Being a Gracious Virtual Guest

Last post I discussed being a gracious virtual host. Well, just as important is being a gracious virtual guest. Now, some of you writers may be wondering why learning about all this is necessary. Simple, an important aspect of writing is promotion - creating a platform and visibility. If no one knows you’re out there, how will you become rich and famous, right? Okay, we all know that probably at least 95% of writers don’t become rich and famous, but you still need to become known in your own space. This is accomplished through promotion. One promotional strategy is virtual tours.

Virtual tours provide an avenue to showcase you and your work. Writers with blogs feature a guest. Maybe the guest wants to promote his freelance capabilities, his expertness in a particular area, or his books, whatever the case, virtual tours is a great means to do this. Since the host is going out of his way to feature you, what should you do to show your appreciation and make the event a success?

Steps to Take to be a Gracious Guest

1. This is an important step: Make sure your content, the information you provide to your host, is fresh, up to date, and interesting. What does this mean? If you were hosted a week ago by another writer, try not to use the same exact information. If you do, it’s not the end of the world because each blogger has his own readers, groups, and promotional strategies, so it’s likely the same readers won’t see it twice in such close succession, but it’s highly advisable to try and avoid it.

To sidetrack a bit here, as the manager of a group of authors who use cross-promotion to increase visibility and readership, I pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Having something entertaining, interesting or informative is key to attracting readers/visitors to your tour or your site. But, I’ll go into more detail about this in another article. Back to being a gracious guest.

2. Communicate with your host. Make sure you understand what your host expects and needs. Not all bloggers host in the same way. One host may want to do an interview, one may want an in depth bio, one may want an article, one may expect pure promo content…

3. Make sure you send your content within the time frame your host states. It’s kind of like being invited for dinner and showing up late…don’t do it. And, be sure you send everything your host will need. Sending it in drips and drabs is another no-no.

4. Promote, Promote, Promote the tour. This is another very important aspect of touring. While your host should also be promoting the tour, it is your guest spot. The whole idea behind doing tours is to increase your visibility. You can’t do this without promotion.

One basic strategy is to announce the tour to your social networks and writing groups – get the word out.

5. During the tour stop by your host’s site at least a couple of times throughout the day. And, if you have the time, it would be nice to stop by once the next day to answer any questions from commenters who may have visited late. You should also thank the commenters for taking the time to leave a comment.

6. Thank your host.

That’s about it. A finale note though: remember to pay it forward. When a writer is looking for someone to host him, step forward!

Karen Cioffi


Cheryl said...

Another fabulous and timely article. I find #1 to be crucial to a successful virtual book tour. Our clients range from self-published authors to those published by bestselling authors published by NY houses, and it can be tricky to get fresh content from some authors.

One of the things we stress to our clients is the importance of being involved in their tours. Stopping by the hosting blog, thanking the blogger, offering to answer questions, promoting the blog stop just like we do at social networks, etc.

You get out of something what you put into it; so even if you're not paying a company to coordinate your VBT, don't you owe it to yourself and your work to do everything you can to make it a success?

Thanks again for sharing these articles.

Happy Holidays to you and your readers.


Malcolm R. Campbell said...

Some readers are going to visit several spots on the tour; they won't learn anything new if the same stuff is posted every day.

Great points, great post.


Karen Cioffi said...

Thanks for your input - I appreciate it!

Yes, keeping it fresh it probably the most difficult aspect of ongoing tours. I find offering useful articles is a great way to accomplish this. At the end of the article you can lead the reader back to your site of do a little promo.

Tours are so common now, that it's important to keep moving forward.