Friday

By-Pass Marketing and Book Selling

According to a teleseminar, with featured speaker Jack Canfield, “Only one out of seven people in the United States go into book stores to buy a book.”

We know that books are still being sold, but where are they being sold if not primarily in book stores?

Through this teleseminar, I learned of the term “by-pass marketing.” 

By-pass marketing is selling in places you wouldn’t expect to see books for sale. Canfield mentioned venues I never even thought of. Putting on my thinking cap, I thought of a couple more.

Some By-pass Venues for Selling Books:

  • Bakeries
  • Nail salons
  • Gas stations
  • Beauty salons / barbershops
  • Spas
  • Cleaners
  • Tailors
  • Doctor offices
  • Chiropractic and Acupuncture offices
  • Radiology offices
  • Local restaurants

You get the idea; sell anywhere you can. Think of establishments in your area where you have to wait for services, or ones that get a lot of traffic. Obviously, it will help if your book is somewhat related to the establishment, but even if it’s not, give it a try. Talk to management or the owner and offer a percentage of sales, or a set amount per book. This is a win-win situation for you and the establishment. They have absolutely no investment of money, time, or effort, therefore no risk. Yet, they have the opportunity to make money. This should be a no-brainer on their part. All you need to do is ask.

Remember: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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MORE ONLINE MARKETING TIPS

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Monday

Social Networking – What is the Deal with LinkedIn Recommendations?

I’ve written about this in a more generic post, but within the past week I’ve received two requests for LinkedIn Recommendations from people I’m connected with but don’t know.

Asking for a recommendation from someone who knows you and your work is one thing, but to request recommendations from people you don’t know is unethical.

Is it just me? I don’t get it.

I’m sure Recommendations started out as a ‘good’ thing – a place where clients, peers, co-workers, and others who know you and your work could promote your capabilities and skills. This is a valuable promotional strategy when done ethically.

LinkedIn is supposed to be a professional network, a place to possibly find work and business connections. A place for . . . professionals. If you, or I, or Joe, or Mary recommend a connection we don’t know, what does that do to the system?

How can LinkedIn Recommendations be taken seriously if people willy-nilly recommend others?

Going back to the requests I received, one of them was a mass-mailing. Again, I just don’t get it. What happened to ethics and professionalism?

The other request was for a recommendation and it included a PLEA to buy ALL his books and ebooks, to help him avert becoming homeless.

What’s a bit more upsetting to me is that both requests came from writers, supposedly professional writers.

Now, my heart goes out to those in need and I would certainly help if I could. But, how on earth are we to know who is in real need and who is spamming us? And, how can you ethically recommend the writing,  marketing, or other skills of someone you don’t know?

While I had a lot of respect for LinkedIn, that respect is waning. Their Recommendation system needs a revamping with some controls put in place. As it stands now, if you’re looking for a professional in a particular arena you won’t know for sure if that individual or business has ‘real’ or ‘unethical’ recommendations. This devalues LinkedIn as a quality place to find and connect with qualified professionals.

The major problem I have with the LinkedIn Recommendation system, say compared to Facebook Likes or Twitter Follows, is that it’s targeting the quality and value of a member’s work. Facebook and Twitter are more of a popularity contest – no one is attesting to the quality of a member’s work or talent.

I hope LinkedIn is taking note of how their Recommendations system is being used. And, if they are, I hope they do something about it.

Okay, enough ranting.

~~~~~
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Friday

Best SEO Techniques for Small Businesses

Best practice SEO techniques for small businesses

Guest Post by Magnetize PR

For many small businesses just starting out, getting their website up and running will be a primary start up task. More businesses now realise that there is a massive online market which can provide massive sales potential. With more people purchasing online, companies realise that having an online business will be the key to future success. For those business owners not wanting to use an SEO company just yet, but still want to know how they can improve their online presence and ensure the practices they adopt are sustainable, here are a few SEO tactics to get you started.

Quality content

With the recent panda algorithm update targeting sites with low quality content, business owners and SEO professionals are realising that quality content is the key to sustainable success. Consumer behaviour online is changing and when they search for results, if the quality is not what they are looking for, they will bounce off and never return. The search engines are using different metrics now when ranking pages in the SERPS. They will look at social signals. For example, if lots of people are liking or following a particular piece of content then it is probable that more weight with be given when ranking a that page. Metrics that the search engines will take into account includes bounce rate, visits and links to the page. Focusing on quality content has become more important than ever. With inbound marketing, social media, and SEO strategies being content lead, business owners should ensure that researching what questions customers are searching for and providing quality content that answers these queries will form the foundation of their content marketing strategy.

Building quality links

Links have always been an important element to ranking a website in the search engines. Past link building techniques have abused the search engine guidelines and black hat link building techniques, such as building lots of low quality sites that featured exact match anchor text, were enough to rank poor quality sites in the search engines, many of which were affiliate sites. The penguin update released by Google last year was aimed at targeting low quality links and over optimisation. Now sites that use link networks and have lots of low quality links face being penalised. Link quality is more important than ever with blogger outreach being the primary tactic used for building quality links. Previous link building techniques such as directory submissions, low quality link networks, social book marks, and article submissions no longer have the same effect.

Blogger outreach is the most legitimate way of building links at present that really focuses on building relationships with other blog owners. Website owners through blogger outreach can source quality trusted websites and pitch content ideas to blog owners with the hope that their article submission will be accepted and published. The blog owner gets free quality content for their website in return for a quality link back. The search engines use links as votes representing what pages are important and popular. Therefore building quality links has and still is an important element to ranking a website in the search engines. Link variation will also be important ensuring that a website’s link profile will look natural.

Producing quality content and building quality links will be two essential practices for any small business looking to rank their website within the search engines. There are many other elements that will form part of a successful SEO strategy, including on page optimisation and social signals. However quality content and building quality links will be the foundation of a sustainable SEO strategy that will survive the next round of algorithm updates.

Author Bio
This article was produced by Magnetize PR for small business owners. They offer inbound marketing services including SEO consultancy, PPC, Content marketing, social media marketing and conversion rate optimisation.

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Monday

3 Reasons Why Editing Should Come Before Self-Publishing

By Karen Cioffi

Self-publishing is an amazing beast. It has brought the world of publishing into the hands of you, Joe, Beth, and everyone and anyone who wants to write a book. It has brought writing power and freedom to all.

But, with writing power and freedom comes responsibility.

This means that while it’s true that self-publishing has opened a tremendous amount of doors and anyone can now write and publish a book, it doesn’t mean you can slap anything together and self-publish?  You need to produce quality (edited) content for three reasons.

Reason number one: You have an obligation to your reader.

You want to give the reader her money’s worth. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, a fantasy adventure or a business book, you want to create a book that will engage the reader. You don’t want the reader to stumble over grammatical and content errors while reading.

One of the drawbacks to the ease of self-publishing is those new to the arena don’t realize they should hone their craft before actually publishing a book. This means taking the time to learn about writing and self-editing, and realizing the importance of hiring a professional editor to edit the book before giving it to the world.

Reason number two: You have an obligation to other writers.

Part of the problem today is the 'I want it now' syndrome that self-publishing lends itself to. Authors don't want to take the longer 'proven' road. But, learning the ropes really does matter.

Once your book is ‘out there,’ it becomes another element in the determining factor as to whether self-published books are of the same quality as traditionally published books. This is where your obligation to other writers comes into play. It’s not fair to diminish the value of self-published books.

Reason number three: Self-editing is a good book marketing move.

In book marketing 101, the first step is to create a quality product.

In a webinar, pro marketers Daniel Hall and Jason Fladlien discussed the importance of ‘the offer’ (your product) compared to the sales copy. By far, a quality product is much more important.

If your intent is to only publish one book, then quality may not matter from a marketing perspective. The saying goes, ‘if you fool me once, shame on me.’ If this is the scenario, then you don’t have to worry about readers/purchasers buying more from you. But, you’ll need to be careful here, because word-of-mouth is lightning fast in the internet world. This could easily stop your one-time purchasers also.

On the flip side, let’s assume you love writing and have decided to earn an income from it. Then, self-editing will play a huge part in your book marketing success. If you produce a sub-standard product (book), it will discourage a customer from buying your future books.

Remember, a great product will not only sell itself, it will usually write its own copy. Editing before publishing helps create a quality product.

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Friday

Is Your Email Inbox Cluttered? Then Use a Filter

This is a quick tip. If you’re like me, your inbox is a fright. You scan through it to find emails that are important to you or that fit a certain criteria. Then you move ones you want to save for future reference to a specific folder. Maybe you have a ‘marketing’ folder, a ‘writing’ folder, a ‘health’ folder, and so on.

Sorting each email is time consuming.

Well, Gmail and Yahoo both have Filters that sort incoming emails for you automatically.

Maybe I’m a slow learner, but I just caught on to this time-saving tool and I love it.

In Yahoo just look for Mail Options (see Image 1). Click on Filters (on the left, circled in red) and fill in your criteria.



It's pretty self-explanatory. Image 2 gives you an idea of how it looks and what to do.


Gmail is similar. In your Gmail account you have to click on an email though, then go to ‘More.’ Scroll down to Filter messages. See Image 3 below.


It's pretty easy.

I hope this helps you manage your emails and time a little better.

~~~~~
RECOMMENDED TOOL

Book Marketing 101 – The First Steps in Creating Your Online Platform
Creating a Quality Product, Editing, Creating an eBook, Your Own Virtual Book Tour, Writing a Press Release, and More
CLICK HERE to check it out!

~~~~~
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Wednesday

Writing - Between Writers and Readers

Between writer and reader…

Guest Post by Author Steve Moore

There are many wonderful things about ebook self-publishing that make it attractive to writers.  An obvious one that comes to mind is that the writer can minimize what stands between him and the reader.  I’m talking logistics, of course, as well as time delay. One can consider a situation where event X occurs in the real world and there’s an ebook about it only a few weeks later.  After finishing a manuscript (MS), the delay needed to reach the reading public is minimal.

Legacy or traditional publishing cannot match this kind of turn-around. There are too many steps involved in that process—agents, slushpiles, editors, proofreaders, marketing and PR, and distribution.  I suspect the delay between finished MS and readers is more like a year, not weeks.  One can debate which system delivers the best product for the reader.  Some of that discourse depends on what the reader expects.

The “writing business” is a misnomer in many ways.  “Reading lovers’ entertainment” is better.  This parallels “music lovers’ entertainment” and “film lovers’ entertainment.”  “Reading lovers” emphasizes that the products are directed to people who love to read; “…entertainment” emphasizes that the products are meant to entertain.  I’m speaking about fiction, of course, but there is no reason why a lover of reading can’t also be entertained by a good non-fiction book (I am such a reader).

In fact, readers rule in this entertainment industry.  As a consequence, an author has to realize that every reader is different.  Whether a book becomes a bookseller because of some lemming-like mass psychosis (the Fifty Shades trilogy comes to mind), or because it was released at the right place and right time (Harry Potter comes to mind), or is the best literary offering since To Kill a Mockingbird (no recent book comes to mind), the reading public are the consumers who determine the success of a book.  Any author who tries to predict the future and bend with the stormy winds of literary fashion is crazy.  Writers should write the stories that come from the core of their creative being—if they resonate with readers, that only means that other people enjoy his stories.  This is where minimizing steps between writer and reader comes in.

Authors might be obsessive-compulsive nerds like Jack Nicholson in that famous film As Good as It Gets, but they still seek that resonance with readers.  Why write otherwise?  In the old days where readers were few, the storytellers were vocal bards who entertained their listeners, perhaps using a lute as accompaniment.  There was even some of that in the old radio shows.  Orson Welles will probably be remembered for scaring the hell out of people with The War of the Worlds broadcast long after people remember him as an actor (of course, Citizen Kane was not too shabby).  Today, it’s clear that ebooks and the digital revolution in publishing are approaching that vocal tradition by minimizing the steps between writer and reader, inasmuch as the internet permits.

Note that I emphasize storytelling ability.  I don’t care how polished a book is, if there’s no interesting story, I won’t read it.  I assume many readers react the same way.  In fact, as a reviewer, I’m willing to forgive and forget some errors in writing technique, formatting, and cover art, as long as the writer has entertained me with a damn good story.  I’m currently reading yet another Ian Rankin mystery novel.  The ebook formatting is appalling, but the John Remus stories are always damn good (I remember that I originally had to get past the Scottish English—probably a similar learning process to a Scot reading an American novel).  Of course, I doubt that Ian cares whether I forgive his publisher.

So, you, the writer, have a whizbang story to tell in your MS?  There are still steps that must be done before I’ll let you take pride in your accomplishment.  While ebook self-publishing allows a writer to take a first draft of a novel and turn it into an ebook, achieving resonance with readers might be very difficult in that case.  But some writers don’t have first drafts (I don’t—word processing software allows one to continuously write and revise all the way through the MS).  So let’s call it the final draft before ebook formatting.  There’s still polishing to perform—you might still call it writing, but I call it polishing.

You’ve told your story the way you like to tell it, you’ve arrived at a pre-formatted MS, but there are quirks about your writing that you don’t like.  You should know what they are.  C’mon, by the time you finish that MS, you should have a good idea if you’ve been paying attention to writing tips spread all over the internet.  I’m not talking about splitting infinitives or ending a sentence with a preposition—many of those “rules” are pure crap anyway.  (Why grammar checkers in word processing software flag these is beyond me—were they written by programmers who thought their high school English teachers were teaching good writing algorithms?)

I’m talking about things like an overuse of adjectives and adverbs (I like my writing to be lean), bad dialog, orphan clauses, POV lapses (I’m my worst enemy there, because I shift it around a lot), character description errors (Sue is fat and brown-haired in Chapter Three and anorexic and blond in Chapter Forty), and so on.  We all make some of these mistakes some of the time—some of us lots of the time.  No amount of good formatting will fix these lapses.  You have to do it yourself, or, with the help of a professional editor.

I say help, because only some of these individual quirks of an author can be spotted and fixed by a good editing pro, and the author might not like the final result.  Ever have your MS start reading as if it were written by another person?  I’ve always been my worst (or. should I say, best?) critic—I know my quirks, have lists of them, and can search and fix them.  I even use a grammar checker—it tends to help with that “narrative passive” many agents complain about, otherwise known as overuse of the passive voice (I don’t worry what agents complain about anymore—they’re out of my life).

The tools built into my word processor tend to become annoying for the reasons mentioned above.  Some author once said that if he wants to break a rule, he is damn well going to do it, come hell or high water (this is not a quote—he probably didn’t use a cliché).  Let’s face it—ordinary speech has split infinitives and prepositions at the end of sentences.  Too many rules like this are arbitrary, made-up handcuffs and straitjackets real writers can thumb their noses at.  A good writer develops his own style.  Part of the sweet mystery of good storytelling is that there are so many different ways to do it.

Editing can be done entirely by the author or with the help of a pro editor.  It depends on how comfortable you are detecting your own quirks.  In any case, it is necessary before formatting your MS as an ebook.  It often helps, if you’re in DIY-mode, to print out the entire MS.  Your prose will look different in hardcopy.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that looking at it on your computer screen is the same as reading the ebook. A good formatter knows this, but you should make as many corrections as possible before giving the MS to her.  (If you’re the formatter, you can make as many versions as you want, I guess, but that’s a waste of time.)

The other essential element in preparing for your final ebook formatting is the cover. I don’t know about you, but my writing abilities are infinitely superior to my artistic abilities (that’s an easy estimate, because any number over zero is infinity, and I have zero artistic abilities). You can still pass on some ideas to your cover artist, but otherwise, stick to writing and let the professional artist design your cover. I’ve generally been pleased with all my covers (and think the worst ones were those where I had too much input).

That’s all that needs to be done between writer and reader nowadays. A damn good story, careful and commonsense editing, and a good cover—and you’re ready to go. Of course, when your ebook is released, you have to hope readers sit up and take notice. That’s hard to do because how easy it is to release an ebook implies many people are doing it. It’s a reader’s market, not a writer’s. Readers will reap the entertainment rewards of discovering a new, bold universe of books—some bad, some OK, and some damn good, but all reasonably priced.

Steve Moore
http://stevenmmoore.com

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Monday

3 Article Marketing Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Optimize Your Efforts (Fixes Included)

Article marketing falls under the content marketing umbrella. And, it's an excellent tool for a number of reasons, but many writers seem to be missing the ‘optimized’ mark.

For those who aren’t sure what article marketing is, it’s using posts, articles, and other content to attract visitors. This includes the posts on your own website.

Here are three mistakes you should avoid to boost your efforts.

1. You don’t take the time to self-edit your content before publishing.

Article marketing encompasses a number of venues. There’s blogging on your own blog, there’s guest blogging, and there’s publishing with article directories and other venues.

Whichever venue you use, self-editing your posts and articles is absolutely needed.

The reason self-editing is a must is because you must be blogging and article marketing with a purpose in mind. That purpose is usually one of all of the following:

• Create visibility
• Lead visitors back to your website
• Increase your authority in your niche
• Increase your mailing list

With these purposes in mind, it’s important for your content to be polished. You want to look the part of a skilled writer. This is why self-editing is an absolute must.

So, before you send off that article, or before you publish it yourself, take the few minutes it takes to READ it first. One trick is to close the article after writing it and go back to it in a day or two. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to spot errors when you do this.

2. You don’t include a bio or tag at the end of ‘every’ article.

You write a slam-dunk article, that offers lots of information. You impress the reader. But, you don’t have an effective tag. In fact some blog posts don’t even include the author’s name.

Whether it’s your own blog post, an article for an article directory, or it’s a guest post, you need to include a brief bio.

So, be sure to include your name at the end of every post on your own site. And, it’s advisable to include a call-to-action. You might suggest the reader sign up for your newsletter or you can lead them to an offer.

In regard to article directories, they provide a ‘resource’ or ‘bio’ box that appears at the end of your article. Take advantage of this tool and make your words effective. Be sure to lead the reader back to your website or to your call-to-action.

The same holds true for guest blogging, you want the tag to be short and effective.

3. You don’t include hyperlinks in your posts.

It seems most blogs don’t use hyperlinks. While this is a practice you can’t use on most article directories, you can certainly use it in your own posts and guest posts. Search engines love hyperlinks.

To hyper link, you simple highlight a keyword and link it to another relevant article or site. The idea is to give the reader more bang-for-the-buck. You give your reader a broader reading experience.

There you have it, three article marketing mistakes and three solutions.

P.S. If you like this article, please share it!

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Friday

Great Headline and Pitch Formula

Here's a great fill-in-the-blank formula you can use for a grabbing headline, pitch, or book title that is guaranteed to grab a reader's attention virtually every time. It's from "Rick Frishman's Sunday Tips."

* Pitch Formula:  "Is/Are __________ making you ____________?"

And here's a couple of examples of how you might apply it:

Show Pitch:  "Is your house making you sick?"

Show Pitch:  "Are your kids making you fat?"

What you're looking for when you use this formula is a combination of things that are unlikely. The answer may only be yes once in a while, but that's enough to justify posing the question ... and getting people's attention.

How about, "Is Christmas creating a society full of liars?" Whether it is or isn't is immaterial, but it could be argued that by telling our children lies when they are young (flying reindeer, deer with red noses, a sleigh that can hold enough presents for every kid on earth) that we are indeed creating a society of liars.

It doesn't matter if your claim is ultimately true or not ... as long as it's arguable. What really matters is that it gets people's attention and it's a great show.

Please share this with anyone it might help.

To get Alex Carroll's entire database of the Biggest 1,364 radio shows in America (all have at least 100,000 listeners), complete with show descriptions and number of listeners for each show, visit our website: http://www.publicityvault.com.

Reprinted from "Rick Frishman's Sunday Tips"
Subscribe at http://www.rickfrishman.com and
receive Rick's "Million Dollar Rolodex" which is 141 pages long.

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Wednesday

Book Marketing on a Budget with Penny Lockwood

Penny is on a blog tour for her new book Boo's Bad Day and I'm so glad to be a part of it. For her stop here, Penny has some advice on promoting a book without spending lots of money.

Promoting Boo’s Bad Day On a Budget

By Penny Lockwood

One part of the writing process that seems to cause most authors to shudder is marketing.  Granted there are a number of authors who know how to promote their books and are quite successful at doing so.  Many others are more like me, left wondering where do I start…

I live in a small rural community in NW Oregon.  Our county seat, which is one of the two closest towns, had a lovely, small independent bookstore until a few months ago.  Anticipating the release of my picture book Boo’s Bad Day, I hoped to include a book signing as part of my promotion. Unfortunately, due to economic pressures, the owner had to close.  Now, our only bookstores are one used bookstore and used books from thrift shops. I was excited when the owner of the used bookstore told me she’d let me do a book signing there as well as sell the books on consignment. While Portland, the largest city in Oregon, is only about a half hour away, due to family obligations, I am unable to travel far for personal book signings.

My major form for promoting Boo’s Bad Day, therefore, has been to go to the Internet for exposure.  One of the things I did well before the release of my book was start a blog One Writer’s Journey.  At first, I wrote articles offering writing tips.  I soon realized there are already a lot of blogs doing that, and it was difficult to create blog traffic.  I then switched my focus to interviewing other authors.  I now have a couple thousand followers through Google and Networked Blogs.  By offering this free promotion to other authors, I have made connections that allow me to approach other authors who offer their blogs as a venue for marketing. 

By contacting children’s authors who appeared on my blog, I have thirty-four blog stops scheduled for my Boo’s Bad Day blog tour. During the tour, I have bloggers who have volunteered to review Boo, interviews, and guest posts, such as this one.  I will visit each blog on the day I’m scheduled to appear, answer any questions commenters may leave, and keep track of their names to be entered into a drawing for a copy of Boo at the end of the tour.

The other marketing technique I’ve utilized is publicity in local newspapers.  I sent media releases and review copies of Boo to the small newspaper publishers in the closest towns as well as the two large statewide newspapers.  One newspaper has offered me an interview in addition to my press release.  Another statewide newspaper, Statesman Journal already posted information about Boo on their biblio blog.

I will be contacting the two libraries in the closest towns to arrange for a visit during their story times.  My plan is to donate a book to each of the libraries and hand out bookmarks to the kids during my visit.  In addition to the libraries, I will contact the local preschools and kindergartens to arrange for author visits.

I personally contacted people I know who have children or grandchildren aged eighteen months to six years and have sold several copies through this method.  In fact, one contact ordered six books so she could give them as gifts.

I realize there are a lot more things I should do, most of which won’t cost anything.  I already have Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Jacketflap author pages.  I still need to set up an account with Goodreads.  I’ve also been reading about the advantages of Pinterest, but sometimes I find it’s hard to keep up with all these networking sites. I’ve tried to keep the number down thinking quality might be better than quantity.  I am curious which sites will actually bring more exposure.

I know several authors who have newsletters, and I understand this can be a great way to promote one’s books.  Right now, I don’t have this set up, but it’s something I’m exploring.

There are, of course, a lot of other marketing ideas, many of which cost money.  I’m not in a position to spend a lot of money on promotion, so I look to those things I can do which are low-cost or no-cost.  I’d be interested in hearing what some other folks are doing to promote their books, too.  Please be sure to leave a comment.

~~~~~
Here's a brief description of Boo's Bad Day:
Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house.  Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home.  When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house, Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.

~~~~~

Boo's Bad Day is getting great reviews, so be sure to get your own copy today. Here's the information:

Title: BOO’S BAD DAY
By: Penny Lockwood
Picture book for children aged 18 months to 6 years
Published by 4RV Publishing
ISBN# 13: 978-0-9852661-5-8
4RV - http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/penny-lockwood.php

Look inside at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Boos-Bad-Day-Penny-Lockwood/dp/0985266155/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

~~~~
About the Author

Penny Lockwood has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and non fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications.  She edits for MuseItUp Publishing.  Visit her web site at http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com.

She has recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has three other children’s books under contract with them: Ghost for Rent, Ghost for Lunch, and Many Colored Coats. She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror.  Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Sam’s Dot Publishing and Smashwords.

Social links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/penny.ehrenkranz
Twitter: @PennyEhrenkranz
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/pennyehrenkranz/





Monday

Email Marketing - 8 Must Have Elements in Your Subscriber Welcome

Most writers, marketers, and businesses know the importance of email marketing. Getting subscribers for the ‘golden’ mailing list is at the core of doing business online.

Realizing this, you do the work and take the time to create an effective newsletter or information email campaign. You offer an irresistible ‘ethical bribe’ for subscribing and it’s working. Visitors to your website are saying YES to your call-to-action.

But, once the visitor/reader says YES to your call-to-action by filling out your opt-in, is your welcome effective? Meaning, does it provide additional marketing techniques to further your authority and sales.

If you’re like a number of email marketers, you realize the importance of getting that email address, but don’t realize the importance of using the welcome message as another marketing tool.

The “true measurement” to email marketing success, according to an article by Ryan Deiss at Digital Marketer, “ISN’T your opt-ins list . . . it’s your customers list.”

Having an effective welcome message is the first step in converting subscribers into customers.

8 Elements to an Effective Subscriber Welcome Message

1. The first step is to make sure your email campaign service provider offers a welcome message. If you’re not sure whether there is one, contact the provider’s customer support to find out.

2. Assuming they do, you’ll need to tweak the welcome content for effectiveness. You want to personalize the welcome message.

3. Check the timeliness of the subscriber’s receipt of the welcome message - the sooner the better. Again, if you’re not sure about this, get in touch with customer service.

People lose interest in things at record speed now. If your welcome message isn’t sent quickly, they may forget what motivated them to subscribe and then unsubscribe when it finally comes.

4. Let your new subscriber know that you appreciate having him on your list and being a part of your ‘family.’

5. If you offer a freebie for subscribing to your list (which you should), make sure you provide the link to its download in the welcome message, if it’s not immediately downloadable. This is an absolute must. Your welcome message and gift is the beginning of a hopefully long-term relationship, it’s essential to start it with trust and reliability.

6. Let him know what to expect as a subscriber. If you offer free workshops or webinars, let the subscriber know that he should open your emails to find out about them.

Just because someone said YES and subscribed to your list, it doesn’t mean she’ll actually open your emails when they arrive in her inbox.

7. You might also use ‘soft sales’ techniques for a special offer in the welcome message. Deiss says, “the welcome mail is the first and best opportunity to get them [the subscribers] to discover the value of your product or service.”

8. Let the subscriber know where to find you. You’ll want to include your email address, your website urls, and your social network links. And, if you have an effective ‘tag,’ be sure to include that also.

Keep in mind that the opt-in is just the beginning. It’s like the ‘hello’ at a gathering. It will take a conversation and interest to move that ‘hello’ into a relationship. Your welcome message is the initial conversation.

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RECOMMENDED TOOL
WORDPRESS SUBSCRIBERS PLUGIN

Before you can send a Welcome message, you need to get the visitor to say YES to your opt-in. WordPress Subscribers Plugin helps with that - it helps big-time. It offers lots and lots of features, including a ‘lightbox’ opt-in form; footer and header bar opt-in forms, commenting opt-in form; and exit popups.

Check it out HERE.


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Friday

Content Marketing - Using Anchor Text In Your Blog Posts

I get a number of questions on using anchor text in blogging, so here's a quick post on it.

Article marketing is a key strategy in online marketing, and blogging is part of article marketing. An effective marketing tool in blogging is using anchor text.

Search engines love anchor text and it gives the reader a broader reading experience by providing additional information on the post topic.

SEOMOZ defines anchor text as “the visible characters and words that hyperlink display when linking to another document or location on the web.”

So, in other words, it’s the visible clickable link to more information.

Okay, let’s use an example paragraph to explain how to do this:

Marketing is an ever-changing arena. What worked yesterday may not work today. What works today, may not work tomorrow. But, still writers of marketing articles continue to write on the topic.

This paragraph may be part of a post on my blog and since I have lots of other posts on marketing, I’d use the word ‘Marketing’ as the keyword.

Remember, you want to link to related content when using anchor text.

Here are the three simple steps to hyperlinking a keyword – to using anchor text:

1. Highlight the word.

2. Click on the hyperlink symbol "Link."

The image below demonstrates steps 1 and 2:



3. Enter the URL in the 'Edit Link' box (web address line), click OK, and you’re done. The keyword is now hyperlinked.

The image below demonstrates step 3:




Just choose a word or few words that are search engine effective and that you can link to other content. It's very easy.

I hope this was helpful.

P.S. If you like this article, please share it!

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Wednesday

How to Use Help a Reporter Out by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Help a Reporter Out Can Be a Boon for Your Career

Guest Post by Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Most everyone knows about Help a Reporter Out, also called HARO. The trouble is, many don’t know how to make it work very well for them.

Here’s what it is. It’s a listing of reporters, bloggers, and other media folks who need your help or the help of someone else out there. It’s a little like a list of classified ads from media folk. Often they want opinion. They may want expertise. They may even want to cast you in a reality show. All you have to do to get these targeted (and carefully categorized) calls for help in your e-mail box is sign up at http://helpareporter.com. But then, of course, like anything else, you have to “work it.”

Some consider it a bit of a problem that these HARO notices come to them several times a day. I did. I signed up and eventually thought I didn’t have time to fool with the extensive lists. I was discouraged because I didn’t get the immediate results I thought I should. So I unsubscribed. But here’s the thing. I wasn’t getting results I wanted because I wasn’t using it right and—of course—because I wasn’t willing to be persistent. Then I tried it again. I changed my tactics. I didn’t frame myself as an author, but as an expert. Once I learned how to approach the people I contacted, I got better, more frequent results.

I had to learn the hard way. You don’t because I'm sharing some of my hard-won tips:

1.   Sign up.

2.   Try to look at every e-mail HARO sends out and quickly pick out the calls that might directly apply to you or the ones you can skew toward you. Example: I answered one that wanted people who had suffered some kind of stroke so I shared my little story about a TIA I had while I was in Tibet. I was there for inspiration for a novel and my poetry. I was careful to include that reference to my creative work (along with links to some buy pages) in the answer I sent. But I was also careful not to make that the major thrust of my query.

3.    At first I thought these were all real reporters who would actually call me for an interview or at least to check facts. The world is a different place since I was a reporter. Writers are in a bigger hurry. That means you need to be complete with your answer. Use anecdotes. Use soundbites. This is great training, by the way, for learning what intrigues media people and what doesn’t. Give them contact information and permission to call you if they wish right in the pitch you send them. Note: Though I have received lots of publicity using HARO, not once has someone called me.

4.   Always include a little bio. You can copy and paste it but it should include the kind of information about your background that applies to the kind of question your contact wanted answered. Include links to your Web site, blog, or online bookstores buy page. Sometimes the writers use that bio exactly as you gave it to them. At the risk of being redundant, media folks are busy. If your note to them requires tons of work to corral details you didn’t include, they’ll just use someone else who did a better job of giving them what they need.

5.   Keep at it. As with all marketing, persistence pays.

6.   Don’t get discouraged. Expect that you may hit gold on about one of every ten or twenty calls you answer. But one of those can reach a ton of new readers.

7.   When you learn that your answer has been used, go online, comment, and send a thank you to the writer. If you don’t know how you could possibly know if your helpful piece gets used, you need to refer again to your Frugal Book Promoter (http://budurl.com/FrugalBkProm) and find “alerts” in the index. Note: Sometimes the blogger or reporter (the smartest ones!) will let you know you were mentioned and even give you a permalink to use in your own marketing.

8.   If you are featured on a relatively big site, add the coup to your media kit, your Web site, and maybe even blog about it.

Remember, you’re not just selling books here. You’re building a writing career. You’re building name recognition. You’re networking, too!

~To reprint this article in your own blog, Web site, or elsewhere, send me a quickie query to HoJoNews (at) AOL (dot) com. I almost never say no! (-: In other words, I’m happy to Help a Reporter Out!)

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a multi award-winning author of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Her HowToDoItFrugally series of books has helped writers and retailers worldwide. She is the recipient of the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, the Book Publicists of Southern California’s Irwin Award and her community’s Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly’s list of 14 women of “San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen.” She is also an instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. Learn more at www.howtodoitfrgually.com.

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