As writers, whether self-published or not, we are now required to actively participate in marketing our book.
So, we need a blog, and, ideally, a blog with traffic.
Now, creating a blog is really a piece of cake nowadays and requires no knowledge of programming, coding etc anymore. Though this blog is on WordPress, which does include some level of coding, there is now a platform called Wix.com, with a large number of ready made templates. Wix truly requires no coding whatsoever.
So, creating a blog is not an issue at all. The problem is to bring traffic to this blog.
As always, that means having regular and interesting content, but this, we all know already.
Then, there is SEO (Search Engine Optimization, for those who wonder what those initial stand for). Basically, that means using keywords intelligently. No need to study SEO in depth, as that is for large companies who need to score for a large number of products. For writers, it is enough to use a select number of keywords, such as, say “vampire slayer”, “horror”, “horror books”, “books about vampires” etc, if relevant, and use them in titles (the everyday word for meta) and in the body of the posts on a regular basis.
Search engine algorithms change all the time and playing the system requires staying up to date with the latest changes. Platforms like Wix and WordPress already provide enough SEO tools that work automatically, no need to invest too much time on SEO.
The one place where writers gather a following is through social media. There the purists advise against any kind of automation. This is fine for beginners, as dong things manually is the best way to understand how the systems work. Yet it is time consuming, and some part of the social media can be automated.
At epublishabook.com, we reached 200 000 pageviews in a year and a half, with social media as the only traffic generating tool.
For the first six months, this was done entirely manually. A slow working, mindbogglingly boring job, of identifying Twitter users matching our interest, interacting with them and get them to follow us. Working on that for about 3 hours a day got us around 500 followers. Then we joined Triberr.com, a community of Twitter users where tribes are built around specific topics and tribe members retweet each other’s posts, thus bringing relevant content to followers while gaining more exposure.
That gave a big boost to our traffic, but did little to increase Twitter following. We then considered automating part of the Twitter work. Our first attempt was through Bufferapp.com, a tool that enables scheduling tweets ahead of time. The free version allows scheduling 10 tweets, the paid version, currently at $10/month, has an unlimited number of tweet scheduling. The paid version had a monthly payment attached to it, and that was against our budgeting policy, so we continued shopping around.
Then we came across TweetAdder. And life became easy. That is a tool that enables automated following according to interest, automated follow back, automated welcome DM to new followers and a few other automated tools we are not using.
It took a while to understand the ins and outs of the system, but, after carefully studying it and getting advice from seasoned marketers, we purchased it, a one time payment of $55 (20% discount with coupon code PAT20 if you buy it from here, yes we are affiliates…). [Update May 30th, 2013 . Tweetadder is about to switch from a one time fee system to a recurrent monthly fee one. If you want to benefit from teh one time payment policy, no time to loose] Our automated welcome DM includes an invitation to join our Facebook page.
A year later, we have over 10 000 Twitter followers, 1200 Facebook fans and 40% of out blog traffic comes from Twitter. The rest comes from Stumble Upon, about which we wrote earlier, and Facebook. Those 3 social media sources of traffic bring 60% of the overall traffic.
This is not all. This large Social Media generated traffic boosted our ranking in search engine, where we now have a Google page rank of 3/10.
It also freed time for real interaction with followers, whether on Twitter or Facebook.
Altogether, partial automation brought great results so we strongly advise you to use TweerAdder to boost your traffic and use your time to write.
Happy blogging to all fellow writers