I speak a lot about marketing online and the one recommendation I always make to ALL writers and most businesses is to start a blog. Adding a blog to your website is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can have, provided you take full advantage of its benefits.
Here are some ways that hosting a blog can help you sell more books.
Your blog is the ideal opportunity to engage readers and keep them interested in what you have to say. It’s also a place where you can interact via comments on blog posts. While it does take some time and a considerable amount of traffic before you will start generating comments, be sure to respond to each and every one of them. Let your audience know you are paying attention and you appreciate their efforts! Engagement creates fans and leads to word of mouth and book sales.
Increase Website Traffic
The more visitors to your website, the more likely you will be able to sell books. Well blogs are website traffic magnets. Google likes sites that feature fresh content so by updating your blog often—ideally three or more times per week—you will begin to receive more website traffic because your posts will gain more visibility in Google.
Also keep in mind that the more content you add to your blog, the more reasons you will give Google to find your site and send you visitors. For example, I just searched Google for the phrase “How to save space when packing a suitcase.” The top three results returned were blog entries from travel-related sites. Keep this strategy in mind as you write new blog posts. Each new visitor who stumbles across one of your posts becomes a potential book buyer!
Your blog should be at the heart of your social media strategy. Each new blog post should be shared with all of your social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. By sharing the post title and a link to read more, you attract, build, and engage a social media audience while driving traffic back to your site. Social media is a wonderful way to build an audience and get them interested in reading more of what you have to say.
One of the biggest benefits that I have personally received from my blog is the amount of media exposure it has generated over the years. The fact is that journalists use Google to find sources for stories, so when you update your blog often, and a journalist searches for something you’ve written about, there is a high likelihood that your blog post will be discovered. Then the journalist will see that you are an author—and that makes you an instant expert and worthy of contributing to a news story. Blogs rule!
Find Corporate Sponsorships
After you’ve been blogging for awhile and have built up a solid following both on your blog and with social media, corporations can become interested in working with you. They may want to buy your books in bulk to distribute at an event, purchase advertising on your blog, pay you to write for their blog, or any number of other lucrative opportunities. I have earned well into the six figures with various corporate sponsorship opportunities and many have come by way of my blog. If this is a goal for you, a blog can help get you there.
Making it All Work
There is one big caveat to all of this: If your website or blog aren’t impressive, you will miss out on sales. Make sure your site is professionally designed, easy to navigate, and that your content is appealing to your target audience. Make it easy for site visitors to learn about your book by featuring it in prime real estate across your website (such as in the header or sidebar). And always provide one or more ways for visitors to purchase your book by including a link to buy directly from an online bookstore or a shopping cart button where they can order from you directly.
Consistent blogging has many long-term benefits and if you aren’t yet convinced, take a 90-day challenge. Benchmark your current website traffic now and then begin blogging at least three times each week for the next 90 days. Share your posts via social media and watch your traffic numbers climb. Also note any opportunities or additional sales generated during that time. I bet you’ll find it completely worthwhile.