Today we are going to shift our discussion from real world marketing to online or virtual marketing. This is an area that has HUGE potential for many authors, but so many are thrown to the wolves when they hit the social media.
The problems here are varied:
1) Too many social media to effectively use consistently
2) Too hard to learn and relearn everything
3) Hard to know what you will like to do and what you won’t
4) Confusing and overwhelming.
5) Nothing seems to “work” like it does for everyone else.
We’re here to take care of the last two and hopefully #3 as well. #2 is just something you will have to get acclimated to as the change on the ‘net never stops or slows down (remember Skills are Queen and often what you learn will help you learn new things down the road). Just know that learning and change are coming and breathe when they show up!
As to #1, yes there are a lot of choices and more are showing up every day. My best suggestion is to choose no more than 4 social media sites and learn and use those. Do a couple at a time and then add. If you get super-good on those and want to branch out, great. But don’t get sucked into thinking you have to try and know everything. You don’t, and it won’t work.
In this course we are going to talk about two major topics that should work hand-in-hand. Divorce them from each other, and you will be in trouble and frustrated in no time.
Notice that it’s our CONTENT that we’re using both to pull more people into our audience and to push (sell) our books with.
When talking about virtual marketing and building your hill, it is critical to have a plan in place to address two main issues:
1) How do I package my content?
2) How do I promote my content?
Today, we’ll do a brief overview of how you can PACKAGE your content on the ‘net. Here are the main ways your content can be made available:
You Tube Videos & Trailers
Short description of each:
Website–this was the earliest way to promote yourself on the web. Many people now have blogs to do what websites used to. However, I like to think of the website as a hub for everything else you do on the ‘net. There, you can have links to different blogs you either write or write for, your Twitter feed, other guest blogs, etc. You can have a bookshelf of your books and a bio. Of course you can do all of this in other places as well. I just think it’s important to have one landing place for all of your out there promotions.
Blogs–Blogs hit the virtual world and took it by storm. The original term for this is “weblog.” A weblog, or blog, is anything you want it to be. The content can be about you, your hobby, your writing, your business. Blogs are usually short articles about a topic of interest to your reader.
The way many bloggers went off track early is that they focused on themselves, making their blog more like a journal. Then the idea began to morph into helping others in the industry. So many writers began writing blogs–giving advice on writing. Unfortunately, that proved stifling for many because they didn’t have a lot of new ideas and there were so many other writing blogs, it was hard to gain much of an audience. Even worse was the fact that you only attract other writers doing that. I have nothing against other writers, but they are also trying to market their books. They don’t necessarily want to buy yours.
We will talk about blogs and all of this more in depth in the coming months, so stay-tuned.
Interviews/Guest Blogs/Reviews — these are all the places you “appear” on the ‘net. These appearances are a double-bonus.
First, you get exposure to someone else’s audience, and that person has an incentive to promo you because you’re on their blog.
Second, you have something else you can promo that’s not straight from your blog or website. This lends credibility to your brand, making you someone others want to talk about and listen to.
YouTube, etc. — There are about a million ways to create and package content on the ‘net. You can put your book trailers on YouTube or put Book Samples on YourBookAuthors.com. You can post excerpts and even have your article read out loud with cool animation behind it. You can sign up with Yahoo to be a Contributor.
All of these and so many more are ways to package your content. We will talk about each more in-depth in the coming months.
Once you get some of your basic packaging ideas down, feel free to branch out and see what other cool things you can do!
Next time we’ll talk about promoting the content you have.
Until then, have a blessed week!