Archive | May 2012

Engaging Readers on Your Blog or Book Website

How can you make your website or blog a destination that grabs the reader and keeps them there for a while?  Make it engaging, offer your visitors choices, provide them rich and varied and fresh content, and give them a way to follow your blog or get updates to your website.

How about adding audio messages or audio blogs for FREE?  I’m all about free or inexpensive ways to market your book or build your author platform.   As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, your website or blog is on aspect of your author platform.  I found a very simple and free way to add a 60 second audio to your blog or website.  It’s so simple even an author can do it.

The name of the site is AudioPal.  It is the fastest way I have found to put an unlimited number of messages anywhere you can embed hypertext on the Internet.  There is no creating an account, no newsletter to sign up for, you just create the audio right on the internet and get the embedded code sent to your email immediately.

Here’s an example of a 37 second message embedded on my wife’s blog, Daily Spiritual Tools.  Look on the left and click on the AudioPal player to hear me explaining about getting my wife’s books on Amazon.

If you want to grab your own audio message (up to 60 seconds) visit the AudioPal Website by clicking here.

In an upcoming post I’ll share some ideas about adding longer audio in Podcasts to your blog or website.

Happy Publishing!

Can You Spare a Fiver?

Have you ever wondered what $5.00 can buy you?  For an aspiring writer, the website Fiverr.com is a cornucopia of services that can be used for everything from finding music for your book trailer, to getting cover art done for you eBook or paperback.

It is also a great place to have someone create graphics for your marketing material.  I found a person who will create a three dimensional graphic of your book cover.  For $5.00 he made me three different graphics for my wife’s book.  I used the 3D graphic (to the right) as part of a promotional poster for her book launch party and book signings.  All I had to do was email him the jpg of the book cover and he made the 3D image for me within a day.  I added it to the posters for book marketing.

Other services for $5.00 include book or product reviews and conversion of word documents into eBook formats with clickable TOC.  You can also find someone to edit photos or create book covers, logos, banners or almost anything else that you can think of.

It’s fun to just visit the website and see what people will do for $5.00.  You do need to be careful; it can be kind of addicting when you start browsing all of the unusual things people will do for a “fiver.”

Your Author Platform – Blogging

marketing your blogMy wife started her blog, Daily Spiritual Tools, almost two years before publishing her first book.  She didn’t know it at the time, but she was taking her first step in building her “Author Platform.”

You always hear about author platform, but what does that really mean?  In its simplest form it is creating a foundation from which an author reaches his or her audience while establishing credibility and authority.  Jane Friedman, a full-time assistant professor of e-media at the University of Cincinnati and former publisher of Writer’s Digest, defines what it is and what it’s not on her website, called Jane Friedman.  It’s worth checking out.

Creating a blog as part of your platform begins to build that credibility and allows you to show your readers your writing.  That’s important; what follows is that the key element in a good blog is good content, your writing.   This post is not about how to add good content to your blog.  I’m going to assume that you will do that.  This post is about how to get your blog in front of prospective readers.

In my research I have read thousands of blogs.  I have stumbled on some really great blogs, great fresh content, well written with valuable information, but no one reads it, no followers, no comments.  That bothered me; good stuff, nobody sees it.

As you may recall, I am my wife’s marketing team.  She wrote the blog; I think it’s great content.  The team had to find ways to get people to read it.  I’d like to share those ways with you today.

  1. Get your blog listed on blog directories (click here for a list of blog directories)
  2. Search for and read blogs that are similar in content to yours
  3. Read those blogs
  4. Leave meaningful comments (not “Hi, read my blog”) Soft sell, ask them to visit your blog and give feedback
  5. Search the internet for key words found in your most recent post and find other blogs that wrote about that, read and comment, include “I also recently posted about ___________, I’d love your feedback.”
  6. Follow blogs that you like
  7. Use a signature with your blog address on every email or comment
  8. Join Linkedin and spread the word about your blog
  9. Join Facebook and feed your blog to your account
  10. Join Twitter and have your posts automatically tweeted
  11. Find twitter members who have similar interests and follow them.  If they follow you, thank them in a reply and invite them to read your most recent post.
  12. Post as a guest blogger (remember to leave your signature with your blog address)
  13. Make it easy for readers to follow you, one click (email subscriptions are great)