Blogging Know-How: Blog Tours and Getting Followers

Welcome to my third Blogging Know How post, my new weekly feature here on Books, Biscuits, and Tea. The aim of this feature is to answer some of your blogging/ reading/ reviewing/ social networking related questions. If there’s anything you’ve been wondering about, you can’t figure out or just want me to help you out with, you can send it to me via email or the little contact form I’ll post at the end of these posts.

“What’s the easiest or best way to become involved in blog tours?” – Rachel

Great question, Rachel! There are many websites out there who offer blog tour services to authors and who are constantly looking for blog tour hosts. Usually, the only requirement is that you have a blog that you regularly update. Some of them approve you right away and some of them look at your statistics (the number of unique visitors you get each day, how long you’ve been blogging, how many people follow you, etc) first, it depends. Here’s some websites you might want to check out:

  • Novel Publicity: Novel Publicity doesn’t have any rules in terms of the length of time you’ve been blogging for, but we do look at bloggers’ statistics.
  • Kismet Book Touring: Even though they are not interested in the number of your followers or your statistics, they require that you have been blogging for at least 3 months before you sign up as a tour host.
  • Bewitching Book Tours
  • Enchanted Book Tours: They are not concerned about how many followers you have or how long you’ve been blogging. Their only requirement is that you have a blog that you regularly update.
  • PJV Tours
  • AtomR Book Blog Tours: Their requirement is that you have at least 300 followers and you’re actively posting on your blog.

To be honest, I’ve never taken part in their tours except for the ones organised by Novel Publicity but I think they’re worth a try. I’ve heard great things about Kismet and BBT so I’m sure they’re cool. :) As for how you get involved in blog tours with publishers, I did some research for you and apparently, first you need to get on the publisher’s mailing list. If you’ve been reviewing their books for a while, you might be contacted by their PR people and asked to join an upcoming tour but it definitely takes a lot of time and effort.

Hello, thanks for helping us out! I was wondering, how do you get followers? I know a blog isn’t going to get popular overnight, but I’m not sure how to get a following. I’ve made my blog look nice and post regularly, but still nada. Do they just come across your blog, or do you have to get things like a Facebook page, etc? Thanks again! – Linny

Well, first off: gaining followers requires patience. I absolutely agree with you, it’s impossible to get popular overnight. It’s important to keep in mind that it takes time and a lot of effort. Mind you, I don’t think there’s a good answer to this question. :D I’m just going to mention the things that worked for me personally or the things I’m trying to work on.

1. Network, network, network: Yes, getting a Facebook page definitely helps. For me personally, Twitter worked much better though. The key is to interact with your followers and other book bloggers, even if they’re not following you yet. Twitter is a fantastic way to find new bookish friends so make sure to use it as much as you can. :) Also, make sure to tweet about your latest blog posts so that people can check it out and use some relevant hashtags too.

2. Goodreads: Goodreads is another great way to get more followers. You might want to join some groups and take part in their discussions – believe me, it works. Some groups (e.g. Blogger Lift) even have discussions about getting followers. You can take part in these “I’ll follow you if you follow me” discussions – it works because there are lots of people out there who are in the same situation and who are also looking for followers. It’s a win-win.

3. Make your blog stand out: Try to be as original as you can. If you post original content, people will come back to your blog. If we post what other people do then why would we stand out? Why would people want to follow another blogger who posts the same stuff the other 600+ people do? We’d be just one in a million.

4. Giveaways: I think the “most popular” way for getting followers is doing a giveaway. You can even sign up for some giveaway hops to increase your chances of being spotted, such as hops run by I Am a Reader Not a Writer.

5. Book Blogs network: This is where I started out. I’m sure you’ve heard about Book Blogs before – if not then it’s a great time to sign up. :) Just like Goodreads, there are many groups you can join here. And once again, they have follow me and I’ll follow you groups too.

6. Comments: Make sure to go out there and visit other people. People won’t come to you unless you go to them first. Visit other people’s blogs and leave meaningful comments on their posts. My experience is that most people will visit you back. Again, it’s a win-win situation and it’s a great way to find blogger friends too. Just make sure to do it as often as you can. Here, I need to mention the fact that out of all these things commenting is the one that worked for me the best. My theory is that you can do as many giveaways you want (i.e spend a lot of money) but it still doesn’t guarantee that people will actually visit your blog. I’ve seen many people with 2000+ followers and barely any comments before and as I said before, I would rather have a smaller readership who actually like what I post and visit me regularly than have a great amount of followers who only stick with me because they have to (i.e. because they want to win your giveaways).

I hope it helps Linny!

Do you guys have any tips for gaining followers? What are the things that worked for you? Feel free to share your tips and ideas below, we’d love to hear them!

Do you have any blogging/reviewing related questions you’d like me to answer on my blog? Something related to ARCs, social networking, or anything else? Don’t hesitate to let me know. :)

51 Responses to “Blogging Know-How: Blog Tours and Getting Followers”

  1. Celine says:

    Great advice Vicky! (: In my experience it’s quite easy to get into blog tours if you update regularly. I joined blog tours when I had as little as 120 followers and it was no problem at all. Sometimes blogs like Once Upon a Twilight host blog tours too – you just have to get lucky and sign up early.

    Commenting is on of the things that’ve worked best for me too. That and Twitter – especially Twitter chats during events! That’s how we met too :D

    xxx
    Celine recently posted..Book Favourites: Fever series by Karen Marie MoningMy Profile

  2. Nicola says:

    Wonderful post! I saw my follower numbers shoot up once I cut down on memes (went from 3-4 a week to just In My Mailbox on Sundays) and added more reviews and cover reveals etc. I think the best way to get followers is to follow and comment on other peoples blogs! Those followers are the best as they’re more likely to leave a comment too and let me know what they think. :)
    Nicola recently posted..Review: Torn by Amanda Hocking (Trylle Trilogy #2)My Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Definitely! I’d rather have less people follow me if they actually take the time to visit me and read my ramblings, rather than a larger number of followers who don’t care about my posts at all. :) And the people I visit/leave a comment for tend to come back to me as well, hehe. :)

  3. Laura says:

    I always seem to have the best response to leaving comments on other blogs. I do have one pet peeve, and I think you’ll agree Vicky. The worst is when someone leaves a comment that is completely canned. Then you know they’re just speeding through as many blogs as possible and copy/pasting… I’ve just started tweeting this week and I still don’t know what I’m doing but we all have to start somewhere, right?

    • Vicky says:

      I totally agree! I don’t mind if they leave me a link to their blog (although now that I moved to WP, you don’t even have to do that since this little commentluv widget will fetch your last blog post for you) as long as the comment includes something meaningful, other than enjoy or great review, and a bunch of links. :)

      Good luck with Twitter!!! :)

  4. Hey Vicky!

    Another great post! The blog tour information was really helpful.

    The follower thing has me stumped right along with many others. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, GR, etc. and I am constantly visiting other blogs to see what’s going on and I comment quite a bit (I get really bored at work.. and I’m on a computer ALL day) and I swear, commenting has gotten me absolutely no where. While I don’t want people following me just because I visited their blog (would be pointless), I can’t imagine my blog is THAT boring that none of the people I talk to want to follow. I feel like I’m doing something wrong!

    The other thing I’ve noticed within the community.. some bloggers don’t seem to follow many people at all. It seems like they think it’s some sort of competition, that if they only have X amount of followers.. they shouldn’t follow other people because they might get overlooked for things in the future. I’ve also seen it from these people by the way they post places. It’s kind of sad. :(

    Just my two cents. :)
    Cassandra Martino recently posted..REVIEW: "Touch" by Jus AccardoMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Hi Cassandra, I took the liberty of checking your blog out and I’d like to say that getting 100 followers in one month is massive. It took me about 3-4 months. So just keep on commenting and whatever you do to get readers, because it is working. Some people just don’t follow blogs that haven’t been around for so long because more often then not they disappear again after a little while.

      But you’re completely right that some bloggers don’t seem to be following other blogs. It does happen, but you can also look at it this way; if you have a big blog with a big following, your blog will use up more of your time. And your time for reading other blogs will be pretty small. But yeah, it’s hard to become one of those blogs that they do read.

      I hope this helps a bit (;
      Celine recently posted..Book Favourites: Fever series by Karen Marie MoningMy Profile

    • Nicola says:

      Cassandra, I think you’re doing great to have 100 followers in only a month! I’ve seen some people take a year to get that many. But perhaps you might consider making your GFC gadget more prominent? I had to do a fair bit of scrolling to find it and when people are going through hundreds of blogs a day, it can be easier when you can see straight away how to follower. Just an idea but really, your blog is doing amazingly well! :)

      • Hey Nicole,

        Thanks a bunch for the advice, I moved the widget towards the top! I am certainly not complaining about my amount of followers, I don’t want you to think that.. I am quite happy and thankful for the ones that I have!!! :)
        Cassandra Martino recently posted..100 Follower Giveaway!!!My Profile

      • Colleen @ Les Livres says:

        I agree, it took me ages to get to 100 followers, and I haven’t broken 200 – my blog’s been around for a little over one year! Having 100 in such a short time is great! =]
        Colleen @ Les Livres recently posted..RAK: April Sign-UpMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      I agree with everyone here, 100+ followers in a month is great, you’re doing a great job, C! :) Just be patient and keep commenting on blogs – it will work! And as Ellie said, make sure to follow and visit blogs that are similar to yours – I mean, people who have similar taste in books or similar reading habits. When I first started out, I followed a bunch of people who, as I now realize, are totally different from me. They read genres I don’t like at all. I would definitely try to find people who review the same genre(s) that you do – I’m sure they’ll follow back. :)

      Oh and I totally agree with you about bloggers who don’t comment back. Celine has a point there, though. I do see why they don’t comment back – I’m v. busy myself so I know it’s really hard to keep commenting – but I do my best! On the other hand, there are people who literally NEVER reply. Not even to the posts on their blog. Which I think is quite annoying. If you have the time to write the post, you should have some time to reply to comments at least once in a while.

  5. Elle says:

    Wow, I just love your blog. The design and the content is simply awsome. I am following you via email.
    Elle
    http://ellesfadedparchment.blogspot.com/

    http://meditativeyogamom.blogspot.com/
    Elle recently posted..William ShakespereMy Profile

  6. Megan says:

    These are great tips Vicky and I love this new feature of yours. It’s always nice to get some helpful and friendly advice out there in blog land. I really appreciate it.

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair
    Megan recently posted..Me Time…My Profile

  7. I think commenting and participating in weekly memes like Waiting on Wednesday and In My Mailbox, and then hopping around to everyone’s blogs is a good way to get comments as well as a following. And it’s important to make sure all your names match. Like, my GFC name is Anna @ Literary Exploration, my Twitter is Lit_Explorer, my Facebook is Literary Exploration. If you make it clear who you are and where you’re coming from people will start to recognize you and be like, “Oh hey that girl! From this blog! I will come back to here!” And there you go! Also, leaving a link at the end of a post is a great way to get people to come back to your blog because it will send them directly there and will make things much easier for everyone :)

    Anna @ Literary Exploration
    Anna @ Literary Exploration recently posted..Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy HigginsMy Profile

    • Colleen @ Les Livres says:

      Agreed – I try to make sure my usernames for everything connected with my blog make it clear that they’re connected. =]
      Colleen @ Les Livres recently posted..RAK: April Sign-UpMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      I agree! IMM and WoW helped me a lot too! And matching usernames are always a good thing :) Although my Twitter name doesn’t match my blog/GFC/Goodreads name, since I’ve had it way before my blog started and I didn’t want to change it now that everyone knows me as @alouetteuette , hehe.

  8. Rebecca (Kindle Fever) says:

    In my experience Twitter and commenting is what works best to get people over to your blog and noticing it. Of course you don’t know if they’ll follow, but I’ve met truly awesome bloggers through these methods!

    Joining memes is also a great way to get people over (and I’ve met lovely people through that too) and other blogging events is an awesome way! My two best blogging friends I met through a blogging conference last year. :)
    Rebecca (Kindle Fever) recently posted..Mystery Blogger: Monaliz (Mind Reading?)My Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Agreed! Twitter works best, when it comes to networking and spreading the word :) Plus, I’ve met some really awesome people on Twitter, including you, which I’m also grateful for.
      Blogging conference?! :o What, what?! :o Tell me, tell me! *puppy eyes*

  9. Emlyn Chand says:

    Such good advice, Vicky. You really a pro! I’d also add “make sure your blog is well-designed, organized, and easy to read.” I don’t care how great your articles are. If you have a blog with neon green font on a patterned black background, I’m not even going to try to read it!

    • Celine says:

      I second that! I can’t stand unreadable fonts and clashing colours that make you cross-eyed
      Celine recently posted..Book Favourites: Fever series by Karen Marie MoningMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Thanks Em! :-) I KNOW! There are so many blogs out there with clashing colours and unreadable fonts, it’s crazy. Another thing I don’t like is blogs which have a million widgets – not just in the sidebar area but all over the place. I hate it when these weird notifications keep popping up and telling me to follow them or enter their giveaway, etc. Plus, if it takes ages to load their website, I’m not going to bother.

  10. Linny says:

    Thanks so much for the awesome reply, Vicky! I will definitely try everything that you suggested, especially the commenting thing. I know I always check people’s blog out when they comment on mine, so why wouldn’t it work for me! I even got a Twitter, not completely sure how to use it, we’ll see how it goes haha.

    And I’ve never even thought about doing a Blog Tour. Maybe after I’ve had my blog for a little longer I’ll try one out.

    Thanks again for the great post!
    Linny recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday #2My Profile

  11. Natasha says:

    Thanks for the info on the book blog tour hosts. I plan on doing more book blog tours (and also author interviews and guest posts) once I’m done school in may.

  12. Shortskie says:

    Wonderful post, definitely helpful. I enjoy doing blog tours and I haven’t heard about most of these. I’ve been with BBT for a month+ now and I enjoy working with them. They are always sending out information on time, emailing you with clearance on dates, sending copies of the books, interviews, and guest posts at reasonable times before your stop. And AtomR is great as well! And thank you for the follower post, definitely helpful as well! Thanks for the time to make this C:

    Shortskie
    Rondo of a Possible World
    Shortskie recently posted..Review: Storybound by Marissa BurtMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Thank you so much!! I’m glad you liked my advice :) I know lots of people are with BBT and they like it so it must be good! :) I don’t really take part in blog tours anymore because I don’t have much time :c

  13. Ellie says:

    I would say that comment on and follow blogs that have similar reading habits to you. I love finding other bloggers that are as eclectic as me and I generally follow them back. In the early days I followed a lot of YA blogs even though I don’t read a lot of YA fiction.I don’t follow those sort of blogs now unless I’ve made friends with the blogger through other means. I like YA books but don’t want to be saturated with information on them!

    Always remember people like to follow in different ways, they are just as important if they bookmark your blog, follow secretly through RSS or just hang out with you on Twitter as those who announce their presence on a widget. A lot of bloggers are really busy and do feel bad if they can’t always come and spend time on your blog. I think the real trick is to get followers that aren’t book bloggers!

    I like comments, but I’m not obsessed with them. I think people can read posts and take notice without feeling they have to leave their mark behind.
    Ellie recently posted..Pre-Loved GiveawayMy Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Same here! When I first started out, I followed a bunch of blogs who turned out to be totally different from me. And what’s the point if we don’t read each other’s posts and we’re not interested in each other’s reviews?!

  14. Jess says:

    I’ve been wanting to start joining book tours, thanks for the list.

  15. Awesome tips, Vicky–I love how clearly you’ve laid out the tips and suggestions. I haven’t joined too many blog tours that are officially organized by groups like this, so I appreciate the round-up! :)

  16. Reve @ YA Books says:

    Great tips, Vicky! I’m not new to blogging, but I am new to book blogging, specifically. Thanks for all the book tour links you gave – will definitely be bookmarking those as well as this post.
    Reve @ YA Books recently posted..YA Books Review – The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithMy Profile

  17. Pushy says:

    What a great feature this is, Vicky! Thanks so much for sharing. And I love your blog, btw, it’s as pretty as it is informative. Nice job!!
    Pushy recently posted..Review: The Name Of The Star by Maureen JohnsonMy Profile

  18. Kate Verrier says:

    Thanks for more fantastic advice, I love your blog anyway and this is such a great feature :)
    Kate Verrier recently posted..A Girl Like You – Gemma BurgessMy Profile

  19. Never Too Fond of Books » Weekly Wrap-Up 4.6.12 says:

    […] Blogging Know How: Blog Tours and Getting Followers […]

  20. Marina says:

    Amazing post, Vicky. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. A great lesson from a fellow blogger.

  21. kimba88 says:

    Great post..i agree #1 way to get followers is to comment…meaningful comments..not hi i am a new follower ck out my blog. Twitter and facebook page have helped as well. Also through twitter i have been asked to join book tours.
    kimba88 recently posted..The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie KagawaMy Profile

  22. Em says:

    Nice. I think I might pick up/download a copy.
    Em recently posted..Review: Mended HeartsMy Profile

  23. Very nice tips! You are right: I rather have 20 followers who comment a lot on my blog, than 2000 and no comments. If there’s something that brightens my day, it’s having a nice comment on a blog I’ve posted :D

    What really helped me to gain more comments and followers, is participating in stuff like ‘Waiting on wednesday’ and ‘Top ten tuesday.’ People always hop by and sometimes, they subscripe to my blog. I get to know other bloggers and I comment back and that’s a quick way of networking :)
    Melanie @thedailyprohecy recently posted..Old review 7. Carrie Vaughn – Steel.My Profile

  24. kim94eve says:

    Wow, I’m so glad I found&saw your post. I already nearly gave up once but then thought “hey, it’s more for me than someone else anyway” and started up again just last month. Still, it’d be nice to know through comments and followers that my blog is being noticed. So here’s me following your advice – commenting! Haha, thanks for the post.
    kim94eve recently posted..Blogger Template Designer Error (1/1)My Profile

  25. […] the site Books Biscuits and Tea, Vicky suggests commenting on others’ blogs to get them to come to you. She […]

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