Sunday

Ten Secrets of a Super Blogger

Today, I have a great article from The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!

10 Secrets of a Super Blogger

No matter how many new web 2.0 properties that pop-up like Twitter and the like, blogging still remains very popular. When I'm teaching a session and ask students in the class how many of them read blogs, often only a few hands go up. Want to know why? Because blogs are so pervasive that we often read them and don't know we're reading them. Most people don't know enough about blogging to know what a blog is so when you see huge numbers of people who read blogs, these are based on site statistics, not reader polls. Check out some of these stats:

• There are now 70 million blogs
• Approximately 120,000 are started each day or 1.4 new blogs every second
• Bloggers post an average of 17 posts per second (or 1.5 million posts per day)

So how do these super bloggers get such great traffic to their blog and moreover, how do they keep their blog interesting? Here are some tips to not only get you up to speed on blogging, but keep you on track:

1) Blog frequently: you should blog at a minimum of once a week and ideally two to three times a week. Don't forget to spell check your blogs, you don't want to be posting stuff that has typos in it. This will turn off your reader. Your posts don't have to be long. If you only post in 50 word increments that's fine. Don't force yourself to post longer.

2) Don't obsess over stats: Seriously. While it's easy enough to get caught up in the "my blog is more popular than your blog" mantra it's not a good thing to spend your time on, also stats and subscribers will come and go. Try to limit yourself to checking stats once a week or once a month if you can hold off that long.

3) Don't obsess over comments (or lack thereof): Some bloggers will get comments right away and some will take a bit longer. Just because people aren't commenting doesn't mean they're not reading. This is one of the biggest complaints I hear from bloggers: No one is commenting. Don't let a blank comment section dissuade you from blogging but when someone has commented by sure to comment back or just thank them for visiting if their entry doesn't warrant a response. Also if the reader has a blog, visit theirs as well and place a comment. They'll appreciate you for it and it's a great way to network!

4) Be patient: let's face it, blogging takes time. Regardless of how many statistics you see on blogs that get mountains of traffic, none of this happened in a week (or even in a month). The quickest way to talk yourself out of blogging is to be impatient for something to happen. Keep blogging, eventually something will. If you do all the right things eventually traffic and readers will beat a path to your door!

5) Listen: know what your reader needs and blog on those topics. Knowing what's important to your reader is a big step in creating a powerful blog that will get traffic. Know what's going on in your industry, what should you be talking about? What does your reader need help with? How can your blog become a resource? Who else does your reader need to know in order to be successful? Maybe it's time that you interview other experts on your blog or at the very least, link to them.

6) Write good headlines: people judge a blog by its headline and when you're subscribed to a lot of blog feeds (as I am) you know that readers will pick and chose the blogs they read based on the headlines. Don't make readers guess what your blog is about, be specific and be benefit driven.

7) Be timeless: while many of your posts will relate to topics or news items that are going on *now*, it's also good to write posts that will be evergreen, meaning posts that don't have a short lifespan. For example I have posts dating back to 2006 that still get commented on and passed around because their topic is as relevant today as it was three years ago.

8) Posting tips: I generally try to post by 7am EST (8am at the latest). Studies have shown that people have more time to read blogs and emails before 9am EST so make sure all your posting is done by then.

9) No time for the long-winded: Write readable posts. Keep your sentences to no more than 25 words and paragraphs to no more than 7 lines of text. Use lots of bullet points too whenever you can.

10) Get your own domain name early: there's nothing worse than getting a blog that's someone else's property (i.e. Blogger or Wordpress). If you wait too long to move your blog to your own domain you'll risk losing search engine ranking and traffic. Any blog can be linked to any URL, just ask your web person to help you out with this.

So now that you have your tips, what on earth will you blog on? Here are a few ideas to consider:

Blog on: trends, write reviews, interview experts, comment on news pieces related to your topic, blog on good reviews your book got, blog on your new book, blog on the elephant in the room (talk about the thing everyone seems to be avoiding).

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

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 Related Article:

How to Make Money Marketing Articles
The Path to Writing Success is Focus, Determination, Perseverance, and Positive Thinking

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Until next time,

Karen Cioff, 
Platform Building with Content Marketing


Saturday

10 Marketing Myths That Can Kill Your Book and Career

Today's guest article is from multiple award winning author and editor Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Carolyn not only explains these ten myths, she provides the needed remedies.

And, away we go...

10 Marketing Myths That Can Kill Your Book and Career
(And Their Remedies!)
 

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Here are excuses many authors use not to promote, killers all. Each includes advice that will help a writer salvage his book and career from wrong thinking.

"My book is doing well enough. My career is on an upturn. I can easily take a year off from promoting to write." Advice: Cut back if you must but slot in some time to keep the efforts you've already made at least at a simmer.

"I hear everyone is cutting back on promotion so why shouldn't I?" Advice: Didn't your mother ever ask you, "If Johnny jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?" Look at those authors. If they're selling lots of books, it's because somebody (their publisher, bookstores, their publicists) is promoting them. I'll bet, though, that most of the authors saying this aren't selling very many. Look at your situation. If you don't do it, who will do it for you?

"I like Carolyn's Frugal Book Promoter idea so I'm going to only do things that cost no money at all." Advice: Hey! Frugal is one thing. Cheap is another. Some of the best things you can do cost some money. An example is American Booksellers Association Advance Access program.

Careful though. Always weigh the "rightness" of any program for your particular book.

"I'm gong to examine everything I'm doing and only continue what I can prove is working." Advice: You may not be able to prove much, if anything. That's not the way marketing works. Judge how well your entire campaign is going only after you have given it plenty of time to work. If one thing is working well, maybe it is because your title or name is being seen elsewhere. Balance your campaign, yes. Try new things, yes. Cut back on a few only if you must. Keep in mind that book sales are not necessarily the most valid way to evaluate your promotion.

"Nothing I've tried works. I'm giving up." Advice. You may be on the brink. Or maybe you've been giving up on each aspect of your campaign too early. Any marketing plan must be many-pronged, frequent and long-term.


"If I cut back on promotion and find my sales slipping, I can always gear up again." Advice: Yikes! Good publicity and promotion build. It's like skipping rocks on a pond. With each stone, ripples wave out, out, out. Eventually, after you've skipped lots and lots of stones, the results start coming back to you in waves. If you stop whipping those stones into the water, the results dissipate. It will take a long time to get enough stones dancing across the water again to match what you've done and, once you lose momentum, you may never get it back.
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't, The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success and an Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal: Everything You Need To Know To Sell Your Book in 20 Minutes or Less." Learn more at http://sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com


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Karen Cioffi
Platform Building with Content Marketing

Thursday

Subscribing to Websites and Blogs

If you sign up or subscribe to a site's newsletter, whether for a free ebook or for the free monthly newsletter, watch out for the confirmation email!

A Little Insight into Subscribing to Sites:

I review my autoresponder service periodically and most recently I noticed there were eight subscribers to my blog who either never responded to the confirmation email or their email service bounced the confirmation.This has happened on my website subscriber box also.

I would think if you go to the trouble of subscribing to a site, there's a reason. Unless, you subscribe to so many that you cannot keep track. But, then we go back to the aspect of taking the time to sign up - you must have wanted something.

When I find a site that I find valuable and especially if they are offering an free useful ebook, I will subscribe to the newsletter. I do pay attention for the confirmation email to make sure I receive what I signed up for.

So, if you've signed up for a site's newsletter, be sure to look out for the confirmation email because the autoresponder service cannot send any emails to you without it. If you're not sure why you aren't receiving the newsletter or the free gift, contact the site owner. Most sites should have an email address or contact page to make this convenient. Or, if you can't find any contact information (which all sites should have this available) you can leave a comment on the most recent blog post mentioning you've signed up and seem to be haven't a problem. All savvy bloggers (site owners) check their readers/visitors' comments.

Another way to subscribe to sites is through their RSS or Atom feed. I do this with my yahoo account and I love it. I get the updated blogs of the sites I subscribe right on My Yahoo page. This is just a convenient method for me because I'm in and out of my Yahoo mail throughout each day. I scroll down my LONG list and, time allowing, visit the sites and comment. What's great is if I don't have the time for a visit, I am still able to read the new post right from my Yahoo subscriber list.

While this is an easy way to get updates of blog postings, you do miss out on the information and special offers that may only be available through the site's newsletter or by signing up for it. I know I try to add links, tips and more  in my newsletter that I don't post about.

The next issue I've noticed is that readers who subscribe to a newsletter often don't even open to give it a quick glance to see if there is any valuable information. Now, I know time is an issue with all of us and some marketers have 90-95% of promotion and offers involving money rather than useful content, but you get to know fairly quickly which newsletters or promotional emails this pertains to. All you have to do is unsubscribe to those sites.

Karen Cioffi, Online Platform Instructor