Last week I wrote a book review of Marketing Management Essentials You Always Wanted to Know, published by Vibrant Publishers.
This self-learning management series guide has only 120 pages, but is jam-packed with information about marketing management. So, I thought I would share my three top tips from the book, and how they can easily be applied to book bloggers.
- Marketing is an organizational and a management function, as well as a business concept.
If you’re thinking, what does marketing have to do with book blogging (or blogging in general), the answer is EVERYTHING. Marketing encompasses so much, and there are a many key factors that book bloggers face on a daily basis:
- customer relationships (your readers, followers, publishers, authors, etc)
- displays (photos and graphics, actual book displays)
- market research (what are people reading or want to read, etc)
- merchandising (buy this book, actual book purchases, bookish merchandise, etc)
- publicity (any promotional content that you share is publicity for the author, book, publisher)
- forecasting (ARCs, DRCs, etc- if you show interest in a book before the release, etc)
- buying (obviously books and bookish merch)
- selling (you are helping publishers or authors sell their books, and maybe your own merch)
- advertising (reviews and photos being seen= advertising)
- public relations (maintaining connections with other book bloggers and readers)
- sales promotion (agreeing to promote specific books, etc)
Note that often, these key factors require some sort of exchange, such as dealing with publishers or authors or other bloggers, and all of it must be managed by someone (most likely yourself, unless your blog is run by more than one person). Therefore, you could say that to run your book blog, you must treat it as a business concept.
2. Book bloggers operate in the customer market.
The customer market refers to “those who buy goods and services for their own use and not resale.” This is compounded by the variations of what the customers like, dislike, want, and need. As a book blogger, you are putting out content that relates to books, but your readers are the ones who decide if they are interested in that content based on certain criteria. This fact is why it’s important to remember that even if you completely disliked a book, it may be perfect for someone else. This is why I’m pro-sharing DNF and low rated books, because I know that just because a certain book doesn’t check certain criteria for me, it may for someone else.
3. Utilize a strategic planning process.
There is nothing wrong with writing a blog for your own sole purpose, but if you intend to grow your blog, its reach, and its popularity, you must come up with some sort of marketing strategy. A strategic plan has four main elements:
- strategic intent (what goal do you want to accomplish?)
- mission (how are you going to achieve this goal?)
- vision (what does your end result look like?)
- objectives (what steps can you take to get to the goal?)
Additionally, the mission can be broken down into four questions (which I have provided example answers to for book bloggers):
- What is our business? (Book blogging, the business of discussion books)
- What kind of business are we? (entrepreneurial, niche market, etc.)
- Who is our customer? (readers, authors, publishers)
- What are we in business for? (to sell books, to promote literacy, to connect with other readers, etc.)
If you create a strategic plan on how to grow your blog, it can help you stay motivated on what you want to say on your blog, and what kind of followers you want to attract. If things are organized and the followers enjoy your content, they’ll keep coming back!