Sunday

Seasons Greetings



Wishing everyone a healthy and safe
holiday season and a healthy and prosperous 
New Year.


****************


Friday

Information Marketing: 10 Article Links

This past week I've spend a lot of time reading articles and listening to podcasts that offer great information, so I'm sharing some of them with you.

This is what information marketing is all about.

*****

10 Marketing Article Links: (Had to eliminate a couple of links for SEO reasons)


10 Reasons Your Book Should be an eBook

10 Ways to Add Facebook Functionality to Your Website

5 Simple Font Changes to Boost Readers, Comments, and Shares on Your Blog

7 Tips to Increase Your Blog Comments

Author Promo Tools: What’s a Sell Sheet?

Rules of SEO for Profit

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

More on Marketing

Website Optimization – What Colors Will Evoke the Visitor Action You Want
10 Must-Know Tips on Creating a Search Engine Optimized Website
5 Power-Packed Email Marketing Strategies





Widen Your Reach - Know Your Audience

Today, I have the pleasure of featuring a guest post by writing/author Holly Jahangiri. So, let's get to it.



Every writer knows how important it is to “know your audience” when writing the book. Too often, authors forget who their audience really is, when it comes time to market the book.

Virtual book tours are a fun and affordable alternative when travel dollars are tight – but are you reaching the right audience with your virtual events? Do you write guest posts for non-writing blogs in your niche? Do you hold virtual book signings – or had you even imagined such a thing was possible?

A couple of years ago, I attended a virtual book signing event. It occurred at the fan-operated science fiction and fantasy literary and filk convention, FenCon VII, in Dallas. Spider Robinson was the guest of honor, but was unable to attend in person due to the recent death of his wife, Jeanne. Still, not wanting to disappoint his fans, he found creative – and futuristic – ways to participate in the conference. He participated in panels and even did a virtual book signing! The organizers set up a PC, a printer, and a Skype connection with Spider, and attendees could chat for a few minutes with the author and then get their picture printed with him from a screen capture. This was the perfect venue for something like that, blending a sci-fi, high-tech solution with a very human touch.

Do you seek out guest posting opportunities on blogs run by readers who are not writers? For example, Mommy-bloggers and Dad-bloggers are great hosts and reviewers of children’s books. If your children’s book helps to solve a problem, see if you can find a child psychologist who blogs, and offer a guest post – or ask them to review your book. There are also some amazing teen bloggers  out there.

When my book A Puppy, Not a Guppy was launched, I got teens to review it – and one even gave it the “Babysitter’s Stamp of Approval”! I’ll bet mystery writers could find opportunities within the Top 50 Forensic Science Blogs ( http://mastersinforensicscience.com/2010/top-50-forensic-science-blogs/ ) or these 50 Spine-Tingling Murder Mystery Blogs.  My point is, don’t limit yourself only to other writers’ blogs. It’s easy, because they understand the need for promotion. Often, they know how a blog book tour works, so you don’t have to spend much time familiarizing them with the concept. But if you are not reaching out to the people who have a passionate interest in the subject of your book, you’re missing out on some great promotional opportunities.

About Holly Jahangiri

Holly Jahangiri lives in Texas and claims to channel the spirits of Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry and Erma Bombeck. She has known since fifth grade that she wanted to be a professional writer. Holly is a technical communicator whose imagination is allowed free rein in her short stories, children's books, and poetry. You can visit her personal blog, "It's All a Matter of Perspective" She also writes for TheNextGoal, and hopes to win it in Weblogbetter's Surviving the Blog Contest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Other Book Marketing Articles:

Book Promotion: The Foundation
Book Promotion: Creating an Informational Funnel

~~~~~
NEED HELP MOVING FORWARD WITH YOUR ONLINE MARKETING?

Visit: Get Website Traffic with Inbound Marketing
~~~~~

Wednesday

Want to Write a Book? Three Reasons Why You Won’t

Today, I have a guest post from author, freelance writer, and writing coach Suzanne Lieurance.

3 Reasons Why Most People Who Say They Want to Write a Book Will Never Write One

By Suzanne Lieurance

Almost everyone has dreams of writing a book some day. Yet, for most people this will never become more than a dream. And thousands of others who do manage to START writing their book will give up midway through and never finish writing it. As a published author and a writing coach, I've discovered there are basically 3 reasons most writers give up on their dream of one day writing a book:

1. Wanna be authors think their book has to be one of the best books ever written.

This is a lot of pressure for any writer, much less a first time author. No one could measure up to this, so it's safer and easier to give up before ever starting. But the truth is, published authors simply try to write the very best book they can write. They don't worry about it being one of the best books ever written.

2. Wanna be authors figure they really don't have anything new and different to say that hasn't already been written about before in other books.

That old saying, "there is nothing new under the sun" is true. So published authors don't worry that someone else may have written a book about the same topic they wish to write about. Instead, they try to give their book a unique "spin" on the topic. That means they write about it in a somewhat unique way.

3. Wanna be authors think writing should be easy. If it isn't, that means they weren't meant to be a writer. 

When they start writing, and the writing becomes difficult, they figure they must not be cut out to be an author.

Writing is a craft and it is often just plain hard work even for the best of writers. In fact, good writing is usually good rewriting, so most of the well-known authors work hard at their writing. They write, then rewrite and rewrite until they get the work just right. If they stopped when the writing got difficult, they'd never publish anything either. As you can probably tell by now, each of these 3 reasons for giving up on writing a book is merely an excuse for not following through on a dream.

If you dream of writing a book someday, don't expect to write one of the best books ever written. Don't worry that you have nothing new to say. Just try to say it in a new way. And, most importantly, don't expect the writing to be so easy that there's nothing to it. Just keep plugging along and eventually you'll have a finished manuscript you can be proud of.

For instruction, tips, and advice to help you start and finish writing your book, join the The Working Writer's Club (http://workingwritersclub.com).
Suzanne Lieurance is a fulltime freelance writer, the author of 22 (at last count) published books, and the Working Writer's Coach.
Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Suzanne_Lieurance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Related Writing Articles:

Keep Your Writing Goals Front and Center
Successful Writing Strategy: Know Your Intent
Write a Novel That Sells

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday

Freelance Writing Work: The Possibilities

As most writers know, there isn’t much money in being an author; the money, if you can get a successful freelance writing business going, is in freelance writing work and ghostwriting.

There are so many different freelance writing and ghostwriting jobs you can do. But, to keep your target market focused and to strengthen your area of expertise, you should choose one or two specific types. Offering too many varying services weakens your platform and your authoritative status.

It should be mentioned that you can also learn the copywriting ropes and create a copywriting business or simply include its techniques to enhance your own writing. But, for now we’ll stick to freelance writing work, including ghostwriting; although some of the opportunities may require a bit of basic copywriting skills.

Freelance Writing Work You Can Choose From:

•    Magazine freelancer - writing and submitting articles to paying magazines
•    Writing for book publishers who accept freelance writers (you’ll need to query for a position)
•    News reporter
•    Feature writer for newspapers or magazines

•    Getting work from job boards
•    Editing and/or proofreading other writers’ work
•    Critiquing other writers’ work

•    Writing speeches
•    Writing content for websites
•    Writing content for newsletters
•    Writing articles and blog posts
•    Writing white papers or reports
•    Writing books, e-books, or pamphlets
•    Resume writing

•    Writing product descriptions or guides
•    Writing presentations
•    Technical writing
•    Educational writing
•    Instructional writing
•    Research writing
•    Legal writing

The list goes on and on.

All written content has the need for a writer. And, chances are there is someone, somewhere looking for some type of freelance writing work. It’s a matter of finding the work and attracting clients.

The important thing is to have your freelance writing business visible. I had someone contact me to write a six to ten page report as part of a job application requirement. He was busy over the weekend and wouldn’t have time to do it himself. He found me through a Google search using ‘ghostwriter’ as a keyword. I don’t do rush jobs, so had to decline.

This is another aspect of freelance writing work that you may want to consider, there are some businesses that offer very quick turn around. People pay more money for this type of service.

Yet another point to make is that when someone contacts you for freelance writing work, and for whatever reason, you can’t do it, try to be helpful in some way; make a lasting impression. I gave the ‘job application guy’ some tips on what to look for in a qualified freelance writer and told him to call me if he needs any other work.

So, you can see that if you’re out there, doing information marketing and building a quality business, it definitely helps in finding clients and garnering freelance writing work.

~~~~~
MORE ON FREELANCE WRITING

7 Steps to Freelance Writing Success Through Positive Thinking
Freelance Writing - Don’t Overspice Your Copy
The Ghostwriter – Help for Your Writing Needs



Wednesday

4 Simple Steps to Web Videos That SELL by Ali Brown

Today's guest post is by entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown and it gives you the pieces to the puzzle so you can create your own web video.


4 Simple Steps to Web Videos That SELL

by Ali Brown

Did you know that the #1 activity people are doing online these days is watching videos? Here’s why…

Web video is a great way to stimulate the senses of your audience. Each of us absorbs information differently. Some people learn better by hearing, others by seeing, and still others by reading. So if you aren’t yet thinking about ways to market with video, you’re ignoring a very compelling communication channel.

So why isn’t everyone creating a web video presence? A few reasons I hear from my clients are:

1) You don’t like being in front of a camera.

2) You don’t have the technical competency to shoot, edit and post video footage.

3) You can’t afford to buy the equipment and software you think you need.

Well, the great news is, making a web video does not require expensive gear, tech-geek prowess, or you to magically morph into the perfect TV persona.

I’ve broken down the process into 4 easy steps, so you can get a web video up in no time!

STEP 1: Examine Your Goods

If you own a digital camera, you’re already equipped with all you need to film a web video. Most digital cameras have a video feature, and you might want to check your cell phone as well—a lot of the new models shoot video. But for best results, pick up a solid, small video camera like the Flip Mino, which shoots and then plugs right into your computer for instant upload to your desktop. My team and I use the Kodak Zi8 because you can plug in an external mic for best sound quality.

STEP 2: Shoot to Minimize Errors

To keep your editing process simple, I highly suggest breaking up your shoots into small chunks versus doing one long take. That way you reduce your chance of errors and you won’t have to bother with cutting out parts that are boring, or have any blunders.

Here’s how to segment out your video: Let’s say you have an intro, then point #1, point #2, Point #3, the call to action, then contact information. Write up a loose script that you can follow as you shoot each take, or keep an outline nearby so you can reduce room for errors. In Step 3, you’ll see how beautifully these short takes will work with transition slides to pull together a really polished video.

Wear solid colors that pop, and powder your face if your skin gets shiny. And a big time-saving tip: Try to shoot more than one video at once. Often what takes the most time is all the setup, so you’ll save time in the end. (And ladies, why not only do your hair and makeup once?)

Step 3: Create Slides to Aid Your Message (or Replace You)

PowerPoint slides are a great way to elevate the quality of your videos, and it’s also perfect for those of you who are too shy to get in front of the camera. If this is you, all you need to do is put together a nice-looking PowerPoint presentation and narrate over as you click through your presentation.

Let’s say you do want to be the star. PowerPoint slides are a great way to cleanly transition between your points and reinforce your key messages (like your pitch, your website, etc.).

A basic slide setup would look like:

1. Introduction Slide: include your topic, name, website.

2. Title Sequences: this gives your video a sense of structure, as you present the information (ex. Lesson #1, Question #1, Problem #1, etc.). Keep this to a minimum though, maybe 2 to 3 max.

3. Call-to-Action: tell your viewers what to DO next. (Should they go to a certain web page to learn more? Call your toll-free number? Click on a link elsewhere on the page the video will be posted on?)

Another idea for those of you who are shy is to instead (and sometimes even better) feature your star clients and highlight their successes.

Step 4: Edit Your Video and Post It Online

These days, there are many free, user-friendly options for editing your video. Two popular and simple ones are Microsoft Movie Maker and Apple iMovie. For more fancy editing and effects, take a look at Apple’s Final Cut. Take an hour or two to go through some of the built-in tutorials and you’ll be uploading a stellar sales video in no time!

Post your video online using YouTube or other easy upload sites like Vimeo.com, where you can then fetch the embed code and put the video on your own site easily. And also consider Facebook which has the even better viral effect.

All the Ways You Can Use Video Now

A few ideas are: for your home page as a welcome/intro to your site, explaining a specific service or product, driving traffic from Facebook and YouTube to your website, motivating people to sign up for your teleseminar or webinar, as a replacement for a long-form sales letter, or as a thank you message to your clients. And that’s just a start! Don’t wait… record your first video as soon as possible, and get it up there.
==========
© 2011 Ali International, LLC
Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at http://alibrown.com/


~~~~~~~~~~
Other Marketing Articles:

Content Marketing Success – You Can Do It, You Can Do It, You Can . . .
Blogging – The 5 Most Popular Blog Post and Article Formats (Part 1)
Email Marketing – 4 Essential Tips to Get Higher Open Rates





Writing Strategy: Pen Names and Pseudonyms

Today's guest post is by freelance writer Elaine Hirsch.

Using pseudonyms for the purpose of identity concealment while writing provocative and engaging literature is a time-honored practice. The Founding Fathers wrote the seminal Federalist Papers under the collective pseudonym Publius. There were even opposing views to the Federalist Papers written under different pseudonyms such as Cato and Brutus.

Pseudonyms have been a mainstay of literature, sometimes as collective pen names (Ellery Queen), or as aliases. Stephen King used the name Richard Bachman ostensibly to test whether his success as an author had anything to do with his own persona. While it may not do to write one's master's degree dissertation under a pen name, outspoken academics have long disguised their writings when necessary, and still do so today.

Online privacy and the possibility of anonymity are two transcending issues of internet communications. Pseudonyms abound in the blogosphere, and they are utilized for different reasons.

For example, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, whose real name is Richard Starkey, adopted the name because of the abundance of rings he wore. Despite having little to do with his actual name, Ringo Starr stuck and Starkey has since been known as Ringo Starr for his contributions as a drummer for the Beatles.

Keeping one's employment is also a logical reason for using an online nom de plume. Notorious blogger Belle de Jour turned out to be Dr. Brooke Magnanti, a research scientist who blogged about her life as a London call girl while finishing her forensic science doctoral studies at the University of Sheffield.

Others may want to start out with pseudonyms until they find their voice, or until they feel comfortable their writings aren't going to get them fired immediately. Such is the advice of Dr. Allen Roberts, an American emergency room physician for whom blogging became an emotional outlet.

Keeping oneself out of jail is another sound reason for writing pseudonymously. Fake blogger JT LeRoy may have been a literary hoax perpetrated by author Laura Albert, but the character's online musings could have attracted the attention of law enforcement.

Pseudonymous writing does not translate well to all situations or topics. Whistleblower blogs may necessitate pseudonymous authorship, but academia generally shuns pseudonyms use since it doesn't conform to the responsibility and credit principles of attribution. In any case, writers, readers, and critics should keep in mind that whatever a pen name's ups and downs, there are certainly situations where pseudonymity is justified and even necessary.

~~~~~
Elaine Hirsch is kind of a jack-of-all-interests, from education and history to medicine and videogames. This makes it difficult to choose just one life path, so she is currently working as a writer for various education-related sites and writing about all these things instead.

Like this post? Please Share It!

~~~~~
MORE ON WRITING

Writing an Ebook – What’s Stopping You? Part 1 of 4 Part Series

~~~~~
NEED HELP WITH YOUR WRITING PROJECT?
I can help. Check out: Karen Cioffi Freelance Writer

~~~~~

Monday

SEO Marketing Tips to Help Get Links to Your Site

The most effective way to get links to your site is through content and SEO marketing.

Here are the four of the most popular SEO strategies to use:

1. Write keyword optimized and quality blog posts and alert your social networks that there’s fresh content on your site. If it’s valuable content, readers will be motivated to share it with their networks. The more shares and engagement a post gets, the more authority search engines will place on it.

Part of this optimization is optimizing the images you use on your website.

Sites like WordPress allow you to attach a title, alt title, description, and link to every image you use on your site. Search engine utilize this information in their categorization and indexing of your site.

2. Do guest blogging on quality and ‘relevant to your platform’ sites. Do your homework by finding and researching relevant sites that you'd like to guest on. Notice what the sites writes about. Read the guidelines very carefully. Submit a query.

3.  Post quality and polished content to article directories that other website and blogsite owners will find of value and can post to their sites for free.

While this strategy doesn't hold that same 'punch' it used to, it still has the power to broaden your visibility and reach. You just never know who may be searching that directory for information.

When writing for article directories or even guest blogging, make your ‘author bio’ as compelling a possible. You want to get people to click on your link. Your ‘bio’ is just as important as your article content. The reader needs to know that by clicking on your link, she will be benefited with more valuable information, tools, or freebies.

As an example, Joe Smith could use the following as his author bio:

Joe Smith is a published author, ghostwriter, and freelance writer. Learn more about writing and marketing at www. joesmith.com

It’s not likely that people will really care about what Joe Smith does – what they want is to know what will be in it for them if they click on his link. It’s all about the WITFM (what’s in it for me).

So, a more effective author bio might be:

To get more 'results' out of your writing and marketing efforts and to pick up your complimentary copy of "Get Your Freelance Writing Soaring," go to joesmith.com/freelance-writing-soaring.

Do you see and understand the difference? Make the reader want to click on the link.

Also, the link the reader clicks on for this information should go to a specific landing page. It may be for your email opt-in or other CTA. Just be sure the page is focused and free of distractions.

4. Create and publish informational videos to sites like YouTube. Video marketing is a must today for creating visibility and website traffic. And, it's one of the best 'conversion' tools.

Another strategy to use to get traffic to your site is ‘link bait.’

With this strategy you submit well written and valuable articles to sites like Digg.com and even article directories like Ezine Articles. If the article is very informative or entertaining, or the ‘good’ form of controversial, it will get picked up by the site and put on its home page. Now you’re talking lots of visibility and traffic resulting in lots of links.

Most important of all, is to write useable and fresh content that readers will want to share!

All these tips will help generate more visibility and traffic to your website, increasing your links and hopefully your conversions.

There is obviously much more involved in SEO marketing, but this is part of the basics.

Definition:

Conversion - this is the process of a visitor saying YES to your call-to-action. In other words, a visitor subscribing to your mailing list, or a visitor clicking on your BUY NOW button for a service or product. It's the process of having a visitor take the desired action you want.

~~~~~
Related Articles:

Blogging, Keywords, Anchor Text, Tags, and Website Statistics
Text and Images – The Perfect Combination
SEO and Website Ranking – Inside Website Visit Lengths
About Blog Post Titles and Your Website Traffic




LIKE THIS POST? PLEASE SHARE IT!

Friday

The Power of Kindness

I know this is a departure from my regular postings, but I read a touching story yesterday, sent from Hope Clark, in the Funds for Writers newsletter. It told the story of a freshman nerd who got bullied and a kind stranger who took action.

The gist of the story: Walking home from school one Friday, a boy noticed another boy (the nerd) carrying a load of books. Watching, he saw a group of kids deliberately knock him down. He felt sorry for the boy and instead of just walking by, he stopped and helped. The boys ended up becoming best friends.

Years later, when graduation came around, the nerd had thrived during high school and was giving the graduation speech. He revealed that the Friday he met his best friend, he planned to kill himself that weekend. That's why he had all his books and belongings from school, to save his mom the grief of having to get them. His best friend, without ever knowing until then, had saved his life with a simple act of kindness and friendship.

This is not the only story about how a kind act actually saved someone's life; there are many such true stories.

The point is: One small act of kindness can turn someone's day around, can turn anger into calmness, can save a life.

And, that act of kindness can have a rippling affect. That high school nerd went on to become a doctor - who knows how many lives he saved or might save. But it doesn't have to be in the form of a doctor, it can be another act of kindness, a smile, a helping hand to someone else.

I recently listened in on a webinar about breaking through your own stumbling blocks, no matter how deep rooted they are. One of the points delved into the fact that each of us is from an original source, most of us consider that source God. Since we're all created by God, we are all basically one.

While this isn't a great revelation, this philosophy has been around a while, it does remind us that we should do unto others as we'd have them do to us . . . since we are all one.

Would you prefer a kind word or an angry word, a smile or a frown, being brought down or encouraged, a slap or a kiss. You get the idea.

Our actions cause reactions in those we interact with - you just never know what that one simple act of kindness or friendliness will cultivate.

The world has many heroes, such as firefighters, those in the military, the police, rescuers, and so on, who risk their lives to help others and save lives. A kind word, an act of kindness, a friendly gesture, while not heroic and on a much smaller scale, has the same capability.

Years ago I listened to a speech about how during the gold rush people worked hard to search through dirt and rock to find gold. It brought out that we should do the same toward people. Rather than quickly finding fault, take the time and effort to search for the good in others. Search for the gold.

~~~~~
Karen Cioffi, the Article Writing Doctor

~~~~~

Wednesday

Testimonials and Forewords for Your Book

Today's guest post is by Dan Poynter and it has great information on getting valuable testimonials and forewords for your book/s. And, this is important whether you're an author or you're using books and book marketing as part of your authority building strategy for building your business.



Gathering Testimonials and Forewords

by Dan Poynter

More than 300 titles are published each day. There is no way anyone can know and rank them. That is why the book industry relies so heavily on blurbs.

A blurb is a short sales pitch or review of a book usually printed on the jacket or in an advertisement. The word was coined by Gelett Burgess, a Boston-born humorist and author [1866-1951).

Testimonials, endorsements and quotations or “blurbs” sell books because word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forces in marketing. Anything you say about your book is self-serving but words from another person are not. In fact, when readers see the quotation marks, it shifts
their attitude and they become more receptive.

Harvey Mackay placed 44 testimonials in the frontmatter of Swim with the Sharks; he had endorsements from everyone from Billy Graham to Robert Redford. Did these luminaries buy a book and write unsolicited testimonials? Of course not. Mackay asked for the words of praise.


Your mission is to get the highest-placed, most influential opinion molders in your field talking about your book. You have more control than you think over whom you quote, what they say and how you use their words. The easiest and most logical time to gather blurbs is following peer review of the manuscript. Testimonials are not difficult to get if you follow this two-step process.

Most testimonials are superficial, teach the reader nothing and lack credibility.
—Ron Richards, President, Venture Network.

Step #1. Send parts of your book out for peer review. Smart nonfiction authors take each chapter of their nearly complete manuscript and send it off to at least four experts on that chapter’s subject.

Step #2. Approach your peer reviewers for a testimonial. Now the target is softened up. You are not surprising them by asking for a blurb for a book they haven’t even seen. In fact, since you matched the chapter to their individual interest, they have already bought into the project and
become familiar with your work.

Now, draft the (suggested) testimonial yourself. In order to get what you need and in order to control the blurb, draft a suggested testimonial. Then include a cover letter like this: I know you are a busy person. Considering your position and the direction this book takes, I need a
testimonial something like this: . . .

Drafting a testimonial is a creative act; it takes time and careful thought. Editing is easier than creating. Your endorser does not even know how long the blurb should be. So, provide help. Some 80% will just sign off on your words, 10% will add some superlatives and 5% will get the idea and come up with something much better.

Forewords are approached in the same manner as endorsements. What you get back from the writer is just longer.

Gather testimonials by putting words in their mouths.

~~~~~
Dan Poynter does not want you to die with a book still inside you. You have the ingredients and he has your recipe. Dan has written more than 100 books since 1969 including Writing Nonfiction and The Self-Publishing Manual. For more help on book writing, see http://ParaPub.com. © 2003

~~~~~
Other Articles You Find Interesting:

Marketing Exposure by Nancy Sanders
Book Sales Getting Musty?

~~~~~
Don't have a book or ebook under your belt yet?

Let me help you get one - check out The Article Writing Doctor

~~~~~

Monday

What is SEO and SEO Marketing?

(Revised 2015)

If you’re like the majority of people, you may be wondering what SEO is. Well, it’s simply an acronym that stands for ‘search engine optimization.’

According to TechTerm.com, “Just about every Webmaster wants his or her site to appear in the top listings of all the major search engines.” SEO is the means to accomplish this.

SEO marketing is the strategies or techniques used to create visibility and website ranking within the search engines, such as Google and Bing.

And, now there are also the social engines that the social media networks use to rank your shares to their channels.

Every online marketing strategy should include SEO optimization. This strategy, again, encompasses processes and techniques used to make your website and its content search engine and reader friendly . . . and shareable.

SEO marketing is the process of getting the search engines to find and rank your website and your content. You obviously want a high ranking so when a searcher (potential customer) types in a search term (keyword), your site may be one of those on that first search engine results page (SERP), or at least within the first few pages.

In other words, you want your content to be optimized and valuable enough for the search engines to perceive it as one of the best results to an online searcher's query.

What helps the search engines determine the value and authority of your site and content is the reactions of your readers.

Get lots of traffic? Search engines notice.
Get lots of shares? Search engines notice.
Get lots of comments? Search engines notice.
Get lots of followers and connections through social media? Search engines notice.
Get lots of engagement, such as mentions and conversations? Search engines notice.

And, all this matters.

Another explanation for this marketing strategy

It is basically the steps you take to have Google, Bing, and other search engines find, index, and put your website on one of their first SERPs whenever people use ‘your keyword’ to search for something.

When you use effective keywords within your website (title and meta tags) and in informative posting content, Google and the other search engines will find, index, and rank you. This allows you to be picked up and shown on the search engines’ results pages for specific search terms. When a ‘searcher’ finds your link on the SERP and clicks on it, you get a page view on the page the link leads to.

Another aspect to this is if the content is quality enough, the visitor may use the link to that particular page on their own website, possibly referencing it.

The more 'quality' inbound links to your site – relevant to your site's topic - the more Google and other search engines ‘like you’ and consider you an authority.

Going a bit further with this, getting links from other sites with the same keywords in their links that you have in yours, is even more effective for ranking. These links are considered a higher ‘ranking vote’ by Google and establishes your site as having even more authority. The more ‘link votes’ you get, the more Google will perceive your site as valuable and give you a higher authoritative ranking.

To be found and ranked by Google and other search engines, you need to add effective and relevant keywords to your site and content. And, the content must be engaging and shareable.

While keywords don't have the same power-punch they used to, they still help the search engines find and categorize your content.

If you'd like to check out a keyword tool, you can go to http://googlekeywordtool.com/

Click on the Google Keyword box and it will take you to the Google Adwords search tool.

~~~~~
More on Inbound Marketing:

Blogging and Conversion – How to Get More Juice Out of Your Efforts
SEO Marketing and Social Engines
10 #SocialMedia Practices You Should Avoid




Book ( and Content) Marketing Strategy: Blog Commenting and Sharing Posts

As manager of a marketing group I'm always on the outlook for ways to generate and increase visibility, readership, and subscribers . . . and increase traffic. I find it interesting that people in general don't seem to get some of the very simple marketing strategies they can use to increase their own visibility and that of others at the same time.

One of the simplest book marketing and content marketing strategies to use is commenting on blogs, quality blogs in particular. Share those blog posts through all available clickable social networks.

Many writers and marketers don't realize that when you comment on a blog, it's picked up by the search engines. And, by leaving a clickable link back to your site in your relevant comment, you may very well draw traffic. (Everything you do online is picked up by search engines.)

Aside from the search engine visibility aspect of commenting on blog posts and sharing them on your social media networks, this strategy establishes connections.

By commenting, you form a connection with that blogger. Since, the majority of bloggers pay attention to who's commenting on their sites that blogger will actually see YOU, thereby forming a connection.

Tip here about the service you're using to leave that comment: Always make sure you add your name and website address when applicable. Just be careful with leaving your URL. Blog sites are leery of links they're not familiar with and may just delete your comment.

A better and safer way to gain visibility in this manner is to use use the profile sections on all your networks.

If you're using Blogger, be sure to complete your Blogger profile information, which should include your links. And, be sure to do the same with your Google+ profile, LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile, and Twitter profile. Keep them up to date.

While this may take a couple of minutes to initially set up, it's more than worth the time and effort. Having your profiles completed gives you visibility each time you comment your name. Your links are also a click away.

Building Your Authority

Along with the visibility aspect of commenting, by sharing informative, interesting, or entertaining posts, you provide a service to those who follow, friend, or connect with you.

This simple act creates a relationship between you and your followers or connections, establishing you as a source of information. And, if it's informative content you're sharing, you'll enhance your expert status. Along with this, building your expert status or authority is a key element to building traffic and subscribers.

According to an article in SearchEngineWatch.com, "Social Signals and SEO: Focus on Authority," it's all about "building your own audience and establishing your own authority."

Some of the most popular sources to share information are: Twitter, Facebook, GoolePlus, Linkedin, StumbleUpon, and Pinterest. If you know of others, please share! 

Make it Easy

As the website or blogsite owner it's your responsibility to have SHARE buttons in place. If they're not in place, a visitor to your site can't share the post. Adding SHARE buttons is a simple task with content management tools, like Wordpress and Blogger.

In Blogger, just scroll down the Gadgets list in Design and find a SHARE gadget.  In your WordPress' Dashboard go to Plugins, Add New, then do a search for SHARE plugins and find one that you like.

Note: Blogger isn't very SHARE friendly. It's difficult to find 3rd part gadgets that work properly and it doesn't offer its own 'good' Share Buttons.

So, to increase your own visibility and help your fellow bloggers, SHARE the posts you read. Even if you don't have the minute it takes to type a relevant comment - CLICK ON THOSE SHARE BUTTONS!

P.S. Like this post? Please share it!

~~~~~
MORE ON ONLINE MARKETING

Article Content Properly Formatted and Search Engine Optimized
Content Marketing – 9 Quick Tips for Being a Guest Blogger on Blogging Sites



Friday

10 Point Website Check Up

Today I have a guest article from the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter that gives 10 excellent steps you need to take to be sure your site is doing what it's intended to do: be effective in funneling in visitors, keep the average surfer there long enough to see what you're offering, and supporting conversion. And now, off we go:

Your 10 Point Website Check Up 
by Penny Sansevieri

So you have a website, congratulations! Now let's make sure it's doing what it is supposed to be doing for you. Read: selling your book or product. While websites will differ in color, layout, and target audience, there are a few things that need to remain consistent. Let's take a look at them.

1. Editing: Your website needs to be edited. There is no discussion on this topic at all. And don't self-edit. Hire someone to go through your site page by page and make sure you don't have any typos. Finding mistakes on your site is like finding typos on a resume. Doesn't bode too well, does it?

2. Website Statistics: do you know your site stats? Did you even know you can get them? Site statistics are part of every website design. If you don't have access to them make sure you get this. A good site stat service is Google Analytics, pretty comprehensive actually and easy to integrate into your site. You should know your traffic patterns and learn to read these reports (it's a lot easier than it sounds). This way you'll know what your site is doing and what it isn't.

3. Media Room: even if you have never had any TV or radio appearances, you should have a media room. The media room is a great place to list all of your accomplishments as it relates to the book. Also, a good place to put your bio, picture (both of you and the book cover), as well as media Q&A, and a host of other items (I'll cover the art and science of a good media room in an upcoming piece).

4. Website Copy: Your website isn't a magazine, people don't read, they scan. Make sure your site isn't so crammed with text that it's not scannable. Ideally your home page should have no more than 200 to 250 words. Also, make sure you have a clear call to action. You want your visitors to do something on your site, yes? Make sure they know what that is, clearly and precisely.

5. Store: Yes, you should have a place for people to buy on your site, even if it means sending them off to Amazon.com or somewhere else to make their purchase. One key factor though: don't make them hunt for it. Shorten the staircase. In other words, make it easy to find your stuff and then give them the quickest route to get there.

6. Design: I have two major rules in life: you should never cut your own hair or design your own website. Period. End of story. Why? Because much like editing our own books, we're just too darned close to our message to be able to do it justice. Also, most of us are writers, not designers. Hire someone, invest the money, you'll be glad you did. When you're designing, also remember that your homepage should only do one thing. Your website can sell a lot of things, including any consulting or speaking services you offer, but your home page should be focused in on one major item. Surfers spend an average of 1/50th of a second on a website, if they have to stop and try and figure out what your site is about they will leave. I call it surf shock or analysis paralysis. Don't make them guess what your site is about, or you will lose them.

7. Social content: make sure that you have something "social" on your site, whether it's a blog, forum or even your very own social networking page. The easiest and best of these is a blog, in my opinion.

8. Update often: search engines like sites that have a lot of fresh content, this will really help you with ranking in major search engines like Google. If you have a blog, you should plan to update it twice weekly at least.

9. Share and share alike: make sure that your content is easy to share. If you don't have sharing widgets on your site (Upload to Facebook, Tweet This!, Digg, Delicious, etc.) then get your designer to add it to the site asap. Most blogging software comes with this all ready to go.

10. Placement and remarketing: first off, make sure that you understand how people surf, meaning where their eye goes to when they land on a website. The first place is the upper left hand quadrant of a site, that's where your primary message should be. Then the eye goes to the center of your site. These two primary places are significant in conversion. You should have a clear message, and a clear call to action (whatever that action is). I also recommend funneling your visitors into a mailing list. You can do this via a sign-up on your home page and then an ethical bribe to encourage them to sign up. What's an ethical bribe? It's something you give them (of value) to get something - you might give them an ebook, a checklist or a special report. Just make sure it's something your readers want.

Bonus tip: Understanding Anchor Text

If you ask any Search Engine Marketing Expert they will tell you the importance of anchor text. So what is this exactly? It's the hyperlinked text that you click on to follow a link. Most people overlook this text, using words like "click here" or other nebulous terms. If used correctly, anchor text can really help with your site ranking. It's not that difficult to implement really, you just need to understand a few basic concepts.

First, anchor text should be descriptive. It should describe the link you're sending people to using keywords that reflect the page you're recommending.

Second, if you know the high-traffic keywords for your market you can use those as well to describe the link (but only if the keywords relate to the page you're sending visitors to).

Third, knowing where to use anchor text is almost as important as the text itself. All external links should be anchor text, but often web designers forget internal links (i.e. links leading to pages within your site) although they are equally as important. Your home page is also critical for anchor text links. If you have a blog (and you should) make sure that any article, website or blog you reference has anchor text in the hyperlink.

Creating these hyperlinks is easy, especially if you're using them in a blog. Most blog software has some very simple one-click anchor text creation widgets.

So take some time and go through your site, make sure that anything you have hyperlinked is anchor text. Stay away from nebulous terms like "click here" or "follow this link" because you won't get picked up by search engines that way. Make sure the text is focused and specific. How long can anchor text be? It doesn't have to be long, but if need be, it can be multiple words. Keep in mind that as long as the words are relevant to your topic, the anchor text verbiage is all that matters.

~~~~~
Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Related Articles:

Book Marketing – Tips and Tidbits on Bookstores
Build Your Authority Through Books and By-Pass Marketing
Building a Profitable Information Product Business



Marketing Exposure by Nancy Sanders

Today, I have the great pleasure of featuring an article by a multi-published author, Nancy Sanders. With over 80 books traditionally published, Nancy knows what she's talking about and she says exposure is a key element to generating sales.

Marketing Exposure

by Nancy Sanders

When your book gets published, a good way to generate exposure for it is to submit it to various state reading lists that it qualifies for.

Even if your book does not get selected for the list, it is still being read by teams of professionals in the world of literature. This in itself is good exposure.

And if it's selected for reading lists, the exposure is really great!

Cynthia Leitich Smith has compiled a great list of state reading lists on her Official Author Site at: http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/lit_resources/awards/stateawards.html Check it out!

It can be daunting to look at the huge list of state awards and reading lists, at first glance.

But if you break it into smaller chunks, it can be very workable.

After I submitted my manuscript to the publisher on my deadline for my book, America’s Black Founders, I knew it would take nearly a year for the manuscript to go through the process of becoming a book.

So during that year, I planned small sessions when I would sit down and go over various links to lists for awards and state reading lists. My goal of course was to win an award or be selected for a reading list, but secondary to that was exposure for marketing to increase the sales numbers of my book.

So over the months, I compiled a list of links that worked. I read about each different state reading list. I made a file of the ones my book qualified for and that interested me to submit to.

I especially noted the deadline for each one. I arranged them in order according to their deadlines so I could see at a glance which ones I needed to work on first.

I tried to enjoy this process and also kept in mind potential future books I might do this with, so I felt it was worth my time to create this master list that I could use again in the future.

After I compiled my list of state reading lists and awards that my book, America’s Black Founders, could qualify for, I looked over that list.

For some state reading lists, all you have to do is e-mail them the name of a book you’d like to nominate.

So I did! And of course, I nominated mine!

For other lists, someone who was a teacher or librarian had to contact them and nominate my book. So I contacted my teacher and librarian friends and they were happy to send in the nomination.

For other lists, anyone could nominate the book, so I contacted a writer friend who also had a new book coming out and we swapped. I submitted her book for nomination and she submitted mine.

Networking is so important in this industry! This is just one example of what you can do to help market your book when you network with friends and fellow writers.

As I looked over the list I had compiled for state reading lists and awards, there were a number of them that required either a copy of my book or a fee, or both.

I contacted my publisher about these.

I sent my publisher the list I had compiled. Then they met and they discussed the budget they wanted to commit to my book for this type of thing.

Then they got back to me and offered to submit my book for the reading lists and awards that they felt were important to them.

By now, I had my own list left. I went over this list and created my own budget for this according to the worth I gave to each place. Then I submitted my book for these.

Whew! All in all, by the time my book came out and over its first year, it was submitted to a number of state reading lists and awards.

I was hopeful it might win something. But even if it didn’t, I know it’s gotten some great exposure. And I know that will help sales.

And the good news is, it actually did win an award! America’s Black Founders was selected as the Award Winner in the “Best Books 2010″ Awards in the Children’s Non-Fiction category, sponsored by USA Book News! It also won Honorable Mention for Children’s Books in the New England Book Festival.

~~~
Nancy I. Sanders (http://nancyisanders.com) is the bestselling and award-winning author of over 80 books including the ground-breaking book for children’s writers, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published and Build a Successful Writing Career. To learn more about this book and how it can impact your writing career, visit the website at www.YesYouCanLearn.wordpress.com. Nancy is also available for Virtual Author Visits for your writer’s group or small group of writing friends. Contact her at jeffandnancys@gmail.com for more information.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Related Book Marketing Articles:

Inbound Marketing – What do Your Readers Want?
Book Promotion: 20 Strategies that will Broaden Your Reach – Part 1



Monday

A Ghostwriter: 5 Features That Can Help Build Your Business Part2

Today, I'm back with Part 2, features two through five, of "A Ghostwriter: 5 Features That Can Help Build Your Business."

2. A Ghostwriter Provides Informational Content

Information rules in today’s ever changing world. Providing informative and/or instructive content to your staff, customers, and potential customer is now essential, especially with business transparency being a desirable feature that employees and customers look for.

While businesses and marketers can generate their own content, a ghostwriter frees up company time for more productive and revenue generating work.

‘Informational gifts’ is another content product that businesses need to be aware of. Of the thousands of websites within your industry available for customers to find and subscribe to, why should they choose yours? That’s where an ‘ethical bribe’ comes in to play. Providing an informative report or e-book with valuable information that your potential customer will appreciate tends to motivate that individual, company, or visitor to click on your opt-in box, thereby increasing your mailing list. And, every business knows the importance of having a mailing list – it’s crucial with the increasing e-commerce trends.

It’s this offering of valuable and quality information that helps build a relationship with your site’s visitors and keeps them coming back. This ongoing relationship will eventually lead to an increased mailing list and sales.

3. A Ghostwriter for Your Business’ Landing Pages and Products

The first impression an online searcher – potential customer searching for your product or business type - will have of a business, is its landing page. Obviously, a business needs to have an attractive, quick loading, SEO friendly, and informative page. Now, while a ghostwriter will most likely not be a web designer, she can create the needed content for the site, content that will engage the visitor and motivate him to subscribe to the mailing list and make contact with the business.

The mailing list is what generates long-lasting relationships and sales. Through the mailing list you can offer information, along with product and/or business promotion. Marketing experts advise though, to offer a 75 to 25 percent ratio of information to promotion.

Again, information is what people want today; they want to know how to find a solution to their problem or need, and they want to be informed. If you provide that, you will have sales.

Along with creating effective landing page content, a ghostwriter can produce product descriptions and guides. Through the information you provide and additional research, she can create informative and customer appreciated content, thereby fostering customer loyalty.

4. A Ghostwriter – Copywriting and Keywords

In addition to writing articles, newsletters, e-books, reports, and other content, a ghostwriter should know copywriting. While this skill isn’t essential for some aspects of the job, it is important in the event a client requires projects such as landing pages, email marketing, product guides, articles, or other.

And, being aware of SEO and keywords will help the ghostwriter create traffic effective content, leading potential subscribers and customers to the business’ website.

Knowing copywriting and SEO is a surefire way for a ghostwriter to increase her value to business clients.

5. A Ghostwriter Must be a Good Writer

Lastly, the number one quality a ghostwriter needs to have is being a good writer. It’s also a good idea for the ghostwriter to specialize in a couple of different areas – this also increases her value to specific clients.

If you are thinking of hiring a ghostwriter, you might ask for samples and/or testimonials. Note here: testimonials from ghostwriting clients may be difficult, if not impossible to come by . . . for obvious reasons. If the ghostwriter can’t provide testimonials, it’s important to understand why and ask for writing samples instead.

You can check out Part 1 here:

A Ghost Writer: 5 Features That Can Help Your Business Part 1
http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2011/10/ghostwriter-5-features-that-can-help.html

~~~~~

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

NEED HELP WITH YOUR WRITING OR CONTENT MARKETING?

Visit: http://karencioffifreelancewriter.com
Your Content Marketing Prescription (for small and home businesses)


~~~~~
MORE ON FREELANCE WRITING

Building an Writer’s Portfolio
Building a Profitable Information Product Business
Writing for Money – Breaking Into Freelance Writing

~~~~~

A Ghostwriter: 5 Features That Can Help Build Your Business Part1

This is a pretty long article, so I'm dividing it into two parts. Here's Part 1 of:

A Ghostwriter: 5 Features That Can Help Build Your Business

A ghostwriter provides services for different types of people, marketers, and businesses, and on a number of topics. She works silently, behind the scenes and creates whitepapers, newsletters, e-books, informational products, articles, posts, stories, and other forms of content for a business or marketer seeking to:

•    Create and/or build your company’s platform visibility
•    Generate and increase website traffic
•    Provide instruction/information for employees or clients/customers
•    Offer an informational gift as an ‘ethical bribe’ to subscribe to your company’s mailing list
•    Create landing pages for your company or products
•    Create product descriptions and guides

The list goes on and on. But, let’s breakdown some of the uses of a ghostwriter, and her benefit to businesses.

A Ghostwriter is a Must-Have Tool

According to tracking by the U.S. Department of Commerce, e-commerce grew 17.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011. Within those first three months, Americans spent $43 billion online. And, the projection for 2012 is that e-commerce will increase another 11.3 percent.

Based on trends and statistics, this growing e-commerce market will continue to grow.

1. Building Your Brand and Visibility with a Ghostwriter

So, it’s easy to see that with e-commerce rapidly growing a ghostwriter is a must-have business tool for marketers or business owners who need to provide regularly updated content on their site/s and in their newsletters or informational emails. This marketing strategy is known as inbound marketing. It helps build your platform, creates and increases traffic to your site, and will help increase your mailing list.

Creating content for businesses is actually a busy area for ghostwriters. Marketers are very aware of the importance of having effective and fresh content on the sites they are managing. Businesses hire a writer to write a set number of post/articles per week or month for a certain amount of money per article. Some businesses may want one to two articles per day; others may want one a week.

If you are hiring a ghostwriter for this capacity, be sure she knows about keywords and SEO. The point of hiring someone to create valuable content for your site/s is to have that content picked up in the search engines, which in turn will help searchers (potential customers/clients) find your site/s.

And, if the work involves rewriting articles, the ghostwriter must know the source article’s duplicate content score. Search engines frown upon duplicate content, so it’s the writer’s job to make the article different enough so it is perceived as new.

Maintaining and increasing visibility is essential to authors, writers, and businesses. Keeping up with blog posts and guest article writing is an important marketing tool for all, well at least for those who are trying to sell their products or services.

Read Part 2 Here:
A Ghostwriter: 5 Features that Can Help You Build Your Business Part 2
http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2011/11/ghostwriter-5-features-that-can-help.html

~~~~~

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

NEED HELP WITH YOUR WRITING OR CONTENT MARKETING?

Visit: http://karencioffifreelancewriter.com
Professional, Reliable, and Experienced Writing Services


~~~~~

MORE ON FREELANCE WRITING

Ghostwriting – Content Rewriting
7 Steps to Freelance Writing Success Through Positive Thinking
Freelance Writing Work: The Possibilities

~~~~~

Keep Your Writing Goals Front and Center

As a writer, you have to move forward to keep up with the onslaught of books and authors in the book publishing arena. And, you especially need to be sure you're keeping in alignment with your writing goals. This means every now and then you need to stop to evaluate what your core goals are and if you’re actually heading in that direction.

Every marketer will tell you that the beginning of each year you need to create a list of core or major goals. It's important to make your goals realistic and obtainable, and not to burden yourself with too many goals.

Three is a good number of writing goals, not too few, not too many. Then under each goal you can list a few tasks that you will do on a daily or weekly basis to help you reach your objectives.

In addition to creating and typing your goals down in a document, they need to be printed and kept visible. It's important to put them somewhere you'll be sure to notice on a daily basis. You might put your list on your computer, inside your laptop case, on top of your daily planner, on the inside of a kitchen cabinet you open everyday.

You get the idea, your writing goals need to be visible each and every day. Not just visible though, they need to be read each and every day.

Why is it important to keep your writing goals front and center?

Here's another question to help answer that question: Did you ever hear the expression, ‘Out of sight, out of mind?’

That's the answer.

On January 1st of 'any year,' you may tell yourself, and maybe even write it down, that you will:

1. Write a minimum of five pages of your new book each week
2. Effectively market your published books
3. Submit articles to three paying magazines on a monthly basis

Okay, that's great, but suppose it's now July and you haven't even written 10 pages of your new book, and you haven't gone past the very basics of promoting your published books.

What happened to your writing goals?

Easy. You didn’t keep your goals list front and center, so you got sidetracked.

While you may have had the best of intentions on January 1st, without keeping those writing goals visible, it’s difficult to stay on course.

Maybe you decided to add the writing of unrelated e-books to your workload. Maybe you decided to do book reviews and started a critique group of your own. Maybe you devoted too much time to social networking and your online groups.

These additions may not necessarily be a bad thing, but before you continue on, ask yourself three questions:

1. Are these additions to your workload moving you in the direction of your major writing goals?
2. Are they actually keeping you from attaining your goals?
3. Are they providing some kind of income?

If your answers to these questions are NO, YES, NO, then you need to step back, redirect your steps, and get back on track. If you keep your writing goals front and center, you’ll be amazed at how you automatically work toward achieving them.

~~~~~

Friday

Writers and Authors: The Ongoing Process of Evolving

As every writer knows, creating and increasing visibility is an essential part of the business. Whether you're writing and promoting books or you're a freelance writer, you need to be out there . . . it's never ending.

As we progress on our writing path, we gain insight into what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong. At least hopefully we learn. Sometimes, if we're lucky enough to have the guidance of a writing coach or mentor, we're actually told what might be amiss, or what steps we can take to work more effectively and profitability.

But, no matter how you come to the realization of certain steps you need to take, the most important thing is to actually take those steps.

This is something I've been working on lately. As with a lot of writers, I spin my wheels trying to be everywhere and do everything, but it's not an effective use of time or an effective way of accomplishing what you want to, and it's just plain tiring.

Fortunately, I've been reminded of what I need to do by my writing coach Suzanne Lieurance. I've worked with Suzanne in a couple of different clubs since 2008, and she knows her stuff.

A key to writing success is to have your major writing goals in place and to be focused. What tends to happen though is we forget what out actual goals are - we get sidetracked, or we keep adding more and more goals to our list. This doesn't work.

My three major goals for the new year are:

1. Working on children's books for publication
2. Growing my ghostwriting business
3. Growing my content marketing and inbound marketing strategies and services

What tasks will I need to undertake to direct focus back on my major goals?

1. I'll be revamping and organizing my websites for clarity and distinction.


2. Eliminate non-productive and non-money-making jobs, and other extraneous goals that are diluting my major goals.

3. Absolutely make time to write children's books - my current WIP is a sequel to Walking Through Walls.

4. Possibly reduce the posts here to two times a week,  rather than three times a week. But, that's still up in the air.


5. This is the most important - print out my Goals and keep them visible.

These are some of the steps I'll be taking to put my three major goals in the forefront, work toward them and write with focus.

The reason I'm taking the time to share this with you is because there are many of you out there who are struggling with the same problems, hopefully my steps will help you take a look at what may be preventing you from reaching your major goals. Or, what you may be doing to cause unnecessary work for yourself.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Until next time,
Karen Cioffi

Monday

Book Marketing: Choose a Website Domain Name


The first rung on your book marketing ladder is to create a quality product, in the case of an author, that would be a book. You need to create an engaging story, be part of a critique group, make sure the manuscript gets edited, and have a knock-out cover.

Creating the book might be considered Research and Development under the Marketing umbrella, and the foundation of a marketing strategy.

The second step or rung on the book marketing ladder is the actual book promotion: creating a platform and brand for you and your book. This is accomplished through visibility. A platform is a means to let readers know what your area of expertise is.

You may be shaking your head and thinking you don’t have an area of expertise, well the very first step to establish yourself as an expert is to create a website or blog.

Choosing the Domain Name

Choose a domain name carefully and think ahead. Marketing experts always advise using ‘your name’ for your domain name. While you can have multiple sites, your name should be your main or central site.

On the other hand, if you write in a specific genre, you should include that in your website domain name. If you’re a children’s writer, maybe: Children’s Books by Your Name, or Picture Books by Your Name. The more specific you make your domain name the more likely those searching online for that genre will find you.

Why is it so important to have your name in your central site’s title?

The answer is for those searching by your name to find you. Maybe Reader A doesn’t know the name of your book, but does remember your author name.

Why if you write in a specific genre is it important to include that in your site’s title?

Simply put: If you sell shoes and your website domain name is John Smith, how will those searching online for shoes ever find you?

Using Keywords in Your Domain Name

The idea is to make multiple avenues of search that lead to your site. In other words, you need multiple keywords that are relevant to your site - keywords that will allow the search engines to index your site and allow readers doing online searches to find your site. Again, the more specific the better.

And, be sure to use appropriate keywords in the subtitle of your site. For example, if your book is a children’s fantasy adventure, be sure to include those keywords in your subtitle. The keywords will let the search engines know what your site is about.

As mentioned, you can create multiple sites. You might have ‘YourName.com’ as your central site and then create other sites for your individual books, or possibly for a particular niche or genre you write in.

For example, I have a blogsite specifically for my each of my books: Walking Through Walls (http://walkingthroughwalls-kcioffi.blogspot.com), and another specifically for Day’s End Lullaby (http://daysendlullaby). These sites offer information related to the books only.

When creating a site specifically for your book/s, you should include these pages:

•    Home – for updates and possibly articles related to the book topic, time period, etc.
•    Description and/or Synopsis
•    Excerpts - be sure to ask your publisher how much is acceptable
•    Illustrations - be sure to ask your publisher which ones can be used
•    Reviews - obviously, it’s your site so only post the favorable reviews
•    Author Interviews – post interviews and links to podcasts and blog talk radio shows you’ve done
•    Purchasing Information – this is one of the most important pages; be sure to have clickable links that work

With the number of ‘free’ websites and blogsites available, you can have a site that’s unique for each of your books and/or niches that you write in.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Related Articles:

Book Promotion – 20 Strategies That Will Broaden Your Reach
Is Your Manuscript Ready for Submission?




Tuesday

The Frugal Book Promoter, Second Edition

Today, Wednesday, October 5th, is Carolyn Howard-Johnson's launch for The Frugal Book Promoter, Second Edition. Being a huge fan of Carolyn's books, I'm thrilled to include my blog in it's promotion.

So, without further ado, here it is:


CAROLYN HOWARD-JOHNSON
Here's the book you writers have been looking for!
___________________________________________



The second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter is an updated version of the multi award-winning first edition. It has been expanded to include simple ways to promote books using newer technology--always considering promotion and marketing techniques that are easy on the pocketbook and frugal of time. It also includes a multitude of ways for authors and publishers to promote the so-called hard-to-promote genres. The award-winning author of poetry and fiction draws on a lifetime of experience in journalism, public relations, retailing, marketing, and the marketing of her own books to give authors the basics they need for do-it-yourself promotion and fun, effective approaches that haven't been stirred and warmed over, techniques that will help rocket their books to bestselling lists. You'll also l earn to write media releases, query letters and a knock 'em dead media kit--all tools that help an author find a publisher and sell their book once it's in print.

When you buy the book today, you'll receive more than a dozen great bonuses for writers 

Click here to Buy the Book!

-----------------------------------------------------
And, here's an article from the book, just to whet your appetite:

New Math Adds Up To FREE Publicity

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

(An excerpt from the updated and expanded second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or partnering with your publisher)

The new math for free publicity is: E-book + E-gift = Promotion. Oops. Error. Make the answer FREE promotion!

There are three magical concepts to this e-book formula

1. Accidental
2. Free
3. E-book.


My best promotion ever, a free e-book called COOKING BY THE BOOK, accidentally fell into my lap and it uses all three of that formula. I’ll share more about these three promotional potions a bit later.

COOKING BY THE BOOK began when more than two dozen authors from several countries contributed to a book that would be given away free to anyone—as a gift of appreciation to the support teams it takes to write and market a book and to the legions of readers who cook but were probably never exposed to our books. Each invited author had written at least one kitchen scene in his book. Each segment of the cookbook begins with an excerpt from that scene, the recipe comes next and that is followed by a short blurb about the author.

This cookbook e-tool is a cross-pollinator. Each contributing author was to publicize it any way he or she chose. Participants promised to promote it and not to charge for it. That way each contributor benefited from the efforts, the lists, and the contacts of the other authors. We had some superior promoters among us:

§  Most of us set up a page on our websites. 

§  Contributor Peggy Hazelwood promoted it in her newsletter for book lovers.

§  Mary Emma Allen featured it in the columns she writers for New Hampshire dailies, The Citizen and The Union Leader.

§  David Leonhardt, (http://thehappyguy.com/ ) author of CLIMB YOUR STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN, incorporated the cookbook into a Happiness Game Show he uses in his presentations.

§  We gave away coupons for this book at our signings. Because it cost nothing, it could be given to everyone, not just those who purchase a book.

§  I used the e-copies as thank yous to people who visit my site.

§  Some included information on these freebies on the back of  business cards and bookmarks.

§  I queried site editors whenever I ran across another place that seems as if our CB Book would interest their audience.

Reviewer JayCe Crawford (http://www.authorsden.com/jaycecrawford) said, “For a foodie-cum-fiction-freak like me, this cookbook is a dream come true.” That review has popped up in places we didn’t know existed.

Our most startling success came from sources we had no connection to. It was featured in Joan Stewart’s The Publicity Hound, in Writer’s Weekly, on MyShelf.com, in the iUniverse newsletter and more. I had the highest rate of interest I’d ever had when I queried radio stations for interviews and that was in competition with a pitch for my novel THIS IS THE PLACE just before the 2002 games in Salt Lake City and an intolerance angle on the same novel right after 9/11.

Wait, we're not through yet. Mother's Day is coming. It is always an occasion for us repeat our publicity blitzes every year, because--if you haven’t noticed--mothers tend to do lots of cooking. This book was so successful I collaborated with Sarah Mankowski on a similar one called SEASONED GREETINGS for holiday promotional blitzes.

Back to those three magic words:

1.                        Accidental: I don’t take credit for knowing a good thing when I saw it. What I learned from this experience is to never dismiss something that is placed on your desk without careful consideration--even if it seems vaguely hokey. I nearly did just that. It seemed like a lot of work to give away free. Now I do that kind of thing all the time.

2.                        Free: This charmed word convinced editors to offer our cookbook as a freebie to their readers. Usually the contributing author who pitched it was privileged with their own promotional site’s URL being used as a link but when some editors chose to place the entire cookbook download on their own sites, we all benefited just the same.

3.                        E-book: An e-book is easy for readers to obtain. The author need not budget for postage or processing expenses. In the invitations, queries, and releases I sent out, I emphasized a no strings attached attack: I assured everyone that they would not be expected to register to the site, sign up for a newsletter nor purchase a thing. The E-book concept is also important because—though it may not be new to you and me—the media is still infatuated with it.

Here is a fourth magic word. Cookbook. It has universal appeal. You might find something else that works better for you. I’ve been thinking of doing something similar utilizing the subject of genealogy because my novel is based on the stories of my own ancestors--four generations of them. It is not necessary that the freebie be knitted to your primary title; you may benefit by a theme that reaches out, draws in those who might not otherwise be exposed to your work. Your idea may appeal to a narrower audience but niche markets work, too. Everyone loves something that is FREE.

COOKING BY THE BOOK and my other e-books are like hospitality gifts. Only better. That's because they promote not only my work, but that of others.

-----------

When you buy the book today, you'll receive more than a dozen great bonuses for writers 

Click here to Buy the Book!

----------

Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of the award-winning This is the Place, Harkening, and Tracings. She is also the author of  the How To Do It Frugally series including The Frugal Book Promoter which won the winner of USA Book News' Best Professional Book and the Irwin Award and the The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success.



Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Instructor for the renowned UCLA Extension Writers' Program

Author of the multi award-winning series of HowToDoItFrugally books:


The Frugal Book Promoter
The Frugal Editor
The Great First Impression Book Proposal
Great Little Last-Minute Edits

E-mail: HoJoNews@aol.com
Web site: http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~
Carolyn, Best Wishes for an out-of-the-ballpark book launch!