Summer 2012 Tour – Kickoff and Tour Challenge #1

by Daniel R. Marvello

Today is the first day of the Summer 2012 Magic Appreciation Tour!

New authors have joined us since the spring tour, and many of our prior authors are returning for a second round. I encourage all of you to visit each other’s blogs and introduce yourselves.

Speaking of social networking, I have a first-week social networking challenge for all participants. This challenge will get the tour ball rolling and help each of you boost your following.

Tour Challenge #1: Make it easy for fans to follow you

Image of social networking links I’m amazed at how many authors go to all the trouble of setting up a blog and social networking profiles (and maintaining them), only to make it hard for fans and friends to find and follow them.

The first challenge is to update your blog with links to all of your social network accounts, wherever they may be. Here are some Touring Tips on how to do that:

  • Don’t put your social network links into a blog post. It will just scroll off into history as time goes on. Instead, put them on a dedicated page that has its own site menu item. Your “about” page or your “contact” page are good candidates. Better yet, put them in your blog’s side bar so they are always available on every page.
  • Keep all of your social networking links together. If followers find one set of links, they may stop looking for more.
  • If possible, use the cute little logo buttons that help identify the network. Visitors are trained to look for those logos when scanning the page for a way to follow you. Text links work okay too, but visitors have to actually read them to recognize what they are.
  • Include a link to your blog’s RSS feed among your social networking links, even if the blog has links to the feed elsewhere on the site.
  • Include an email signup for visitors who prefer to receive your posts in their inbox. If your blog doesn’t offer a way to do that but does have an RSS feed, go to FeedBurner and get an email signup widget from them.
  • Test your links! Before you test a link, log out of the social networking site so you are coming in fresh. And watch out for links that you cut and paste from your browser address bar: Those URLs may not be the same as what a visitor needs to use to reach your profiles.
  • For extra credit, add social networking widgets to your site. These include things like share buttons, like buttons, and recent post feeds from the various social networking sites. Make it easy for followers to spread the word about your content!

If you’ve already done all of the things on the list above, your future followers will love you.

But do one more thing for me. Go back over your links. Are you missing any? Did you forget to add that Google+ account you set up last week? How about your Goodreads account? If anything is missing, here’s your big chance to add it! Disclosure: I just discovered that I forgot to add my Goodreads account to my blog. I need to take my own advice!

Happy touring, everyone!

*****

Do you have any tips you’d like to add to the list above? Do you have suggestions for future challenges or tips? Tell me in the comments!

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Filed under Blogging, Social Networking, Summer 2012 Tour, Touring Tips

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