Q: What’s the easiest and most effective way to promote your book, blog and brand?
A: Let your fans do it for you.
Your website should be the destination of all your social networking activity. Your personal website is where you have complete control over the user experience. Social networks are great places to find and engage with your fans, but they are also filled with distractions and limitations. Use your website to connect with your fans in a deeper and more profitable way.
Creating your own website and domain (www.YOU.com) is the first step in creating a professional and successful online presence. Below are 6 tips for making your website a destination where your fans can enjoy and share your content with their friends and followers online.
1. Keep a Blog
Don’t Panic! Many people never start blogging because it seems like a momentous undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. A blog post can be anything from a few sentences to a short essay, a single photo or a video. You don’t even have to create the content. Share someone else’s video or article and add a few comments of your own. You can do this in just 10-30 minutes a week.
Why do you need a blog? The idea is to breathe life into your website. If you update your blog often with interesting content, your fans will be more likely to return to your website and pass along the posts to their friends. People don’t like revisiting websites that look the same everytime they return.
The cool thing about blogs is that every post has its own URL that can be easily shared on social networks and through email. Blogs can also be subscribed to through RSS so your fans can get automatically updated whenever you post something new.
1. Generate Content
In order to drive traffic to your website you need content. This way you can post compelling links on your social networks that lead to your website. Write blog articles. Record your readings. Take lots of pictures. Upload your book covers. Add your newspaper, magazine, and online reviews. Gather all the content you can and post it regularly on your website. Try to make this a habit rather than a project. Every time you post something, ask your followers to check it out, comment on it and share it with their friends. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
3. Use “Share” and “Follow” Buttons
Once someone has arrived on your website. It’s important that they have the opportunity to share your content on social networks. This will drive more people to your website. It’s a brilliant cycle that will sometimes cause content to go viral as it spreads out farther and farther across the online universe.
There are many social media widgets and buttons that encourage people to interact with your content. Below are the ones I believe to be most important.
If you use a hosting service like HostBaby, share buttons are built in. But even if you don’t, they are not difficult to install. Share buttons give your visitors the option to share your content on the social network of their choice. This could be Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and more.
Facebook Like buttons are important because Facebook is so darn popular. Like buttons are similar in functionality to a share button. Clicking it will update your Facebook profile with a message and a link. People are used to seeing “like” buttons and they only require a single click. It’s good practice to make them available for your fans. Make a Facebook Like Button
Follow buttons allow your fans the opportunity to friend, follow and subscribe to your updates on various sites and social networks. This way they can easily interact and share your updates with their friends. If you don’t know how to install share buttons, you can use this social media icon website.
4. Embed YouTube Videos
When you put video on your site: use YouTube. YouTube videos are easy to share and post on other social media sites and most people are already familiar with how to do this. So if you post a video of a reading or an advertisement for your newest book, make sure you upload it to YouTube and then post it on your website.
5. Involve Your Audience
Encourage your readers to participate in generating content for your website. Hold a contest. Invite guest bloggers. Ask for story submissions. Ask for an alternate ending to your latest novel. People love to share their own work. This is a great way to encourage your fans to do promotional work for you.
6. Build Your Email List
Make sure you have a mailing list sign up box on your website. Email is still the most intimate way of reaching out to fans online. Often a well crafted email will be forwarded and shared. In your newsletters, keep the information brief and make sure to link back to your website. You want to encourage your fans to revisit your site and interact with your content.
(Note: All HostBaby websites come equipped with ListBaby Newsletter tool)
Do you have any suggestions, objections or tips on marketing your book online? Chime in below!