5 Reasons Every Writer Needs a Web Presence and Where to Start

I recently talked to a friend who was having an article published in a well-known, highly competitive magazine. She hasn’t yet taken the jump to have a web presence. I tend to forget that I spend thousands of hours online, receive hundreds of newsletters each month and answer over 1000 emails a month. I don’t realize that the words “blog,” “SEO,” “keywords,” “meta tags,” and even “book marketing” are not terms most people go to bed thinking about. Or get up at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep and read articles from an online business school giving advice on internet article marketing.

As a writer, do you really need a web site, even if you are just writing articles offline? Yes!

Here are 5 simple reasons why and where to start:

(1) People need to be able to find you. If they like your article in a magazine they will often Google you or look online at the magazine’s web site to see how to contact you. It’s good if you have an email, but you don’t want that on the magazine’s web site or you will soon be bombarded with spam. And it may sound silly, but if you don’t have a web site and are trying to market yourself or your business in some ways, it’s assumed you just don’t know what you are doing.

Anyone who has a business either designs or hires someone to design a web site for them. Would you have a delivery service without a vehicle or a restaurant without a menu? That’s you without a web site. Just do it.

(2) The good news is that you really can do your own site. Gone are the times when we had to hire web designers at $75-$200 per hour (and yes, I was a web designer, so I am allowed to say that.) Now you can whip up a presence on a blogging service like wordpress.com – for free– and have the added benefit of being “pinged” and getting your fresh content out there. (FYI: If you don’t know what “ping” means, don’t worry about it. Just know when you hit the “publish” button WordPress will take care of letting the search engines know about you.)

(3) Create some profiles so people can find you. If you set up a blog or web site, that’s a great place to send people to who are looking for your fresh content, latest publications, profile and how to hire you. But if they just Google your name, the odds are that they may not find you on the first few pages, especially if you have a common name (and millions of names are “common” on the Internet.) So go to web sites like Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, Facebook.com, Squidoo.com, linkedin.com, and even Myspace.com and mess around to create a profile that at least sends people back to your site. The size of these social networks help them rank high and people will be able to find you more easily.

(4) Start writing articles to give away. Yes, I know, if you are a paid writer that sounds less than appealing. But there are some perks:

  • Magazine/newsletter editors often have extra space in their publications or online content and may put in some keywords to find an article or expert writer on that topic for the space they are trying to fit. I’ve been there and found articles/writers from their free articles online; I’ve also been a writer whom magazines have found because of my free articles.
  • You need to become known as an expert in your niche field, and that takes more than 2-3 articles on your topic each year in hard-copy magazines. Marketing on the web with articles can help make it impossible for people to get away from you when they type in keywords you have taken over. And there are thousands of keyword phrases no one is writing about, for example, “marketing in the catering business article” is a term that, according to an keyword service, not one web site has targeted. Same with “article on direct marketing personal selling” Hmmm…  With just a few clicks you can know what phrases in your niche aren’t being clicked on. See my blog “faves” for my favorite service where I get this info!
  • You can find what topics are most appealing by how many clicks they get and then query magazines on these topics. It seems it’s never the topics you would expect that have a lot of hits. Articles sites like www.ezinearticles.comand ideamarketers.com are great ways to get your content out there and then build on it for your queries.

(5) If you’re a writer you are assuming that there are a few other people out there who are interested in your topic. Find them! Go to social networks like Squidoo.com or Ning.com and find the groups. On Ning.com for example, each group you participate in you are given a “page” where you can also blog. Most Ning sites have it set up so YOUR blog posts to the main site of the web page automatically.

Once you get the hang of these, start your own social network and be the founder of the hub, creating the ability to be considered the expert. Plus, you can email all the members with a touch of a keystroke. (Gold!) Participating in these networks is great because you can also ask for feedback, quotes, anecdotes  dexamples from people, create a poll, etc. These are all helpful in writing new articles.

In the past, having a web site could seem overwhelming. Learning to program html, uploading via ftp, using meta tags and paying those monthly service fees whether you made 2-cents or not was draining–sometimes to your spirit of the project, sometimes to the pocketbook. Today, with blogs having great template, easy to use programs, and the ability to make them into Widgets and get them on people’s web sites all over… the possibilities for exposure are endless.

And the sooner you start, the better your odds will be over the next writer who specializes in your topic and finally decides to get online next year. One of the reasons my organization still ranks incredibly high on the major search engines is because I’ve been online since 1997.

Keep me posted on your progress!

——————————

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

 5 Reasons Every Writer Needs a Web Presence and Where to Start

Romance and Illness – Who Knew it Was a Hot Topic?

I blog for my ministry, Rest Ministries; it’s more of a way of having a casual voice with my audience. As the ministry has grown, I’ve become more of someone in the background– marketing, writing books, promotions, etc. and so I use my blog to still stay in touch with people.

So I haven’t really looked at my statistics. I am not a “hot blogger” and though it would be nice to get some fabulous keyword and jump to #1 on Google (like I’ve been taught in my formal internet marketing seminars) I’m not holding my breath.

But I just got onto Feedburner to glance my statistics.  And these numbers surprised me!

The first column is the date, the second it the subscribers for that day.

Date Subscribers Hits
2008-01-14 53 259
2008-01-15 53 285
2008-01-16 2989 298
2008-01-17 1441 303
2008-01-18 54 421
2008-01-19 2862 381
2008-01-20 108 352
2008-01-21 271 360
2008-01-22 45 396

3000? Then 1400? then nearly 3000 again? I quickly looked up what I’d blogged about that day and guess what? It was the days I posted my articles that I said were free to reprint.

So before I did a little happy dance, I wanted to make sure I knew what a ”subscriber” really was. Feedburner says this:

What is a Subscriber? How does FeedBurner tally them?
Subscribers is an approximate measure of the number of individuals currently subscribed to your feed.

How is it calculated?

FeedBurner’s subscriber count is based on an approximation of how many times your feed has been requested in a 24-hour period. Subscribers is inferred from an analysis of the many different feed readers and aggregators that retrieve this feed daily. Subscribers is not computed for browsers and bots that access your feed.

Subscribers counts are calculated by matching IP address and feed reader combinations, then using our detailed understanding of the multitude of readers, aggregators, and bots on the market to make additional inferences.

Okay… so it looks like those numbers are legit. So far I’ve not found any announcement on Feedburner triple their numbers accidentally or anything.

So what did I write that was so amazing? I was just as curious as you so I went and looked! The posts are titled:

One thing I know for certain is that my efforts to write articles on a more consistent basis, and use the Unique Article Wizard (see the link down on the bottom right under “My Faves”) I am definately gaining some new visitors. Just 24 hours after I released these 2 articles, with the keywords I was targeting, I was holding the top 35 slots on Google out of 50 (yes… amazing, isn’t it)

So… you never know. Promoting your book is always a work in progress and oftentimes one big experiment. Today I discovered that something I thought “just may work” is actually working. And that is a good thing.

——————————

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

URL Tips for Writers and Authors

Here’s a tip for every person who owns a web site, especially authors and writes. Never use a hyphen in your URL (that’s the www._____.com) unless it’s strictly   used as “secondary site” to point search engines to and not used in any of your   publicity materials. If your name is already taken add on a phrase or name such  as www.greatbooksbymyfirstnamelastname.com.

In my magazine, HopeKeepers, we featured an article and at the end of the article gave the author’s bio and web site. Unfortunately, her web site was www.myfirstname-mylastname.com.

When the paragraph was justified, unfortunately her bio appeared to say:

Visit her web site at www.myfirstname
  mylastname.com for updated readings.

Now… the hyphen was actually in the correct place, but a reader believed the hyphen was there because of the page break (makes sense, someone on my staff should have caught that!) and she typed in the URL www.myfirstnamemylastname.com  and bought one of the books from the web page, believing it to be Christian material. Needless to say, this was not our writer’s web site.

I received an email from the reader, who visited the author’s web site believing
it to be Christian material, bought the book and started reading. She was then
appalled that the woman who “supposedly had written for our Christian audience
had written a filthy, nearly-pornographic book.” Thankfully, I discovered the
error, but I wondered about the many times this must happen when people use a
hyphen in their name and it’s forgotten by the time people get to their computer.

Another reason is that as an editor and someone who is looking for authors who may be interested in being chat guests for our web site community, it’s easier for me to locate you. When
I type in your name to a search engine I am going to get nearly ever place online that sells your book. The first place I always try to locate an author is by typing
his or her name into the URL.

——————————

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

Why do I Need More Than One Web Site?

They call it “concentration” but it’s the addictive little game I play with my son where you turn 2 cards over and try to match. Check out the computer version over at LinkTiles where our button “You Can Sell More Books” was chosen as one of the Tiles today!

LinkTiles is a catchy little site where you are able to create a “tile” (a little square) that represents whatever you want to be promoting and then it links to ALL of your web sites. If you just have one site, you may soon have more. I would have laughed had I heard that a few years ago, but I have about 12 web sites hosted and about 5 other networks like Ning and MySpace.  This one is a blog, and it’s my entire site so far.

 Others are more extensive like Rest Ministries, which also has Rest Ministries Publishers, HopeKeepers Magazine, National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week and soon-to-be Hope Endures Podcast. Each of these have their very own web site design and are individual sites.

Why so many? As you are marketing you will find that your niche area can be broken down into even smaller niche areas, and then you are able to target those keywords for that individual site, hence, more people will be able to find you on the world wide web.

You should also purchase the URL (the www.___________) for your book titles. If the name is already taken just use MyBooksNameBOOK.com. You may have noticed that movies often do this; when the URL is taken they just buy one and put “movie.com” at the end of it.

This gives you the chance to increase people being able to find the book (and you, the author, for those guest appearances!) but also is an easy way to give your web site on the radio. When I’ve done radio shows talking about my book, Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend, the host will say, “Where can people find that on your web site, Lisa?” and I say, “Beyondcasseroles.com” and the host says, “Oh! Wow! Great!”

(Remember the other golden rule to always make other people’s lives easier! That’s a few phone calls the radio station won’t have to take because people driving around will actually remember the URL. If it had been www.restministries.org/comfortzone/item3.htm they would not have remembered that and I would have felt pretty silly giving that URL.)

But what happens when your web sites start to multiply and you don’t know exactly where to send people? That’s where LinkTiles can come in handy. Check it out and see if it’s for you. So far, I’ve not used it extensively, like putting it in my email signatures and all of that. But today’s exposure alone being featured in the Concentration Game was worth the 15 minutes it took for me to set up the page.

——————————

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

Sharpen Up Your YouTube Videos in Seconds

08 videoontv Sharpen Up Your YouTube Videos in Seconds

 Do you have a video on YouTube? Want to dress it up? Jump on over to Slide.com for some amazingly free tools to make your videos stand out. Plus, this is where you can find those cool “slide show” tools that places like Amazon.com uses to have their books rotate in a little circle. You’ll know what I mean when you see it, so be sure to check it out and you’ll definately be standing out from the crowd.

 

——————————

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

Jumping on Hot Topics to Promote Your Book

staying aware of what’s hot!

One of the best ways to keep your book and name in the public eye is to jump on “the bandwagon” any time someone or some issue is in the spotlight. Most authors have heard of the “platform” they should build and how “becoming an expert” is one of the steps.

As an author, following up on current events, especially those misfortunes of others, it can seem a little bit like we are ambulance chasers, always following the ill-circumstances for our own gain. But remember all of those people you see on CNN, FOX News and Entertainment Tonight, however, that all have their title posted on the botton of the screen? For example, the woman who has a matchmaking-dot-com business has her title as ”Relationship Expert.”

These are the people who did make the phone calls, put out relevant press releases, FAX the reporters their information and availability to comment on the hot topic of which they are an “expert.” So, if your book is worthy, (which you better think it is!) why not join them?

Stacey J. Miller, book marketing expert–who really is an expert in my book–says…

Do book publicists wish bad luck on celebrities? No, we don’t. Do book publicists check out pop culture, and stay on top of “what’s hot” in the news so we can figure out how to position you as an expert on the issues all media consumers are talking about? You bet we do.

So if you missed book promotion opportunities in 2007, keep in mind that — in 2008 — part of your job as an author or publisher is to keep an eye on pop culture, and figure out how your messages tie into the news. Book publicists certainly don’t hope that celebrities will overdose, lose custody of their kids, offend their fans, or otherwise make headlines for all the wrong reasons. But book publicists don’t have to wish for these things to happen. They do happen, over and over and over again. Next year, stay on top of those happenings, and you’ll come out ahead in the book promotion game. http://www.bookpr.com/bookpromotionblog/
Stacey J. Miller, Dec 12, 2007

Great advice for the new year!

——————————————————–
For more Book Marketing Tips SIGN Up to receive our RSS feed and you’ll be entered to win a copy of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books Jumping on Hot Topics to Promote Your Book by John Kremer.

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

 Jumping on Hot Topics to Promote Your Book

© 2017 You Can Sell More Books All Rights Reserved