Sunday, May 27, 2012

Let's Talk, Marketing and the Blog

One of the questions I get asked most often, and find quite frequently on  forum threads is; As a self published author, how do I market? This is  a very good question.  Facebook is okay, as well as Twitter. However, let's face it, if you don't already have a million followers, you're not likely to get them anytime soon as a self-published author. So Facebook and Twitter lose their merit.

You could advertise by spamming people's cars in a parking lot, or standing on the street-corner sign spinning. Although, I'm sure those flyers just get tossed to the ground, and nobody really reads those signs. Spamming forums meant for authors might get you a few sales, but all you're really doing is irritating the authors that go there to give & get advice, and blow off some steam.

So what's left? Blogging baby! Ok so I'm a little biased, but I have to say that my blog has brought me so many sales it's crazy. I must caution any newbie authors. It's not as easy as it seems. Yes, it's only a blog. Be that as it may, you can turn your personal online diary into something that millions can't wait to read.

My best advice to a self-published author when it comes to blogging, is stick to one topic. When you surf the internet, you are searching for information. That's the number-one reason why people use the world wide web. A blog for a self-published author can also be full of useful information. It does take a bit of planning and time, but it is relatively easy.

Here are some tips for those that wish to take their blog to a new level.

  • Make sure your blog is easy to read.
The most common mistake when people create a blog; they design it so that it appeals to them. While adding a bit of your own personal style is a must, don't over do it. One of the worst offenses is the black background with colored lettering. This can very hard on the eyes, and your readers are less likely to come back. It is also not a good style for the bots. They don't like it. A white or cream background with black lettering is the best option. Speaking of Bots...

  • Use SEO
SEO is your best friend when it comes to driving traffic to your blog. (This article is filled with SEO key words, dare you to find them!) That is what our precious tiny Bot friends look for when scanning your page for relevance. If you missed last month's post on Indie author SEO, you can use my handy dandy compact search box on the right, to look it up. That post was written by Damien Darby, a man that makes his living off of writing SEO articles for clients. Speaking of which...

  • You can hire content writers if you don't know what to write!
As hard as I try sometimes between screaming kids, manuscripts, book covers, author features, and editing, my blog tends to fall to the wayside. Every now and again, I treat my readers to new insights from other authors by way of content writers or guest bloggers. Content writers do cost money, but it is well worth it. They are professionals who know what they're doing when it comes to SEO. Plus, you have the added advantage of telling them what to write about. Guest bloggers, while providing content free, sometimes are not so good at SEO, and generally, they write what they want to write about.(Within the relevance of your blog.) There are places you can go to find both. ODesk, and Text Broker are great for finding the right content writer. My Blog Guest is suitable for finding guest bloggers. Both are free to sign up, Odesk you set the price for the article. Text Broker is generally five cents a word, about ten dollars for a five hundred word article.

  • Post often!

Readers don't want to come back to your blog and see the same post that was up there last month. The key to a successful blog is posting regularly with fresh updated content. Twice a week posting is the consensus when it comes to how often you should post. I post  on my main page every seven days, and on my note worthy releases page every seven days. Though I have been doing a lot of blog stops tours, so I've been posting twice a week on my main page.

A successful blog can be a self-published author's best friend in terms of marketing. All it takes it determination, a little insight, and a head-full of ideas. As always, I'm available for any one who wishes me to take a look at their blog and offer some advice.(Use the contact me info to drop me an email) If any one out there has anything to add that I've forgotten, Leave a comment!

Until next time, may your muse be at your side, and your writing the light that guides you.


No comments: