Like it or not, review bloggers and social media influencers are still some of the best people to help promote your book. It doesn’t matter how many ads or social media posts you’ve created for your book if no one who matters is talking about it. The power that makes an influencer so, well, influential is called word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing. WOM marketing is one of the most effective ways to sell any product, especially books. This is because we trust our friends more than we trust advertisements. And because influencers are online interacting with their followers daily, people trust influencers the same way they trust their friends. Therefore, people are more likely to actually buy your book if their favorite blogger is raving about it online.
If you’ve never done it before, finding good review bloggers might seem kind of tricky. It’s surprisingly easy though, and below I’ve detailed the process in three simple steps.
Step One: Identify Your Target Market
This first step is crucial to success, because if you can’t identify who is going to buy your book, then you’ll never be able to actually sell it to them. So figure it out by asking detailed questions about the people you’re targeting: How old are they? What’s their gender or sexual orientation? Do they live anywhere in particular? What are their interests and hobbies? What are their lifestyle habits? Which social media platforms do they spend time on? How do they spend their money, and—most importantly—why would they choose to spend it on your book? Transform them from an abstract concept into actual people, because the more you know about them, the easier it will be to actually find them.
Step Two: Google Your Tags
Take all that information you just gathered and search for bloggers and social media accounts dedicated to the interests and habits of your target market. You might get lucky and find that a news outlet has already created a post with a list of the best bloggers in whatever category you’re searching. The dedicated bloggers have their SEO configured to make them show up at the top of search results, so these are people who you know are serious about what they do. And remember not to limit yourself to only book bloggers, because niche bloggers are just as likely to review your book if it fits with the theme of their blog.
Keep in mind that a common misconception is that it’s important to target bloggers with tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of followers. The opposite is actually true. This is because the higher the follower count, the lower the engagement rate for each post. What you want to look for are micro-influencers. These are people with one thousand to ten thousand followers. Micro-influencers have developed a loyal following, and they’re interacting with their followers daily. This means that if they post about your book, they’re likely to reach all ten thousand followers, whereas a macro-influencer likely wouldn’t reach so many.
Step Three: Develop Your List
Once you find one blogger, go to their social media pages and check out who they’re following. Or see if they’re on any lists. Just keep searching until you’ve created a solid list of bloggers and influencers who you believe members of your target audience would follow. Make sure you save yourself some time by verifying that the bloggers you’ve identified are actually open for submissions. A lot of review bloggers get so overloaded with requests that they stop taking them until they get caught up.
And you’re done! Now you can start contacting the people on your list and sending out review requests. Good luck!