Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Marketing: My Five-Month Progress Report

In April, I vowed to boost my author platform. My results have been very modest. As a result, I have to keep reminding myself that:

- Marketing experts say that people have to be exposed to your message five or more times before they will notice you.

- Other folks have told me that book marketing is a long, slow process. They forgot to mention tedious and time consuming.

 Anyway, here's what I've done and how it's worked so far.

1) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

What I tried:
- I added keywords to my Web site, blog, and individual blog posts.
- I added tags to all blog posts. (Tagging is included with blog platforms).
- I also found Web sites on topics related to my book -- travel, erotica, singles and relationships -- and attempted to add links back to my site. For example, some dating sites allow you to post links in their forums. Recently, I exchanged e-mail with a woman who has an erotica site, and now she links to me and I link to her.

SEO can be very tedious and frustrating. Not for those with weak stomachs. Still it was the most effective strategy for increasing my traffic. When readers search on certain keywords related to my book, my blog appears on the first page of Google results. Ongoing success will probably require me to continue posting new blogs. (Google likes Web sites that regularly add new content.)

This works!

Links detailing what I did:
Coming up with keyword phrases
Adding phrases to blog and sites

 2) More Frequent Blogging

What I tried:
- I started blogged every Tuesday. Previously, I blogged maybe twice a month.) Many of my blogs were about my experiences with book marketing. Some of the articles were pretty long, which didn't seem deter readers from finishing them. T
- To increase the number of subscribers, I added a sign up box at end of my articles. I also guest-blogged on a few sites and allowed some to post my content with a link back to my site.

Monthly page views jumped from about 1,000 to 2,400, doubled numbered of subscribers from 24 to 48.

This also works, but it's an ongoing commitment.

3) Twitter

What I tried:
I posted a couple times a day using specific hashtags in efforts to attract specific audience -- people interested in travel and writing.

Followers doubled to 700, some of them interested in travel. I've also gotten more retweets and mentions than ever before. (I can claim I'm getting quality over quantity, but still, my having only 700 followers isn't going to impress anyone.)

- Twitter has been my greatest frustration because you have to wade through a lot of crap, plus connections with people are very fleeting.
- Unclear, if this is worthwhile, though it has helped boost my Klout score from 35 to 48, which is bordering on respectable. A Klout score may impress agents and other Web sites, but it won't sell books.
- I'm going to keep on for a few more months.

Links to what I've tried:
- Getting Started with Twitter
- Twitter Tips for Writers Who Hate Social Media

4) Facebook Fan Page

What I tried:
- I posted less frequently, but tried to focus on topics that would generate the most interest among fans.(With a fan page, you can see statistics on how many people each post reached.)
- I joined groups related to travel and writing (has generated some traffic back to blog -- maybe 25 page views per week.)

Have not added many fans, but have increased Reach (measure often fans interact with my posts) from about 300 per post to about 400 per post. (Fans steady at 2,026)

These are people that I interact with most frequently. I'm guessing they would be more likely to buy my book than Twitter followers, Linked In connections, or folks who read a story on my site.

Links to what I've tried:
- Does matter when you post to Facebook?

5) Linked In

What I tried:
- I posted to groups and my profile more frequently in an attempt.
- I added connections from my groups until Linked In decided I was contacting too many people I didn't know. Now, I can only attempt to connect with people for whom I have an email address or who contact me.
- I've also joined some groups related to travel and get a small amount of traffic.

- 1,090 connections,
- I have met some nice people, including some of whom I connect with outside of Linked In.
- My largest source of Web traffic comes from posts to Linked In groups. But it's very time-consuming.
- I've gotten a few freelance writing and editing offers.

Useful for industry contacts, stalking agents and publishers; could help me develop a possible audience for a book on writing or book marketing.

Links to what I've tried:
- Linked In Tips for Writers

6) Goodreads, Google+
- I have accounts but limited time, so I haven't spent much time on these two.

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