How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

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hat1 How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

Sound the alarms! Alert the press! You have a new article on your blog and it is not to be missed!

If you are an author and you are on Facebook, you have likely seen those posts that say, “I just got my book. Please buy it! Here is the link.” What about those that ask, “Please visit my web page and let me know what you think!” (Which means, “Compliments please! No criticisms.”)

Or we see the status updates that say, “I have a new article here, I hope you will read it.” What about, “I just did a podcast interview. It is only 47 minutes long and I know you won’t want to miss it.”

How do you know I won’t want to miss it? I think. I am sorry, but that is exactly what I am going to do.”

Everyone is busy!

We all want to support each other, but that doesn’t mean you have to sell in your posts. Instead you can write effective Facebook status updates that will build a relationship by helping others. Selling books and trying to build that platform all the publishers and agents want us to have is a hard job. But each of us are also trying to figure out how to juggle it all, right?

Sadly, we just don’t have time to write reviews, vote, comment, and promote the hundreds of the members web sites, books, events, interviews and more–even when we believe in what they are doing.

We want to be able to help others

We do want to point the people we serve in the right direction, however, and that means referring those we serve to other people we trust; to a good book we think could be life-changing; to a web site we know where they will be encouraged.

We want to tell the people we serve that we have just the place or just the resource that will help them through this specific place they are in, and we can take comfort in knowing they won’t get lost in the shuffle.

But why would I refer those I serve to other people, not my own books?

What about my own book? you may ask! Well, does it meet their needs? It may. . . but they may be looking for something in addition to it. For example, my organization, Rest Ministries serves people who live with chronic illness. But I also receive emails from people with chronic illness or chronic pain who are going through a rough divorce, have kids with behavioral issues, have a parent with Alzheimer’s Disease. I know they need more than what I can offer them. And I love to be able to narrow down the thousands of books on Amazon to one or two that I know will meet their needs because I know the author personally!

Try to avoid asking for favors if the other person has nothing to benefit from it

gift How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase SharingWhen you are posting status updates in an author’s group, it can be tempting to think, “Well, we are here to support each other, so I need people to go vote for my web site for this contest, because then I will rank higher and sell tons of books and I will eventually return the favor when I have more time.”

We all love a party and with that party comes gifts and favors, right? But do your best to resist the urge to ask for a flat-out favor more than twice a year in your writers group. Like “vote for me to win this category!”

When you start typing out a status update about your latest article you just wrote, the web site updates you slaved over all weekend, or a radio show you are going to be on in thirty minutes, stop and ask yourself, “What is in it for them?” Then write your message with what would interest you if you were them. People constantly are saying they want to have the best Facebook status message, or the funniest Facebook status, but in the end, I see authors who are rushed and they just slap up a generic message with little emotion, except for pleading and desperation.

“Pleeeease come to my site and vote today! I really want to win this bad! You will be making a difference in my life!” I sense desperation and I just click away, because, honestly, there will be a few people a day that ask me to do this, and then someone will question why I did it for one person and not for another. Now, I do vote. When someone is a friend or a peer who I know well and respect their work a great deal, it is worth it to me to see their outreach grow. I have also been the recipient of some awards because people took time to help me and I am very grateful. But, I really don’t have a lot of time online, and I want to invest it into people who understand what to write (and not write!) as their Facebook status messages. Pleading for votes for a different contest every couple of weeks won’t get my attention.

Make your Facebook status update stand out with specifics

What is the message you have and who is it important for? It only takes a few extra minutes for authors to write effective Facebook status updates that will increase sharing of their posts, as well as build relationships with peers online.

For example, if you are talking about parenting styles and how we have to learn both our personality style and that of our child to most effectively make wise parenting decisions, you may be tempted to write, “I will be on the radio today talking about parenting styles. I’d love it if you’d take a break and listen in!” Don’t.

Because what most of us think is, “That’s nice for her. But I don’t have time to finish my own work, much less listen to hers. Oh, well. I am sure she will do fine.”

Instead, tell us who would most benefit from this program. For example:

“If you serve people who are struggling with their kids who won’t get dressed in the morning, kiddos who won’t eat their lunch, and children who won’t go to bed at night, they will gains some new parenting tools they may not have ever heard of before! In my podcast interview today, parents will quickly understand how personality styles can impact how well a child listens to his or her mom and dad. If they miss it, it will be archived later.”

See how that sounds more interesting? Will everyone now tune in? No. Will it not apply to some people? Of course. But will other authors think, “Oh, that describes some of the people I serve. This could be a handy resource for them”? Sure. And you have made it easy for them to click “share” and edit it just a bit so it sounds appealing for their audience.

Would that have shared your message that said, “I will be on the radio today talking about parenting styles. I’d love it if you’d take a break and listen in!”? It’s unlikely.

Make it easy for people to help you

mouse How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase SharingBy simply telling your colleagues what is in it for them, you will save them time, they will recognize you as a certain type of expert, and you are giving them quality descriptions they can easily pass along. For example, future posts could say, “If you serve people who are frustrated parents then you will be interested in . . .” or “If you outreach to teens who are dealing with depression, you should know about my . . .”  These are examples of effective Facebook status updates that will increase sharing online.

You will be reaffirming your expertise in your niche

This is also a great way to not just self-promote but narrow down the different areas of your expertise and make sure those who have callings that overlap with your own to know about it. If you cannot come up with who may specifically be interested in your article, perhaps you should go back and rewrite it for a better niche market (which will improve your Google rankings too!)

Whenever you write, “People who ___ would be interested in this because ___” you are telling people what you do and who you serve. If you are a parenting expert, for example, you will never run out of material! Beside parenting, you can go into issues with adult children, adoption and foster children, children with special needs, children with chronically ill parents, and the list goes on. An article on conflict resolution can be rewritten and adapted dozens of times for all sorts of scenarios, and each of these can be made into a status update that describes, “If you are a parent who ___ .”

Say thanks

As we participate in writers groups, it can become easy for us to get so focused on our own marketing steps, we forget to say thank you. As a writer, you know how easily time can get sucked away when you are sitting on the computer, especially if you are able to access the internet. When colleagues take time away from their own work, to support you, say thank you.

Tell them how much you appreciate it. Go to his or her website and see what you could do to help out. Can you comment on a few blog posts, let them know you visited and found it hard to maneuver around their shop, tell them you loved the clip art they chose, introduce them to someone on LinkedIn.

Little things mean a lot and they will remember that you took the time to offer some encouragement back to them.

lisa copen small How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing
Lisa is the woman behind the screen who enjoys sharing marketing tips that she has learned along the way as an author, speaker, and director of a nonprofit organization. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis nearly two decades and is a wife and mom.

 How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for Authors

seo-tips-for-authors

seo tips for authors Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for AuthorsWhat’s SEO? If you have to ask, that’s okay. It stands for “Search Engine optimization” and it basically means that you try to find all the ways to make your web page friendly and desired by the search engines so that people can easily find you.

There are many, many ways people will try to tell you they have all the answers to get your page up to #1 or #2 in Google. Some of these materials you will pay for will help your search engine ranking increase (but don’t count on #1!)

However, a lot of the skills can be learned with a few technical changes to your web site. And guess what… some of it’s free!

High Search Engine Ranking has a list of free tools to help you get started.

 Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for Authors

Writing Brings Healing to the Soul – Free Ebook of Tips

By Lisa Saunders, Special Guest Writer

lisa saunders daughter Writing Brings Healing to the Soul   Free Ebook of Tips

Lisa and her daughter

The moment I gave birth to my daughter Elizabeth in December of 1989, I felt a stab of fear—her head was so small, so deformed. Within 12 hours, I was told she had been profoundly disabled by congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus). The neonatologist said, “If she lives, she will never roll over, sit up, or feed herself.”

He was right.

Writing (and Scripture) was how I dealt with my initial shock and grief–organizing my thoughts of despair by getting them down on paper stopped them from endlessly swirling around and overwhelming me. Getting my revelations and stories inspired by Elizabeth published made me feel less alone as I connected with others. Sharing my story with others not only healed my own soul, but according to the letters I received from readers, my candid thoughts were also bringing some healing to them. Eventually, even my sense of humor returned and I found that I was able to start writing about other things.

Many writers have asked me, “How can I get my story published?” In order to share what has (and has not) worked for me, I’ve written a FREE e-book, “How to Publish and Promote Your Work,” to help others find the same satisfaction I felt when publicly sharing my thoughts. To download it visit the web site post, Free “How to Get Published” E-Booklet and click on the “Get Published” button.

When trying to get a non-fiction book published, it is required to submit a book proposal. The publisher for my recently released book, “Anything But a Dog! The Perfect Pet for a Girl with Congenital CMV,” which is about a big, homeless dog’s devotion to my disabled daughter, gave their permission for me to include my book proposal in my free e-book. Readers can use it as a guide for their own proposals.

Share your soul!
Lisa Saunders

Note from Lisa Copen of You Can Sell More Books: I had the opportunity to read this ebook and it’s a gem. Lisa writes it from the heart, but also provides some special stories and examples that will help you piece together your own story for a book, an article or more. It’s a wonderful tool I recommend.

 Writing Brings Healing to the Soul   Free Ebook of Tips

Make Life Easier Tip: Learning Internet Marketing Terms

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cordless mouse Make Life Easier Tip: Learning Internet Marketing TermsWhile you are wandering around the internet participating in social networking groups, reading about ideas for marketing on the internet and discussing marketing opportunities with other groups of authors, you may hear a lot of terms that you aren’t familiar with. Don’t despair.

Most authors who are just becoming familiar with the internet gradually learn the terms and acronyms as they are necessary to their work.

You’ll never be able to keep up with everything, but knowing a few basics will help you market your book better. You may even be able to help a few fellow author friends when they are saying, “What on earth is a blog and why do I want one?”

Plus, you may be aware of many icons (little tiny pictures) on the Internet, but not know what they are called. So how you can you figure out how to make one, if you don’t even know what it’s called? For example, if you are on a WordPress blog that is hosted by WordPress if you look in the URL address bar you will see a little “W” with a circle around it. This is the “favicon” of WordPress and you can make your own. (See favicon.com to make one for your own web site!)

Here are some other terms you may want to become familiar with. If you click on it, you’ll be taken to the web site.

For example, here are a few acronyms:

  • AJ – Ask Jeeves
  • AOL – America Online
  • ASP – Application Service Provider
  • AV – AltaVista
  • B2B – Business to Business
  • B2C – Business to Consumer
  • CPA – Cost Per Action
  • CPC – Cost Per Click
  • CPS – Cost Per Sale
  • CTR – Click-Through Rate

Find all kinds of definitions here: http://www.marketingterms.com

Internet Marketing Dictionary: http://www.marketingterms.com/dictionary/

 Make Life Easier Tip: Learning Internet Marketing Terms

How to Write Effective Links to Your Book on the Internet

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links How to Write Effective Links to Your Book on the InternetWhen you are writing content for your website or for another website and are able to add links, how well do you use these links? Your two goals are to (1) increase the number of people who will click on the link; (2) improve the odds of people online who are searching for your topic of information to locate you easily.

When I talk about search engine optimization, authors often get a look on their face that says “This is way over my head and not something I am interested in.” But search engine optimization can be a full-time job for a staff of 100 and large corporation or you can simply learn a few tips to improve your ability to be found on the Internet where as of December 2009 there were about 234 million web pages.

One of the simplest ways for an author to improve the odds of people finding his or her content (meaning an author’s book, article, topic of interest, speakers information, etc.) is by effectively using anchor text.

WHAT IS ANCHOR TEXT?

“Anchor text” is defined as a keyword or a keyword phrase that you write when you are linking from any website to your own or when you are linking from one webpage in your site to another webpage. Search engines use anchor text to decide the subject and relevance of a web page. Their “spiders” can see what you are linking to and they like to see that you have done some “homework” and have typed out the words to a good resource link and then linked to it.

EXAMPLE OF POORLY USED ANCHOR TEXT

Let’s say you write an article for a well known blog and you are given a “resource box” at the end where you are allowed to have a couple of sentences with your biography.

You may be tempted to write something like this:

Sandra Dee Smith is an author and speaker who talks about such topics as how to improve your hair and makeup so that you look 10 years younger than you really are. She has a new book out called “Look Good And Feel Young” that can be purchased at Amazon or click here for her website.

Now, this is a poorly written biography, but we won’t go into that right now. Instead, we are going to look at where the links are.

Let’s do a search on Google and see how many people are linked to the word “click here.” I got 6,890,000,000 results. Despite how tempting it can be, never, ever, use the words “click here” and link it to your source.

[Yes, I am guilty of this and you will find in my past writing I have done this.]

But it removes all of your opportunity immediately for people to find YOU and your content.

The word “Amazon” has 1,580,000,000 people linking to its web site.

So, would “her web site” or “her website” have been a decent option? Nope! For the term “her web site” – Google has 1,590,000,000 results. And for “her website [no space] 970,000,000.

Imagine being a vendor and having a table at  trade show to sell your book and you get there and find out there are 970,000,000 other people with tables that want to sell books to the attendees. Kind of disheartening, isn’t it?

Are you beginning to see why you would not want to use those terms in your links?

EXAMPLE OF WELL USED ANCHOR TEXT

Here is a much improved biography as far as links are concerned:

Sandra Dee Smith will take 10 years off your looks with tips from her new book, “Look Good And Feel Young.” [This link should go where the author wants people to buy the book--either Amazon or her personal website, etc.] As an author and speaker she can help you improve your hair and makeup so you look great and feel younger in just days. Get 20 free beauty tips you can use today at her website Inner Beauty Plus Extensions.

See the difference? The search engine also believe that you are more legitimate resource if the keywords in your anchor text actually do somewhat match the word you’re linking to.

Let’s break this down. . .

Sandra Dee’s website is Inner Beauty Plus Extensions and her website address is www.innerbeautyplusextensions.com

This is good!

Her book is called “Look Good And Feel Young.”

At first she had this for sale on her website and the address was:

www.innerbeautyplusextensions.com/item354.htm

This is not necessarily a bad thing, but:

  • she may get tired of writing out that URL address many times
  • if she decides to tell people exactly where to find the book on her website, they are not going to remember this address
  • when she is on the radio promoting her book no one will remember it, especially if they are in their car
  • search engines will rank it less high if someone searches these terms than those who have more descriptive URLs

TIP: When you are selling a specific book that is yours you should always try to buy the URL that is the title for that book. If it is not available you may want to try to buy the www.titleofbookBOOK.com . It will not only help you in search engine rankings, but it will prevent someone else from buying it in the future who may have a different reputation then you want to have associated with you and your book.


HOW TO IMPROVE THIS BOOK’S ANCHOR TEXT

So Sandra Dee buys the URL lookgoodandfeelyoung.com for about $10 a year and then has it “forwarded” to the address www.innerbeautyplusextensions.com/item354.htm . (Check with your web site hosting company to discover how to do this. Some charge a small fee but for many it is free to forward an address.)

Now, whenever she writes the title of her book “Look Good And Feel Young” she will link it to www.lookgoodandfeelyoung.com

IN CONCLUSION

Every day as you are writing articles, commenting on other websites, using a signature in your email, or posting your biography, you have the opportunity to add perhaps one or two links. Choose the phrase that is most descriptive of where you are actually linking to but also keep keywords in mind that are descriptive and interesting to the person you wish to have actually click on the link and visit your website.

This is an easy step that you will come to do automatically in just a few days of practice. For example, when you write about your book on your webpage or in any place online, many people are tempted to write something like this:

You can read more about my book on my webpage by clicking here.

This sentence should be rewritten as:

You can read more about my book, “How to Train Your Dog in Three Days” on my webpage, Dog Training Tips and Tricks. I also recommend my free report on “The First Three Steps in Training Your New Puppy.”

And by using a tool such as a Firefox plug-in called MyWords you can come up with a variety of short phrases like this that you can say and then just randomly pick one to insert where necessary.

 How to Write Effective Links to Your Book on the Internet

Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

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stats Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

Recently, I tried to explain to some writers for one of my web sites that the titles of some web posts were having significant impact on the percentage of people who were opening and/or reading e-mails from our organization (or not!), as well as the click through rate from the web site. One of the writers responded that this was just a “notion” of mine and that all writing should be written from the heart.

I realized then that there are many people who are authors or writers online, who do not actually understand the amazing ability we have to track statistics of the visitors of our website. Although we do want to write from the heart, we also want to reach people with our writing, correct? If you are writing an article on how to get over a broken heart, would you like to reach an extra 500 people today with your tips by using the term “brokenhearted” rather than “broken-hearted”? Simple changes by understanding keywords can have a dramatic impact on how many people you reach.

Looking at our recent posts on my organization’s website the graph of the “reading rate” looked something like a roller coaster, with large ups and downs. And I was able to track that some of this was due to the fact that titles were not specific enough to gain the interest of our readers.

If you have a website you have the ability to receive statistics that will give you a treasure chest of information. Depending if you want free statistics or are willing to pay a price for more specific information, statistics can easily be set up for any website.

They can tell you:

  • How many people are visiting your website
  • How many people are visiting a particular page on your website
  • How long those people spent on a specific webpage
  • Where in the world people live who visited your webpage
  • The trail of their visitation, meaning the order of the pages they visited
  • What page they came to first on your website
  • What page they left your website and link to someone else’s website
  • Is this the visitor’s first visit or have they been here before?
  • Is this the visitor’s first visit today or have they been here more times than once today?

With other sources you can find out what people are searching for on your webpage and if they receive results. For this with my WordPress site I use the plug-in Search Meter.

With most newsletter programs such as Get Response or AWeber you can find:

  • How many people receive your newsletter (it did not balance, their e-mail is correct)
  • How many people opened your newsletter
  • How many people clicked on the links in your newsletter
  • What links they clicked on in your newsletter
  • Sometimes it can tell you if the sale was made due to a link that was clicked on in your newsletter

One of the best sources for thorough, free, and easy-to-install statistics is Google Analytics .

One of the amazing things about using the Internet and reaching people through its channels is that very little has to be based were wrong on our gut instinct. As web designers we are given the ability to have a generous source of statistics that tell us a lot about where our site is or is not meeting the needs of the visitor.

Do you use statistics? Do they change how or what you write about? For example, if many people are searching for a particular term on your website and not finding it, are you encouraged to write an article on this topic? Have you ever used statistics to help you decide what chapters or content to write for a book, what to title it, or how to best market it? I look forward to your input on this as well!

 Understanding How Statistics Can Help You Build a Better Website

Make Marketing Easier Tip #4 – Mashapedia

Mashpedia.com defines itself as a “web encyclopedia enhanced with cutting-edge functionalities and sophisticated features such as multimedia content, social media tools and real-time information.” Okay, so, deep breath. What in the world does that mean exactly?

If you are looking for a one-stop website to find out what people are saying about your topic in which you specialize, and/or write a book on, I strongly recommend this web site.

It is free to use and you can quickly glance at it to see what people are saying across the Internet about your topic. Mashpedia is unique in the way that it integrates different online services and applications which include blog posts, Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Google News, Books, and more. And the best part of all? It is all in one page with a simple to read interface providing live feeds (such as twitter).

Each time you visit the content will be different and you are able to see what kinds of articles, photos, and blog posts are feeding into the stream of content online and gaining attention. For example, you may see a trend with your particular topic if there are blog posts about it, new stories, videos, and tweets.

You can also see the value of having photos in Flickr with your images titled with specific keywords that describe not only their content but may also come up in the feed.

Stick a keyword into the search engine and see what you get. I randomly put in the word “popsicles” and received a ton of information including a lot of fun photos, a book recommendation called “Always Have Popsicles: The Handbook to Help You Be the Best Grandparent…” by Rebecca Harvin, and an article “‘Popsicle Pastor’ returns home.” It’s no surprise that there are many people actually treating about eating or making popsicles and there are tons of videos on how to make an effective great tasting popsicle.

You can also see on the right-hand side of the articles that are most popular on this topic that has been “Dugg” repeatedly. What would it take for you to have an article here? What topic within your topic could gain the attention of these folks who are actively discussing it online already? Things to ask yourself…

In just a glance you can see who is tweeting about your topic, what books are highly recommended on your topic, who is making videos about your topic, and new stories and more.

 Make Marketing Easier Tip #4   Mashapedia

Building ECommerce Web Site – 3 Myths

 Building ECommerce Web Site   3 Myths

It’s good to know how to build your website before you tackle such a big job. Especially building eCommerce web site. If you plan to sell your products or service, don’t call your webmaster until you know these myths.

1. Building a professional website is easy.

You may think you can just buy a program or a book and it’s doable quickly. Maybe learning HTML is easy, but you’ll need to know a lot beyond that. For example, will you need a shopping cart functionality, and for interactive Web 2.0 you might need PHP, Javascript, ASP.net or other types of scripts. Building a website is deceptively complex and requires a variety of skill sets, from HTML savvy to good artistic taste.

You may want to think about hiring a web design professional. Building an ecommerce website from scratch is time consuming and expensive, because it takes countless hours of high level skills including your web copywriting and optimizing with low competition long tailed key words. You may want to first consider a web writing coach who knows key word optimization. Then, contact a web designer who knows web marketing such as article marketing, social networking, and optimization.

2. Making your website colorful, full of pictures is all important.

It’s far more important to plan your site first. Know the first, second and third most important thing you want to sell and then, write a low competition long tailed key word headline in each product or service sales letter.

Your landing page takes some pre-thought too. What can you give your potential clients to get them to your sales copy? Usually a free report or white paper will pull them if they need the skills.

3. The more products, the higher the income stream.

Remember, it takes time and many email promotions to keep leads coming to your sales funnel. Create only the products you have time to market. We figured out my three best sellers and concentrate on those. Opt-in lists to collect leads for skills categories of book writing and publishing, free article marketing, and Website marketing with great optimized copy. If building eCommerce website, decide what makes you the most money, and what you enjoy doing for your service. It’s always best to have a niche. Go with just the few tailored offerings that brand you.

Remember you want your company to stand out from the crowd, so determine your niche and stick with it. Make your web site reflect you and your solutions to help your targeted audience.

Judy Cullins helps businesses create and sell more products and services and raise your traffic Get more information at Judy Cullins’ web site .
Reprinted with permission from ezinearticles.com


 Building ECommerce Web Site   3 Myths

Make Marketing Easier Tip #2 – Fiverr

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5 dollars2 Make Marketing Easier Tip #2   FiverrWhat would you do for $5? Evidently a whole lot of people would do a lot! This site Fiverr.com has some fluff and a few odd posts (“I will send you 7 hours, 53 minutes of vacuum cleaner sounds for $5″) and scary (“I will check the Chinese characters on your tattoo for $5″), or just not a good thing like “I will call and be your excuse to get out of work for $5″).

But with that disclaimer in mind, I hired someone the first day to have him install code I didn’t understand to get my web site posts to automatically post to my Facebook Fan Page (now called a “like” page). There were lots of easy instructions online about how to have them post to your personal page, but not your Fan page. At some point, when Facebook changed from Fan to Like it stopped working, but for 5 bucks I just hired the guy again. No big deal.

Now I did have to give him my password and username, so I sat and waited while he did it and then I changed it immediately. He also said he’d refund my money if I was not comfortable with it. So “buyer beware.”

I recently just hired someone who had the post, “I will promote your Youtube Channel to 85+ RSS Search Engines for $5.”

Here are some of the categories:

Be careful about people who say they will write 200 comments on blogs with your link, etc. A lot of these are spammers and your reputation is on the line, but there are  a lot of legitimate looking ones like, “I will create a 30 second movie advertising your website for $5.” For people who know how to do this and have the software, it can be a 5-10 minute job.

But go browse around see what people really will do for $5. Times are tough. Maybe there is something you’d do?

 Make Marketing Easier Tip #2   Fiverr

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