Tag Archives: How to Blog as an Author

Why Authors Should Hire a Professional Copywriter

Do you need copy written for your website or blog that will market your books or your product? Thinking about doing it yourself? You may want to think again. While most everyone knows how to write, that is, put ideas down on paper. Most people don’t know how to sell through writing. And that’s what copywriting is all about: effectively selling a product or service through the power of words.

Quality.

A writer writes. Period. That’s all they do. They know how to write persuasive copy that packs a punch, gets attention “and sells more.

Positioning.

Yes, it’s true, some people have a knack for writing. But developing copy for marketing materials (things like brochures, websites, and campaigns) goes beyond good grammar and spelling. It’s about knowing how to properly position your book so that it stands out and motivates your target audience to take action. A professional copywriter knows how to do that.

Perspective.

You’re in the middle of preparing for a new book launch, scheduling a meeting with your editor, hiring a new assistant and a myriad of other tasks. Sometimes you get so busy that you lose perspective about your business as an author and about what makes your book unique in the eyes of your customers and prospects. In essence, you can’t see the forest for the trees. But a professional copywriter can bring fresh eyes and fresh ideas to the table. They are not caught up in the day-to-day inner workings of your business as an author and can therefore, many times, do a better job of communicating big picture concepts about your books.

Clarity.

Even if you are a good writer, you may not understand how to write for your target audience. A professional copywriter can take a complex concept one that you may easily understand, but your customers may not and turn it into easy-to-read copy.

Brevity

Let’s face it. In today’s too-much-information age, everyone is deluged with more then they can possibly read. But a professional copywriter knows how to get ideas across using words economically. They can take all the information you provide and translate it into succinct and relevant points. With the help of a professional writer, your copy will take on a new energy, crispness, and focus.

Convenience.

Your time is valuable and effective writing is a time-consuming task, constricting your already tight schedule. By hiring a professional copywriter, you’ll be able to focus on other tasks, while the copywriter does what he or she does best, writes.

Supporting the design.

A well-designed website, brochure, or direct mail campaign requires strong copywriting. If you have eye-catching graphics, you’ll invite your audience to begin reading. Compelling content will keep them reading. A professional copywriter can ensure the success of your design efforts by holding the attention of your audience.

The Bottom Line.

In today’s economy, selling books is as cutthroat as ever. You need copy that will get your books noticed. You need every tool in the box to stand out and persuade your target audience to act. A professional copywriter may just provide the edge you need.

ACW copy

8 Ideas to Inspire Content for Your Blog

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You may be hitting a brick wall when it comes to ideas for blog posts and that’s okay.

At first, the task can seem daunting. You may question what you can offer to your audience that is fresh and interesting?

Just the frustration of creating content can cause you to clam-up and deter you from producing anything.

Here are 8 ideas to get the content flowing on your blog.


1. Start Writing a Short Story

Why not? You can write one in your genre or relative to your brand and it will only serve to promote any works you already have published. When you complete the short story you  have added another book to your brand. You can offer it as a bonus to new subscribers of your blog. It may increase your following and your contacts list for future newsletters that are your number one marketing tool.

You can begin writing a short story and publish each scene weekly, as a blog post. When you have finished writing the short story, you can combine your posts into your rough draft and use any feedback you received for your first round of edits.


2. Set up Google Alerts

With Google Alerts, you can set up alerts for topics and subtopics in your niche to see what’s making news and what’s being said by others. Monitoring online news and conversations can inspire ideas and introduce you to new content sources.


3. Post a Poll

This is a great tool that can boost readership and encourage people to come back to vote and share with friends. Set up a poll as a blog post or in the sidebar, and ask readers to vote on their biggest challenge, their worst nightmare – you name it – as long as it’s relevant to your topic. What do you want to know from your readers? Ask them.


4. Invite Guest Authors

Ask someone who writes on a similar subject to be a guest author. The guest blogger gets links back to his or her website or blog, as well as exposure to your readers. Your readers get new perspectives on your subject.


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5. Use Your Brand and Your Book

The most obvious choice for creating content is to use your author brand and your book to come up with ideas. When you developed your author brand you created a list of keywords that would serve you with SEO and creating content. If you still have that list, then now is the time to refer to it and pull some ideas from the keywords and key-phrases you listed. The trouble is that not all author bloggers have done this type of branding. If you haven’t worked out your author brand you might find this article helpful: DISCOVERING YOUR BRAND

This approach isn’t new, but is a condensed version of what you might relate to your brand. Whether you have or haven’t worked on your keywords, the following are some quick ideas that might help you figure out some great content ideas:

Book Brand

  1. Premise of your book.
  2. Themes in your book.
  3. Characters and their traits.
  4. Social setting and time period relative to your book.

The You Brand

  1. What are you finding interesting?
  2. What is inspiring you lately?
  3. Where would you like to be in three years?
  4. Who are you influenced by?

Your brand literally gives you a limitless supply of content if you know where to look.


6. Your Latest Research Trends

I don’t know about you, but I am constantly researching, that’s how I come up with my blog posts.

I start by doing the research and noting my sources, writing down what I get out of the research. If I think of a new take on it or find a way to simplify it, I use that idea for a blog post. Most of my posts consist of what I have learned from prior research I’ve done.


7. Reviews

Not only can you review books in your genre, you can read the books of your fellow bloggers and write reviews for them. It’s important to show your support for your blogger community. Another way you can do this is by not only reblogging their content, but reviewing it first, and posting your review at the top of the reblog. This is a great way to get other readers interested and a great show of support for your fellow bloggers.


8. You Can Write About Anything to do with Writing

Anything to do with writing that you’ve learned or have a new perspective on is something you can blog about.

 


Now it’s your turn!

I would love to add more ideas to my list! Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts? Please share your tips and resources in the comments.

 

Book Cover Design

 

 

 

The Trouble With Author Spam

by M.R. Goodhew

Are You Unknowingly Spamming Your Social Networks?

Now days indie authors are feeling the pressure to make their social media networks work for them.

They have signed up on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest or as many platforms as they can handle.

They have made tons of connections, traded page likes, and joined all the right groups.

They have studied up on marketing and created a great ad for their book with a catchy tagline and a great hook. Or, they are offering their book at a seriously discounted rate if not for free.

They have created their schedule for marketing and are sticking to it like clockwork. Posting their ad to their groups and feeds at at least three times a day at these particular times – 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm.

The trouble is that they are now spamming these platforms with this ad. Their share shows up constantly along with thousands of others and has become irritating or is largely ignored. Who is this spammer, is it you?

All of these ads have begun to look the same and there is nothing that stops the public you are networked with, mostly authors, from scanning right past all of your hard work that went into that perfect ad. It’s SPAM.

And if that is not enough, you may be posting your ad for your book on the pages of your followers without their permission, spamming their timelines.

There has to be a better way.

And there is.

Build Your Network With Your Brand

Newsflash – becoming an author is not a get rich quick scheme. Your product is not in demand, there are thousands like it on the market. There are thousands of well written free books, discounted books, and unique books with catchy titles and good covers.

You need to stand out from the rest to generate the kind of sales you are looking for and to gain popularity.

Becoming an author is a business venture, not unlike launching a start-up. It takes years to see the profit and plenty of hours of overtime. Becoming an author is a commitment to your writing career and involves your effort and hard work just like anything else of value. My hat is off to those of you who have done it the right way, you’ve busted your butt creating your platform and poured your heart into your brand by doing what you do best, writing.

My advice for those of you who have not began with your brand is this…

The best way to launch your book is a year before you publish. You do this by creating your brand and building a website where you start a blog and you regularly post content related to your brand. You then share this content across your social media networks and begin to build your following the right way, by getting people interested in what you write.

You make connections with real people by talking to them. You read their articles and make comments. You share their content if it resonates with your brand or if you think your network might appreciate it. You guest post on other blogs. You share your content to your groups and you connect with the people in your group. Once you have drawn people to you with your content, it’s word of mouth more than ads that will skyrocket your sales.

There is a time and place for your ad. Once or twice a week in your groups, three times a day on Twitter, once every other day on Google+ and Facebook. You can also append your ad to the bottom of each blog post, this is a great way to market your book.

Find out how to build your author brand in this article. Discovering your Brand

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Become Part of the Conversation through Blogging

If you are passionate about your subject and are willing to write about it regularly (no less than three times per week), a blog can be a fantastic—and free way of building an audience for both you and your work. You can start your blog with WordPress. It’s free, and sign-up is very simple. Below are the steps to help you get started:

  • Set Up an Account: Visit the WordPress.com and set up a free account to create your blog. Or build your own WordPress website by following these simple steps at How to Set Up Your Author Website
  • Give It a Name: I suggest that you use your name so that the blog can expand to include future books you may publish.
  • Write a Post: Once this is done, click “create post.” Type your entry just like you would an email. You can choose different fonts and sizes of text, or add pictures, lists, and links to websites.
  • Preview and Publish: Click on the preview button to see if you like the way your entry looks. If not, you can edit it until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the results, click “publish.”

Write in Blogging Style and Observe Blogging Etiquette

  • Regularly Update: Update your blog frequently, three times a week is a minimum but set yourself a realistic schedule and stick to it.
  • Keep It Short and Concise: Keep in mind that in the blogosphere, people have shorter attention spans than they do offline so you need to make your posts easily digestible and informative – 250 words can be enough.
  • Make It Compelling: Strive to create blog copy that is compelling, interesting, and will invite further conversations. Remain true to your brand. Stay on topic so that you don’t lose your audience.
  • Engage: This is an opportunity to tell your readers what you are writing about. Ask them what they would like to hear more about. This kind of involvement will make them feel attached to you and your work, building an audience that will stay with you from book to book.
  • Involve: Pose questions and comment on people’s comments. A blog is meant to be a community. Respond directly to people’s comments, either in the comments or in a new blog post. This will engage readers so they will come back more often.
  • Give It Personality: Above all else, remember that your blog should be an extension of you, let people know who you are and your opinions should be reflected in your writing style

Target Your Audience and Build Upon It

  • Spread the Word: Once you have been posting regularly for a couple of weeks, tell your friends, colleagues, and contacts about your blog and ask them to tell their friends, colleagues, and contacts. Send an email or newsletter to your email address book or database introducing the blog and linking to it.
  • Utilize Your Sphere of Influence: Look around the Internet for related blogs, and read and post to them. Commenting and becoming part of the blog community will cause others visit your blog and do the same.
  • Use Your Amazon Author Page: Once you begin blogging, be sure to sign up for Amazon’s Author Central. This is a program that will allow you to feed your blog directly onto your author page on Amazon.com, a very powerful way to share compelling content with possible customers.

Optimize Your Blog and Link Like Crazy!

  • Submit Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools: The first place you should take your sitemap for a new website is Google Webmaster Tools. If you don’t already have one, simply create a free Google Account, then sign up for Webmaster Tools. Add your new site to Webmaster Tools, then go to Optimization > Sitemaps and add the link to your website’s sitemap to Webmaster Tools to notify Google about it and the pages you have already published. For extra credit, create an account with Bing and submit your sitemap to them via their Webmaster Tools. Submit url’s to Bing, Google, etc.
  • Identify Clear Keywords: Create a good, concise description for your blog, as well as relevant keywords. Make your headlines snappy.
  • Tag: This is easy to do on the “create post” page. Just enter the relevant keywords in the box separated by commas, this will make your blog easier to search.
  • Link to Retailers: Use your custom “Buy the Book” landing page. The page should be live six months in advance of your book’s publication date (You can list pre-order books with Kindle Direct Publishing for eBooks, and Amazon Advantage for paperback publications).
  • Social Networking: Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., to let others know what you’re blogging about and provide links back to your blog.
  • RSS: Put a subscription icon on every page.
  • Pictures: Use images whenever possible.
  • Learn from Others: Take a look at your favorite writers’ blogs and emulate some of the techniques that make their postings great.

Participate On Other Blogs

This can be a very powerful tool for promotion and raising your profile. Here are some tips for getting started:

  • Find Your Community: Use a blog search engine to find blogs in your subject/area of expertise.
  • Make Your Mark: Once you have identified those that feel relevant and compelling, become part of the conversation by commenting on a post that interests you and add something that readers of the blog might be interested to know.
  • Let People Know Where You Are: Link to your blog or website if you’ve written something relevant to the conversation. If you are bringing something valuable to the debate, people will begin to follow you and will be more interested in what you publish.

For Your Cover Design, Illustration, & Author Graphics See Michelle Rene

Book Cover Designer and Marketing Design