By Penny Sansevieri
When it comes to online promotion, it's really about participating. Think of the Internet as one big cocktail party. Go strike up a conversation with someone who you'd like to get to know better. Here's a great way to do that.
First, go to Technorati.com and find the top five blogs in your market, then watch them for a week or so and when you're comfortable with what they're talking about and the angle of their message, start posting comments and offering your own insight into their postings. Bloggers love comments and by participating you're doing two things: virtual networking (aka cyber-schmoozing) and promoting yourself via the link back to your site that's part of your post every time you comment.
Conduct your own blog tour: after you've done some virtual networking and gotten to know some folks in your industry, contact them about guest blogging opportunities. Guest blogging is pretty simple, you post an article on a site (sometimes it's also a Q&A) and you respond to comments that come in during that day or week that you're guest blogging. Be ready to host a blog tour of your own and unless the content is really off-topic from your site, consider it.
Blog carnivals: if you haven't participated in a blog carnival and you've been blogging for a while then head on over to http://blogcarnival.com and get started. Find a category/topic that you can speak to or have blogged on and submit those blogs for consideration. It's a great way to virtually network and publish more content online.
Help promote the good stuff: do you get Google alerts on yourself? If you don't, you should and here's why: how else will you know what people are saying about you online? Google alerts is a simple way to monitor the cyber-chatter and get in touch with folks who review your book or feature you on their site. You can also go to Technorati.com, plug in your name, company name or title of your book and see what you pull up, then you can subscribe to the syndication feed of the search (just hit the RSS button and it'll automatically subscribe you to that feed).
Once you have your feeds ready you'll want to promote all the good stuff. How can you do that? Offer a cyber-thank-you to whomever mentioned you, reviewed your book or featured you on their site. Next, link to their site from your blog and finally, go to a few social bookmarking sites and bookmark these postings for enhanced exposure. To do that go to either Digg.com, Stumbledupon.com, or Delicious.com and create accounts (this takes just a few minutes). Then follow the instructions to bookmark a blog post or page on the site that's featured you. This will help drive interest (and possibly traffic) to the site (which site owners will love you for) because you're placing it in a public bookmarking system.
The simpler you keep it, the more you'll do. If only one thing on this list appeals to you that's great. Keep in mind, doing one more thing this week than you did last week keeps you moving forward and helps you continue to create marketing momentum for your book!
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the innovative Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books including Red Hot Internet Publicity, which was just sold to Sourcebooks with a planned re-release in Fall 2009. To learn more about Penny's books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at www.amarketingexpert.com.