Blogger: Rachel Kent
We all use the internet for marketing these days. It’s the way to reach a large audience with relatively little trouble or expense. I have listed some free and inexpensive marketing ideas in a blog post before, but this time I’d like to give you some tips on how to market successfully online.
- Target the appropriate audience. If your Facebook friend list is mostly all writers and publishing professionals, this isn’t the place to put in the marketing time and energy–unless you are writing a book for writers. Pay for a targeted ad for your audience or market to your fan/professional page instead of your personal page.
- Always research the rules for contests on the site(s) you are using before hosting one. These rules do change frequently, so don’t assume that they are the same as the last time you held a contest or drawing.
- Review the CAN-SPAM Act before sending any email newsletters or email updates. The penalty can be as much as $16,000 (!!!!) per each email in violation, so it’s not worth the risk. Here is the link to the FTC page: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
- Personalize your posts. If you are going to post a picture of a book, jazz it up a little. Be in the picture, too, or have your pet in the photo. Or at least have the book in a fun location–like with flowers or a fancy tea set. I am guilty of trying to keep the personal out of posts and this can make a post less appealing. More people will share or re-tweet a personalized post.
I hope these tips are helpful! Please share any useful marketing tips that you might have, too!
Good thoughts, Rachel.
* I would suggest not using pictures of pets (and NEVER your kids). Security thing. Firewall between you the author and your personal life.
* Maximize finite engagement time, go easy on contests, they often distracting. Your best assets are voice and heart. Free things not so much
* Use download newsletter, save email for launch announcement. Dowload means more likely reading.
* Set up website store for signed copies, offer coupons, Think Smashwords still does coupons for SP ebooks.
* In looking at ‘contest-entry-by-blog-comment’ on various sites, seems to me that having Amazon gift card as the prize is most appealing, draws most interest.
* Makes sense; personally, I no longer have use for coffee or chocolate, but am saving up for a dvd of excellent Canadian film “Hyena Road”.
I haven’t had anything to market yet, but these tips make lots of sense. One thing a couple friends have done is they help promote each other’s books by going in together to pay for ads on Facebook. They take turns each month. I”m not exactly sure how the logistics work, but I’m thinking sharing about others’ books on your Facebook page gives greater exposure. And they’re doing the same for you, which gives greater exposure.
Thanks for this, Rachel! I’m so glad you included the link to the CAN-SPAM Act information, I didn’t realize there were so many rules associated with sending a newsletter! One marketing tip I’ve heard is to try to present a consistent “brand” across all the different forms of social media you use – something I’m still working on 🙂
As a new fiction writer, I cherish moments when established writers welcome me. I might be a writer, but I also love to read. Love on those newcomers to the writing life because they can be your biggest fans and supporters. They are trying to learn the ropes … learn from you. I never mind being a target-audience. And in my opinion this–welcoming with open arms–is one area among many where the Christian market truly blossoms.
Janet Ann Collins
I know you need permissions to send newsletters, but how do you ask lots of people to sign up for them without the requests being considered spam?
Hey Janet, Once you have your website up, you can have a place for the reader to opt to receive your blog in the email and add that they’ll receive an email occasionally also. If you use something like MailChimp, they help you set it up. There are other services also but MailChimp is free up to a certain number of people and a certain number of emails you’ll send.
Jennifer Zarifeh Major
2 weeks ago, we lost a dear friend rather unexpectedly. I wrote a simple post about what he meant to us, and how much we loved him and his wife and holy frijole, I had traffic from here, to Ireland, to Israel, to all points in England and the UK, and all over the USA.
I have never had that kind of traffic on my new site, and only once on my old blog.
I was astonished at many of the comments, both public and private.
The things that worked for that post, and my website launch were 1) heart, 2) photos, and 3) gifts.
I wrote from my heart, I showed a few photos, and I imparted a gift.
Flashy never works for me.
‘Me’, works for me.
Kristen Joy Wilks
I loved that post, Jennifer. It makes us remember when we lost someone dear to us, when you write about it with care and honesty.
Jennifer Zarifeh Major
Jennifer Zarifeh Major
…and by “gifts” I meant words of love.
Otherwise, whoa, that sounded all Santa Clause-y.
That’s amazing, Jennifer. I loved it, too. xo
Not on topic but I’m sure the community will want to know that Andrew’s “Emerald Isle” is now available at Amazon.
Thank you, Carol.
Great suggestions, Rachel. For me today, the timing was ironic because my internet was down all morning. Huge snowstorm here and no power – which just drove home the fact of how internet-dependent we/I have become.
Thanks for the advice. It is such a helpful advice to be successful online. It’s also best if you communicate via video marketing. This way, your audience know your intention and can relate to the solutions or services you’re offering.