Blog Page Content: 4 Essentials to Remember

Most everyone needs a blog to be successful online and with their websites.  And while it is important to have a plan for what to blog about,  have you noticed what content that is essential for every page despite the subject or industry?

Every blog page needs to have several essential content pieces to make it successful with your readers.

There are 4 things that are essential to your blog being successful:  Search function, social sharing button, comment ability, and topical keywords.

a magifying glass to show that we are searching for content that you are adding to your blog posts

The first thing you need is the ability for your readers to search your posts to find other posts that you have shared with them.

Having this feature allows you to entice your readers with more of what you have to say!!

 

social media icons to help readers share your content from your blog page to their favorite platform

Making sure your readers have the ability to share your posts that you work so hard to write only makes sense.

Why wouldn’t you?

Having social sharing buttons on every blog post will enable your readers to share with other readers.

speech bubble to show that your readers want to leave comments on your blog post page

I guarantee your readers have something to say.

Don’t freeze them out by not giving them a place to comment on your blog posts.  They will thank you for it.

A comment feature doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult.

If your readers feel like they’ve been heard, they will return the favor and share your book with other readers.

word cloud for keyword content for blog posts

If you’ve done your SEO right, then you have a list of keywords that your blog posts are about.

Having this somewhere to be seen will help your readers to check out what other topics you have been talking about.

It’s also a fun thing to look at.

 

So there you have it.

4 things that your blog post page needs in order to be able to help your readers; search abilities, sharing buttons, commenting and keywords will help you to help your readers!!

 

3 Essential Parts of your About Page

3 Essential Parts of your About Page

Dear Author,

Writing your About Page is an essential part of your online presence.

Did you know that your About page is the most visited pages on your site?  Why?  Because readers want to know who you are and how you came up with the story that they just read.

So how is your About page doing?

Do you have a well thought out paragraph that tells your readers who you are and why you do what you do?

Why do you need to have a detailed About page?

Because authors can no longer hide behind their books.  Readers want to know more.

 

To help you with what to include, I have found some great articles on About pages.

Here are…

3 essential parts to include on your about page

While there is no wrong way to write an about page, there are definitely some things to include that will help your site be more interesting, more convincing, and more entertaining for your readers.

 

Picture of a hand holding a card with the words About Page on itWhat to include

While you don’t have to divulge every detail of your personal life to feel personal to your readers, you do need to share things that are personal to you.

Here are some ideas:

Pic of you

Include a nice shot of you.  This doesn’t have to be a professional head shot.  Readers would love to see you in whatever environment that shows who you are and what’s important to you.

Share your story

Every reader wants to know more about you.  How you got started?  When you wrote your first story?  What made you start writing romance?

This doesn’t mean that you are giving out very personal details about you or your family and friends.

All this means is that you are sharing more of you and how you came to be.

If you focus on the things that make you human, your reader will feel that and feel more inclined to get your next book.

Describe your values

Almost every writer has a WHY behind why they do what they do.  Sharing this will help your readers feel closer to you.

It’ll endear you to them.  Causing them to want to feel that again.  And they’ll buy your next book, just because they felt that with you.

I know, it sounds weird but try it and see what happens.

Add book reviews

Your About page is a great place to have extra testimonials about your books. (By the way, testimonials can go just about anywhere on your site.)

This gives other readers a thumbs up for your new book coming out next year.

Including a list of what books that you’ve written and a small snippet about the book,  adding links to your book pages.  This is great for your site to have internal links

Additional info about you

I’m sure that you are not just an author.  I’m sure you are involved in some other exciting adventures that you would love to share with your readers.

Adding them to your about page lets readers know that you are well rounded and are actually human!!!

This is also a great place to add external links that are good for your site.  Add the links to the pages of the places that you are involved in.

You could also add a list of your favorite authors (and the links those other author sites).  This is a great way to add external links that are good for your site.

A call-to-action

When your readers are done reading, what do you want them to do?  Make sure to include some sort of action that will bring them further into your site and giving them a better opportunity to engage with you.

 

 

I found a picture of a statue that is thinking and asked Think about this?What to think about when you write your page

While your site is all about you, you need to direct your pages to your readers.  They are they ones that you need to impress upon.  When you do that, they will be more inclined to buy from you again and again.

Consider your audience

I know that this is your site.  But you need to direct your pages to your readers.  What would you say to them if they were standing right in front of you?  Each page should be directed with them in mind.

Forge a connection

Take the time to forge a connection with your readers.  Your readers will feel connected with you by reading your story.  Now you need to connect with them through your site and even through social media or in your newsletter.

Be interesting

Don’t just write the same thing on every about page (across other platforms) that you have.  Take the time to share things that make you YOU!!  Be interesting to your readers.

You want your readers to be interested in you because when they do, they will buy more books from you.  So be interesting!!

Get personal

Your about page is about you.  But is also about them.  You are giving your readers these amazing stories that you have put a lot of yourself into.  So get personal and deep with what it takes to be the writer that you are.

Use different forms of media

Just like in any web content, you need to make it appealing to your readers.  Add pictures, videos, music links.

Anything to make your page more interesting and entertaining.

 

 

A picture of something that is being formatted on a page with the "formatting is important too"How to format

Just typing words onto a page is not the way to send a page out for your readers to see.  Take a moment to format your page for optimal reading.

Lead with best info

If you have a lot to share, make sure your best stuff is “above the fold”.  This means that your best information is right at the top before they even scroll down.

Add headlines and subheads

Break up your text with the appropriate headlines and subheads when you need them.  Don’t have just a clump of words for your readers to read.  They won’t like that.

Add rich media

Make a point to add pictures, videos, charts, or music so your reader will engage with your page.

Add a call-to-action

Make sure your call-to-action is noticeable and easily understood.  This could be in the form of an actual button but it can also be a text link that will send your reader somewhere else.

Add social media buttons

Make sure your social sharing buttons are above the fold and easily seen.  This will give your readers the opportunity to share to the platform of their choice.  Don’t hide your social buttons just on this page though.  Having social sharing on every page gives your reader the ability to share what they want when they want.  They will like that.

Test Test TEST

No page is written in stone.  If you try one way and it doesn’t work, try another way.

Test to see what your readers want and like to hear.

 

So there is a whole list of things that you can do to make your About page all the more exciting.

Also keeping this page up to date and looking fresh will benefit your site and keep the search engine bots happy!!

If you would like my help to fix your page, head on over to my consultation page.  Fill it out and we’ll chat.

Your friend in romance,

Shental

Sources:

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/remarkable-about-us-page-examples#sm.00004ioq1sfymdpwv7m1h2l1q417r

http://www.copyblogger.com/how-to-write-an-about-page/

http://www.susangreenecopywriter.com/articles/write-killer-about-us-page.html

https://moz.com/blog/9-simple-tips-for-making-an-about-us-page-that-works-for-your-brand

http://diythemes.com/thesis/amazing-blog-about-pages/

http://thestoryoftelling.com/10-rules-for-writing-about-me-page/

How to write faster, better and more of what you love!

How to write faster, better and more of what you love!

Dear Author,

Today I would like to share something different.

I have been doing lots of reading about how to write a book and what it takes to write a book. Both in the non-fiction and the fiction way.

I have because I am in the process of writing a book just for you.  More on that later.

I have come across some great books and today I would like to share the highlights of one of the books that I have found.

This is called Rachel Aaron’s 2000 to 10000.  How to write faster, write better, and write more of what you love.  Here’s a link to her site.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think it would be a great fit for any author no matter the genre.

non-fiction book 2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron
2k to 10k by Rachel Aaron

I will share with you the highlights but you really need to check it out.  It’s only a buck on amazon so it is a great read to help you in your journey as a writer.

Here is the link for amazon.com http://amzn.to/2d6kmnk and here’s the link for amazon.ca http://amzn.to/2d6ltng

 

This book is the story of how she went from writing 2000 words per day to 10,000 words per day.  Sounds like a feat that not many could do but she makes it sound so easy.

She points out right in the beginning that there are many ways to be productive in writing.  But she has a method that is worth learning and seeing how you can adapt to your own style.

All the points here come from her book.

Rachel Aaron’s 2000 to 10,000:

How to write faster, write better, and write more of what you love.

She identifies three main sections that are needed to be productive in the book that you are writing.

  • knowledge
  • time
  • enthusiam

 

The first one:  Knowledge.  You need to know what you are writing about.  You need to know details about your story so you are not making them up as you go along.

The second one:  Time.  You need to keep track of how you manage your time, what time works best for you and use that to your advantage.  There is no point in writing at a time that you are so tired you can’t see straight.  Or when the kids need you.  You know those times!!  The times that you are pulled in many different directions.

The third one:  Enthusiasm.  You have got to enjoy what you are doing.  If you don’t enjoy what you are writing about, then why are you writing.

 

Chapter 1:  Plotting your novel in 5 easy steps

She gives you 5 steps to plotting your story.

Step 0:  Decide on what your book is about.

Ask yourself the following questions about the idea that you have:

  • Can you stop thinking about your idea?
  • Is your story writing itself in your head?
  • Can you see the finished product?
  • Could you explain your story to other people and prove to them that your story is worth buying?

 

Step 1:  Write down what you already know about your story.

Jot down some rough ideas that put your idea in front of you.

What is exciting to you about your idea?  What is it that keeps you up at night?  Basically, answers the above questions.

 

Step 2:  Fill in with the basics.

Fill in some details about the idea that you have by figuring out the three pillars of your story.  The characters, the plot and the setting.

Characters

You need 2-4 main characters.  With 1-2 antagonists.  Then you need to add as many power players as needed.  She called these extra characters power players as they play a pivotal role in the plot line.  She gave the example of Dumbledore in Harry Potter.  They are needed but are not who the story is about.

For each of these characters you need to have a list of each of them are and how they relate to the main characters.

Plot

You need to know the beginning from the ending.  How does you story begin?  What is the final ending?

And the add in the basics to the twists and turns that you are planning on having.

This is not with immense detail.  This is just the bare bones thought.

Setting

This is the basic feel of the world that you are creating.  Jot down the general ideas that you need to know what is happening where, with who, and why.

 

Step 3:  Filling in the blanks.

This is the point where you really start filling out the details to what you want to happen.

Create details that are about the history of your world.  Figure out why the characters are doing what they are doing.

She calls it “spend time with your characters”.

 

Step 4:  Build a firm foundation

When you have the basics laid out of the characters, plot and setting, you can now create a time line and a map of your community.

I like this idea of a timeline.  It actually goes with a book that I am putting together.  It will be a specially designed journal that can help you keep track all of these ideas.

Timeline

Note the ages of each of your characters.

Decide on how long everyone has know everyone else.  Put them into your world.

Add the events of your story and where they fit in the timeline.

Draw a map

Draw an actual map of your world.  Add the locations of your events.  Give a brief description of each place.  This gives you the ability to be consistent in your movements of characters.

Write out who knows what and when.  This is a quick list of the flow of information.

Memorize everyone’s particulars

Know the name (with spelling), age, and physical description of each of your characters.  All of them.

Scene list

Break down the action into scenes.  Then divide into chapters.  Keep in mind that chapter breaks are used to increase dramatic tension in the plot line.  Use that to your advantage.

Word Count Estimation

There is a sweet spot for traditional publishing.  It is 80k to 100k.  Do a rough guess-timate for how long your story will be.

Then do a boredom check.  Go through your story, scene be scene, and visualize.  Are there any boring scenes?  No reader wants to read boring!!

 

Step 5:  Start writing

She says that when you know your world, your characters, your voice, and your climax then the story may just start writing itself!!!

 

 

Chapter 2:  Characters who write their own stories

She shares that “a character’s story comes from their choices”.  This ability to make decisions that change the direction of the plot is called character agency.

She says that your character must decide for themselves that they want something.

She does a much better job of this chapter then me.  Take a moment and read it.

I think I have trouble explaining this one because I am not a fiction author.  I have not had those characters talking to me.  But I’ll try my best!!!

 

Here are some more points that she adds:

  • Go back to your characters sheets and add – these define who your characters truly are.
    • what your characters like.
    • what they hate
    • and what do they want more than anything
  • Your characters who want things are the ones that push the story to get them.
  • Simple motivations are good but for the main characters, motivation is also a plot decision.
  • Plot and character development should be so tightly intertwined they can’t be seperated.

 

Chapter 3:  The Story Architect

She tells you to become a story architect.  She compares what an architect does and what an author does.

Your writing should be an active undertaking.  It needs to be pursued relentlessly, testing and building until your ideas are strong enough to hold up as a story!!

She gives the 3 act structure idea.

  • Act 1:  Set-up
    • Introduce your world and characters.  This is the beginning of the action.
  • Act 2:  Action
    • This act begins with the something that happened.
    • This is usually the longest part of the story.
    • This section is exciting and tension filled
  • Act 3:  Resolution
    • This has the climax.
    • This is where all the complications of act 2 are leading up to, where it boils over.
    • This is the main event.

 

Chapter 4:  The two bird minimum

This is the actual writing part.  Where you put details into your scenes.

Each scene needs to do three things:

  • advance the story
  • reveal new information
  • pull the reader forward

If your story needs to be longer than your scenes needs to do more.

If your story needs to be shorter than consider joining 2 scenes together.

Okay, I’m not explaining this one well.  Read it yourself and see what she means!!

 

Chapter 5:  Editing for people who hate editing

She shares how she changed the way that she thought about editing and gives this advice:

Step 1:  Change the way you think about editing.

Ask yourself: What are you actually doing?  You are revising the prose, making it prettier, fixing character issues and patching plot holes.

What is the final destination of editing?  The answer – Reader experience.  Your book is an amusement park fun house.  And once you invite your readers inside, it’s no longer yours alone.  So your book has to make sense to others.

 

Step 2:  Editing tools

Be your own editor first.  Identify what is wrong with your story.

Scene map

This is similar to the earlier one.

Quickly jot down what happens in your story.

This is a guide, a literal scene-by-scene map of what happens in your story.

This identifies the plot lines.

This is a visual guide for your book.

She actually uses a color coding idea that helps her to see if she needs to better balance her story.

 

Timeline

Jot down all the relevant events that happen in the story.

Then go back and write down what each character is doing and where they are.

This timeline is about keeping track of what happens in what order, who’s together at what times and where everyone is when important events occur.

This is a fault finding device for your plot.

 

ToDo list

Now it’s time to put your story through the wringer to squish out the problems.  Add it to a to-do list.  You are making a giant pile of things that need to be fixed.

 

Step 3:  Actually editing

This is fixing the big stuff.

Use your scene map and timeline, move through your story.  She recommends going through it in a non-linear fashion.  When using the map and timeline, you can spot what you have missed and be able to fix things a whole lot easier than if you started at the beginning and moving through your story that way.

She does recommend reading it from beginning to end, after you have fixed the things on your to-do list.  This allows you to clean up the sequence of events and make sure your story flows.

 

Step 4:  Activating the reader brain

Now you need to back and read your book as if you are a reader.  Not a writer.

She gives the idea to take your book and put it on your Kindle and then read it there.  That way you can’t make any adjustments while you are reading.  All you can do is enjoy.

She does point out that all this last step is even before you send your story to beta readers.  You need to know if your story flows and entertains.

 

Chapter 6:  Advice for new writers

I’ll just point out some things she said:

Write the book that is inside of you!

Don’t let others opinions change what you have inside of you.

Worry about making your book good.  Worry about the best way to order your scenes or your character’s actions.  Worry about your grammar

She gives some great advice that any up-n-coming author needs to hear.  I know that I enjoyed hearing it!!

 

So there you have it.

 

Even though I have given you a detailed summary of this book, I can not do justice to this author.  She as a way of bringing you into her book and giving you hope that you can do exactly what she has done!!  Thanks Rachel.

Get your own copy and give it a read.  You won’t be sorry you did.  It’s worth it.  Here’s the links again:  Am.com http://amzn.to/2d6kmnk and Am.ca http://amzn.to/2d6ltng.

I know that I enjoyed it very much!!

Good luck in your next story writing!!

Your friend in romance,

Shental

37 Blog Ideas to Engage Your Readers

37 Blog Ideas to Engage Your Readers

Dear Author,

Writing a weekly blog is not easy to do.  I can’t even imagine what it would take to do one daily!!!

And I know that it isn’t easy coming up with blog ideas.  So in this post, I am going to share with you a bunch of post ideas.  Some from other authors, some from the marketing world.  And some from me.

Here are ….

37 blog ideas to keep your readers coming back

Please note that there are not many authors that differentiate between a blog post and a regular newsletter.  They seem to be the same thing for many.

So my list could be used for either your regular newsletter or the blog post that you need to write.  While some should be in a newsletter and some ideas should only be in a blog, please decide that yourself.

Ideas from other authors

I am on the list for several dozen email newsletters of authors that I enjoy following.  Here are the types of newsletters/blogs that they send out to me.  This list is in no particular order.

  • News about your new book, with links to preorder
  • An offer of a free book
  • Giveaways for only readers
  • Updates on their website
  • A new cover reveal
  • An author chat that readers can chat with them on
  • Affiliate links to other products
  • Things that the author likes to do
  • Events happening in the author’s life
  • Features another author and their new book
  • What else the author is doing on other social media platforms
  • Post where they are asking their readers their opinions
  • Up-n-coming events that they author is participating in
  • Excerpts for an upcoming book
  • Notices about a virtual book tour
  • Explanations of why they do what they do, their journey
  • News about the latest conference they’ve been to
  • Announcements of awards they’ve received
  • Deals from other authors
  • Favorite recipes and stories
  • Deleted scenes from their book
  • Tips on being an author

 

As a reader, I would love to hear about:

  • more details about your characters, personality profile
  • how your characters are connected from book to book
  • details about the communities in each series
  • actual pictures of characters
  • background info about your characters
  • maps of your communities
  • what is your underlying theme of the story
  • how did the story come about
  • what details are from real life and what aren’t
  • any personal details that you would like to share
  • testimonials from other readers
  • what other causes and communities are you involved in
  • what motivates you to keep writing
  • what are your favorite authors and why
  • what future plans do you have for your books

 

 

Since I have become a copywriter and have been learning marketing strategies, I have come to realize that many authors do not use strategies in their emails or online.

I wonder, if they used modern marketing strategies, would their books sell better?

Strategies like:

  • Email Marketing.  This plan would include knowing which email to send out at what time.  While using email copy ideas to convince readers to buy your books.
  • Content Marketing.  This plan would be about what content to add to your site and where.  How it is put onto your site.  Formatting of the content, making sure to use SEO strategies to be seen really well in the search engines.
  • SEO.  Making sure everything on your site would be optimized so when a reader was looking for your type of book, your site would be the one that comes up.
  • Analytics.  Making a point to know who is coming to your site and what they are looking for.  And finding out what is working and what is not.  Then adjusting accordingly.

It is definitely something to think about.

Not only can these ideas be taken and used in blogs and newsletters, you can also make some of these ideas and create actual pages on your site that don’t change.

 

Wherever you choose to use them, I know if you add more content to your site more readers will enjoy hearing from you.  And you just might find that more readers link up to you and start to follow you.

I can certainly help you to write any of this content.  Contact with me here.

 

Your friend in romance,

Shental

Be the brand that stands out!

Dear Author,

It’s time to dive into some specifics when it comes to content.

Today, let’s talk branding.  What it is?  How you do establish your own personal brand?

 

One of the reasons why I decided to become an online copywriter was because I was not impressed by how many romance authors had unimpressive websites.  I would go from one platform to another not knowing if I was following the right author or not.

Here are some

Tips for branding the right way

Whether you actually have a strategy or not, you are developing your personal brand.  And as an author, that is you.

How you are perceived by others is part of your personal brand.

The look and feel of your tweets and post, as well as the tone and voice used, can define your online presence.

 

First, what’s your personal brand?

Your personal brand is the face of what you put online.  Your pic, your color scheme, your font color and size, all the different pieces that show who you are and what you do.

 

One thing that I am trying to do, is to identify the actual content things that an author (or anybody really) needs to have on their site.  I am not wanting to tell you how many times you need to post or why you should post.  What I am wanting to share with you is what you should have on your site to be what modern marketing requires.

 

In many of the blogs that I have read, I have found that your brand should have certain things included to be successful.

Keywords

Keywords are so important.  They help your readers find you.  Your name is your primary keyword, yes.  But what about the secondary keywords that are yours?

Google is smart enough to know what your keywords are, but if you make sure that your pages and posts have them entered into the meta data, then you can help Google to see you faster.

What are your keywords?

Your primary keyword is your name plus author.

Your secondary keywords are:

  • the names of your books (titles)
  • the names of the book series
  • the names of your characters
  • the places you have created
  • the names of the people that you created

You see, you are lucky.  Your keywords are yours.  You don’t have to fight over them with anybody.  They belong to you and only you.  Then when they are paired with your name, you are golden.

 

Formatting

Your formatting is just as important as what you say, maybe even more so.

This includes:

  • colors of backgrounds
  • font style and size
  • media displayed
  • tone and voice

This means that you need to be consistent in everything that you do.

  • You have the same great pic of you on your site and on all other social media that you have.
  • Your fonts and style and pics are the same from one platform to another.  So there is no mistaking who you are and what you do.
  • You present “you” in all your posts.  You don’t try to be someone you’re not.

Whatever your choice is, it should be presented in every post and tweet that you send out.

So when someone sees what you have put out there, they will know that you have spoken.

 

Analytics

Your analytics are something that you can use to your advantage.  Find out what your readers like and do more of that.

Send posts when they like to get them.

Send what they want to read.

Don’t send what you want to send, send what they want.  You have much more loyal readers if you do.

 

Now I could go into detail about what you need to send out and when to post or tweet.  Or what you say?  But I won’t.  I will ask you though:

 

What are you going to do to stand out among the other 1000s of romance authors that are out there?

How are you going to be different?

 

Be the author that actually has your brand consistent.

 

Let me know if I can help!!

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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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Do email like the pros

Dear Author,

Even though I am new to the email marketing game, I have found some really talented people that have a clue as to what works and what doesn’t.

I found a great article about tips for standing out in their inbox by Hubspot.

I would like to share their tips with you and then adapt to you being an author.

 

Here are…

9 tips to getting noticed in your reader’s inbox

I have a question for you?  Do you do research on your readers?  Do you know where the majority of your readers are coming from?

Do you know that there is some actual science to writing your emails?

 

I have found that the Romance Industry doesn’t market like the rest of world does.  There are no email campaigns or conversion funnels to create and implement.

And I wonder why.

I would like to help you get better at sending out your emails.

I would like for you to succeed so much more than what you already are doing.

So let’s adopt some of their proven techniques to your email marketing plan.

 

The first step is to…

Research your reader.

You may be a wonderful author.  And you may be a favorite to your reader.  But you still have to fight for the attention of your reader.

They will have other emails in their inbox that they have to read.

You need to get to know your readers.

Getting to know them means to know what they are posting and when they are posting and how they are posting things.

This means knowing what they want you to post.

When you take care of them and give them what they want – they will share your stuff. 

And that spreads the word about your new book that is coming out.

 

Just like you need to spend time finding the perfect title for your story, you need to also…

Craft the perfect subject line.

You need to catch their attention.

They will have tons of emails in their inbox.  What will you say that will get noticed and opened and then read?

Let me illustrate this with an example.

I have signed up to dozens of author sites.  Mostly because I am a fan but also because I want to see how you are doing.

There is this one author, she writes great stories.  I love them!!  But I don’t like getting her emails anymore because they are about her cat.

Now, I do love cats.  Don’t have any because I am allergic but I don’t want to read about this and that about her cat.

My point is that you have to give your reader something that is relevant to them.

 

Which brings me to my next point…

Establish relevance.

If you don’t have a clear purpose to reaching out, your reader is not going to keep opening your emails.

Yes, sometimes it okay to share about your cute little kitty.  Just not in every email.

Just because you were given their email doesn’t mean that you can use it for whatever you want.

Your reader is trusting you to respect her time as well.

So take care of her email and send her things that you know she will like to hear about.

I can guarantee if you share more about your characters, they will love you for it.  And then they will share it.

 

You are lucky, you don’t have to..

Identify and build a connection

Why?  Because you already have one.

You are already connected —  because of your book!

Your readers already love you, love your book and want to know more about you.

But you have to be the one to make sure that connection is nurtured and taken care of in the emails you send out.

You have to show them that they are important to you in the emails.

If you take the time to find out more about your readers, you just might find some commonalities that you didn’t realize before.

 

I love this next one.

Make them like you

You don’t have to make them like you — THEY ALREADY LOVE YOU!!

That is why they came to your site in the first place.  They found your book, read your book, came to your site, signed up for your newsletter.

Don’t disappoint them by giving them email after email all about your cat!  That would just be cruel.

Take care of their email, be consistent in what you want to do, make a plan to what to share with your readers,…

 

…and they will respond by sharing your posts, tweets and pins.

Inspire reciprocity

You have given them a piece of you by writing your book.

Your story is now a part of them.  They will cherish it for a very long time.

They will WANT to give back.  They will want to share your stuff with the rest of the world.

When you make it really easy for them to share your tweets, posts, or pins, they will every time.

 

How you say it is just as important as what you say so…

Use appropriate voice and tone

Your readers have come to expect a certain feel when they read your books.  That tone and voice will come through in your emails as well.

Just be yourself.  Readers are not expecting anything else.

Talk to them as if they were at the last conference you attended.  Let them feel that you care about them and what they think.  You will be rewarded for that.

 

But don’t forget to make sure that you use marketing techniques in what you send out by…

Asking your reader to do something

Each email should have a purpose.  Make sure that that purpose is clearly defined in each email.

It could be:

  • to ask for a review
  • to share a new content page with them
  • to read a part of your new book
  • to buy your new book

Whatever it is, make sure that is specific and clear.

 

And finally…

Show your appreciation

Their time is just as important as yours.  Remember to tell them that you appreciate them too.

They will return it ten-fold when you do.

 

Your email newsletter are the best way to connect personally with your devoted fan base.  Take the time to craft that email.

<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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Keywords Made Simple

Dear author,

I will be the first to admit that the whole idea of keywords is daunting and time consuming and even a bit scary.

But I have come to realize that keywords are VERY important.

Important to your online success.

Important to your being found in the search engines.

Important to your book being found by new readers.

As an author of a bestselling book, you have something that not many others have!

You have a loyal following that will use ALL sorts of words to find you.  You need to define them, so they will find you.

Here’s an example.  One of my favorite book series is about James and Claire.  Now I don’t always remember the authors name but I will remember the characters and I will remember their story.

This is the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon.

 

So let’s …

Define your primary keywords

When you have your keywords defined, than your site will come up in a Google search letting more readers find you.

When you have more than just your primary keywords defined, than the chance of having your site come up on a higher Google page.

 

Before we get into what your keywords are, let’s talk about what keywords can do for you.

Keywords are what fuel the internet.  It is what you put into the Google search engine to find that thing that you are looking for.

When you use the right word, you will have more readers come to your site BECAUSE they found your site using keywords that you took the time to define.

When you choose the right words, a reader will be so excited by your post that they will send it to their circle of people (this gives you the chance to build your tribe bigger).

When you define the right words, readers will be able to find you, especially when they forget your name!

 

So where do you find the right words?  If you couldn’t guess it, it is by understanding what copywriting is all about.

Copywriting is speaking your audience’s language in such a way that they will be convinced to buy whatever you are selling.

And you are trying to sell your book.  Using keywords, that your reader will think of and use, is what you need to figure out.

 

Primary keywords

The keyword that is your main keyword can also be called your foundational keyword.  This is your name.  Your name is who you are defined by.  Your name is the name of your author business.

Yes, your name is a keyword.  But your name is not the only keyword that you need to use.

Here is a list of what is your primary keywords should be:

  • your name + author or bestselling author
  • the title of your book
  • the name of your book series
  • the names of your main characters

 

Secondary keywords

These ones are just as important, maybe even more so.  Why?  Because you will have more secondary than primary.

  • the subgenre your book is written
  • details in your story that are unique and identifiable
  • type of romance it is (M/F, M/M/F, etc)
  • time frame of your story
  • the name of your secondary characters, each of them

 

Each of these are keywords that you need to make sure that you have in certain places on your site and in your newsletter or blog.

 

Where do you use keywords?

Keywords should be used in your URL.  Yes, your main page is www (dot) author_____________ (dot) com.

But what about the other pages.

Each page will have a unique URL, this is where you use your main keywords.

Using things like:

  • www (dot) author_____________ (dot) com/yourbookseriesname/
  • www (dot) author______________ (dot) com/yourbookname/

 

Then in the body of your page, you would include the secondary keywords as you describe what you page is all about.

Each paragraph is going to about one of the books.  That is where you will want to use some of your secondary keywords.

 

When I was researching authors on my own, I found that not many authors knew to add any secondary keywords.  Sure they figured out that you needed to ad their book list.

But not many of them thought about taking it further.

This is what I would like to help with.  This is what you can do to be found better in Google.

When you have as many keywords and variations of your keywords on your pages, then Google will give you a good ranking and more readers will come to your site.

I want to help you help Google.

<3 S

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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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