Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Platform Pick-Up: Blog pt. 2

Your blog or website serves many purposes, but one of the most important roles is as a place for readers to find you. The question is, how easy are you making it?

Your blog needs to have a static place for readers, media contacts, reviewers and others to contact you. That means creating a clearly labeled place where folks can find all your contact information. For today's task make sure you have a contact tab/page on your blog with up-to-date information listed.

What to list

* Email - This is the most important contact information to have on your blog. If you have nothing else, make sure that you've got an email address. If you don't have one already, go get an email address that uses your author name. Not only does it look more professional than fairieprincess006@aol.com, an address with your name makes it easier for readers to remember.

* Contact form -  Some readers might be hesitant to email you. For some, they might think they are bothering you to send an email. Others might be concerned that emailing you will make their own email address more public and invite spam. Regardless of the reason, not everyone will be comfortable emailing you. For those readers, a contact form is a great alternative. Google Forms makes it easy to create a free form to add to your blog that auto populates a contact spreadsheet.

* Phone number - Some of you might be a bit squeamish about publishing a phone number, but you shouldn't be. I've had a phone number posted on my blog for over a year now. I have received a grand total of ZERO phone calls. No prank calls, spam texts or authors angry about a query rejection. So, please don't worry about a flood of phone calls. Also, I use a free Google number so that if there ever was a problem, I could simply redirect the number without having to change my actual phone number. So, if no one uses it, why have it. Most for media. If someone needs to write a last minute article and decides to feature your book, they might need to get in touch with you in a hurry. Listing a phone number lets them reach out quickly and shows that you are open to being contacted.

* Address - This is the one time when I would say be careful. I would not list your personal address here. Most folks would never cross the line, but all it takes is one to destroy your security. Instead, consider investing in a PO Box if you would like to have a place for readers and other to send you letters. Another option is to list your agent's address. Just be sure to check with them first.

* Social Media - You'll probably want to have your social media easily visible on the main page of your blog, but it doesn't hurt to include them here as well. Make sure you include links to your actual account and not just a list of where you are. Most readers won't take the time to search on FB or Twitter for you, but they will click on a link where they only have to click on button to follow you.

So that's it. Go update your contact pages and then come back tomorrow for the next task.

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