We’ve received some questions about blog marketing, so let’s look at some tips which you can use today, to get more value from your blog.
You know I love blogging; I’m moving into my 16th year of the practice, and I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon. I know however that writers become frustrated with their blogs. Blogging takes time, no question. So you need to get the best value you can, from the time you invest.
Before we get to the tips, let’s look at common anxieties which writers have about blogging.
It’s YOUR blog: your only competition is YOU
As a group, writers tend to worry overly much about their competition. We’re also deeply insecure, and look for “rules”. We want to know the best way to do something, to minimize risk. We also don’t want to waste time with our writing.
You’ve heard me say this before: you have no competition, other than yourself. You can write what you like. Do things your own way. And nothing you write is ever wasted.
Writing isn’t typing. It’s discovery. Sometimes you’ve got to work your way through several failures, before you hit an enormous success which make all the failures completely trivial. Failures are always immensely worthwhile, but you’ll only realize this in hindsight. 🙂
This is important… For most writers, the ONLY way to succeed is to write past your failures.
It’s heart-breaking to visit writers’ forums, and to read messages from writers who say that they’re giving up. I’m often tempted to post a comment to the effect that if they’re real writers, they’ll be back writing soon, and to enjoy the break… 🙂
With that out of the way, let’s get to our blog marketing tips.
1. Please SELL on your blog
There’s a big dent in my desk from where I’ve slammed my head in frustration.
A writer sends me his blog’s URL. He’s selling his ebooks on his blog. Or so he tells me. I can’t take his word for it, because I can’t see any evidence of selling anywhere.
Yep, he’s posted a cover image or two. But the cover images link to the JPEG’s URLs on his blog.
There’s a total of six posts on the blog, not a single one of which mention his ebooks.
If you’re using blog marketing to sell your ebooks, please (I’m begging you with tears in my eyes) SELL. Add links to your ebooks. In every post. In your sidebar. Make it obvious that you write ebooks, and that those ebooks can be purchased.
Use the keywords you’ve used on Amazon. If you’re writing zombie fiction, use keywords which searchers use.
“Sell” applies to whatever you’re promoting on your blog. If you’re promoting it — make it easy for your blog’s visitors to BUY.
2. Use your blog as a focus group
Writers often complain that their blog’s audience is tiny. They only have ten readers. Maybe 15 on a good day. That’s FINE.
You only want an audience which is interested in whatever you’re pitching (see SELL, above.)
Ten engaged readers are better than 2,000 readers who aren’t interested in what you’re pitching. Get those ten readers onto a mailing list.
Use them as a focus group. It costs you nothing to ask these readers whether they’d be interested in an ebook on (whatever.) Or to ask them for honest opinions about your latest ebook — or whatever else it is that you’re selling.
3. Forget “pretty” blog themes, and get rid of junk advertising
Over the years, I’ve tried many commercial blog themes. I’ve removed them all, for one reason or another. Whenever I catch myself wondering about changing a blog’s theme, I know I’m wasting time.
Your blog’s theme rarely matters. If your blog looks professional (that is, you haven’t chosen a dark theme with white or colored text on a black background), it’s fine.
Now let’s think about advertising on your blog.
What’s “junk” advertising? It’s advertising a writer’s stuck on a blog because it’s easy to add the code. Basically, it’s any and all advertising which isn’t earning its keep.
If a company wants to sponsor a post on your blog, welcome that advertising with open arms. If Google AdSense makes sense for your blog, by all means use it.
In brief: to eliminate clutter on your blog, junk ALL advertising which isn’t earning its keep.
If you’re using your blog as an online writing portfolio, get rid of all advertising other than your own advertising for your writing services. Or PAID links to your clients’ websites.
A blog can be your most valuable marketing tool — use these tips to get more value from your blog, starting today.
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How would you feel if your sales doubled, then tripled — and then YOU hit the Kindle hot sellers’ lists?
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How to profit from your writing: online store.
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