Today we are going to talk about promotional tours for your book and which works better, a blog tour or a podcast tour. We’ll also talk about why podcast tours are replacing blog tours and what to do about it.
What is a blog tour?
A blog tour is when you (or your marketing/PR person) schedule a series of blog posts about you and your book.
These posts take a few forms:
- Author Interview – The most common is an interview where the blogger emails the author some questions that the author types up answers to.
- Book Review – The author sends the blogger a copy of your book and they write up a review of it.
- Guest Post – The author writes up a guest post for the blog. This is commonly used with more popular blogs that are less focused on blog tours. Of the three types of blog-tour posts, this one is both the most work and the most effective if you are writing for popular blogs.
The Challenge With Blog Tours
Anyone can set up a blog. Because of this, there are millions of blogs, most of which get effectively zero visitors. Most authors (and sadly many marketing folks for publishers) don’t know how to tell how much traffic a particular blog gets. The result is that they end up on unpopular blogs and their time, effort, and money are wasted.
In some ways, it is too easy to start a blog, at least from a blog tour perspective. This crowded field makes a blog worthless in and of itself. What has worth is the following a blog has.
Blog tours are one of those low-effort strategies that marketing teams suggest when they don’t have the budget for anything more effective.
How to Make Blog Tours Work
Focus on Popular Blogs
You can find out how popular a blog is by looking up its Alexa score at https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo. Each website and blog has a ranking. The most visited website is 1, 2nd most is 2, and so on.
Alexa only tracks the top 10 million websites, so if a blog has no score, then it is not in the top 10 million.
For some reference:
- SteveLaube.com has a score of 477,071
- AuthorMedia.com has a score of 308,857
- ThomasUmstattd.com has a score of 1,642,439
Alexa doesn’t track podcast downloads.
Focus on Focused Blogs
If you write Amish fiction, and the blog only reviews Amish books, it is a better target for your tour than an unfocused book review blog. The value of a blog is the value of the audience that blog has built. An unfocused audience will never sell as many books as a focused blog.
Doing it Right
I worked with a celebrity pastor to launch a book. One of the things he did was a tour of his celebrity pastor friends’ blogs. These were celebrities who had similar theology to the pastor I was working with. They already had a relationship to my pastor client, and they already had popular blogs. We sold out my client’s book by 10am the morning of the launch.
What is a podcast tour?
Podcast tours are more like traditional press tours, except you don’t have to travel.
With a podcast tour, you do a series of podcast interviews on various podcasts around the web.
Why Bestselling Authors Prefer Podcast Tours
Hosting a Podcast Requires Time & Money
Since hosting a podcast is harder and more expensive, there are far fewer podcasts. The kind of authors looking for shortcuts don’t start podcasts. If they do, they give up after a few episodes and pod-fade. Podcasts that last tend to have good listenership, because if it is so much effort to make new episodes, why put in that effort if no one is listening?
As a podcast guest, you get to take advantage of all that time and money the host has invested into starting a podcast.
Podcast Tours Are Easier
Being interviewed on a podcast is typically less work than writing answers to a blog interview or crafting a guest post.
Podcast Tours Are Cheaper
Blog tour blogs expect you to send them a free paper copy of your book, and sometimes they also request a copy to give away for free to their readers.
This requesting of free books is not the norm amongst podcasters. Of all the people I have interviewed on the Christian Publishing Show, only one of them sent me a copy of her book. And I didn’t ask for it!
Podcast Tours Are More In-Depth And Persuasive
A typical blog tour post is between 500 and 1000 words. The typical interview podcast is 25-45 minutes. You will spend much longer in the mind of a podcast listener than you will in a blog reader. If someone hears you talking about your book all the way into work, there is a good chance they will buy your book once they sit down at their computer.
Podcast Tours Reach Influencers You Couldn’t Reach Any Other Way
Rich, educated, and powerful people are more likely to listen to podcasts. In fact, there is a type of high-level CEO (or pastor) you can only reach with a podcast.
Someone filters his email, he is too busy for social media, and someone answers his phone. But he listens to podcasts in his car, and if you are on the podcasts he listens to, you can talk directly to him for up to 30 minutes! Talk about influence.
Podcast Tours Help You Hone Your Message
The live and interactive nature of podcasts helps you craft and hone your message. This will help you on stage and even on TV!
Podcast Guesting Helps You Trade up the Chain
Podcasting helps you trade up the chain from niche to noteworthy podcasts and ultimately up to radio and TV. Back when I hosted a radio show, I looked to see if a potential guest had done any podcast interviews to see how good a guest they would be.
If they had zero interviews I could find, I was less likely to book them for my show.
I’m Hosting a Free Webinar on Thursday
Christian Publishing Show host Thomas Umstattd Jr. is hosting a free webinar this Thursday titled How to Leverage the Power of Podcasting. He will talk about how to listen, get guest interviews, and how to host your own podcast. If you are wanting to learn more about podcasting, this is not a webinar you will want to miss. Thomas will also answer your podcast-related questions.
- Cost: Free
- When: Thursday at 7 pm Central Time (Convert Timezone)
- Where: Register Here
- Why: Learn how podcasts work and easy ways to start using them to write better books and build a bigger platform.
Can’t make it? You can register for the replay.
Sponsor: Christian Writers Institute
The Course of the Week: How to Get Booked as a Podcast Guest
With thousands of new books published each day, do you ever feel like your writing is getting lost in the noise? It can be frustrating having an important message to share while not being able to reach the people who would want to read it.
Savvy authors know that podcasts are one of the most effective ways to promote their books to new audiences. But starting a podcast is difficult and expensive. That’s the bad news.
The good news is you don’t need your own podcast to spread the word about your book. In fact, starting your own podcast can be a mistake, since your initial listeners likely already know about your book.
The better solution is to be a guest on popular podcasts related to your book.
Podcast guesting gives you:
- a high-credibility way to reach new audiences
- the influence of a podcast without the work of starting your own
- access to influencers you couldn’t reach any other way
But how do you get guest interviews? And once you get the interview, how do you convince listeners to buy your book and hosts to invite you back on the show? That is where How to Get Booked as a Podcast Guest comes in.
Once you take this course, you will know how to contact podcasters and feel confident going on their shows to talk about your message. You will learn techniques most podcast guests don’t know, techniques that took Thomas Umstattd Jr. over a decade of podcasting to learn and develop.
You don’t need to hire a PR firm for $3000 to schedule your podcast interviews. You just need to know the secrets of pitching podcasts yourself. And, once you start nailing interviews, podcasters will start reaching out to you to invite you on their shows.
With this course, you will be transformed into a sought-after podcast guest who has access to thought leaders and readers alike.
If you are ready to get your book the attention it deserves, this course is for you.
For the next week, the course is on sale for 80% off with coupon code “SEPT2019”. If you miss out on that deal you can still save 10% with coupon code “podcast”.