When you take control of your own writing career, there’s a lot to keep track of: the writing itself, book design, publishing, accounting, social media, maintaining a website, book tours, PR campaigns, blogging, and so much more.
With all that responsibility, it’s easy to lose track of what’s important. If you stress about each task equally, you’ll end up doing none of them well.
To help clarify your vision, here’s a little reminder:
Your #1 marketing goal as an indie author should be to build your email list
Why? Because countless studies have shown that a subscriber on your email list is FAR more likely to take a requested action than one of your social media followers. In other words, when you announce a limited-time sale on your newest book, you’re going to get the best results (at least in terms of percentages) from your email newsletter.
This is increasingly the case as social platforms like Facebook make it more difficult to reach your followers without paid advertising or promotion.
Make sure you have an email signup form on your website
Certainly you can grow your email list through real-world promotion (bringing a signup form to your readings, signings, lectures, panel discussions, etc.), but probably the most common opportunity you’ll have to capture someone’s email is when they’re visiting your website. Be sure to add an email signup form to your website (which should be displayed on every single page — because you never know which piece of web content is going to attract readers).
Note: there is a difference between a “subscribe to blog” widget and an email newsletter subscription widget/form. The first allows a visitor to subscribe to the blog itself, giving them email notifications whenever you post new content on your site. The second provides you with the individual’s contact info, so you can email them your newsletter.
Now it’s time to drive traffic to your website
If your website is the place where you’re most likely to capture emails, then you want to get as many people to visit as possible. Think of your website as the party destination and your social media and/or promotional efforts as the invitation to stop by.
1. Post content on your blog first (pictures, sample chapters, video clips of a reading, news updates, etc) and then share your blog posts on social
2. Optimize your blog posts for organic search by using appropriate keywords, coming up with smart headlines and titles, and writing overall quality content
3. Be sure to mention your website’s URL in all interviews, press releases, promotional materials, and public appearances
Ok. So now you’ve built your email list. But how do you get your subscribers to buy books, leave reviews, and support your writing career?
Check out these email marketing tips for authors:
What tricks have you used to build your email list? Let us know in the comments section below.