Book Promotion

10 Tips to Promote Your Blog

This week's Ask Robin Question: Warren Peary writes, "I want to start a blog to promote myself as a science fiction author and gain a following. How do I get started? How is a blog different than a website? How do I get people to follow my blog? Who should I use to help set up the blog? Thank you."

Answer:  Thanks for your question. Lots of questions, actually, so let's take them one by one. A blog is different than a website because it is more dynamic. For blogging to be most effective in helping you grow your platform, you should publish a new post at least twice a week. Daily is great if you can get to it.

I find the best way to start and manage a blog is to build your website through Wordpress and create your blog as one of the tabs on the site. Like I've done on GetPublishedCoach.com. You can research various "plug ins" that will allow you to do this, or if you're not tech savvy, hire a website developer who can help you set it up. (I'm a firm believer in paying the right expert vs. giving myself brain damage, but to each his or her own.)

Here are 10 tips to promote your blog and gain followers...

1. Blog consistently. At least twice a week for best results.

2. Guest blog for others who have a bigger following than yours and ask that they include a link back to your website with a short bio at the end of your post.

3. Post reviews of newly released books in your genre on your blog. (This is especially helpful to fiction writers, since it's harder to sort out people who enjoy a specific genre of fiction than it is to find people who have an interest in a particular non-fiction topic.)

4. When you write a blog post, notify your followers on social media with an announcement.

5. Include a link to your blog on all your social media profiles.

6. Add share buttons (again, a plug in) on the blog site, so people who like your blog posts can share them on social media.

7. Promote your blog to your list, either by announcing articles, include partial blog posts in an email that links to the rest, or both.

8. Be entertaining. Be brief. If your blog is fun and engaging to read, more people will read it. Besides reviews, you also can write about your writing process. Not necessary to post entire chapters or long excerpts.

9. Invite comments. Don't just write at people. Invite them to contribute their thoughts.

10. Be authentic. Always. Everywhere. Blog is no exception.

Thanks for your question! Hope this helps.

All the best,

Robin

Robin

 

Shameless Plug

By Robin Colucci My book, How to Write a Book That Sells You is out and it's now available on Amazon.com.

After helping so many people make that transition to author-hood, I'm surprised to note that it doesn't feel all that different announcing my own book. I'm just as aware of all the hard work that went into it, all the ups, downs, and narrowly averted disasters. I'm keenly aware of still seeing little things I'd improve. But I know this never ends. At some point, all authors have to give their books the "good enough" stamp and get it on the press.

I'm noticing that other books are lining up in my consciousness, "Me next! Pick me!" they shout, competing for the new spot in the batter's box. And isn't it interesting that now that my book is out, I'm looking to the next horizon, the next evolution of my own work?

Getting my book complete and out has allowed me to understand where I am in my own conversation. Now that it's done, I can see more clearly where I am to focus next. That my work is with thought leaders--coaches, consultants, speakers, researchers, and public figures who have a powerful message to share and need to find a way to get it to the mass market. People who want to shake things up, challenge our assumptions, and change our ways of thinking.

The people who are geniuses at what they do, who excel in all areas of who they are, often having levels of understanding so sophisticated, their ideas may seem beyond the grasp of the mass market, and the dilemma becomes, "How do I connect this message to the reader and bring it home?" Up close. Personal. Palpable. My specialty.

I'm looking forward to the next chapter and seeing what else unfolds in my journey and yours.

Go here to get the book. :)

Cheers!

 

Turn a Blog into a Book

Can you turn a blog into a book? How does it work? Today’s #1 power tool for smart, market-savvy authors, your blog can help you develop content for your book and also creates a venue to test ideas and generate a buzz. A blog enables you to establish and deepen a relationship with your audience and to generate a demand for your book. Don’t hold back material thinking you need to protect it or worry that no one will want to read your book if you have already been blogging the same or similar content. The evidence reveals the opposite. The more people you get engaged in your blog, the more buyers you will have for your book--which is one reason why literary agents value blog readership as much or more than national media exposure as a predictor of an author’s ability to sell books.

When you blog, be brief. Rather than post entire chapters to your blog, use it as an opening to the conversation. Cover the main points in your book, but deliver your information in a concise, condensed format. When you go to write your book, choose the posts most relevant to your topic, elaborate on and expand the ideas–provide examples or whatever will deepen readers’ understanding. You also can go the other way. Write the book and then comb through it to find excerpts to post to your blog.

One caution: Don't put out a book that is only a compilation of blog posts. I believe it's better to expand on the ideas, check the writing, polish the work, and give it a clear context to make you shine.

Here are a few more thoughts…

5 Ways to use your blog to help your book.

Content Development: You can blog your main ideas and re-purpose the work to use in your book, products, and public speaking.

Testing ideas: You can experiment with different ideas and ways of communicating and see how your audience responds. Notice the questions they ask. Notice what stimulates the most conversation.

Tracking traffic: Sign up for Google Analytics and see what’s happening with your blog traffic. Do certain headlines stimulate more response? Should any of those headlines become chapter titles?

Get to know and target your audience: Ask for comments and invite people to your conversation. How does your audience respond? What information do they seek from you? How do they connect?

Create a buzz: Nothing wrong with generating a little controversy or posting something that gets people talking. You can also generate a buzz through humor or being creative. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s authentic, or it will blow up in your face.

Your thoughts? Anything I missed? Leave your comments.

What book changed your life?

  Have you ever read a book that changed your life? I want to hear from you. What book made a difference for you and how did it make a difference? Tell me about it in a video and post it here. It may make you famous. :)

I got inspired today thinking about how powerful it is to write a book. The role books have played (and still play) in changing the world. How all of our lives have been made better because someone had the guts to step up and write a book.

In this video, I share about the book that had the most impact on me.

I invite you to make your own video and post the link here,  in the comments, or just leave me a note, so I can hear about the book that changed your life.

Thanks for playing.

In this video, I share about the first book I remember that changed my life, All the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

How to Write a Book that Sells

I get asked all the time, "How do I sell more books?"  when the real question ought to be, "How do I write a book that sells?" Authors are frustrated, of course. With over four million new titles published in 2010 alone, competition for readers is beyond staggering, it's epic. Many authors complain that despite their promotion efforts and expenses, book sales remain anemic. Unfortunately, in most cases they come to me after the fact, after the book is published. When it's too late. I can see quickly what went wrong.

To write a book that sells, you must sell the book in the writing. What I mean by that is your book must stand out. It must communicate a clear, tangible benefit to a specific audience. You cannot write a book with some vague, willy-nilly benefit to "everyone" and expect to become a bestseller.

Your book needs a bestseller title, a vital component in getting people's interest and helping them understand what's in the book that they want. Example, a made-up title: Divine Awakening toward Enlightenment and an Empowered Life is loaded with sweeping  terms that most of us don't fully understand and points to the vague benefit of an "empowered life," whatever the heck that means. A book like this, I predict, would be chock full of platitudes and meditations with no particular reader in mind and no concrete solutions.

These days, you cannot overestimate how busy people's lives are, nor can you begin to imagine the amount of information they are asked to consume every day. No one has time to read a book unless they know upfront what they are going to get out of it.

So, if you want to write a book that sells, to start know  1) who your audience is and why they would read your book. 2) what you promise to deliver 3) go about delivering it as clearly as you can.