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Note From The Editor
Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!
I love this season, don't you? There's a chill in the air, everyone seems a little cheerier and the Eggnog Latte is back at Starbucks. No, this isn't an ad, I'm just a tad addicted to these things as most of the folks who work with me know.
We have a number of special surprises for our valued readers. For years you've followed us, read our newsletter, our blog, and supported all of the work we do. This holiday season we want to say "thank you" with a few special gifts. First, we have our brand new Google+ page and we have a special listed in this issue, and if you join our page you get a special "thank you gift."
In our next issue, we'll announce our holiday/end-of-year thank you gift, so please keep watching this newsletter for details.
Traffic, what a wonderful thing? Oh, well, I'm not talking about the traffic to the shopping mall, but rather to your website. This is a great time of year to fine tune your website and get your share of the online traffic. I hope you'll enjoy this piece!
I want to take moment to thank each and every one of you for your loyalty and support. We couldn't do what we do without you. We love that you love this newsletter, our blog and all the information we share. We hope it's helpful - and from our house to yours, we wish you a super successful 2012!
Penny, Paula, Amy, Bonnie, Ylva and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Ranking on Google
Feature Article: A Simple Guide for Driving Thousands of Hits to Your Website
Have you ever been stuck in a traffic jam fuming and wondering when it would clear up and how soon you could get off this maddening highway? That's a bad traffic jam, here's a good one: thousands of people clamoring to get to your website, begging to be let in. Yes, that's the kind of traffic that makes me very happy and here are some tips on how to get it.
If you're ready to take your website traffic from so-so to "wow!" you'll need to do a bit of work. Just throwing up a website won't cut it. You're going to need to pay attention to things like trends, keywords, and tags. First, let's look at keywords and how to find them.
Finding Your Keywords
First, figure out what you want your keywords to be. What sort of searches do you want to come up for? This is important because if you pin yourself to the wrong search term, it could get you poor results. For example, in this market we want to come up under the search term "book marketing." I once thought we might want to pin ourselves to "publishing," but it would not have been a wise choice. Why? Because most people searching for the term publishing are at the very beginning of their journey and not even ready to consider a marketing firm.
We would rather get someone when they are further into the process because it makes for a much more qualified lead on our end. The same may be true for you. Figure out where their point of entry is. This isn't something that you can search online using Google AdWords, Trends or Insight, it's something you learn by researching your market. I learned about this when I did my own research. I plugged in a bunch of keywords I wanted to rank for to see what came up. When I plugged in publishing I found publishers. Not a good competitive space for me to be in. When I plugged in book marketing or book market, I found other companies I was more aligned with.
So, first gather some search terms, you may not initially refer to them as keywords, they are just your starting point. They might end up being perfect or you might scrap the list and just start over. Your research will point you in that direction.
Let's say you have a series of keywords you are considering but you aren't sure what other variables folks might be searching on. Hop on over to Soovle. When you land on this site you'll see a simple box to plug in your keyword. When you do you'll get back variations of searches that come up in sites like YouTube, Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It will also show these terms as used on Amazon.com which can be helpful if you are selecting tags to go with your book. You'll want to spend some time here, clicking the various links to find different ways that consumers search on these keywords. You also might find a better search term than what you currently use, or it might validate your research. Either way it's a fantastic site and one we use often.
Once you get your keywords nailed down, Google AdWords is always a great place to research their popularity. You want to know that the keywords you are going after are getting searches, meaning searches big enough to matter to your traffic. If you go to Google AdWords, punch in your keywords and then turn off the broad match so you narrow down your results a bit more. You can also play around with "exact" and "phrase," but I generally stick with all three of those unchecked and see what kind of results I get. Generally I look for Global Monthly Searches that are above 650; I'd rather it be higher but if you are searching a niche term, that might be the best you can do.
How to Use Keywords
You now need to know how to use the keywords you spent so much time finding. First and foremost, you want to use them on your home page copy. That's the copy on the home page of your website. I recommend keeping the verbiage on your homepage to 250 words at most and making sure that this text is keyword rich. You want to address your visitors' concerns, not yours. Remember that the first few lines of your website copy will show up in searches so make sure it's relevant to the audience.
Why did we do that? Because the use of your core search terms is really key to driving traffic and getting higher in the search rank. Want proof? Before we did all of this our website was generally at the bottom of page one on Google or on page two when you plugged in "book marketing" in the search bar. Three months after we made these changes (keywords on the home page and keywords in our Facebook branding, YouTube and URL) we came up #3 in search, sometimes #2 and on a stupendously good day, we're #1. Now that's a great traffic jam!
You can and should also use keywords in your blog posts. Not overtly so where you're creating posts that don't make sense (this is called keyword stuffing), but using them sprinkled throughout your content, sort of like we did with this article.
You should also use the keywords in your YouTube videos and in Alt tags in pictures on your website, etc. Keywords are fantastic and once you go through the work of finding them, you can use them over and over again.
Watch Your Traffic
Now you want to be sure and watch your traffic. Get Google Analytics to help you monitor traffic on your website. Talk to any expert SEO person and they will tell you that's about the best analytics software you can use. Once you insert this bit of code into your site you'll be able to determine what kind of traffic you're getting and from where. How are people finding you (i.e. what keywords are they using to get to your site), and what sites are pulling in your traffic? Very helpful information. You should plan to check your traffic monthly, if not more often.
Additional Tips for Driving Traffic
There's a fun little site you've probably already heard of called Google Trends. It will show you trending topics and you can also plug in your keywords to find trends in your area of expertise. But here's the real fun part. I try to watch Google Trends every so often, maybe once or twice a week if I'm really stumped on what to blog on and under "Hot Searches" you'll find the top things that consumers are searching on. If you can comment on these topics or make any of them relevant to your message, you can really surge traffic on your site. Keep in mind that your topic must be relevant! Everyone has become pretty careful about authenticity of content since the Google Panda Update http://www.seomoz.org/blog/beat-google-panda.
Another great site is Google Insights for Search. This will show you areas (worldwide) that may have a potential interest in your keywords/topic and also the locations which get the highest searches. It's also great because if you're looking to dig into particular markets, you can really get a sense of where the interest lies and you might even be surprised. When I searched on book marketing I found some of the highest searches in India! You can also see how searches rank for your particular topic and how they have trended over time. I find this very interesting when I'm researching a book topic for marketing, or a particular angle for a pitch we're considering.
Keywords don't have to be these mysterious search terms that only your website or SEO person knows about. Finding and using the right keywords can really make a big difference to any website and, especially, to your sales. Also, even though we talked about thousands of hits on a site, you don't really need that many to make a difference to your bottom line. Good, quality traffic and a solid site that's converting is all it takes to reap your own online rewards!
We really appreciate the loyalty of our Book Marketing Expert subscribers, and today we have a great thank you gift: If you join our Google+ Page, you'll receive a digital copy of our Twitter Success II book. Join our page at: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117877257839352379062/. You'll find a link there that will take you to the free download, which will be available until 5 p.m. EST. We hope you enjoy it!
At Your Service: AME's Book Marketing Resources
Join 23,000+ and "Like" our AME Facebook Page for marketing articles and tips, YouTube videos from our book marketing channel, notices about upcoming webinars, Publishing Insider shows, and more: http://www.facebook.com/bookmarketingame?ref=sgm.
Need Book Marketing Content? Visit the articles page on our AME website and you'll find a range of articles by Penny, which may be used along with her byline (provided at the top of the page) at no cost. The complete list is at http://www.amarketingexpert.com/articles/.
Watch "Converting Fans to Sales on Facebook with Amy Porterfield" and much more on AME's Book Marketing Channel on YouTube. New videos are added regularly to keep you up to date on all things book marketing! http://www.youtube.com/user/BookmarketingAME.
Guerilla Marketing to Promote Your Book on the Web
It used to be that promoting a product was an expensive undertaking, one that required excessive amounts of funds for television or radio advertising, or slightly less for publications of the paper variety. And promoting books, in particular, meant making deals with booksellers to get top placement in their stores.
Authors, of course, would have to go on multi-city tours of their home country and even the world in order to give interviews to television, radio, and newspaper/magazine reporters, as well as host signings. This was both an expensive and time-consuming process. But these days things have changed dramatically. Not only can writers publish and sell their own eBooks (or paper books) online; they can also promote them in a number of ways that are far less expensive or even free. Here are a few to try.
1. Build a contact list. Whether you get contacts through your website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any number of other social networks, you can use the strength of numbers to promote your book. Post messages with excerpts to drum up interest, offer deals for followers, and encourage "friends" to become brand ambassadors, bringing more people on board to enjoy the same benefits of membership that they do, as well as hyping your book online and in real-world settings.
2. YouTube videos. Videos to promote books have become something of a sensation on YouTube, with offerings for books like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" topping the list for views. Some of these "trailers" have high enough production value to make it look like a movie is actually in the works, while others are student-project level. But it's an innovative and trendy way to promote your book (all you need is a video camera and a few willing friends). Although well-known and high-paid authors often do something similar for television, their ads tend to contain nothing more than some flashy graphic text and the author spouting one-liners. The YouTube versions are more like full-scale movie trailers.
3. Giveaways. While giving away your work for free might not sound very appealing, it is a good way to bring in new readers. So give away a few copies to loyal fans and offer freebies to the first, say 50 new members who sign up at a set time and date. You'll probably get hundreds of new accounts that will hopefully make up for the number you gave away and then some.
4. Contests. There's no better way to get people to give you contact information than to hold a contest. In the publishing arena there are many ways you could go with this. You could ask readers to provide potential names for an upcoming book (with a free copy and a mention in the book going to the winner). Or you could ask them to send in character sketches and then work the winning entry into a future project. You might even hold a contest for a couple of lucky readers to win a trip to join you at a book signing. There are so many possibilities and all of them should net you new readership.
5. Listen and respond. Communication studies have shown that the best way to keep a relationship going is to ensure open channels of dialogue. So when readers comment you need to make an effort to reply. This will endear your fans to you and keep them coming back for more, as well as encouraging them to talk you up to everyone they know.
Guest post by Sarah Danielson. Sarah is a writer for Communication Studies, http://www.communicationstudies.com/, the best resource for students, professors, and professionals. In her spare time she enjoys reading and she is currently writing a book on the joys of freelancing.
How Authors Make Real Money (Hint: It's Not From Books)
Open for Submissions: The 2012 Indie Excellence Awards
The Indie Excellence Awards contest is taking submissions!
NIEA celebrates overall excellence, including design and promotional text. To enter, please send one copy of your book per category entered. Books with publication dates of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 are eligible. Books published anywhere in the world may be submitted as long as they are in English and can be purchased in the United States.
Be in the know and hear what the publishing insiders: Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. - and her guests - has to offer in terms of tips and insights into the industry! Listen here. Publishing Insiders is now available on iTunes, so you can keep up with the show wherever you go!
Special Guest Mike Stelzner Friday, Dec. 9 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific
* Special Guest Amy Porterfield on Facebook Marketing * Special Guest Chris Brogan on Google+ * How and Where to Sell Your Self-Published Book * Speaker Tips for Authors * How to Get Your Book Reviewed * All About Ghostwriting * Publishing Insights from Ellora's Cave * Re-Purposing Your Content * The Future of Author Events * Selling Your Book in Bulk and Special Sales * What Authors Must Know About Book Cover Design * Literary Agents and Their Evolving Role in Publishing * The Dos and Don'ts of Distribution, Parts 1, 2 and 3 * SPECIAL GUEST Seth Godin: Poke the Box * Smart Self-Publishing: Why Book Design & Editing Matter * Smart Self-Publishing: Making Money with eBooks * Smart Self-Publishing Series: Becoming Your Own Publisher * Branding: The Secret to Selling More Books * Secrets to Getting Your Book Into Libraries * Getting Your Book into Bookstores with Elaine Wilkes * This Book Will Make You Money with special guest Jim Kukral * How to Make Money on Twitter * A Self Publishing Success Story * From Blog to Book * The Digital Book Revolution * Powerhouse Promotion with Marci Shimoff * eBooks: the Savior of Publishing or the Foe? with Joe Konrath * Special Guest Mari Smith, queen of Facebook * All Things Twitter! with Warren Whitlock
Six Tips For Making Your Press Release Twitter Friendly
If you've got a Reader Tip you'd like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "reader tip." Submissions should be 75 words or less.
WHO ARE WE
Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from.
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