Blog marketing involves a lot of writing, that’s why many small businesses find it challenging. The beauty of it: writing is your strength. However, a caveat—you’re writing to market your book, not to finish a story. In other words, when you approach blog marketing as a marketer, not as a writer, you’ll have more success reaping the returns. Whether you’re into fiction, non-fiction, academic, or whatever genre, blog marketing can help promote your books by following these techniques:
1. Host articles in your blog site and keep it active
The blog is your content home base. Readers may access your blog post from myriad channels—social media, comment thread, backlinks, search—but they should all end up in a blog site.
Don’t host your articles in external sites—for example, Tumblr, LinkedIn, or Facebook—because you don’t own these platforms, and you can lose your materials once these sites fold up or close your account. Instead, register your own domain and have it hosted on a paid server. There are three critical advantages for this:
- You own the site.
- Your articles collectively contribute to your site’s search ranking if they’re in one location.
- You can draw traffic to your other content or book deals
What about free blog platforms? They’re good at increasing your audience reach, but, again, you don’t own the site so you risk losing everything one day. Instead, use these third-party sites as complementary platforms—for instance, posting a synopsis or shorthand version of the full-text article in your blog. Same thing with your social media pages: post teasers, tweets, and backlinks in these channels to drive traffic to your blog.
2. Talk about topics, not your book
Learn from content marketing experts: HubSpot and Content Marketing Institute are two top experts in inbound marketing (getting traffic from content instead of ads). When you check their websites, they talk more about interests, not pitch their products. The idea is buyers are often not ready to buy when they encounter you, but you can engage them with topics that relate to your product and their interest. In marketing this is called lead nurturing, moving web visitors from prospects to paying customers.
You, too, can use the same technique to promote your books. Again, as a writer, you have the skills to develop story angles around your book. Here are three techniques on what to write:
- Topics related to your book. For example, if your fiction has a Mayan civilization theme, you can write dozens of articles about the civilization’s culture, history, mysteries, famous figures, etc.
- Expounding a chapter. You can pick a chapter in the book and expound it as a blog series.
- Piggyback. Current news, issues, trending topics that relate to your book. If your book is about terrorism, you have plenty of news to hatch on these days.
3. Use SEO and clickbaits
As a writer you may find SEO and clickbaits artificial or unnatural. But they work, so you need to heed this advice. SEO is using keywords in the title and body of your articles that match the keywords readers are searching online. The first task is to know who your readers are, then what keywords they use that relate to your book. You can use the free Google Keyword Planner to help you to identify these keywords, then insert them in your titles, subheads, and body. However, don’t overdo it or Google will penalize your search ranking. The golden rule in SEO is: write first, then see where keywords can be naturally inserted.
Clickbait, on the other hand, is a technique used in writing article titles that tease or trigger curiosity to make readers click on a link and read your article. Titles like, “You’ll never believe what comes next…” or “10 Tips to…#7 is a Killer!” make readers crave for more information so they click on the link. It’s really nothing new—tabloids have been doing it since eons ago. Unbounce teaches you the details on writing clickbaits … without overdoing it.
4. Repurpose and guest blog
You can repurpose the articles in your blog and seed it in top sites like community pages or influencer sites. Repurposing is not just rewriting the article; it’s about giving it another perspective or adding insight to the topic. Many high-traffic sites are open for guest posting if your article passes their standards. Forbes.com, Time.com, Wired, BoredPanda and TechCrunch have guest sections, and so are lesser known niche sites. Here’s what you do:
- Look for top sites whose readership matches your potential readers. Check their submission guidelines.
- Write the article and submit it. Make sure you’re not duplicating content.
- Request a backlink to your blog (this increases your site’s search ranking). The backlink can be placed within the article or by-line credentials.
You can also transform your article into an infographic and share it with other sites. Often, infographics have a higher chance of getting accepted if it’s unique or insightful. Of course, this means getting an artist if you’re not good at graphics design.
5. Don’t forget the CTA
Lastly, put a call-to-action (CTA) button in all your blog pages, but not within the article. Ultimately, the reason why you’re blogging is to sell books, so don’t forget the CTA, which leads to an order page, either in your site (if you have one) or a third-party marketplace like Amazon. Here are a few tips on writing killer CTAs:
- It’s a button, not an in-text or hyperlinked text. Make sure the button stands out.
- Place it above the fold, where readers don’t need to scroll down.
- Be specific. Don’t just say “buy the book,” tell readers what book they’re buying.
Self-published authors should need to learn the techniques used by successful marketers to promote their products. Blog marketing is one of these tested marketing channels. However, approach it wearing a marketer’s cap, not your writer’s cap, and you’ll stand to reap the rewards.
A great Source of promotional information: Posted by permission from Publish Wholesale Hideout