You’re a self-publishing author. It’s your job not only to write your books, but also to promote them so that you get sales. Content marketing is a simple way to sell books if you enjoy writing. That said, some authors shy away from it, because they’re not sure how it works.
Two benefits of content marketing:
- It’s inexpensive;
- It’s long-lasting.
Content marketing: blogging and more
Let’s define content marketing first. What is it?
Basically, content marketing involves creating and sharing online content like blog posts, social media posts, audios (podcasting) and videos. Although content sells, content market is not direct selling. Your content sells indirectly. It builds interest in your books, and name recognition… and sells.
You could call content marketing a form of advertising, if you wish, but it’s much more than that. For writers and authors, content marketing is a way of building your platform.
Let’s look at some tips to help you to get to grips with content marketing.
1: Know your audience and serve that audience
Let’s say you’re an author of New Adult novels. These novels are aimed at college-age adults, up to around 22 years of age.
Make a list of:
- What these young adults read — including magazines and blogs;
- The movies and videos they watch;
- Their obsessions.
Read what they read; watch what they watch. Your aim is to get yourself into their mindset.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll know what kinds of content will appeal to them.
2: Know yourself, then do what it takes
How well do you know yourself?
I love writing. I write all day. When I’m not writing, I’m reading. So, it’s no hardship for me to create content for my blogs.
What if you like writing, sometimes, but find writing a struggle? The thought of blogging, AND writing books, gives you an anxiety attack.
That’s fine. You don’t have to write content. You can curate content — today, there’s so MUCH content that your audience will miss out on wonderful content unless someone curates that content for them.
Perhaps you prefer chatting? OK — learn about podcasting. You can chat, and sell your books, relatively painlessly.
Whatever form of content marketing you choose, you need to do it. Post content on a schedule — you decide on the schedule.
3: Enthusiasm is EVERYTHING — follow your passions
Content marketing, like writing, comes down to habits.
Developing a habit is easier if you’re passionate. So when you create content, aim to follow your passions. If you don’t, you won’t do it, because it takes a lot of energy.
4: Focus on idea generation at least once a week
Let’s say you’ve chosen blogging as your form of content marketing. You’re excited and enthusiastic. You love it. You learn as much as you can about blogging — and you’re selling books. Kudos to you. 🙂
Time passes, a few weeks, or months.
You run out of ideas.
No one runs out of ideas. You’re not blocked — you’re just not paying attention to idea generation and development.
Choose a day, and block off an hour for idea generation. I do it on Sunday afternoons. It doesn’t matter when you do it, but block out the time you need. Otherwise, you’ll be saying that you’ve “run out of ideas” — remember, that’s not possible.
5: Promote your content: eyeballs count
You’ve mastered content creation.
Now it’s time to focus on content promotion as well.
You need both content creation and content promotion for content marketing.
Promote your content in any way which makes sense for you. The easiest way is via social media. Create accounts on two social media sites — sites you enjoy — and build your followers on those sites.
Be aware that this takes time, and that ten minutes a day is better than 60 minutes once a week. When I suggest “ten minutes a day” to my students, they wonder what you can do in ten minutes.
In ten minutes you can:
- Create and post three tweets;
- Create five pins on Pinterest,
- Post a couple of Facebook updates…
Remember to post your content to your chosen social media networks after you create the content.
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You can, when you discover the secrets of writing blurbs (book descriptions) which sell.
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