You might have heard the buzz about blog tours, but you have one major question: what is a blog tour? A blog tour is when you ask fellow bloggers to write a post related to the book, product, program, or service that you are launching. At the end of their posts, they will provide a brief description of whatever you are selling with a link to your sales page. In return, you will want to promote a page with a list of links to all the sites on the tour. This way, everyone gets more visitors to their sites!
Want to host your own blog tour, but you don’t know where to begin? Read on for the steps you need to run a tour of your own.
Step 0: Develop relationships
You need to develop relationships long before you think about running a blog tour. You are going to have a higher success rate if you are not asking people to participate out of the blue. Comment on people’s blog posts, talk to them on social media, and e-mail them about something inspiring they have done or just to say “hi.”
If you sell makeup, this might look like commenting on makeup bloggers YouTube videos or getting into discussions with them on Instagram.
Step 1: Brainstorm a list of topics and dates
You want to take time to plan out your tour. Grab a pen and paper and write down all the ideas you have for potential topics for your bloggers. For example, if you want to have a tour around your new lipstick, you will come up with topics like “the best lipstick colors for blondes” or “occasions to wear lipstick.” You will also want to look at a calendar to see dates that you are free. You want the tour to run a week or two, and you also want to give yourself time to prepare for the tour and to tie up loose ends after it is over.
Step 2: Choose topics and dates
You obviously will need to actually select the topics and dates for the tour. I would recommend topics that are general enough for people to make it work with their business or blog. Also, don’t choose dates where people are usually busy. For example, the holiday season is not the ideal time to run a blog tour.
Step 3: Research potential contributors
Google is your best friend here. You will want to research tastemakers in your industry and look at their policies to see if they will do blog tours. Write down the names and websites of those who are relevant and seem open to participating.
Step 4: Create a spreadsheet of potential contributors
As unexciting as it sounds, you will want to create a spreadsheet to keep yourself sane during the blog tour. Here is some basic information that you will want to keep track of in your spreadsheet:
The person’s name
The link to their website
When and how many times you have e-mailed them
Which topics and dates they picked
If you have linked to and advertised their post.
Click here to download the template
Step 5: Create a packet of materials for contributors
You want to gather all the materials and resources together for your contributors. What do you need? Well, you will need a little blurb for them to post above or below their post. The blurb usually contains a brief description of what you are selling and a link to your sales page. You will also want to include any images you want posted with the blurb (i.e. your logo of the product). Finally, you will want to include a link to the page with all the blog posts! Be sure to attach all this information to the e-mail if people say yes to participating!
Here is a sample blurb:
This post is part of Lisa’s Luscious Lipstick blog tour! Her lipsticks come in bright, beautiful colors that will cause your confidence to blossom. You can purchase your new favorite lipstick here (hyperlink to your sales page). If you want more great lipstick tips, you can read other informative posts here (link to blog page).
Step 6: Set up a webpage for the tour
You will want to have a single page that has links to all the posts. Organize the site according to topics, and link to the blog posts as soon as they are published. Be sure to share this page with your contributors.
Step 7: Reach out to contributors
You will now want to send an e-mail to the contributors. Be sure to do this with as much time before the blog tour dates as possible. I am talking about a few months in advance.
Begin by referring to something nice on their sites or talk about a previous interaction you had with them. After that, you want to describe your blog tour and ask if they wish to participate. Ask them to choose a date and topic that would be best for them. Be sure to include all your materials and information! Conclude by thanking them for their time.
Here is an example e-mail:
Thank you for posting that wonderful eyeliner tutorial! It helped me so much! Now I feel like I can walk into the office with more confidence.
I am running a blog tour for my new lipstick line! Click here (insert a hyperlink) to check out the new products (I am particularly proud of the red lipstick). Would you be interested in participating? You would just have to write a blog post on one of the following topics:
*How to apply lipstick
*How to pair lipstick with your outfit
*How to know if you are choosing the right lipstick for your coloring.
The tour will be running from October 3-18. If you wish to participate, please let me know which topic and date works best for you. If you can join in on the fun, I will be sure to promote your post through my social media channels. I have set up a website for all the posts here (link to the page).
If you wish to participate, I have attached all the information you will need. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Step 8: Follow-up with contributors
If you haven’t heard back from people after a week, send one follow-up e-mail. That is it. As for those who have said yes, send them a reminder e-mail a few days before the start date of the tour.
Step 9: Advertise the tour
This is when social media and your e-mail list are your best friends. Be sure to advertise ALL the posts on your various social media channels. Also, send one e-mail out to your mailing list with a link to the webpage for the blog tour.
Step 10: Thank your contributors
Of course you want to thank people for their hard work! At a minimum, you should write them a thank-you e-mail. If you want to go above and beyond, send them a handwritten note and a gift card.
There you have it! That is how you run a blog tour. Before you know it, you will be getting more traffic to your sales page, and your contributors will be getting more visitors to their blogs! Who knows? You might inspire them to run their own blog tours, and you can participate in theirs!
Guest Post by : Sarah Fox
Sarah Fox is a novel writing coach and editor who helps ambitious authors start and complete their novels. When she is not working on her own novel, she writes for Quirk Books and Imaginary Book Club. You can find her thoughts on writing and pop culture at www.thebookishfox.com.