Marketing with Blogs and Social Media

We often think of marketing as simply advertising, usually in paid forms, but marketing in today’s world is everything that promotes your book. Good news for Indies on a budget—the internet has enabled effective strategies with entirely free resources such as blogging and social media. Since it’s easy to spend thousands on advertising with no guarantee for results, I recommend authors to make the most of free resources before spending money. With the explosion of new opportunities this article could be subject matter for several books, so let’s focus briefly on what has worked the best for me: blogging and social media.

 

A lot of people have no idea how much a blog site can enhance their online platform.

Think of the blog as a home base, an area that leads to everything else online about you. Loads of info can be on the blog including articles, photo/video, links to your books and social media. Blogging is like a newsletter or status page, and posts don’t have to be solely about your book. It’s really effective to post articles related to the subject matter of your book, and people interested in those topics will gravitate to the blog via search engines. For example, my blog on selling ebooks presently has 167 posts on things related to the e-publishing industry and has attracted worldwide visitors for thousands of keyword terms because people were interested in the subject matter. Some visitors read my posts and then click on links to my Amazon books.

A blog post acts like a perpetual billboard over time, discussing a topic that will become searchable for years to come. Thousands of people see my individual blog posts covering an array of related subjects, and since there is relevancy in the posts to their search terms, the chances are greater they might buy my books. For this reason blogs bring targeted customers to your site. I recommend posting articles weekly or more often at free blogs like WordPress and Blogger to build a base of readers interested in your subjects. And don’t worry if you’re not a computer expert—blogs are easy for anyone to create and loaded with tutorials.

Social media is vital because it enables you to keep in touch with not only friends and family but also to connect with perfect strangers and for them to connect with you. To sell books in large amounts, Indie authors must reach out to strangers from all over the world and enable portals for connections to be made.

I’m going to list several social media sites I consider mandatory, but honestly, this category is really the more the better. Remember, just because you have 5 or more accounts on social media sites doesn’t mean you have to be active there on a daily basis. All you need is a presence there and links to your site and book. Of course if you are active at some of these places it helps a lot, but it’s not mandatory.

 

The list of social media sites never stops growing so I’m going to focus on some biggies. Here are several that are a must have:

Facebook – over 800 million users. Make use especially of Groups related to your subject matter, reading and writing. Add profile badges to your sites. Also join my group called, How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks – All for Free. There are dozens of helpful Indies in this group, all sharing publishing experiences.

Twitter – some people have amazing results with Twitter. I mostly use it for announcing a new blog post, article or industry news. The nice thing is when others retweet your messages as the possibilities are endless. Remember to use hash tags in your tweets to get linked with subject matter for searches like #authors, #writing or #amreading.

Google Plus – Like Facebook but better for video Hangouts with multiple people and ultimately superior with Google’s search engine.

Other People’s Blogs – whenever visiting other people’s blogs, leave a thoughtful comment if there is a box that allows a URL address. This will become a permanent link to your site that people will click on if they liked your comment.

LinkedIn – like Facebook but mostly just for professional networking. They also have groups and badges.

Forums – whatever your subject is about, there are probably forums dedicated to that somewhere. Find them and participate. For example, a Google search for “nutrition forums” or “travel forums” results in places to meet and great likeminded people.

YouTube – a simple video on you and your book can be seen by thousands of people in little time, even if you don’t produce Oscar worthy videos.

 

Some sites for Indie authors and readers:

Amazonhttp://amazon.com/forum/meet%20our%20authors – reserved for Indie self-promotion.

http://kindleboards.com/ – for Kindle readers and Indie authors.

http://nookboards.com/forum/ – for Nook owners and Indie authors.

http://goodreads.com/ – for readers and authors in general.

http://redroom.com/ – where the writers are.

http://authonomy.com/ – where writers become authors and more.

Being active on a portion of these venues will be of tremendous value as you create links to your blog and websites as well as networking with others. You don’t have to be ultra-active or try to do them all, nor would I recommend it, but do as many as feels comfortable.