Wednesday

Tips to Generate Web Traffic

I have a valuable guest article from Beth Ann Erickson. So, without further ado:

Generate Web Traffic

By Beth Ann Erickson

You've got a website. Good for you! Now comes the hard part: How do you get traffic?

I've read that when it comes to owning your own site, what matters most is how many hits you get.  However, I disagree.

As a writer, you're selling a specialized product - yourself and your writing skills.  This means you may not want every member of the general public visiting your site.  What you do want are potential clients and customers to find you.

How do you do that?

You can start by creating an e-mail signature.  A signature is a blurb your program inserts at the end of every e-mail you send.

Mine reads:

Make your writing sparkle. Write killer queries. Get published.
Subscribe to Writing Etc. the free e-mag for writers.  Receive the
free e-booklet "Power Queries" by subscribing today. 
http://filbertpublishing.com


Microsoft Outlook allows you to create a signature under "Tools" on the menu bar then select "Options."  Other e-mail programs are probably different.  If you need help, just go to your program's
"help" option and run a search.

Make your signature concise, benefit oriented, and don't forget to include your URL.  Use everything you know about copywriting to write something snappy and memorable.

Now that your signature is done, write ten to twenty key words that describe your web site.

FilbertPublishing's key words include:
Writer, Write, Writing, Freelance, Copywriting, Fiction, Nonfiction... you get the point.

Now you're ready to register with a few search engines.

There are thousands of search engines out in cyber space but most of them aren't going to give you enough traffic to warrant registering with them.  I'd suggest you just shoot for the biggies and then go back to the smaller ones if you want to.

Some of the engines you may want to "submit your site" to are:

http://google.com 

http://www.dogpile.com
http://www.webcrawler.com

http://www.yahoo.com

As you "submit your site," you'll be using your key words and signature "blurb" to fill in their forms.

If your web site is about a particular subject, chances are there is a "web ring" you can join.  Go to http://www.yahoo.com, type in "web ring" and check them out.  Filbert Publishing is a member of a
number of fiction writing web rings.

Next, you need to find out where your potential clients hang out.

If you want to write for small businesses, find e-mail lists and newsgroups that cater to these folks.  A quick search in Yahoo or the Google Newsgroup (formally Deja News) will give you enough information to get to work.

Frequent these newsgroups, e-mail lists, and listservs, and join in the conversation.  Don't promote yourself blatantly, but let your new e-mail signature do the selling for you.  Blatant selling is not permitted, but the soft sell of an e-mail sig is certainly welcomed.

You can advertise in e-mags.  Find e-mags that cater to your target audience and place a small ad in them.  However don't place just one ad.  Run at least four consecutive ads - better yet, keep it running for an extended period of time.  You may be able to negotiate a lesser fee if you place a link on your site.

Finally, be sure to put your website URL on your business cards and in EVERY piece of advertising you purchase.  Be creative and always target your message to the audience you want to reach.  I have a
separate URL designed especially for my copywriting clients, my Writing Etc. subscribers, and the Web Ring surfers.

Be creative and have fun.  Do something on a regular basis (preferably daily) to promote your web site.  And always remember... you're going to make mistakes.  It's just the nature of this business.  But never let the fear of mistakes stop you from trying something new....

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This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book "Power Queries."

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The Author Website – Keep it Simple and to the Point



Monday

Book Promotion: Creating an Information Funnel

When thinking of book marketing, there are a number of rungs on the marketing ladder. The first involves creating a quality product, in this case a book. You want a book that you’ll be proud to offer for sale, and a book that customers will want to buy.

Once you have a finished product/book, you need to move onto the promotion basics. This rung on the ladder involves establishing a presence - you’ll need to create visibility and a platform. To do this, the first step is to get a website or blog. Next, you will need to join writing groups in your genre, groups in your target market, and other social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.

After you’ve established a presence, the next step is to create an informational funnel leading back to your website. The purpose of this funnel is to bring traffic and inbound links, to your site.

The more traffic to your site the greater your visibility in the search engines. More traffic also means a greater chance of visitors purchasing what you’re offering.

When it comes to an informational funnel, content rules. Here are three strategies to increase traffic to your site.

1. Add Content to Your Blog

Make your presence known by offering information in the form of content on your blog. Content is what will make you an expert in your niche, genre, or area. But, just posting the content to your site will not create the traffic you need. Each time you publish content to your site, you need to let your social networks know about it.

Tweet it and post about it to Facebook and your other social networks. Be sure to always include a clickable url link that goes directly to the article. This is a part of inbound marketing – it leads visitors back to your site through an information funnel.

In addition, using effective keywords in your posts and the post titles, related to your site’s platform, will help the search engines index your content.

2. Article Marketing

Once you feel comfortable with adding content to your blog, you can now venture out into the article marketing arena to capture a larger audience. While most article directories have guidelines, they are fairly lenient. Follow the guidelines and post an article to one, ten, or a hundred different directories. Most of them don’t require original articles, so you can use articles you’ve posted on your blog.

Usually you will be allowed to include a brief bio in the form of a resource box. Make it short and sweet. Be sure it links back to your website or blog, whichever you want the traffic to go to (if you have more than one site).

Those who click on the link will be creating inbound links to your site which is a feature Google and the other search engines like. In fact, quality inbound links are an important aspect of search engine optimization (SEO).

3. Offer to be a Guest on Other Quality Sites

Another avenue of inbound marketing is offering your articles to other quality blogs or sites; you become a featured writer on the site by providing a guest article. It might be viewed as visiting another neighborhood. The particular site you are featured on has its own set of visitors, thereby broadening your visibility.

Do your research though, before you approach bloggers. Make sure the fit is right by checking prior posts on the site. In addition, when you approach the blog owner to ask about a guest post, let him know that you are familiar with his site.

And, be sure to always make it a win-win situation. Let the blog owner know that you will promote your feature post, and you might mention that you’ll include his site in your newsletter.

Finally, self-edit all your articles before you post them or send them off.

Tip: Using content to draw visitors back to your site is inbound or organic marketing. It is free, and it works by creating an informational funnel leading back to your site. In order for inbound marketing to work effectively, you need to provide valuable content on a regular basis.

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MORE ON ONLINE MARKETING:

Online Membership Sites – Should You Join One?
The Author Website – Keep it Simple and to the Point
Ebooks are a Must



Boost Your Authority by Writing an eBook – 5 Simple Steps

An ebook is an amazing product that has multiple uses. And, it can be created for FREE, or for a very minimal amount. What else can you create that costs only your time and effort, and sells for whatever the market is willing to pay?

And, it's an amazing authority building tool!

This is a marketing strategy that you shouldn't pass by.

So, what are the 5 easy steps to creating your very own ebook?

The 5 Simple Steps

1. Create content

The first step is to create your content; this can be done as a simple word document. The content can be anything you think your readers or target market will want or need. In addition, it can be any length you decide upon. You can create a simple 10 page e-book, or a 100+ page e-book.
You can also create a compilation of articles you’ve already written on a particular topic and organize them into an easy to read product that includes a content page.

Note: It’s wise to include a disclaimer explaining that you, the author, strived for accuracy, but cannot guarantee it due to the ever-changing nature of the internet. And, it’s advisable to include an “All Rights Reserved” with a copyright reference.

TIP: If you’re offering the e-book as a freebie on your site you can allow others to pay-it-forward, emphasizing that all information must remain intact. This will help increase your visibility and lead readers back to your site/s.

2. Organize Your Content

Whether your product is a few pages or 100 pages, having it organized is important. The e-book needs to offer easy reading and clarity, along with value. If you are creating a longer product, divide the content or articles into sections or parts, and provide a Content Page.

Be sure to use a large and bold font for section headings and it’s advisable to include page breaks for each section.

Finally, be sure to add a brief bio including promotional material on an About the Author page.

TIP:  have plenty of white space. If you notice, this article has very short paragraphs, making it easy to read.

3. Include Images and Tweak Your Content

Once you have the content in place, add images. You can add an image at the beginning of each section, or where ever you see fit. This is another trick to make the e-book more interesting to read.
Using your word program’s clipart function is a free way to get images. Microsoft has clipart in the toolbar: Insert: Pictures: Clipart. You can also input free images from other sources. Again, the choice is yours - just be careful of copyrighted images.

Another option is to buy images from sources like BigStockPhoto.com

But, if you want to save time and money, and be extra safe, create your own images with Logo Creator. This is what I use - the image at the top of the post was created with Logo Creator.


The images will help break up the monotony of straight content.

TIP: You will also want to include your own head shot on your About the Author page. Readers connect more with a face, rather than just a name.

4. Create a Cover

Every book needs a cover, so you will need to create one. Again, you can use clipart, or other source of free images. You can also use the Word Draw Toolbar. I’m not sure if all versions are the same, but mine is located at the bottom of my document.

You can also use the Logo Creator for this.

But, if you're writing a business book or other type of professional book, get a professional cover made. You can check out Fiverr.com.

TIP: After you create a cover, be sure to click on Page Break.

5. Turning Your Word Doc into a PDF

Okay, you’ve created a great word document, now it’s time to magically turn it into an e-book. There are a number of free PDF creator software applications to do this.

For those wondering, PDF is an acronym for Portable Document Format. A PDF creator is an application that converts documents into PDFs by creating a virtual printer that prints to PDF files.

If you don’t already have a PDF converter, it’s time to do an online search for “free pdf creator.” Just be sure the one you choose is Adobe compatible.

My experience is with PDF995. You can check it out at: http://www.pdf995.com/

Install the software you chose, and you’re ready to go.

It’s that simple.

If you like this post, please share it!

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Want to write an ebook, but still aren't sure how to do it? Or, just don't have the time. Well, don't let that stop you - I can write it for you!
(Scroll to toward the bottom of the page for the ebook pricing.)

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MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING 

When Blogging Use Images Carefully – They May Be Copyrighted
Article Marketing – Blog Posting Optimization
Writing and Marketing – Evaluate Where You Are



Freelance Writing - An Additional Path to Income

Many children’s authors or book writers in other genres realize that making money writing books may not be what many envision it to be. So, if as a writer you want to make money to either supplement your income or earn an income, you might think about other writing paths in addition to authoring books.

One such path is freelance writing.

According to Wikipedia, “the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 10.3 million workers in the US (7.4% of the US workforce) are independent contractors. In the past three years, companies have increased their outsourcing by 22% on the internet.”

These figures are rising every year as more and more businesses realize the necessity of marketing online.

What is a freelance writer?

Essentially, a freelance writer is self-employed writer. He or she looks for magazines that accept submissions or maybe businesses and marketers who are looking for writers, although this area may fall more under ghostwriting which is a form of freelance writing.

Simply put, in a freelance capacity, you will write for pay, whether with a byline or as a ghostwriter, and you will search for entities that are willing to pay for your services.

Getting Started

To get started in this area, you should establish yourself as a freelance writer; this will help you harness paying jobs. The best way to do this is to create a website that is devoted to you as a freelance writer. You may want to blog about topics you excel in, whether marketing, health, business, or other. Show the potential client what you are capable of, and post content on a regular basis.

You will also need to search freelance job boards. You can find job boards by doing an online search. In addition, you might ask writer acquaintances or friends for information in this area, since you want to make sure the job board site is reputable.

Another area to promote your freelance business and expertise is in social networks such as Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter.

With persistence, you will see you’re first freelance job.

Take Caution

Be careful though, before you accept a job it’s important to know your value; don’t under value your writing talent, or under estimate the work involved in a particular project. Writing a 500 word article for $10 is not the way to go, considering it may take you one to two hours to complete if you need to do research.

Your best course of action is to decide what fee you are willing to write for, and then stick to your guns. Often, once you fall into the writing-for-peanuts-pit, it can become difficult to get out, so seek quality writing jobs.

Once you’ve landed one or more clients, it’s important to manage your time effectively. You will need to put business first and other writing and social networking second. Now, this does not mean you can neglect other aspects of writing, such as working on your next book if you are an author, or marketing your freelance services and marketing your available books, it simply means take care of the writing that brings in an income first.

Getting Testimonials

Next, to generate more business, ask satisfied clients for testimonials and post them on your website. If you are ghostwriting, this may be difficult to accomplish, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

One final note, write quality content no matter what the writing assignment. This effort will lead to long-term clients and referrals.

Image copyright 2014 Karen Cioffi

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MORE ON FREELANCE WRITING

Building a Profitable Information Product Business
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Tuesday

Freelance Article Submissions: Having Trouble?

Whether you're writing for children or another genre, you need to have a well structured article to submit. Here are three tips from writing coach and author Suzanne Lieurance:

3 Tips For Writing More Marketable Articles

By Suzanne Lieurance

If you're trying to sell articles to a variety of publishers, you need to be sure your articles are marketable. Here are 3 tips that will help you do that. These tips can also serve as a template any time you're having trouble focusing your article and need an easy-to-follow structure for the piece.

1. Keep your introduction to a single paragraph. Too often, writers start an article with WAY too much introduction before they get to the "meat" of the piece. Today's readers want writers to cut to the chase. They want information that is easy to understand and quick to read. Don't bog down your reader with paragraph after paragraph of introduction. You should be able to introduce your topic in a single paragraph. If you can't, you probably need to give your article a narrower focus.

2. Use a list or bullet points to convey the main ideas in your article. Readers will appreciate this because they can skip the introduction entirely and still get the information they need from your article. They can also easily jot down the main points on a sheet of paper if the information is something they need and want to keep at hand.

3. End your article with a single concluding paragraph. Again, don't bog down your readers by expecting them to continue reading after you've made your main points.

Follow these 3 tips and it should be fairly easy to write your articles quickly. You'll also create articles that are more marketable!

Get more tips to help you move from rejection to publication when you subscribe to The Morning Nudge. Your subscription includes free membership in The Morning Nudge Club, where you'll have access to recorded informational teleclasses, tips sheets, helpful checklists, and other tools for writers. Find out more about The Morning Nudge at http://morningnudge.com and make this your BEST writing year YET!
 

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Suzanne_Lieurance 

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MORE ON WRITING

Writing for Money – Breaking Into Freelance Writing
Ghostwriting – Content Rewriting

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NEED HELP WITH YOUR WRITING PROJECT?

I can help. Check out: http://karencioffifreelancewriter.com