3 Pieces of a Well-designed Book Page

3 Pieces of a Well-designed Book Page

Dear Authors,

Let’s face it, product pages are boring.  But every business out there needs to have a product page.

You’re no exception.  You need a page where you can show your books and you can convince a reader to buy your books that you’ve worked so hard to write.

Your product pages are your book pages.  The pages where you are trying to sell your books.

And as a romance reader, I can say, your pages are horrible.  They don’t excite me or persuade me into buying your books.

As a reader, I want more.

As a copywriter, I want to help you give your readers more!!!

Here are…

3 pieces of a well-designed book page

For many this is going to be a new idea.

But as an author, you can’t hide behind your books anymore.  Your readers want to know more about your book, more about your characters and more about you.

Your readers crave more information!!

Let’s start with…

Design

What you put on your pages is important.

You need several things to make it work.

  1. High resolution images of your book covers, as well as any other pics you added.
  2. Background colors that are neutral help your book covers to stand out.
  3. Easy navigation to buy your book.

Give your readers more and they will pay you back by sharing your stuff all across social media!

Formatting

How you add details is just as important as what you add

Keep these in mind as you write your page.

  1. Headlines and subheads.  These help your reader to know exactly what they are buying but also helps search engines to know too.
  2. Keywords and phrases.  While your readers may know what your book is called, you need to guide the search engines to the right spot.  Identify your keywords to Google to help your book pages be found easier.
  3. Product description.  Using keywords and phrases that you want the search engines to use to find your book.
  4. Call-to-Actions.  Your reader needs to be guided to the next step.  Give them clear instructions in your CTAs.

Copywriting

The role of copywriting is to convince your website reader to do a particular action.  To persuade them to do something.

On your book page you need to persuade your readers to buy your book.  The best way of doing that is by giving them the WHY.  Why they should buy your book?  Why should they care about your books?  Why your books are a better read than another author!

When you tell your reader the why, you are sharing the benefits that they will get when they read your book.  They may be all intangible benefits, but the benefits are very real!!

There are several things that you can do to help your page.

Use headlines and keywords.  This helps the search engines find you and will help your readers find you.

Informative copy will further convince your readers that your books are wonderful.

Additional product info will help you help them.

You can also give additional downloadable gifts that can convince your readers to buy, maybe even buy more.

 

Selling your books is the ultimate purpose of your whole site, with the book page being the one page that should finally persuade your readers.

Other pages (home page, about page, contact page) are used to pull them to your book page.

Let me know if I can help you with yours!!

Your friend in romance,

Shental

5 Ingredients to a Well-Developed Contact page

5 Ingredients to a Well-Developed Contact page

Dear Author,

There are 4 pages on your site that are the most important and most visited.

Your:

Each page is important to have a well developed website.

Let’s talk about the Contact page.

It’s essential that your readers have a way to contact you, and what better way then your Contact page.

If formatted correctly, you are in control of how they connect with you.

This doesn’t mean that you leave your phone number and your personal email.

Many successful authors have certain things on their Contact pages to ensure their readers are heard.

5 Ingredients of Your Author Contact Page

Because your Contact page is one of the most visited pages on your site, it needs to be a priority when developing it.

Don’t just throw up any old thing on your page and call it done.

Your readers want to hear from you.  They want to get to know you.  And this page can help you.

Typically…

The best Contact pages include:

  1. Images.  Typically this would be a picture of you, a good one.  But you can also include pics that go well with your brand.
  2. Personal blurb.  Share something with your readers, for example: how appreciative you are of all their support.  Or for following you.
  3. Include either your author email or add a form that readers can fill out.
  4. Links to your social media accounts.  You want them to share on social media.  Make it easy for them.
  5. End with a CTA (call-to-action).  You want them to do something when they are done reading, show them with a simple CTA.

While these are certainly not all that you can put onto your Contact page, these are the basics.

They can be put together in any way that you like.

But please…

Don’t forget formatting

Because I am an editor at heart, I think about the way it is written as well.

Here are tips remember:

  • Grammar.  Make sure you’ve spelled things correctly.  Well written copy goes a long way.
  • Above the fold.  Make sure your most important stuff is above the fold so readers don’t have to scroll to know how to contact you.
  • Don’t complicate it.  This page is not meant to be difficult.  Be specific and get to the point quickly.  This page is about connecting, not going into your full story.  Save that for your About page.
  • Show off your personality.  Include something else that really shows who you are.
  • Add high def images.  Always use good quality images to convey what you are doing.
  • Look gorgeous.  Make sure this page is just as pretty as the rest of your pages.  Mobile responsive is essential too.
  • Have fun!!  It’s not meant to be a difficult page.

 

Hopefully that helps you in creating a page that will wow your readers.

Let me know if I can help.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

 

Sources:

Hubspot

Search Engine Journal

WordStream

Canva

 

Writing Emails That Sell your Books

Dear Author,

Email marketing is completely under used by the Romance Industry.  Now I may be a nobody, as of yet, but I know that authors do not use email like the other industries do.

Emails from authors are not usually part of any strategy.  They are just sent out willy nilly.

Let’s change that.

Let’s make sure that you develop a strategy that will enable you to sell more books and take your author business just that little bit further!!

So…

How to write emails that actually sell your books

Email marketing may be antiquated and maybe even a bit old school, but it is still more effective at convincing readers to buy your books than any tweet or post

Here’s a great article from Neil Patel that gives you more details.

To know how to sell, you need to understand why you need to sell.  Understanding the psychology behind email marketing can help you be more successful in selling.

Here are the fundamentals that I have been learning.

 

Convincing readers to open your email

Your readers already love you.  So when they see your name on an email, they are going to be excited to read what you have to say.

But to get your readers to open your emails, you still have to entice them to open your email with something exciting!!

If you send an email that shouts “Hey, here’s my next book!!”  You are not actually winning their attention.  You are just sending an email.

You need to make your email personal and friendly and sound like an extension of your story.  If you do, your reader will open every single email from you.

If you just send an email and don’t put any thought to it, you will most likely get passed over.

Captivate your reader

The first thing your reader is going to read is the subject line.  And depending on the email service that they use, you might only have a few words’ space to really convince them.

How will you grab their attention?

Your reader wants to hear about your new book, about your characters, maybe even about you.

So entice them with strong power words in your subject line.

Power words like

  • Sexy
  • Lucky
  • Gorgeous
  • Dirty
  • Crave

You could even use the title of your article and use it in your email subject line.

 

Tease their curiosity

When your subject line entices your reader so much that they can do nothing but open your email, you are on the right track.

They need to be left wondering what you were talking about, what you meant.

This convinces them that they need to open your email to find out what you were talking about.

One way to do that is to ask for their help.  When you genuinely need and want their help, your open rates will most likely be higher.

What you have created is an information gap between your request and the point of your request.

When they fill that gap, they will open your email to give you an answer.

 

Write an epic opening line

The next step is to draw them deeper into your email with an opening line that is nothing short of awesome.

Your opening line needs to pull your reader into your email even more than your subject line.

Yes, you need to address your reader by name.  You also need to be personal and authentic.

One idea would be to gain their attention by drawing on a shared experience.  Like your book.  They just finished your book.  Give them something more of your book.  Something that isn’t in your book.

Just make a point to get right to the point.  Don’t give them a long drawn out email.

 

The body

This is the place where you really connect with your reader.  This is where you give them real value that no one else can give them.

Make sure to keep it short and simple.  Don’t overpower your reader with long paragraphs and long drawn out explanations.

Break up the paragraphs to be short and easily read.

Don’t forget to ask personal questions.  This gives them the face-to-face feel, like they are talking to you directly.

 

Make the close

The closing is definitely an important part of your email.  Maybe even the most important part.

This is where your reader makes a decision about whether or not they will do what you want them to do.  You have to move your email to an end and ask your reader to act.  This is called a Call-to-action (CTA).

You need to make the decision very clear to them.  There should be no confusion as to the action involved.

Give them exactly what they should do next.

 

Cultivate an urgency

Throughout your email, you need to develop an urgency that your reader needs to do.  If this is done right, then they will do something right at the end of reading your email.  And not tomorrow or next week.

This is also to be used in your CTA.  Using power words to compel them to take action is the only way to get them to buy your next book.

 

Conclusion

Email still works.  When you use effective marketing tricks to compel your reader to do what you want them to do, you will have more success in your open rate and in your response rate.

 

Your friend in romance,

Shental

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3 formatting tips to improve your website

Dear Author,

Your website is a showcase of your accomplishments of your success as an author.  It should reflect who you are.

But the stuff you put onto your site should be formatted with your reader in mind.

And the biggest thing you will deal with is the content.  The content should not just be slapped onto your site.  You need to think about why you have it on your site.  You need to think about what your reader would want.

And that is more than just adding words to your site.  To be an effective seller (of your books) you need to have an website that has marketing techniques that are effective.

To be effective, you need to have a strong foundation of good content.  Content that your readers want to read.

You also need to think about the purpose of your site.  Knowing why will help you in what direction you should be taking your content.

Ask your self these questions:

  • Do I want to improve my SEO rankings in Google?
  • Do I want to add more readers to my email list?
  • Do I want to convert more readers to buyers of my books?
  • Am I looking for more readers to view my site?

The answer to these questions will help you to take your content in what direction.

No matter which direction you choose, you can…

Improve your website by adding these tips

that will help you to make sure your content to what your reader wants to read.

While I could have added pages and pages of improvements, I am only going to touch on 12 things that need to be improved to help your readers enjoy your site more.

I have lumped them into 3 different categories:  Formatting of your site.  Actual content on your site.  Adding rich media for a better user experience.

 

How you format your site is essential

There is a way to format your site that will help your reader to enjoy being on your site more.  This is called user experience.  It is vital to your site being seen again and again by your readers.

 

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Headline

Your headline is the first thing your reader will read.  Are you catching their attention?  Are you pulling them into your site where they are compelled to read more and want to stay?

The headline is the first step in converting your casual visitor into a frequent visitor and ultimately a buyer.  When you do it right, you will have a loyal customer that will shout praises for every book that you write.

 

Your content

Okay, really truly, your content is everything that you put onto your site.  From the words that you use, to the pictures that you add, including the music and/or videos.

But the placement of everything should be given some thought.

For example:

  • Place your most valuable content above the fold.
    • This means the content that you see right when you come to your site before you start to scroll down.  This is what is above the fold.  If you think about where the phrase came from, newspapers penned the word so you would know what is the most valued information in that day’s paper.
  • Don’t add long paragraphs to your page.
    • Each page needs to be scannable for your readers.  The internet is not the same as writing your book, so you have to change the way you add it.  This means that you can throw out every rule that your English teacher ever taught you.  Instead go with how you talk.  Write online like you talk to your friends or your family.  This way you sound like you are a human.
  • Don’t add the dates to your blog posts
    • You are lucky because your books are timeless.  They will always be new to someone new.  When you add the date to your blog posts, you are dating yourself.  Don’t do that.  By the way, this is not your publication date.  Yes, you can add that.  Just don’t add the date to updates or blog posts about your books.
  • Add a call-to-action (CTA) on each page.
    • Each page should guide you to another one with a final destination of buying your book.
  • Don’t add your actual email address to your contact page.  I have heard some controversy about this one, but the gist of it is this.  If you add your actual email with the @ sign (youremail@yoursite.com) then the Google bots that scan your site will take your email and give it to those that send out spam.  Instead do either:
    • Add your email address like this:  your email (at) yoursite (dot) com  This way it is not read like an actual address but humans will still understand it.
    • But what would be better is to have a form on your site for your reader to fill out.  This way you can keep track of sign ups in your analytics.

Another thought is to make sure that you add something new to your site on a regular basis.  This will help you to be seen by the search engines and thoroughly enjoyed by your readers.

 

Testimonials

I have heard of different thought when it comes to placement of your testimonials.  Some have said that you should have a whole page dedicated to them.  While others have said that you should have them dispersed throughout your site.

I happen to like the idea of having them dispersed throughout your site.  Why?  Because each testimonial is going to be about a particular book.  Take that testimonial and add it to that particular book’s page.

What happens if you don’t have any testimonials.  My answer is:  Do you have an established email list?  If you do, you can send out an email asking your readers to give you a testimonial of any of your books.  Then add that to your site.

 

Other pages

There are many different types of pages that need to be on your site.  Each page has a purpose.  You need to have:

  • a thank you page
  • a contact page
  • email sign up page
  • author page

You know what??  I am going to do a whole article on this.  Look for this next week.

 

What you say is just as important as how you say it

Please don’t just put the back cover blurb onto your site.  Please add more.  I say this from a reader’s perspective.  The majority of authors only add the back blurb.  Now while that is a good thing.  Add your blurb, but add more.  Your reader wants more from you.  More about your stories.  More about your characters.  More about you as an author.

Does it have to be hard to find more content.  Nope.

Give me a shout and I can let you in on a new idea that I am coming out with!!!

 

Give your readers a better experience by adding rich media

Your readers want to have more of you.  They want to have more of your books.  More of your characters.

Take a moment to add:

  • videos
  • music
  • maps of your communities
  • family book tree
  • pictures of your muse
  • a pdf of your family book tree or a map of your community

Each of these things will help your reader to have a richer experience on your site.

Don’t forget to add the alt tags to each of your images.  This helps for search engine rankings but is also helps any reader that needs the extra assistance.

 

Okay, I know that this is not all that you need to be thinking about for your site.  But it is a start.

Please let me know if I can help.

 

Your friend in romance,

Shental

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7 Email Marketing Metrics to Track

Dear Author,

Making sure your email marketing and your analytics are tied together is only good business sense.  You are then able to make accurate adjustments to what you are already doing.

But I am not sure how many authors actually keep track of the data about your emails.

Do you?  Do you know if all the hard work that you are doing is actually going to benefit you?

Your email analytics are essential to you making sure that you are succeeding in your marketing plans.

Here are…

7 email marketing metrics you need to track

Each of these different metrics are a part of your analytics.  You need to understand what they do and how they help you.

  1. Open rate
  2. Click-through rate
  3. Web traffic
  4. Sales
  5. Unsubscribes
  6. Bounce rate
  7. Complaint rate

 

There is a great article from AWeber.  The article is called 7 Email Marketing Metrics You Should Track (and What They Mean).

While they are not completely free email service, they do provide an excellent price for what they offer.

 

 

Open rate

This measures if your emails are even opened.

It measures whether your headline was effective enough to pull your reader in.  If they opened your email, then your headline was a good one.  If they didn’t open your email, then you need to adjust your headline with something different so you know what is working and what is not.  When you know what’s working, keep doing that same thing.  This is called A/B testing.

It also measures when your email was opened.  With this, you will know when your readers are looking at their email.  With the most number at a certain time, that will be your optimal time to send out your next one!

Please know that this is not fool-proof.  There are certain trackers that make it easy to keep track of this.  But if this tracker is disabled, then this is affects your open rate.

Apparently, AWeber has a great analytics side to their email system.  I am still learning how to use this.  It is definitely worth it.

 

Click-through rate

This measures whether a reader has gone from your email to your site.  You can see which call-to-action was effective in convincing a reader to do whatever you asked them to do.

Or if the content excited your reader.

Knowing which way your data turns, can only help you to make smarter marketing choices.

 

Web traffic

Knowing how to interpret your web traffic, and whether or not your readers are coming from your email, helps to answer which email is working.

Tracking how long your reader stays on your site, can tell you which is good content and which isn’t.

If traffic is low, you might need to revamp your emails or maybe even the content on your site.

Attaching your Google Analytics to your site will help in knowing all sorts of information.

 

Sales

Do you have affiliate links for your books?  Do you know which link is selling more?  or less?

Are you selling more from your email? or from your web page?  Which one is working better?  worse?

This is where Google Analytics comes in again.  Having it all attached and working takes a bit of time, but the returns are rewarding!

 

Unsubscribes

Having some reader asked to be unsubscribed can be difficult.  But knowing why they unsubscribed can help you to deliver content that your readers want to hear.

Keep in mind that a fluctuating list can be healthy.  It means that only those who truly want to read your emails are the ones that stay on your list.  This is where you can have a re-optin every year or so.

 

Bounce rate

Bounces are a good indication of how healthy your email list is.  There are hard bounces and soft bounces.

A hard bounce is when you send out to an invalid or closed email.

A soft bounce is when someone’s email is unavailable for whatever reason.

Most email providers will continue to send a certain number of soft bounces till they automatically unsubscribe that person.

 

Complaint rate

Complaints are going to happen no matter the safe guards you put in place or not.

Have a plan to manage the complaints that will come your way.  As your email provider might have a policy against so many complaints might cause you to be deleted.  Ask your email provider.

 

So how do you think your email are doing?

Take the time to know what your analytics are telling you.

You will be glad that you did!

<3 S

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6 essential content elements

Dear Author,

One of the biggest things that you will have to do is make sure that your content, on your site, is what your readers want to read.

Your content can help you or hinder you.

 

I have been a romance reader for forever.  And when I was researching the books that I was reading, I found that many authors had very little on their sites when it came to content.

This is, in part, why I decided to take a copywriting course.  I wanted to help you have the content that your readers want on your site for them to enjoy.

It is also why I created my own hobby site to give readers some more information about the books that they are reading.

 

So now I scour the web looking for articles that might benefit you.  Articles about content creation, email tips and understanding your analytics.

I found an great one about content called Is your content good enough?  6 Questions to find the answer.  This one is written by Neil Patel, from Quicksprout.

Here are the questions that he gives:

  1. Does it have real purpose for the right people?
  2. Are your claims backed up with credible sources?
  3. Do the images add more than just breaking up text?
  4. Do you have competition?  And is yours the best?
  5. Are your title and opening gripping?
  6. Is your content optimized for the average reader?

 

Now like all the articles that I have read, I will adapt this one to fit being an author.

So here are ….

6 essential content elements to add to your website

Please keep in mind that you will think your content is wonderful.  It’s okay to be biased!!

But it might be a good idea to have your site analyzed to see how you measure up with other authors in your genre.

 

When that is not possible, having a checklist is a good option.

Question #1:  Does it have a real purpose for the right person?

Does your book serve a purpose to your reader?

This is where you get to be lucky.  Your readers are coming to find you right off the bat.  They have found your book and want to know more.

Now all you have to do is make sure that you give them content that they will want to read.  Keeping in mind that your website is not the same as your book.  You have to add different things to your site then you added to you book.

There are several things that you can add that will give your readers extra stuff to read and do.  Such as:

  • extra research that you did for each book
  • character sketches of your characters
  • family book tree (give me a shout if you want to what I mean by this)

 

Question #2:  Are your claims backed up by credible sources?

Are your books loved by other readers?

What does that mean?  Well…

In the world of marketing, when you sell a product you need to show that it is a viable, useful product that others have used and benefited from.

This might be hard with books, but if you think about what reading romance books gives the loyal reader.  Think about the benefits.

Reading books does have benefits.  I could give you several, but the biggest one would be that reading romance books, helps to keep our own dreams alive.  And who would want that.  I know I would.

That benefit alone is what pulls a lot of people in for all sorts of products, not just romance books.

So you need to ask your loyal readers to write a testimonial for you.  If any author contacted me and asked for one, I would in a heart beat.

 

Question #3:  Do the images add more than just breaking up the text?

Do the images add value to your story?

This one should be an easy one.

But I can count to a small number of author sites that actually have more than just the picture of their books on their site.  And I have to ask myself why?  Why do you NOT add more?

I am hoping that I can change that.

You know that pictures can tell a story.  And you just might have a picture of someone that fits your thought process for the characters that you have.  So why not add this pic to your site?

Please add this picture to your site.  I KNOW that other readers will love to be able to put a face to your character.  And if it is done for them, they are more likely to share that with their network of people.

 

Question #4:  Do you have competition?  And is yours the best?

Do you know your competing authors?  Does your site outrank theirs?

You obviously are not the only romance author out there.  But if you don’t do something to stand out and be different, then you will be just another author.  And I know that you don’t want that.

I can tell you some authors that really do stand out, in each sub-genre.  If you take a look at theirs, you will see that they have a ton of other things that they are doing on their site.

There is more than just the pictures of your books.

Do you have:

  • a special group or page just for your readers?
  • an active email group that gets extras all the time?
  • things for your readers to do or play on your site?

These are just some ideas that I have seen out there.

 

Question #5:  Are your title and opening gripping?

Do your titles and opening statements catch their attention?

This takes us into marketing tips and tricks.

Your site needs to be put together differently than your book.

Your site should be the hub of your author business.  It should have all sorts of other things that your readers want to read.

And each of those things has a format and technique to them.  Your pages and articles and blog posts all have to have headlines that pull your reader in.   When they are pulled into your site, you have more a chance of convincing them of buying your book then if you just had an ad.

Headlines are the first thing that any visitor is going to read.  They will check it out, and if it isn’t up to snuff, then they will move on.

I redo my headline as least three times each time I write an article.  It is not easy, I know, but don’t shirk this.

 

Question 6:  Is your content optimized for the average reader?

Is your content optimized for your readers to find you?

This now takes us into SEO stuff.  I have found that not many authors actually have their sites optimized.  Let me know if you would like to have your site analyzed.

Having your site optimized means that you have your keywords clearly defined.

Defined in your

  • headlines
  • subheads
  • emails
  • pictures/images
  • blogs posts
  • tweets

And they are working for you and helping you.  Not hindering you.

Let me say thing again – KEYWORDS ARE ESSENTIAL to being found organically!!

 

Is this everything that you need to remember?  No, not by a long shot.  But it does give some essentials to get you started.

I go through this list, as well as other, every time I am about to publish something.  You should too.

Let me know if I can help!

 

<3 S

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16 smart SEO tricks to help readers find you

Dear Author,

Learning how to optimize your site pages needs to be a high priority if you would like to be found in the search engines.

Even though Google is pretty smart, you can help it along by making sure all the right things are in the right places.

Here are

16 SEO factors to help your reader find you

Search Engine Optimizaition.

While it sounds really hard, is not.  Although it can be a challenge to make sure you have all the pieces are in place.

What you need to do is think about what words your readers are going to use to find you.  And then put that onto your page.

 

I found a great infographic by an influencer that I follow.

His name is Brian Dean.  He is the founder of Backlinko, a training hub for digital marketing pros.  You can learn a lot from him.

Take a look at the infographic if any of what I am going to share doesn’t make sense.

Here are the points that Brian gives us:

  1.  Use SEO-friendly URLs
  2.  Start title with a keyword
  3.  Add modifiers to your title
  4.  Wrap your blog post title in an H1 tag
  5.  Dazzle with mulitmedia
  6.  Wrap subheads in H2 tags
  7.  Drop keywords in first 100 words
  8.  Use responsive design
  9.  Use outbound links
  10.  Use internal links
  11.  Boost site speed
  12.  Sprinkle LSI keywords
  13.  Image optimization
  14.  Use social sharing buttons
  15.  Post long content
  16.  Boost dwell time

 

While just having this list would help any webmaster, I would like to share with you how your reader looks for you as an author who writes the books that they LOVE to read!!

 

SEO-friendly URLs

As a reader, I am going to put the title of your book into Google and see what comes up.

Please know because Google is really smart, your site is probably going to show up on the search pages, but if you helped Google, your site will be ranked better.

Why?

Because Google puts more stock in the first 3-5 words in your title.  If your title of your book is in the URL, your reader will find you even faster.

 

Don’t:

www.yourauthorname.com/p=123

or www.yourauthorname.com/6/25/16/284758594037

Do:

www.yourauthorname.com/yourbooktitle

or www.yourauthorname.com/yourbookseriestitle

 

Keywords in title

Your title is the most essential word(s) on your page.

Brian Dean says “the closer the keyword is to the beginning of the title tag, the more weight it has in the search engines.”

You are lucky,  Your book name is your title.  You just need to make sure that the search engines know EXACTLY which one you mean.

Because if you don’t tell Google, Google will take something and make it the title tag.

 

Modify your title

As an author, you know how important some words are to the telling of your story.

The same can be true of how your book is received.  Is your story the “best” story, the “greatest”, most “engaging”, “captivating”, whatever it is, those words can be used to help your site be found better.

 

Define your title with H1 tag

The H1 tag is what defines what your title is.  Make sure it is added to the meta data of your post.

When I was doing full site analysis’ of several author sites, I found that this is one of the main thing that was missing from their sites.  It is a small thing, but still a big enough thing that you need to add this.

I use WordPress for my site, and it is really easy to make sure the H1 tag is added.

 

Add Mulitmedia

Okay, I am going to come to you as a reader and a fan for a minute.

Please, please, please add more content to your sites!!!

Don’t get me wrong there are some authors that have some awesome sites filled with tons of things to do and extra thing to read.

But the vast majority don’t add anything extra to their sites.  It makes it really hard to want to come back and really hard to even want to sign up to your newsletter

This could be in the form of videos, music, other pictures.

Making your site more interactive, will be a bonus for your readers and make you more shareable.

 

Subheads use H2 tags

Just like title need the H1 tag, subheads need the H2 tag.

This could be anything that is related to your story, your characters, the places in your story.

Let me give you an example:

<H1 name of book>

This blurb is about the book

blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb

<H2 name of main male character>

Add a blurb about the main character – this could be some research that you had to do for him or a character sketch of him

blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb

<H2 name of main female character>

Add a blurb of the main female character, just like what was done for the male character

blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb blurb

 

Add keywords into the body copy and LSI keywords

I am going to join two of his points here.

What are your keywords?

  • your name is the MAIN main keyword + author
  • subgenre
  • book series name
  • book title
  • main characters
  • secondary characters
  • places they live
  • places they go to
  • plot line

 

LSI keywords are the synonyms of your main words.  So they would be:

  • novel
  • story
  • heroine
  • hero

Google is smart enough to know what each of these mean and how they can be connected.

 

Mobile Friendly

While many authors actually get this one, there are still some that don’t realize that your reader is going to be standing in the library or bookstore with her phone in hand looking up your site.

If she can’t get onto your site, she will most like just walk out without your book.  Think about that.

Take the time to make your site mobile friendly.

 

Outbound links and inbound links

While every author thinks that they are the best, if you reference others and link to their site, Google will reward you for this.  Google will consider you an authority and boost your ratings and bring you more traffic.

More traffic means more readers will find you.  More readers finding you means more books will be sold.  More money for you.

 

Inbound links are even more important than outbound links.

When you have a reputable site, like a successful reviewer or a news media link to your site, Google will help you by sending more readers to you.

 

Internal links

As an author, your books never get old.  Really truly.  They are timeless.  And this is a unique thing to just you authors.  Your books will always be new to some new reader and as the generations pass, more will become readers as they grow up.  How lucky are you.

So to help your readers remember older books, link to them in new blog posts, newsletters, tweets on Twitter or posts on Facebook or Instagram.

And when you do this, it will help you get eyes on all of your books and not just the most recent ones.

 

Site speed

No matter how successful you are, if your site is NOT user friendly, your readers won’t be impressed.  What will they do if they aren’t impressed – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

They won’t share your post.  They won’t tweet out your new book.  They won’t help your stuff get out there.

And that is what you want them to do.  Share your stuff so your books get in front of more readers, so more readers will buy your books.

 

Image Optimization

Putting a description to your pictures gives Google another clue as to what your page is about.

It is also one thing that I found horribly lacking in the audits that I did on several sites.  I found that on some sites, there was hundreds of pictures that had no identifying words to them at all.  Whether they are in the front data or the back data (meta data).

Google likes it when you give everything a name.  Why?  Because Google speaks in words and symbols.  It’s humans that speak in pictures.

 

Social sharing buttons

While Google may speak in letters and numbers, it is people that share what you have written.

If you have written something worth sharing, it will be shared.  If you don’t it may not affect your rankings but it will affect how many people see your book.

Make it easy for your readers to share.  Put the buttons right near the top of the page, above the fold.

 

Longer content

This is the longest blog post that I have written.  And apparently long post content ranks higher than shorter content.

Brian says you should aim for 1000+ words for each blog post you publish.

Now I am still working on this for this site.  But I bet I could come up with a whole lot more when it comes to your books.

 

Let’s get your readers to stay on your page

Do you know your stats well enough to say whether or not your readers actually stay on your site and look around?

Do you know what content is most liked, most hated?

 

Let’s give your readers more content that they will love to read, love to share, and love to have.

Quality content comes in indirect ways, such as:

  • repeat visits from readers
  • chrome bookmarks
  • time on site
  • how long they stay
  • Google search of your books.

Each of these ways will help Google to see you as an authority of your books!!  Because we know you are!

Comments will also help your site to be found better.

 

Now it is time to take your site to the next level.

Give me a call when you are ready.

<3 S

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Give readers the content THEY WANT

Dear Author,

If you are going to be truly successful online, you have to serve your target market.

That means giving them what they want.  You have to give them content that they want on your site.

 

As an author, I know that you have these stories, these characters, living inside of you, just waiting to get free.  And you can do nothing else but tell their story.

And you should tell their story.  Get it out of you.  Write it down.  Share it with the world.

 

This is where you have to stop being an author and become a marketer if you want to sell your books.

You must write your content to satisfy your reader, not you.

Why?

Because writing online is different than writing a book.

When writing online you have to appeal to the audience that you want to reach.  This audience is your readers.

Now, you do have it lucky.  I’ll explain in a minute.

 

I found a great article from Copyblogger that gives us ideas on how to write content that is remarkable and effective.

These are the points that they give:

  1. Effective content educates
  2. Effective content has personality
  3. Effective content has a great headline
  4. Effective content keeps SEO in mind
  5. Effective content puts the reader first

 

They said that content educates.

I agree.  Your content has to be useful.  But content can also entertain and inspire.

Your books educate and entertain and inspire

And that is a HUGE bonus – for you.

You have this amazing romance story that pulls at your readers heart strings.  That pulls at them enough that they keep coming back for more and more.

So do you not only entertain your reader, you inspire them.  That is how you are lucky.

With a few tweaks, your online content can be just as amazing as your books.

 

Let me give you some ideas on how you can entertain your readers on your website.

Ask yourself, why do my readers come back for more and more of my stories, my romance stories.

Your readers fall in love with your characters, so give them more of your characters.

What do I mean?

Let me ask you a question.

Do you find a muse that looks like the character that you are writing about?

Do you create that character in your mind with likes, dislikes, characters flaws, good qualities, and such?

Did you do any research about the places that you have your characters based in?

Do you create a whole city for your story?

Do you create family dynamics that go along with your story (or stories).

Do you create a whole family that becomes a book series?

 

If you can answer any of those questions then you have more content to add to your site.  The answers are what your readers would LOVE to know about your stories.

 

 

They said that content has to have personality.

Your story drips of your personality

Whether or not you intentionally put yourself into your story or not, you do.  You have a unique writing style that noone else can duplicate.

Take that same personality and put it into the research that you had as extra on your site.

Describe what you do to write, where you write.  What you do to overcome writer’s block.

If you add more than just your story stuff into your content, your readers will get to know you as well.

Why?

Because if your readers love your story, they will already LOVE you!!

 

 

They said that content needs to have a great headline.

This is where you have to start thinking like a marketer and not an author anymore.

Your headline needs to catch their attention

When you catch their attention and pull your reader into your online content, they will stay and read more.  If they stay and read more, you have a chance to make them buy another one of your stories.

This is online marketing.

The whole point behind online marketing is to make a sale.  You, selling your books.

It starts with the headline.

Make your headline:

  • grad their attention
  • create curiosity as to what your book is about
  • evokes an emotional response
  • tells them what they are going to get when reading your book
  • be believable

There is so much that goes into a headline.

I am still working on mine!!

 

 

They said that effective content keeps SEO in mind.

Having some knowledge of Search Engine Optimization will help your site to be seen more often by more readers.

SEO + Quality content = Content that gets read

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Simply put, it is the formatting of the words that you put online, put in such a way that they will be noticed and shared.

I know, that sounds more complicated than it needs to be.

Let’s just break it down a bit.

Keywords.

Keywords are the first thing you need to remember.  Keywords are the words that you put into the search engine, like Google, to find something that you would like to find.

The words that you want to be found for are:

  • your name.
  • the name of your books
  • the names of your books series
  • but you can also make it that you are also found for the names of your characters.  You made them unique.  Use that to your advantage.

 

There is also analytics.  Do you use your Google analytics to be make informed marketing decisions?  Do you use that data to know what your readers like the most?  This can help you to convert more readers.

There is also copywriting techniques.  When you use the proper techniques, you “sell” your book to your readers.  It wouldn’t take much.  Your readers are already devoted.

This also means using modern email marketing strategies.  When using the right email strategies to nurture your reader, you will convince more of them buy more of your books.

 

 

They said that you have to put your reader first.

Most authors will say that they just had to write the story, that they had these voices talking in their heads that they just had to get out.

So your story is not for your readers.  Even though it is!!  (I know, complicated).

So…

Online content should be written with your reader in mind

It is a physical person that will buy your book.

When you follow some proven modern marketing techniques, you will nurture your reader into them buying again and again.

When done right, you will have a dedicated, loyal following that will buy anything that you send out.

And if you have a large enough following, you will not even have to market your book anymore.  They will do the work for you.

 

On a personal note.  I am still learning these techniques.  I am learning right along with you.

My goal is to make sure that you have the most largest, most devoted following so that all you have to do is say: “Hey I’ve written another one” and they will come running!!

<3 S

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Before sending your next email, read this post.

Dear Author,

Email marketing is going to be the hardest and, at first, the most time consuming!!

There are some excellent resources out there that will teach you what to do and what not to do.

I have just finished a great course from AWeber.  I have my email through them.  They are a resource for anything email.

There are other email providers available.  I’m sure that you have heard of Mailchimp or myemma.  At the high end of email is Infusionsoft and Hubspot.

 

What I would like to do is take the course that I have just finished and adapt it to what you, as authors, need in your email marketing.

Here is…

Email marketing done for you!

As an author, you are filled with words.  You are filled with the beautiful stories that touch and inspire many lives.  And as a reader, I am grateful for you.

You are soooo lucky.  Because of your book, you will have readers flocking to your site just dying to sign up.  They LOVED your book.  They LOVE you.

Please know that writing your email is NOT the same as writing your books.

With email marketing, you have to take care of the subscribers in your list, instead of them taking care of you.

Writing your emails with tips and tricks that the marketing industry gives, will make you a lot more successful than if you didn’t.

 

Some marketing tricks like:

  • sending a certain type of email at a certain time (don’t just send randomly).
  • send only one idea in each email.  Don’t fill your email with 10 different things that you would like to share.

I wrote an article about different emails.  Check out 15 different emails that you can send out.

 

Let’s start with the:

Welcome emails

After your new reader has signed up, you need to send them an email that shows that you are grateful that they gave you their email address.

Sending a nice thank you email with a “welcome to tribe, or community” is essential to establishing a solid foundation to the relationship that you are going to want to build.

You want to connect with your readers.  You want to get to know them.  Because if you take care of them, they will in turn be loyal to you.  Loyalty in readers means more sales for you.

 

A welcome emails needs to include:

  • a nice welcome, calling them by name.
  • tell them what to expect from you.  a monthly, weekly, bi-weekly email.  You choose, just be consistent.
  • ask them to follow you on the different social media that you are doing.  This includes if you have a Facebook group that you have created.
  • if you have a freebie to give to your reader, this is the place that you would have give it to them if you haven’t done so already.

Don’t forget to be yourself in these emails.  Your reader is already going to feel as if they knows you, so don’t disappoint and write differently in your emails.

This is a great way to make a great impression of who you are as a person.

This can be also the beginning of an autoresponder series that you will send out.

 

There are basically two types of email.  The first one is called an autoresponder email.  The second one is a broadcast email.

 

Autoresponder series emails

 

According to AWeber, only 25 percent of businesses are using an autoresponder series.

And I can tell you that not many of the authors, that I have signed up to, have me on a autoresponder sequence.

An autoresponder series is when you have your emails all set up to go out automatically.

You could send out 2 or 3 at the beginning so your reader really gets to know you.  Then you can let them know that they will just be sending your monthly newsletter after that.

These are the emails that you have to send out to everyone and you don’t want to manually send out each of them.

 

Your autoresponder series should include these things:

  1. An intro to your author business.  This is done in your welcome email.
  2. Information about your books in the middle.
  3. At the end, asking for a review or for their feedback.

These emails contain evergreen content that can be sent at any time of the year.

Each of these emails need to be personalized to your reader.  Talk to your reader as if they were sitting right in front of you.  That way, it will feel personal.

 

The other one is the broadcast email.

Broadcast emails

These are the singular emails that you would send out.

Things like:

  • promotions of your new book
  • a sale on an old one
  • an email that you curated from your archives (this is content that your audience would love to know and it is written by someone else.  Great for when you don’t have time to write more.)
  • an even that you are planning on going to and would love to meet up with them
  • seasonal promotions like that Christmas book that has been rolling through your head
  • sharing the good news of a fellow author
  • any announcement you feel important.

Broadcast emails are great for keeping your readers up to date on what you are up to.  They are best used when you have time-sensitive information that you would like your readers to know.

 

 

Conclusion

Your emails are one thing that you need to be able to do really well.  Even I am still learning what to do and what not to do.

Check out AWeber if you want a decent priced EMS.  I found that they had certain features that others may not have.

But do something about your email.  Don’t leave it just random emails.

Give me a call if you would like to develop your own strategy.

 

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How to grow your email list for FREE

Dear Author,

In all the marketing things that I am attempting to consume, they all tell me that every person trying to build an online business MUST BUILD AN EMAIL LIST.

And you, as an author, have an advantage.

Your loyal readers WILL COME FIND YOU.  That makes you a step ahead of the game.

But what you do have to is keep that loyal following wanting to come back to you for more and more.

So…

Here are some tips to grow your email list for FREE

Email is not going away.  It is here to stay.

And you have an advantage that others don’t.  Your loyal followers will want to know about the next book you have coming out.

So when you get them on your list, you can give them the best stuff you got.

 

But how do you grow your list?  How do you convince more of the casual visitors, that come to your site, to sign up for your newsletter?

Here are some tips to help you:

In your email

  • Create amazing emails.  The content in your emails needs to catch their attention if you want your readers to stay following you.  When it is content that they enjoy and are excited about, they will share it with other readers and on social media.  This gets your content out for others to see.
  • Make it easy for your content to be shared.  Including the social sharing buttons in each email, makes it really easy for your readers to share your stuff.  You will get your name into fresh networks and new readers. This gets your book in front of more readers, enabling you to hopefully sell more books.
  • Promote an online contest.  When you are going to offer a free giveaway, make sure that it goes out in our email as well.
  • Segment your lists.  Not every reader is going to like your books.  And not every reader is going to sign up to your list.  So make multiple lists to divide your readers into different lists so you can send them emails that they are more likely going to read.
  • Reinvigorate your list regularly.  Even readers get tired of being on a list that is no longer benefiting them.  On a regular basis, make a point to send out an optin form for your readers to re-optin to your list.  This will help your numbers to be more accurate as well as being true to the reader that wants to hear from you.
  • Add a link to your team’s email signature.  Do you have a team working for you?  Give them a link to a lead page that you can have sent out to their network, allowing you to continue to build yours.

 

In your online content

  • Offer your reader something new.  In exchange for their email, offer new readers something new that wasn’t there before.  (This can be used to get your readers to re-optin as well.)  This can be offered in a number of different ways.  Read how to capture your reader’s email to get ideas on optins.
  • Offer free online content.  Your books are unique.  So give them some more of your books, something that is not offered anywhere else that you can give them in exchange for their email.

 

In your social media

  • Promote your free content on each social platform.  Creating a campaign to offer your free content, that is behind a landing page, is a great way to get emails.
  • Use your Facebook author page to promote.  If you have already created the Facebook following, give them a something free in exchange.  This will help to clean up your list as well as encourage social shares.
  • Use a call-to-action on each of your campaigns.  This is connected to a landing page showing off your free item.  A great way to collect emails.

 

On your website

  • Have free offer links offered on your site.  Have more than one.  Don’t make your reader dig through to find the sign up form.  Have it on every page.
  • Include a call-to-action on your blog.  Do you write a blog to your readers?  Make sure that you have a CTA on each blog with social sharing buttons.  These can also be used to promote your content

 

With a partner

  • Team up with another author.  If you write a story that is included in an anthology, make sure that you have a link in the other authors’ newsletter.  When you do the same, all of you will build your lists.
  • Write an article.  Include a link to your email list at the end of any article that you write.

 

With traditional marketing

  • Collect emails at offline events.  Book fairs, author events, conventions, conferences are all great places to collect online registrations.
  • Host your own offline event.  Host your own meetups or conferences, or educational panels.  Have a sign up list all ready for readers to add their email to.
  • Encourage email if you have a direct mail list.  Give your readers that get direct mail to be added to your online email.

 

Growing your list is not hard, maybe time-consuming but not hard.  It is essential to growing your online presence and building an even more loyal following.

Nurturing and listening to your email subscribers is what you have to do to survive online.

Let me know if I can help.

<3 S

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