Thursday, January 8, 2015

Your Blog's Big Event

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! Since Thursday is writing tips day, I thought I'd give a little to the bloggers out there about planning and hosting an event. So, get your pens and notebooks ready, grab your coffee, and let's get rolling!

As you may know, every year I do a little thing here on the blog called the 12 Days of Review Requests. This event not only gets me great books to read and review over the next year, it also helps me expand my network, meet new (awesome) people, and connect with other book bloggers and reviewers.

I spend all year thinking about what I'll do next and planning my marketing for December. I have to choose days, invite awesome bloggers, and gather donations from other authors. 2014 was the biggest year yet, and I intend to make it even more epic in 2015.

Over on My Book Addiction, Toni Lesatz has her zOctober event that focuses solely on zombie novels and the authors who write in that genre. She sent me information three months out about my guest post, what was expected of me, and what I needed to do to take part. That told me she spends a ton of time setting her event up, too.

So, if you went through my how to become a book blogger series, you'll know there's a lot more to running a blog than just choosing a name and typing stuff up once in a while. You need a plan and a big event of some kind that'll take your blog to a new level. After all, what good is a blog if no one reads it, right?

But, before you get all crazy, you have to first decide what kind of event you're going to hold and what you're gonna call it. Here's a quick list of things to consider:
  • Why should people attend?
  • What's in it for them?
  • What's in it for you?
  • How will it be run?
  • Where can you market your event?
  • What if (what can go wrong)?
  • Will you accept donations? If yes, what kind?
  • How long do you have to plan?
  • How long will your event run?
  • Is there another blog with a huge event running in the same time frame?
  • Could you partner to make both events a little bigger?
  • How will you handle donations? Will you deliver the goods or will the donator?
After you answer all those questions, you're ready to start planning. Take these steps:
  1. Form a marketing plan for the event based on the type (I'll get to that in a moment).
  2. Plan for snafus.
  3. Ask for donations (if you plan to take them).
  4. Set up your Rafflecopter forms.
  5. Design stuff for your theme.
  6. Pre-write your posts or gather guest posts and get them formatted.
  7. Prepare your invites.
  8. Take a deep breath and dive in!
Here are some types of events:
  • Blog challenges: Many bloggers join and plan to post each day--and visit posts by others--for a set period of time (do a search for the A-Z challenge, and the Author Blog Challenge).
  • Author/theme spotlights: Guest authors appear and highlight their books. Can be in one genre or many (zOctober).
  • Book Celebrations: Readers gather together to talk books, and/or authors can join in and pitch books (12 Days Review Requests).
I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones that roll off the top of my head. Your imagination is your only limit here.

You can also join up with a couple of memes. I know there's a few out there like Waiting on Wednesday (books you're looking forward to reading), Stacking the Shelves (books you've bought over the last week), and many, many more. That'll drive some traffic to your blog and help you discover other bloggers to network with.

Above all else, make your blog something people will want to stick around to look at again and again.

So, talk to me! What big events are you planning? Have you ever considered running something like this?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. I try to do at least two big events each year, but somehow usually end up doing more. And snafus are a great learning experience, right? ;)

    1. Yes. And a great way to make your forehead bright red ;) LOL


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