Wednesday, February 19, 2014

#WWoW!: @dochappycamper Asks What is a BlogHop and Why Do I Want to Be in One? #amwriting #MyWANA

Welcome to Tammy's Tidbits here on Writer's Words of Wisdom. The last time I visited with you I had told you I was taking a step back and re-prioritizing my world as a writer, publisher and veterinarian. I'm still working on paring things down to be more manageable—not overwhelming.

In that vein, I'd like to talk a bit about a networking tool for bloggers and by extension authors. For those of you who don't have a blog, you should get one up, or at the very least do guest spots on other blogs to get you, your brand and your books out in front of as many people as possible. I've already talked about blogs in other posts, so I won't go into that again in today's discussion about BLOG HOPS.

What is a blog hop?

It's an "event" where blog owners sign up with the link to their blog in order to share their content and network with other bloggers and gain more exposure for their work (blog or in our cases books). There's usually a common theme such as a specific holiday and is made up of bloggers/authors who write about similar topics or genres.

Do the participants have to write about the same topics or in the same genres or can anyone join?

The whole concept of the hop is to get more exposure and to network with like-minded individuals. As a romance author you wouldn't want to join a blog hop made up of mostly Sci-Fi or horror authors would you? Very few if any people interested in those genres would want to stop in to see your work. 

Bottom line: blog hops that are successful don't have a mishmash of participants. They have a common theme and topic/genre across the board in order to draw in as much response from those outside the networks. Their goal is to introduce new readers and followers to their work.

How long do hops generally last?

Usually only one day, but there are some that last as long as a week over a busy holiday season. I found that if a hop goes longer than three days, you end up not getting very much interaction or new visitors by the end of the event. The most response occurs over the first three days.

How do you join a hop?

The hosts of a hop will advertise on social media when they've opened up the sign up sheet for their hop. They'll also include all the rules, theme and if you're required to have a prize offered for those who visit your blog. It all depends on the hosts and what they wish to do, but some will also have a grand prize where the winner is drawn from the names of all the people who left comments on the various hops. The more stops you make, the more entries the "hoppers" get in the various giveaways.

The most common form to use as a sign up "sheet" is created using Linky Tools. I'll talk that more on another day, but in short it's a way to add your information to the sign up sheet. Linky Tools converts that to a clickable link that will show up in the blog list. This list will then be made available for all "hoppers" to click on to move from blog to blog.

What if I want to organize a hop but only include members of a specific group I participate in? Will this work?

No. You'll only reach a specific number of followers—the very same number you have now and no "new blood." As host, you'll want to give all participants the chance to broaden their fan base. You can't do that if you all share the same pool of readers and most of them are members of the group and yourself.

Now if your intent is to share only within the group and have a way for members to "hop" around between your member blogs, then YES this sort of blog hop would work but it won't bring you more outside traffic. You do this sort of hop using a "private" linky list. All of that is described on the Linky Tools page.

So go ahead and sign up for a hop and meet more bloggers and writers within your genre. Not only will you find authors new to you, you'll be introduced to many more potential fans as well. Get a few hops under your belt and maybe you'll want to host one for yourself!

Until next time,

Learn More About Tammy

Tammy Dennings Maggy is a best selling, multi-published poet and erotic romance author with Siren and Sassy Vixen Publishing. Her writing explores many facets of romance from ultimate betrayal to finding your soul mate. Her poetry serves as a companion to her novels and has inspired entire series all on their own. Tammy and her alter egos Lia Michaels and Stephanie Ryan and Tawny Savage make up the core authors at Sassy Vixen Publishing and together they've created the shared world series Temptations Resort. Look for the first books in that series to come out later this year.
Now happily married to her own Muse and soul mate, she continues to live her dream and act as secretary to all her characters demanding to have their stories told.

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