I ascribed this post as a guide for book bloggers, but you can take it however you want. This could also partly serve as a general guide to Goodreads, if you're curious about the site.
What Goodreads is all About:
In its own words,
"Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers and book recommendations. See what your friends are reading, organize what you've read, list your favorite books, discuss literature, form groups, and connect with other readers."
You might be saying, "that's all well and good, but how can Goodreads help me promote my blog?"
I'll tell you.
It's Not All About Self Promotion:
But before you get savvy with the site and start leaving links to your blog left and right, remember this: it's not all about self promotion.
When I started using Goodreads I didn't even have a book blog. I just wanted to be a part of everything that Goodreads promoted. I joined groups; I organized my bookshelves; I kept track of everything I read; I participated in discussions. It was always an enjoyable experience for me, and that is what it should be for you. Don't make it chore--because often promotion can be just that.
Keep in mind that Goodreads is social media, and that means interacting with other people(NOT spamming). But trying to promote your blog is NOT a bad thing as long you don't overdo it and start to annoy other users.
How Goodreads Can Help Book Bloggers:
- Add friends--especially other bloggers. This is how you make connections. But please, don't just friend people at random. And don't send that request just because you want their follow. I get this on Twitter ALL the time. And then I get unfollowed because I didn't follow back. (Sheesh, you guys. Only follow/friend people you have a genuine interest in). Friend people you like and if they don't accept your request, interact with them anyway. If you friend someone, that means you're following them whether or not they accept your request. If you find you have something to say, comment on the reviews and statuses of these people. Make people remember you. Eventually they might become more interested in your friendship, in what you have to say, in your blog..... But don't get upset if you get ignored. Some people have a bazillion GR friends and can't pay attention to all of their adoring followers. (I have found loads of other amazing book bloggers through Goodreads. I really believe that interacting with these lovely people through GR helped me to better connect with the book blogging community as a whole. )
- Join a group. Did you know there are some groups specifically for book bloggers? Click on the "groups" link and search "book bloggers." Or check out my own group, Bloggers Discuss. Joining groups like this can be a great way to gain recognition for your blog. Share the link to your blog in the group. Visit the blogs of other bloggers in the group and let them know you found them through a GR group you're both a part of. They may return the favor and visit your blog as well.
- Be active. Update your status, post reviews. Also, like other reviews and comment on other people's statuses. It's not all about you. Goodreads is a reading COMMUNITY. If you don't embrace the community, the community won't embrace you.
- Interact with authors. I don't mean harass them. Don't message them everyday. But follow your favorite authors. Even send them friend requests with a friendly, polite message. Leave thoughtful comments on their blog posts and reviews. Remember to stay polite and professional. These interactions may open up future possibilities of collaborating with different authors on your blog.
- **note: If you do request a guest post or interview of an author, I suggest you do that by emailing them. An email is considered to be more professional, but you can remind them of your connection through Goodreads!
- Leave your blog link in your bio. First, you must write a bio!! Don't just leave it blank. People do actually read these things, you know. There is a designated place for you to leave your site's link in your profile, but it doesn't hurt to leave it in your 'about me' section either.
- Leave your link in reviews. I'm not going to tell you whether you should put your full review or just a few short sentences with a link to your full review. That's entirely your decision. But either way, you should have a link to where you originally posted your review on your blog.
- Utilize the tools it provides. Did you know you can blog your Goodreads reviews? Just by going to your review on the site, copying the html, and pasting it into your post, you get your review--with a link to the book and author profiles on GR, a link to your GR review, and a link that will direct your readers to ALL of your Goodreads reviews. Now, you may have a system that works for you already, but I love this feature!
Because I want to help you grow your blog audience(and I myself try to utilize Goodreads for this) I hope you found this post helpful.
Truthfully, I do most of my interactions on social media on Goodreads because it's great for getting involved in discussions and making people remember you. You're still more likely to get better traffic from Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook...but don't think investing in Goodreads is a waste of time.
Just remember, the most important thing is to have fun. ;) Goodreads is awesome. And if you aren't registered yet I hope you'll decide it's worth your while.