Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Get The Most Out Of Being A Host

The Keys To Being Successful as a Virtual Tour Host

If you have been following my site or have visited any of my site pages you are now familiar with the basic idea of a virtual blog tour and how it works.

Today I would like to look at the key elements that make a successful tour and how you as a tour host can maximize your involvement for the best results.


How Do We Measure a Tour's Success?
The true measure of a virtual tour's success comes as increased Internet traffic, improved site ranking, increased followers and/or product sales.

Success is built through . . .
  • quality tour management
  • quality tour value in the form of content -articles, interviews, and reviews
  • quality tour value in the form of external link acquisitions - Multi and reciprocal linking
  • tour completion incentives and purchase incentives 
  • Social media buzz 
  • quality host participation

There are three critical stages of a virtual tour . . .

Pre-Tour:
Increased Internet traffic is generated through the dedicated pre-tour buildup and promotional activities of the tour's management and hosts. Pre-tour buildup includes announcement of the tour as an online media release, mailing list notifications, pre-tour promotional blogging, and micro posting promotional efforts made through social media networks such as Twitter and FaceBook.

Tour Run:
Active participation by hosts and author during the tour . . .
  • appropriate posting of the tour articles, interviews and reviews, including purchase links, and tour stop links that tell followers where to go next 
  • ongoing management, author and host commenting at the various tour stops through the course of a tour.
  • the creation of  back links in comments made between hosts
Post Tour:
Really savvy tour managers and hosts will continue to get as much "play" out of a tour as possible, even after a tour is completed. They do this by referring to the tour in subsequent posts, by including links to other tour posts and hosts, and by visiting other host sites to leave comments about the tour's success.  Hosts benefit in many ways by doing this and often make networking connections for future endeavors.

A good example of post-tour promotion comes through my recent participation in the November 21, 2010, Blog Jog Day tour, managed by Carol Denbow of A Book Inside. [Oh my, did I just try to get more Blog Jog Day "play" by referencing my participation? Watch . . . I'm not done yet.]

The day after the blog jog was complete I was reviewing the comments left by hosts and visitors. I like to make sure to thank other hosts for commenting on my blog. In visiting others I was honored to find that another host, All Things That Matter, used a selection from my blog jog post in a post-tour blog entry. Not only did she bring my blog and site to the attention of her followers, she also referred followers back to the Blog Jog Day.

Can you see how a trend is developing?

If I had failed to follow up as a host through post-tour participation, I would never have seen that my site had received additional mention. I would have missed the opportunity to comment with a thank you and to create backlinks between our posts. Backlinks are important because search engines like Google, and Yahoo monitor the comments and backlinks as part of evaluating a site ranking.

The benefits of post-tour participation continue as . . .

In appreciation for the post-tour mention at All Things That Matter, I was inspired to write this post, where I continue to pay the good publicity forward, for Blog Jog Day, and All Things That Matter Press, drawing further attention to my own post, and most importantly to the authors and books I represent.

Think about it and remember . . .

Anything worth doing . . .

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