their books?
Have a plan
Before you take any business decision (yes as a serious author, you are a brand, you are a business), you need to know what you want to achieve at the end. When you carry out activity A, what do you hope to get in return?
When you give out a free copy of your book, what do you hope to get from the receiver? I would like to think that you would want the person to at least attempt to read the book. If they like what they read, they are more likely than not to read it to the end. What would be even better is if they consider it worthy of a review and can spare the time to write one. What would be the icing on the cake? If the reviewer posts their review in more than one place and shares the review on all the social networks their on.
You see, that in itself is a fabulous plan. However, if you want to take your career as an author further, you need to be even more strategic than that when approaching bloggers. Ask yourself, what would a proper business do? Is having reviews alone sufficient? What else can you do? Why do more established brands give celebs free things? Surely they have enough brand awareness that they don’t need link building?
See . . . now we are on to something. Brands give free things to those they perceive to be influencers. I personally don’t think they give free things away just because they like being charitable. They have an ultimate goal they want to reach.
According to klout.com . . .
As an author, what would be extremely beneficial to you is if the bloggers who you give free copies of your book to are influential.
Imagine these scenarios:
Blogger A: Reads your book, loves it and writes an indepth review covering the things she liked and the things she didn’t like and recommends that readers get a copy too. However, her followers read her blog posts for the sake of it and rarely take any action on any of the things she posts about.
Blogger B: Reads your book, loves it and writes an indepth review covering the things she liked and the things she didn’t like and recommends that readers get a copy too. She goes further and shares the review with her social network both online and offline. After this, you see a slight boost in sales and/or visits to your website.
I can’t speak for you but I know who I would prefer to work it.
How do you determine a blogger’s influence?
Seeing a flashy website, even comments doesn’t really tell you much about that blogger and his/her followers. What you need is a way to determine that blogger’s influence. This brings me to the 2 things every author should know about bloggers.
1 Domain Authority
What is Domain Authority (DA)?
Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines. Use Domain Authority when comparing one site to another or tracking the “strength” of your website over time.
Simply put, Domain Authority is Moz’s calculated metric for how well a given domain is likely to rank in Google’s search results.
The higher the score, the higher the likely rank on search engines and consequently the greater the chances of discoverability. Most top websites, have a DA of 100, so don’t be worried if a blogger’s DA is not 100.
Domain authority, while a very useful metric, can be difficult to benchmark. Not only do I (quite frequently) see sites with a lower DA than their competitors rank higher, averages can also be skewed by self hosted web 2.0’s like wordpress blogs that have DAs of 100.
DA is only one (presumed) piece of the ranking puzzle but ultimately: you want to increase your DA as much as you can by natural means.
In the same way that you can increase your Page authority by earning contextual and useful links from other websites, you can do the same for DA, although you will need to earn more links to more internal pages.
Another common benchmark people look for is what should be the minimum DA score for a blog to consider guest posting on it. You could say, as a general rule, that you should look at potential prospects with a DA of >30, but again this can be very situational. A blog with a lower DA score might have a highly engaged community and/or social share campaign. Conversely, a blog with a higher DA than that might just be a glorified link-farm, with little to no relevance to your industry and happily gives site-wide links to casinos, viagra pills and so on.
Aim for the starts with DA – never stop looking to improve it in a natural way, as you will invariably be helping your website while doing so. However, it’s only one piece of a puzzle. A high DA is no guarantee for high rankings.
Personally, I would be more interested in websites with a domain authority of 20+.
2 Klout Score
The Klout Score is a number between 1-100 that represents your influence. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score.
The average Klout Score is 40. Users with a score of 63 are in the top 5% of all users.
You can learn more about the Klout Score here: http://klout.com/corp/kscore
You can see my current klout score here. If I was looking to work with a blogger, I would be looking for one with a klout score of 40+
As an author, if you want to generate awareness about yourself and your book(s), then you need to work with influential bloggers. You need bloggers that are likely to rank highly in search results and are influential. The 2 Things Every Author Should Know About Bloggers in my opinion are the blogger’s domain authority and klout score as a minimum.
You could ask for things like the average daily pageviews the website gets from a verifiable source. I believe this is essential if you wanted the blogger to write a sponsored post (not a review).
I hope you have found this post useful. There’s love in sharing, so please click on one of the social icons to share this post with your network. Kindly leave a comment below with your thoughts on this post on 2 Things Every Author Should Know About Bloggers. Have you used any of the tips before? Will you use them from now on? Do you have any other tips?