I knew from past blog tours to prepare in advance. Here are some basic pointers for authors just setting out:
- While writing your book, make a note of blog topics. That list will be crucial when it’s time to promote and you can’t think of a thing to write about. Research topics, funny stories, games—it’s all good.
- Start setting up the blog tour a couple months early. If possible, get a review copy of your book to the blogger—and as early as you can. (I’m probably going to go with a blog tour service the next time around as this takes time to coordinate.)
- My experience is that weekend dates have less traffic than weekdays. I know now to give myself those days off to refuel and catch-up.
- Aim for a good balance of article-style posts, interviews, and excerpts. (Or mix it up with first person interviews of your characters, either/or posts, etc.) Save some of your most fun ideas for the end.
- Don’t post the same blog on different sites. Try to create new content for each one.
- Don’t double book tour stops on the same date.
- Do giveaways. They give readers a reason to comment. Specify whether the contest is international or not. My first blog tour had packages going to Indonesia, England, and Mexico all in the same week.
- Make giveaway questions easy and fun. And put the contest announcement up top to help hook readers.
- Be careful about the length of blogs and excerpts. Too long and you lose the reader's interest.
- Include your cover and other graphics.
I hope this list helps. It is by no means exhaustive and I invite everyone to add more to the comments below or share their insights.