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

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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Copywriting with content marketing – working together to make your site great!

Dear Author,

 

Let’s chat today about what content marketing is and what copywriting is and how it could possibly help you.

According to Copyblogger, content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers – and customers into repeat buyers.

And copywriting gets a reader to take a specific action.  Sometimes that’s making a purchase, but it can also be subscribing to your email list, signing up for your content library, or calling you for more information.

 

In the majority of the author sites that I have been researching, I have found that many even know that they need to add content.

I think I am getting ahead of myself.  Let’s answer what content is.

Content is:

  • copy
  • videos
  • pictures
  • graphics
  • music

All of those things need copy to make them seen in the search engines.

All of your pictures need you to add some title or description to make it that Google will want to see you in the search engines.

This is where I come in.

I can see where you are lacking just a bit.  Not lots.  It’s only going to take a tweak her and an added word there and you will be golden.

You were already golden.  I’m just wanting to help you make it even more.

 

Because content without copywriting is a complete waste of good content.

You have these amazing books.  And you have an amazing talent for telling your story.  You need to be selling your content in order to sell your book.

Because that is ultimately what you want is to be able to sell more books.

But the internet is fueled by keywords.  Google is fueled by keywords.  In order to find anything, you have to put into the search engines a keyword for what you are looking for.

The internet is not the same as your books.  You can’t write online like you write your story.  You need to think like a marketer in order to write online.

This is your content on your site.

You want your web pages to be read.  You want your blog posts to be read.  You want your emails to be read.

But if you don’t have good copywriting in those pages then you won’t have your readers attention long enough to get them to buy more of your books.

You need:

Headlines that capture your readers attention.

If they are boring, your readers won’t want to click on the link to go to your site.

They won’t read any other articles that you have written.

Being cute or clever doesn’t help you unless it goes with the strategy that you are developing.

Content that your readers will enjoy.

Lay out the benefits of what your book can do for your reader.  Then they will know what you are offering.  Knowing what you are offering before they buy will build your trust with them.

Your readers are more likely to buy from you again and again when you have content they want to read

When you have content they like, you are more likely to get shares on social media.  When you get more shares, your book and your name is in front of more potential readers.

To have a clear call to action.

A clear call to action tells your reader what you want them to do.

It could be to sign up for your newsletter or sign up for a new chapter of the new book that you have coming out.

Whatever it is, you need to guide your reader to what you want them to see in your site.

 

On many sites, the copywriting is not sufficient enough to convince any new readers to buy.  This is where the art of copywriting comes into play.

When you have well written content, you are able to build your email list.  When you are building your audience – the readers who will buy from you.

 

Because copywriting without content is also wasting good copy.

Copywriting is not everything.  Content marketing must be tied to what you are trying to do.  They must work together to make a good website great!!

You need to be doing three things that will help yourself be great at marketing:

  1. Be generous in your offerings.  Give content that is so valuable that you cringe when you give it away.  That way you will know you are on the right path to giving your readers what they want.
  2. Produce content that your readers will enjoy.  Your readers already love you, so they will be happy with just about anything you give them, but you still have to make it valuable.
  3. Attract the right reader.  Not every reader will be the ideal reader you want to follow you.  Write to the reader that is loyal to you.

 

Taking the time and preparation to combine strategic copywriting with great content will help you to be in both worlds of giving what your reader what they want and to be seen in the search engines.

It’s a win-win!!

 

Let me know if I can help you update and optimize your content!!

<3 S

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5 Tricks to Improving your Blog

Dear Author,

Do you write a blog?

If you do, do you get engagement with your blog?  Do your readers share your blog?  or comment back to you?

Blogging is hard work.  You have to come up with your purpose behind your blogging, create a strategy, and then stick with it to make your blog stand out.  Here are:

5 tricks to improving your blog so your readers will want to sign up

This comes from The Content Marketing Institute.  They are one of the top gurus in the content marketing world.

I’ll show you an article called 5 Hacks to Improve your Blog and Get more Traffic.  And then I will had my spin on it.

 

There is no one thing that will make your content go viral.  Here’s an interesting article about going viral.  But it does take consistent, hard work to bring traffic to your blog.

Here are some tips to improve your blog posts:

Tip 1:  Take the time to craft your headlines

They said:

Spend more time writing headlines

You must understand the readers.  If they don’t consider your headline worthy, they will never read your article.  Remember that your headline almost always will be visible with many others.  You want it to stand out.

When writing a headline, think about incorporating these types of words:

  • numbers
  • strong adjectives (simple, fun, incredible, surprising, strange, awesome)
  • smart rationale (reasons, facts, hacks, lessons, ways, tactics)
  • instructional (when, how, why, what)
  • beneficial (what readers will take away or why they should read)

 

What you can do:

Think about your reader.  What do they want to know that you could tell them in a blog post?

When you cater to your readers wants, they are more likely to read the things that you send out.  And if they like what they have read, they will share it.

 

Consider this:

Number + adjective + keyword + beneficial  =  3 new stories that will tug at your heart strings

Number + adjective + beneficial  =  5 exciting characteristics you may not know about (main characters in ___ series)

Instructional + keyword + beneficial  =  how to get the most from (book series name)

 

Tip 2: Emulate what is already working

They said:

Build on top of proven ideas

Your primary task is to find content that already generated a lot of traffic and shares.  Then you can build on top of it – create content on the same topic, but make it even better, bring it to a new level.

Here are some options that you can consider:

  • go deeper than the original author.
  • create a visually oriented post.
  • expand on what’s poorly covered.
  • sustain your information with facts, statistics, and links.

 

What you can do:

Find another romance author that is getting lots of shares, likes and traffic.  Then emulate what they are doing.

Obviously you don’t copy, but if she blogged about her newest release, you blog about your newest release.

And then take the idea that she came up with and go deeper, create a visual to go with it, or give even more additional info to make your blog that much better.

 

Tip 3:  Give your readers something useful

They said:

Make sure your content has practical utility

The time has come to ask yourself another simple but important question:  What are the benefits from reading my post?

People share content to lift or sustain their authority in the eyes of their audiences.  While they are not the authors, they are the ones who found and gave it away.

A Hubspot study reported that the most shared types of content were:

  • how-to articles
  • lists
  • why posts
  • what posts

These types of content educate people, answer their questions, and give them explanations and helpful lists.  They all have practical utility.

 

What you can do:

I know that you have extra research sitting on your desk that is about your characters and your books.

If you gave some of that extra content to your readers, they will share it.  And they will share it again and again, especially if it makes them look awesome to other readers.

What other content would be useful:

  • how to develop a character
  • how to write a love scene
  • how to build a secondary character
  • lists of the characters and how they connect with your other stories
  • lists of families, and the family tree
  • why you write romance stories
  • why you write paranormal instead of historical, or classic instead of regency
  • what is the difference in the two main characters in two particular books

 

Tip 4:  Make sure your readers can share

They said:

Add more ways to share

Put yourself in the reader’s place.  You found an insightful post that you think your Facebook friends would like.  What do you do?  Click on the Facebook share button on the blog post.  But if there is no such button, do you take the extra steps to copy the link, write something, and paste it into your feed?  Probably not.

Ensure that you provide relevant social-share buttons for your posts.  But that’s not the only way that people share.  Add some more options:

  • make your images shareable
  • add tweetable quotes and sound bites

 

What you can do:

When your story has touched your reader, your reader is going to go to your site and want to know more.  But if your site doesn’t offer anything new, then your reader goes away.

But if you give them things to interact with and to share, they will share that extra.  And your name and your book will “go out” even more.

Use the “All in One SEO Pack” plugin (this is for WordPress sites) to make sure that your share buttons are included and working.

Or use the “Floating Social Media Icon” plugin.

Use the “Tweet to Click” plugin to send out a tweet automatically.  Like this:

 

Tip 5:  Don’t forget to ask your readers

They said:

Want to share?  Ask for it.

It’s surprising that many people don’t use such simple and obvious opportunity.  Calls to action really work.

Don’t hesitate to ask your readers to share your post with their friends, and some of them will.  Give them even the most ridiculous reason to do it and even more of the will share.

 

What you can do:

At the end of every post, you need to ask your readers to do something.  This is called a call to action.

It could be as simple as signing up for your newsletter or as complicated as answering a survey question.  That is up to you.

 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you want your readers to remember you.

So if you take these 5 tricks and add them to your blog, you will be one step closer to making sure that will happen.

 

So please share this post with your author friends.  Copy and paste this link:  http://bit.ly/1RLGXXP

And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.  This and so much more will come directly into your inbox.

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<3 S

23 Essential WordPress Plugins to Help You Be a Content Marketer

Dear Author,

I won’t profess to know anything about designing a website or coding or anything of the sort.  But I do know that I have had to figure out my own website.

And with that comes listening to others that actually know how to set up WordPress sites.  There are several leading influencers that I follow that share tips and ideas about WordPress that I could share with you.

The one I would like to show you is by Neil Patel.  He is definitely one to follow.

In an article “23 Essential (and Free) WordPress Plugins for Marketers”, he gives a whole list of plugins that will help you to be the marketer that you need to be in order to sell your books.

Neil explains each of these plugins much better than I, as I am in need of many of them as well.  Looks like I’m going to be making some additions.

 

I will go through it but for further explanation, take a look at Neil’s article.

  • Yoast SEO

This is a plugin that can help you stay on top of your SEO, especially when you don’t understand SEO.  WordPress does a good job of making sure the updates happen regularly.

 

  • All in One SEO Pack

This is a favorite among marketers.  Check this one out.

 

  • Google XML Sitemaps

Take a moment to read an article about these before moving on.  You will find a link in his article.

 

  • Just Writing

This allows you to customize your distraction-free writing experience, by adding or taking off features.

 

  • Broken Link Checker

This is a plugin that can help you to find broken links on your site.  A needed function to stay on top of the game.

 

  • Pretty Link

This is a cool plugin enabling you to shorten long URLs and use them right on your site.

 

  • Akismet

This is a plugin that intercepts spam.

 

  • Google Analytics by Yoast

This plugin helps you to install Google Analytics.  YYaaaa!!

 

  • TaskFreak

This is a task manager plugin.  The kind to help you to stay on top of your tasks.

 

  • OptinMonster

This is a paid-for service in addition to your website.  There are also other options like Leadin and AWeber that can give you similar optin abilities.

 

  • Wordfence

This is a plugin that helps with hackers, giving you an extra barrier.

 

  • Contact Form 7

This is a building plugin for contact forms.  It gives you the ability to make different forms that you can put in different places.

 

  • WordPress Landing Pages

This enables you to create more than just landing pages, it can be used to monitor conversion rates, run split tests and customize your own designs.

 

  • SEO Friendly Images

This helps to add the alt tags to images.

 

  • Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

This plugin enables you to track your visitor by giving them additional info before they leave.

 

  • WordPress PopUp

With this you can create customized, attractive and responsive pop-ups and pop-overs, all with the idea of getting your visitors emails.

 

  • Click to Tweet

This tool allows you to create a nifty way to give your readers a way to tweet something really easy.

 

  • Fancier Author Box

This gives you a fancy way to add an author box to your blog posts.

 

  • Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting

Are you into podcasting?  This is the tool for you.  It makes it easy to add podcasting to your strategy.

 

  • Editorial Calendar

This tool gives you an overview of your content, including when each post is scheduled to be published.

 

  • W3 Total Cache

This plugin helps with the overall experience of your site, so your visitor has a good experience.

 

  • Floating Social Media Icon

This is a plugin that allows the social media icons to float as your reader scrolls down the page.

 

  • Title Experiments

This plugin allows you to easily test your titles and discover which one is better.

 

Okay, so there you have a long list of plugins that can help you.  It’s alot, I know.  But this can really make a difference in the foundation of your website.  Check them out.

Give me a call if I can help,  I’ll have figured them out by the time you call me.

<3 S

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How to expand your reach on social media

Dear Author,

How far is your content reaching on social media?  Do your readers share your additional content in their twitter feed or on pinterest or a post on facebook?

Why not?

People will share anything that they find interesting, amazing, or exciting.  So you have to make your content exciting.

Marketing Profs is an online education platform for all things marketing.  A recent article, How to Maximize Your Content’s Reach on Social Media, shares some interesting ideas to think about.

 

They say that it is not tough to publish on social media.  All it takes is a few clicks and you have your tweet or post of video.

Take a look at the full article here:

  1. To share or not to share
    1. Understanding why people share
    2. Understanding why people don’t share
    3. Do you read content that you do not completely understand?
  2. Curiosity, Surprise, Excitement… What you are going for
    1. Put some “emotional triggers” in your titles
    2. Trigger words
  3. Make engagement and sharing seamless
    1. Pick your poison
    2. Choose your placement carefully
    3. Don’t be shy
  4. (Multi)media – use it!
  5. Get your times right
    1. When and where to post
    2. How often to post
    3. Go forth and multiply – Your shares

 

What you can take from this:

  • People share things that they believe in, care about, or find entertaining.  So do you give them something to share?  It will help your reader to look smart and they will come back for more.
  • Marketing is about getting people to notice you and to consider buying what you are selling.  Are you using any marketing methods to help?  Things like emotional triggers and trigger words will help your readers to do something with your content.
  • Sharing is easy.  And you can help them share quotes or names or whatever you like by giving it to them.  According to Neil Patel, sharing buttons should be scrolling down with your reader.  Ask your reader to share your content in every post, article and email that you send out.
  • Multimedia or rich media is all about adding videos, infographics, and great photos.  Do you have these on your site?  If not, take the time to add fun, relevant media that your readers will love.
  • You have a specific audience that watches what you say and do.  When are they online?  Which platform are they on?  Taking the time to know this and planning for it will help you to reach more readers.

 

There is so much more to content than just content.  When you have taken the time to have a content marketing strategy, you will know what to share, when to share it, who to share it with.

Let me know when I can help.

Please share with your fellow readers.

More later,

<3 S

Keywords are the key to being found

Dear Author,

Do you know anything about keywords?  Do you know how they can help you when you have them defined and hinder you when not defined?

Well…

Keywords are the thing that fuels the internet.  Every word that you put into the Google search is a keyword.

Every word is called a keyword.  Multiple keywords are called long-tail keywords or key phrases.

 

This is one of the things that I see, as a copywriter and marketer, authors not knowing how to do.  I hope that I can help with that.

 

Readers are looking for your site.  Your name is a keyword.  They would have used to find your site.

But what happens if there is another person with your name and they already have your name as a domain name?  Yes, you could add author to your domain name.  But that does not guarantee that you will be the first found in the search engines.

That is where keywords come in.

 

I am going to take an author’s site as an example.  Go to www.christinefeehan.com.   Christine Feehan has an unusual last name.  There is most likely not many Feehan’s on the internet.  So finding her site is easy.

But what about if you couldn’t remember her name.  All you remembered was that she wrote these great books all about Carpathians.

Where would you go if you put just Carpathians into Google search.

You would get a whole page about the Carpathian Mountains in Europe.

So now you know that you need to add more keywords.

Put in “Carpathian men”.  Now you get a more focused search.  One of the first links you see is about actual men that call themselves Carpathians!  Fun!

And you will see a link to Christine Feehan’s site on the first page.

This is because she has used keywords to put her site there.

 

This is what keywords can do for your site too.

But just in case you needed some more information, I have some articles that you can read.

Business 2 Community is a community that has wealth of knowledge for the B2C world.  A great resource for anything business related.

An articles called How to make the most of your keywords in your digital marketing plan that tells you all sorts of places that you can use keywords to your benefit.

From your title tags, to your bios on Instagram or Twitter.  Each of these things are a great place to make sure that your keywords stand out.

 

What could your keywords be?

  • your name
  • each of your books series titles
  • each of your characters names
  • each of your book titles
  • your genre

 

Your keywords need to be a part of your strategy.  Here is another article to understand how to add them to your strategy.

Moz.com says “If you’re only using them to optimize your website for search, then you’re missing out on many ways to get visibility amongst your target audience.”

They also have a Beginner’s Guide to SEO that might be worth a read.

 

The point is take a look at your site.  Ask yourself whether you defined your keywords.  If you didn’t then you need to.  If you did, then great!!

 

Let me know if I can help!!

<3 S

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5 reasons to give your reader interactive content

Dear Author,

Let’s talk content.

Having something on your site to read, watch, even do is what readers are looking for.  It is called interactive content.  Content that they can interact with.

Marketing Profs is an online education resource that gives lots of free and some paid marketing education.  In a recent article, Five Reasons Interactive Content Drives Engagement, they share five reasons why you should adjust your content to modern marketing techniques.

They are:

  1. Interactive content gets noticed
  2. Visual content means more likes and shares
  3. Customers value education
  4. Data makes for better content
  5. The future is interactive

 

Your readers are bombarded with content in everything they do.  They are looking at content on their laptops, their tablets and their smartphone.  And if you, as an author, don’t do something to stand out, you will be lost in the noise.  You need to create an experience for your readers to share, to blog about, to tweet about.  And when they share, more readers will be find you.  When more readers find you, more books you are able to sell.

 

Let’s go over the five reasons why you need to update your content.

  • Interactive content gets noticed

They said:

67% of buyers responded best to content that contained timely or unique information.  Adding interactive elements to your existing content means that your content will fill a void for customers looking for ways to connect with content.  So, they’ll be more likely to share your content than a less engaging competitor’s content.

What you can do:

Your books are already unique, so share more of your books.  You have research that you had to do to write your story.  Share some of that info.  Share some of the details that you created about your characters.  Your readers will share this extra info.

Find pictures of models or the boy next door that fits the descriptions of your characters.  Make a video for your story.  Find the favorite song of your characters and have it on your site.

The point is to have something additional that your readers can interact with.  Give them something that they haven’t read.

 

  • Visual content means more likes and shares

They said:

Status updates featuring photos are liked 2X more than those featuring text, and videos are shared a whopping 12X more than text and link-based updates.

What you can do:

If all you have is the pictures of your books, that is not interacting.  Your readers want more.  Give them photos.  Make videos.  Give them more content to do something with.

Make all these additions shareable.  If you do the work for your reader, they will be more willing to share for you.

 

  • Customers value education

They said:

“The point isn’t just to be present, but to be useful.”  Will our customers and prospects find this to be useful?

What you can do:

Think hard about what your readers want to know.  Loyal readers will have fallen in love with your characters.  Give them more of your characters:  timelines, family trees, characters sketches.

If they have more than just your stories, they will want others to know about what else you gave them.  More readers will come to your site.

 

  • Data makes for better content

They said:

Feedback and behavioral insights from quizzes and other assessments tools means more relevant, better targeted content to come.  There’s no better way to capture that emotion and drive engagement by gleaning user feedback–both explicit and inferred–through interactive content.

What you can do:

When you know where you have been and how you are doing helps in planning where you are going to go with your content.  Yes, even as authors you need to plan your marketing strategy.  Let me know if I can help.

 

  • The future is interactive

They said:

“Immersive, interactive storytelling gives companies a means to strategically orchestrate an agile selling environment, empowering their customers to uncover the true value of a product or solution while creating an emotional connection.”

What you can do:

You are already good at storytelling.  Now just transfer that to selling your books through your online content.  This is what it means to use modern marketing techniques.

 

Don’t wait for others authors to lead the way in interactive content.  Your readers will thank you for it.

<3 S

 

5 ways to create great content that Google will rank

Dear Author,

You can’t expect Google to just take your content and automatically send it to all the best places that you want it to go.  You have to help it.

You have to do what you can to “sell” your own content for Google to rank your site.  You have to give your readers what they want and more.

 

Neil Patel is an online marketing influencer.  He wrote an article called No More Tricks: 5 Ways to Create Content That Google Wants to Rank.  It’s an interesting article that explains that anybody wanting to be ranked in Google has to do certain things in order to actually be ranked.  This is what he said:

  1. Bigger is often better.
    1. add more items
    2. add more detail
  2. Help readers navigate the waters.
    1. make it clearer
    2. fill in any holes
    3. correct any mistakes
  3. Ipod or Zune – which would you choose?
    1. include images
    2. create a custom layout
    3. use lists whenever possible
    4. structure for maximum readability
  4. Give them something they can believe in.
    1. interview or cite experts
    2. support every claim with data
  5. Give readers control in complex situations
    1. offer content in multiple formats
    2. include a table of contents
    3. let users filter out options

 

Apply this to your author site by:

  • Bigger is often better.
    • Google wants more content.  Google will actually rank your site better if you have more content on your site.
    • you have lots of research at your fingertips about the books that you have written.  Use that.  I know that your readers want to hear more about each book/character that you have written.

 

  • Help readers navigate the waters.
    • your navigation needs to be easily seen and understand.  Show your readers where to go and what to look for.
    • don’t assume that your readers will understand something.  Your stories are your babies, and while you have loyal followers, they don’t know everything that has gone into creating your stories.  Share this with your readers.

 

  • Ipod or Zune – which would you choose?
    • what he means by this one is that, make your content pretty.  It needs to look good.  An site that is not pretty, noone goes to, at least not for long, even if they like your books.
    • use more images than your books.  Find pics of people that look like your characters or like the places that you describe.
    • the layout of your content should be easy to understand.
    • add lists if applicable.  Lists are easy to read and scannable.  This post is easy to read because the sentences are short and I have it in list form.
    • if your site is structured well, it will be easy to move through

 

  • Give them something that they can believe in
    • add positive reviews on your site.  This helps other readers to see that you are being read and liked.
    • you could even share milestones like 500 readers, or sold 500 copies of your book in a weekend.  This tells others that you are a credible author.

 

  • Give readers control in complex situations.
    • give your readers more than just your books.  Offer some research, or a family tree of a particular series in a pdf format.
    • give your readers book lists that really shows how your stories are connected.
    • don’t make this complicated for you.  Get help to write your pages if you need to.

 

Like Neil said, “creating great content isn’t easy, but that’s the only way you will be able to achieve and sustain #1 rankings.”  Google will rank you when you have content worth reading.

So get writing:)

S

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