Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2012

17 tips for marketing your author blog

Bloggers participate in an average of 5 activities
to drive traffic to their blogs.
— Adam Singer

We’ve been on this blogging topic awhile now, but it occurs to me that we haven’t given you an aggregated list of ways to publicize your blog to the world. While most of these tips would apply equally to your website, the most important tip of all is that you ACT on them!

  1. Post Regularly. Yes, I am aware that I sound like a broken record, but you’ve got to post regularly if you want people to find and read your author blog.
  2. Stand Out with a Unique Look. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on it, but make sure your blog has a great look that is unique from all the other author blogs out there. This means, more than just adding your book cover and/or head shot. At the very least, use a custom header that reflects your colors, fonts, and brand. If you can do your own graphics, great. If you can’t – it will be worth it to find a professional to help you create a finished look that is different and eye-catching.
  3. Write a Clever Tagline. Most blog platforms have a place for you to create a tagline. Use this to share a short, keyword-rich description of your author blog.
  4. Proper SEO. Much like your website, your blog needs you to tend to it and manicure it in order for you to see real SEO results. This means proper tagging, intermittent use of bold and italics within your posts, good titles, and a dazzling resource box, at minimum.
  5. Link to Other Bloggers. A great way to boost your own blog traffic is by linking to other blogs you like that are relevant to your book/topic. You may love your friend’s gourmet cooking blog, but unless she’s written a cookbook, linking to her is going to be much less effective for the SEO on your dog obedience training blog than to other animal-themed blogs.
  6. Comment, Comment, Comment. Regularly write smart, relevant comments on other people’s blogs and be sure to include a link back to your own blog.
  7. Reward Your Readers. Our blog does a pretty good job of filtering out the spam comments. That means we can see all the legitimate comments in one spot. Make sure to note, respond to, and take the time to thank those who stopped by to spend some time on your blog.
  8. Write Articles. Submit articles on your topic to directories like EZineArticles.com and IdeaMarketers.com. In the resource boxes for your articles, place links to your blog, to specific posts in particular if they are relevant to your article topic.
  9. Write Guest Posts: Invite others to write guest posts for your author blog, and take any opportunities to write guest posts for other author/writer blogs. This expands your audience and exposes you to other readers who might not normally find/read your blog.
  10. Post Links to Your Blog on Your Social Networking Sites. Linking to Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn is so ubiquitous that most blogs have an almost-automatic function set up to allow these kinds of links. Whether you automate it or not, make sure you routinely place links to your posts on all of them.
  11. Create a Specific Pinterest Board and Pin Images from Your Blog to It. Rather than grouping them in with a catch-all board, create a specific board on Pinterest dedicated to your blog. Make sure to use good keywords when describing the image – and links back to your blog.
  12. Bookmark Your Favorite Posts. Use social bookmarking Sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. to share your posts.
  13. Add a Link to Your Website. If your blog domain is separate from your main website, make sure the two are linked.
  14. Add a Link to Your Email Signature. Don’t overlook these seemingly obvious places to let new people know about your blog.
  15. Make It Easy for People to Subscribe. Your subscription field should be displayed prominently at the TOP of your sidebar. If people can’t find your subscription link, they’re not nearly as likely to come back.
  16. Make It Easy for People to Share Your Posts. Again, most blog platforms make this almost automatic. Make sure your sharing buttons are enabled.
  17. Enter a Blog Challenge! This is one of the fastest ways to meet other like-minded bloggers, increase your traffic, and grow your subscribers.

You’d think these steps would be common sense, especially after nearly two dozen posts about blogging, but you might be surprised how many people skip these easy, necessary steps and then wonder why no one visits their blogs.

Attracting targeted readers to your blog isn’t rocket science, but it does take a time and energy investment. Make sure you don’t cut corners or skip steps in the interest of time if you have any sincere desire to grow your blog subscribers and sell more books.

Happy marketing!

MARCIE

SOURCES:

http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/four-ways-to-market-your-blog.html

http://www.youngprepro.com/how-to-market-your-blog/

http://www.ricardobueno.com/ways-to-market-your-blog/

http://www.dailyblogtips.com/3-new-ways-to-market-your-blog/

http://www.dailyblogscoop.com/2011/10/11/how-to-market-your-blog/

__________________

Download your complimentary copy of the highly useful Website Design & Marketing worksheet from Write | Market | Design.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

7 easy steps to ramp up your summer book marketing

So we’re just past the start of spring – in some places there’s still snow on the ground; in others, we’re looking at 109-degree highs by the end of the week. Nevertheless, the summer gift-giving season is about to descend on us: Mothers Day, graduations, weddings, Fathers Day – LOADS of reasons for people to look for the perfect gift. Is your book right for one of them?

How prepared are you for this tremendous opportunity? Is your summer book marketing plan in place? Do you know which holidays – both well known and more obscure – are coming up and which ones are good marketing opportunities for your book? Are you blogging about them? Are your media kit and news releases all ready to go? Have you thought of a special holiday incentive you can offer, either via your website or your social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest?

If your answers to the above questions are generally no, DON’T PANIC. There’s still plenty of time to craft a plan and a strategy for implementing it. Here are some simple steps that may help you get there:

  1. Review the upcoming holidays for May, June, and July from the lists below.
  2. Identify one or two from each month that have natural tie-ins with your book.
  3. Brainstorm some ideas for ways to market each holiday you identified.
  4. Chunk those marketing ideas down into actionable steps.
  5. Get out your calendar – or, if you’re a more visual planner, download a printable version here.
  6. Add one step per day to your calendar.
  7. Take the steps!

MAY

JUNE

JULY

  • Creative Beginners Month
  • Get Caught Reading Month
  • Latino Books Month
  • National Bike Month
  • National Inventors Month
  • Older Americans Month

_________

  • Children’s Book Week (7-13)
  • Dating and Life Coach Recognition Week (7-13)
  • Reading Is Fun Week (13-19)
  • Craft Beer Week (14-20)

_________

  • Mother Goose Day/1
  • Public Radio Day/3
  • World Press Freedom Day/3
  • Cartoonists Day/5
  • Cinco de Mayo/5
  • Free Comic Book Day/5
  • National Teachers Day/8
  • Birthmothers Day/12
  • Nurses Day/12
  • Mothers Day/13
  • Biographers Day/16
  • O’Henry Pun-Off Day/19
  • Be a Millionaire Day/20
  • Memorial Day/28
  • What You Think Upon Grows Day/31
  • Audio Book Appreciation Month
  • Effective Communications Month
  • Entrepreneurs’ Do-It-Yourself
    Marketing Month
  • National Bathroom Reading Month
  • National GLBT Book Month

_________

  • Positive Power of Humor and Creativity Days (1-3)
  • National Business Etiquette
    Week (3-9)

_________

  • Dare Day/1
  • Drawing Day-Pencil Day/2
  • World Environment Day/5
  • Ballpoint Pen Day/10
  • Family History Day/14
  • Flag Day/14
  • World Jugglers Day/16
  • Fathers Day/17
  • National Columnists Day/26
  • Camera Day/29
  • Anti-Boredom Month
  • Freedom from Fear of Speaking Month
  • National Hotdog Month
  • National Parks Month

_________

  • Sports Cliché Week (8-14)
  • National Independent Retailers Week (15-21)
  • National Parenting Gifted
  • Children Week (15-21)
  • National Ventriloquism Week (18-21)

_________

  • Made in USA Day/2
  • Independence Day/4
  • Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day/6
  • International Town Criers Day/9
  • Teddy Bear Picnic Day/10
  • Moon Day/20
  • Amelia Earhart Day/24
  • National Day of the Cowboy/28
  • Paperback Book Day/30
  • Mutts Day/31

Note: these are just partial lists of holidays I found interesting. For more complete lists, you might try these sites:

Happy planning!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

Read Full Post »

Authors, if you want to sell books, you must embrace your marketer within

Years ago, I met a gal at a networking group I belonged to who, when asked about her BHAG (big, hairy audacious goal), publicly declared that she intended to be the first Mary Kay distributor to build a million-dollar business. Later in the same meeting, she publicly stated that she fast-forwarded through commercials, had signed up for the Do Not Call List, and pretty much eschewed any attempt by anyone to market to her.

I haven’t seen her since then, but I don’t have to guess whether she ever reached her goal.

Interestingly, many people – authors chief among them – are horrifically averse to the moniker “salesperson.” This in spite of the fact that, as marketing master Adam Urbanski says, “All business owners are in two businesses: the business they’re in and selling and marketing the business they’re in.”

My friend Connie is an international sales trainer who specializes in helping clients overcome Sales Call Reluctance®, which is defined as the emotional hesitation to prospect or self-promote. There are 12 identified forms of Call Reluctance, including one called “Role Rejection.” According to Connie’s website, people with this form of Call Reluctance “are secretly ashamed of any kind of selling. They deflect any association with being a salesperson and tend to believe that society dislikes salespeople, and they themselves get irritated and annoyed when salespeople solicit them.”

If you’re an author who hopes to sell books, it might be a worthwhile exercise to take a personal inventory of your attitude toward salespeople. If you deliberately skip commercials, hate telemarketers with a venom, and reject all attempts to sell or market to you, you may be experiencing Role Rejection – and inadvertently jeopardizing your book sales success.

This is not, however, meant to be an indictment – just an opportunity to reframe your thoughts about sales and marketing. I’ll admit that some marketers are devious, and not all salespeople are scrupulous, but no one is suggesting that you ally with those types of folks. I am suggesting that you consider your sales goals for your book and look for ways to see marketing as a positive – perhaps even fun – enterprise. Trust me, if you view it as a chore you hate, you’ll be a lot less successful at it.

One thing I enjoy is watching and critiquing TV commercials. Some of them are absolutely fantastic; in other cases, I wonder whether the creative departments at certain ad agencies even watched their commercials before airing them. In either event, though, I am honing my marketing skills by noticing what works, what attracts me, and what makes me cringe.

You can do this too, whether it’s with TV ads, radio commercials, banner ads on the Web, or calls from telemarketers. One man Connie recently interviewed for the book she’s writing told her, “Those calls certainly don’t irritate me, because, at the end of the day, I’m a conversationalist. … So if someone wants to call me and open the door to a conversation, I’m willing to have that conversation with them.” What a refreshing way to view a phenomenon most of us see as an irritating intrusion.

We spoke a long time ago about learning to think like a marketer. In order to do that, it might just be time to retire your inner Role Rejecter and instead embrace your marketer within.

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

Read Full Post »

One of the BIGGEST oversights (aka blunders) bloggers commit

OK – if you’re writing anonymously, this doesn’t apply to you. However, most of this audience is made up of authors who are looking to make a name, brand themselves, and SELL their books. So please, go check now to make sure your contact info is (a) ON YOUR BLOG and (b) EASY TO FIND.

Yes, this may seem obvious, and though I haven’t said it for a while, it’s often just when you think you shouldn’t have to point things out that you need to … Point. Things. Out.

On a handful of occasions in the last week, I tried to get a hold of particular bloggers through their blogs with no success. Fortunately, my first job was as a research librarian, and I’m tenacious, so I was able to find all of them, mostly through that ubiquity known as Facebook.

Yes, with social media, we’re using e-mail less often. However, if I’m not your friend on Facebook and you’ve got filters set up so that only friends can message you, guess what you just did? Made yourself UNAVAILABLE to people who want to contact you. This is a cardinal sin for someone looking to build their brand and platform.

What’s more, if your blog doesn’t identify you by the same name you use on Facebook or Twitter (e.g., Dr. Sally on the blog but Sally Smartypants on Facebook), that avenue is now closed off, as well.

In two cases, I was trying to reach people who write on multi-author blogs. They have links to their archives – but NO contact info, including e-mail addresses. While this may be a policy of the blog owners, it’s a poor one. I would think long and hard before becoming a regular contributor to a blog that didn’t allow me to tell people how to contact me.

Please, my SBM* darlings – make sure you are easy to find and contact!!! Connection is the lifeblood of relationship marketing.

Laura

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

Read Full Post »

Author lessons from a sex quiz and Chicks with Picks

DISCLAIMER: There is a somewhat explicit sex quiz below. If you’re squeamish about sex or easily offended, please stop reading now – or just skip it. Enough said.

Last weekend, a friend and I went to the Arizona Ultimate Women’s Expo (hey, there’s that word ultimate again!). If you are a man, chances are you’ve never set foot anywhere near a women’s expo. If you are woman who lives in a good-sized American city, you may be one of the thousands of women who have descended on these expos as they’ve rolled out across the country.

“Lots of estrogen here today,” my friend quipped as we waited in line for the doors to open. I’ve long wished I could find a way to harness the energy of all that women power congregated in one place. Honestly, I think we should be able to do something important with it, like wipe out childhood hunger or put a giant dent in domestic violence.

It’s an interesting theory, though, bringing a bunch of women together to shop in one place. Wait – isn’t that what shopping malls are for? The expos are different in that every vendor perceives itself as somehow targeting the female audience. That’s great, right, a niche audience? But as half the species, women are a pretty broad niche.

On its Exhibitor Info page, AUWE claims, “Our successful track record in delivering upscale, ready-to-buy women guarantees that your small booth investment will create a profitable return on your time and money.” There were dozens of booths, vending everything from banking to cosmetics to home décor items. And jewelry. Crikey, were there jewelry booths, most of them selling the exact same kind of stuff, and some virtually on top of each other. There were also free samples, makeovers, massages, demos, and celebrity appearances. Maybe my friend and I just aren’t their typical demographic, because we didn’t buy anything. Granted, I was there mostly for the research anyway.

So how does one stand out among such a crowded field? Castle Megastore found a way. Castle is a sex shop franchise based in Tempe, Arizona, with locations in several Western states. At the expo, they had women with clipboards asking attendees if they’d like to take a sex quiz. Ever adventurous, I said, “Sure!” Come on now, you’re at a women’s expo with your pals. Who wouldn’t want to take a sex quiz?

I did pretty well – just missed two out of 15. And for my effort, I was awarded a travel mug that vaguely resembles the female form, some condoms, and a bunch of coupons. Woo-hoo! More than that, their tactic was memorable enough that I’m writing about it here on my blog. That’s more than I can say for 98 percent of the rest of the vendors.

In fact, other than the Castle goodie bag, the only other things I brought home were:

  • A flyer for a company that will convert my regular old pedal bike to an electric bike that can go as fast as 20 mph
  • A 20% off coupon for a local nursery
  • A 20% off coupon for jewelry-making and fused glass classes
  • A flyer for adult skating sessions at the local skating rink

One other point of note was the women with guitars in the foyer of the convention center. That’s right, “Chicks with Picks,” an Arizona organization that features/helps local women musicians, had their members performing at the event all day. And they were really good!

So I had three major marketing takeaways from this event:

  1. Find a way to stand out. Do something bold by being adventurous, even edgy.
  2. If you’re doing an event like a book fair, check in advance to see who the other vendors are. If you’re a romance writer, you probably don’t want to be set up right next to another romance writer. Some event coordinators are really good at making sure this doesn’t happen – but sometimes (as in the case of the dozens and dozens of jewelry booths at the expo) they aren’t. Take responsibility for your own success by speaking up when you still have time to make a change.
  3. Partner with the right people. Chicks with Picks didn’t show up at this event by accident. Someone picked up a phone, played on connections, or took other action to make it happen. When you see books for sale in creative locations (motorcycle shops, hardware stores, beauty salons), they didn’t get there by magic. Someone picked up a phone, played on connections or took other action to make it happen. You can do that, too.

Happy marketing!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

Read Full Post »

Woo-hoo!! It’s a DOUBLE-horn-blowing day!!

As you may have read in our earlier post, we had an exciting event today, our debut guest post by Gwen Tanner. But today’s a day of firsts and a day of guest posts, as we are very pleased to refer you to OUR guest post at IndieAuthorCouncil.com.

Please click the link and make sure to read our post: TOP MARKETING MISTAKES INDIE AUTHORS MAKE. There are 8 of them, and some are doozies! I’m sure that if you’ve been following us for a while and have earned your SBM* creds, you’re not making any of them … but if you’re new, you’ll want to be on the safe side and read up.

The good news is that you it’s never too late to learn, apply, and correct course on any marketing campaign or strategy, even one that seems stalled in the starting gate.

And while we’re tooting, if you have a book/writing/literary/marketing blog and would like us to write a guest post for you, please drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com.

Happy posting!

Laura & Marcie

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

If you would like to contribute a guest post, please contact us at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

Read Full Post »

Giant excitement here at the Marcie Brock blog. Today, we’re proud to share with you our very first GUEST POST! Woo-hoo!! That means our 9th category goes into effect today. Please read up, and take some wisdom from Gwen Tanner, as she has excellent advice about a way to further monetize the content of your book. Please share your thoughts below in the comments section.

Repurpose the Content of Your Book to Create Online Courses

by Gwen Tanner

As an author, you have a great advantage when it comes to passive income opportunities: You have knowledge that others want! This puts you in an excellent position to profit from your knowledge by sharing and teaching others the skills you have.

Let’s talk about people for a moment.

  1. People always NEED to learn something: they are starting a family; they’re in the market for a new home; they need to plan for retirement.
  2. People always WANT to learn something: they would love to start crocheting; they desire to get in better shape; they dream of becoming rich.

The problem is that most people don’t have the time or money to take a formal course to learn these things.

This is where you, as an experienced author, can jump in. You can create online courses (or ecourses) to fulfill these needs using the knowledge you already have. You probably don’t even have to do much more work than you already did when you wrote your book. The content is the same – you just put it into the form of a “course.” This may mean creating exercises or adding some “how-to” steps, but it’s essentially recycling the same material.

The benefit to you as an author is that an online course will typically have a higher perceived value than a physical book or an ebook. I’d say the sky is the limit when pricing an ecourse, because you’re taking on a little more responsibility than you would with a book. And with that responsibility, you’re branding yourself as an expert who can get your readers (i.e., students) from point A to point B in a logical way.  That’s the beauty of selling online courses.

The sites listed below allow you to create and sell your very own online courses. All you do is upload your courses once and sell them over and over again, receiving payment directly into your PayPal account.

UDEMY (Free). Decide on your topic then upload your course content. Then set the price for your course and receive 70 percent of the revenue.

ODIJOO (Free). Create your original online course and sell seats to access it. You will keep 90% of the course enrollment fee. You can even create your own “campus,” which can become your online business. You can also sell your content to other instructors who can use it in their classes.

LITMOS (Monthly Fee). With this service, you can use your own domain name and brand your landing page. You receive 100 percent of your course fee directly into your PayPal account. The monthly fees for Litmos increase once you get more students, but the thinking is that if you have more students, you will be able to cover the costs.

Gwen Tanner provides guidance, tips, how-tos, and more on creating quality information products that stand out from the rest. Visit her blog for the inspiration and motivation to complete your next product.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: