Tips for content marketing.
In this part, I’ve covered how to use content marketing to get customers to your website by giving them free information, inspiration, or amusement in exchange for their purchase of your books, goods, or services. You may leverage the material you write to draw in clients, and it just takes time.
Although there are many techniques to draw customers in via paid advertising, I personally like to concentrate on content marketing, hence they are beyond the purview of this book. Based on my six years of blogging, podcasting, creating videos, and using social media, here are some of my top recommendations.
Recognize the rationale behind your actions.
When starting a blog, podcast, video channel, or social media account, many individuals wonder subsequently how to “monetize” it. It will be beneficial to you later if you start by thinking about the following issues:
Who are you trying to draw in? How can you educate, inspire, or amuse them? Next, do you want them to purchase a product or join your email list? How does this help you achieve your financial goals or other definitions of success? Is there any purpose?
Everyone starts off like this! Choose the blogs, podcasts, and videos you like and subscribe to them. Think about the themes and styles they use to engage their audience. Consider how they monetize.
Consider what you like or hate about what they do. Next, consider how all of this relates to what you’re doing. Make notes of your thoughts, and new ones will naturally arise.
Own your own website if you’re serious.
With free websites like WordPress.com or Blogger.com, which are popular choices for beginners, you will quickly run into limitations on what you can and cannot do. Additionally, a free website is ultimately beyond your control and may be removed.
The same holds true whether you develop your platform on Facebook or other third-party websites. You won’t be able to control how things change if they do.
However, it’s simple and inexpensive to put up your own website now. Here is my video guide with detailed instructions on how to create your own website in under 30 minutes.
Mobile-friendly and user-friendly design
Use a mobile-optimized theme for your website since Google no longer rewards sites that aren’t mobile-optimized in the search results. Use sub-headings and a lot of white space in your articles to make them easier to scan.
Create your own email database.
Whether it’s a free book or a video series, give away something worthwhile that people truly desire. After that, consistently connect with your list by providing information, motivation, or entertainment that is consistent with your brand.
You can surely earn a livelihood with this method if you can develop a list of subscribers that receive your emails and like hearing from you. I advise doing Nick Stephenson’s free Your First 10k Readers video course and series if you want more information on this.
Produce top-notch content
Make sure your material is genuine and legitimate since there is already enough unreliable information online. It need not be a unique subject, but it must reflect your perspective. There are content producers that provide fresh material daily, but there are also some who write lengthy, in-depth pieces very seldom and succeed in doing so.
Be genuine and unique.
Describe your character and your journey. People need connection more than anything else, and I’ve discovered that the more personal I am, the more people relate to what I’m saying.
I have unsubscribed from blogs and podcasts with little personality throughout the years as a reader. I feel like I know the folks I’ve stayed with and whose books I’ve preordered and supported.
I strive to apply this paradigm myself, revealing both my accomplishments and failings.
In your expertise, provide content
This may even contradict the previous statement! In my opinion, it entails being genuine but staying inside the parameters of what your audience is expecting. I don’t disclose every aspect of my life on The Creative Penn, even though it is mostly about myself and my writing career. I don’t mention my spouse by name, my family, or my attempts to lose weight.
As part of my brand commitment to my audience, I maintain the site’s emphasis on writing, creativity, publishing, book marketing, and business. Because people don’t care about publishing or book marketing, I don’t discuss it on my fiction website, JFPenn.com. Instead, I speak with other thriller writers and divulge the sources I used to write my works.
To avoid running out of ideas, strike a balance between creation and consumption.
Write a book review or an article on lessons you learned after reading a book. Visit a gallery of art before writing about it.
Consuming is necessary to replenish your creative well with fresh ideas, but creating is equally necessary since, without it, you won’t have anything to offer or sell online.
Recognize that authoring books is not the same as copywriting.
Even if you are an excellent fiction writer, it doesn’t automatically translate into becoming an excellent blogger. Writing books is often about the reader passively digesting, while copywriting is focused on encouraging readers to take action.
You must comprehend the psychology of people’s attention, including how they scan the environment for desired content, how headlines function, and much more. I suggest Copyblogger for excellent information on this.
Link to others freely and exchange traffic
At least in my experience, social karma and generosity are the lifeblood of the internet! The key is to connect to one another in blog articles and on social media. This promotes closer relationships amongst peers, who could reference you in return. It also enhances your reputation as a reliable source of well-chosen information.
I’ve basically been using Twitter in this way for years now, sharing other people’s stuff in 80% of my tweets.
Utilize visuals and audio
A strong picture can break through the noise on the crowded internet, where many alternatives compete for users’ attention. I mostly utilize photos from Flickr Creative Commons, but you can also use Canva.com to design stunning visuals for your website and social media that will increase the shareability of your content. Videos may take this a step further by putting your grin and personality to your remarks. In the end, people bond with one another.
Should I make a remark or not?
With the emergence of social media, the discussion may now occur elsewhere. In the past, the number of comments on a post was a good indicator of involvement. For instance, YouTube comments utilize Google Plus, and I’m more inclined to share content and leave comments on Twitter than on a blog.
If it’s not working, let it go.
Over the last six years, I’ve launched five separate blogs, but I only continue to publish on TheCreativePenn.com and JFPenn.com. The others were abandoned after three to six months since I ran out of material and wasn’t interested enough in the subjects to keep writing about them.
Since maintaining many blogs may take a lot of work, I only advise doing so if you have distinct audiences for each one. For me, having a website for authors and one for my thriller fans is plenty.
Allow some time!
In 2009, it took me approximately four months of posting on The Creative Penn every other day before I saw any traffic or comments, and it took me about six months to feel like the blog had anything to offer.
However, it was included among Problogger’s Top 30 Blogs to Watch in 2010, and ever since 2012, it has consistently been among the best blogs for authors and self-publishers. Whether you’re creating books, blogs, videos, or podcasts, market experience and consistency are essential. Longer commitments bring in greater compounding and better outcomes.
This is only the beginning; if you’re interested in learning more about marketing, check out my book on the subject, How to Market a Book, which is available in print and download versions.
The change and next actions for you
You’ve been given many alternatives in this book about how to support yourself as a writer; now it’s your time.
Here’s how you may go from writing for a career to doing so in small, doable stages. Remember that you may record your responses in the Companion Workbook that is available for download here.
(1) Begin routinely publishing writing for readers
This is not a diary entry, and it’s not writing for the sake of writing. This is writing that is read by real people. You may do it by publishing regularly on your own website, uploading chapters on Wattpad, guest posting, or even producing a book for publication and submitting it to an editor.
Set deadlines for yourself before publishing your work online.
You must become used to being read. Yes, we’re all afraid of it. If you wish to support yourself in this manner, you must overcome it.
You will show yourself that you can write on time, that readers will read what you write, and that you can accept criticism if you do this. As you begin to find your voice, you’ll begin to share more freely and learn by doing.
(2) Select your area of emphasis and look for role models in that area.
Consider your definition of success, the kind of things you want to produce, and how you want to support yourself as a writer before you dive in. Locate individuals who are earning money doing precisely what you want to accomplish and conduct further study on them.
I’m just one example, but there are many more that you may follow.
Visit the websites of Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, Liliana Hart, or H.M. Ward if you wish to create a lot of romance novels.
Check out Michael Hyatt or Sally Hogshead if you want to write nonfiction and become a well-paid speaker.
Check out if you want to earn money through podcasting. Lee John Dumas
Check out if you want to earn money by writing for clients. Toby Tice
Online, you may locate your own models, many of whom have blogs, contribute to forums, and respond to emails. Read what they have to say.
Purchase their publications and programs. Respect their time and save any sensible inquiries until after you have read what they have to say.
Don’t listen to those who aren’t able to support themselves in the manner that you would want to.
When writers are instructed to “blog, utilize Twitter, or talk,” it drives me insane. In reality, all you need to do is write! How you wish to earn a livelihood will influence how much of the remaining portion is left.
(3) Make anything ready for selling before really doing so.
Anything to demonstrate that you can generate some cash from writing, whether it is an ebook, a course, or the sale of your own services. Your first $10 will alter your perspective and demonstrate your ability to sell.
Once again, you will learn by doing and get more self-assurance as a result of learning that there are alternative methods to make money.
Consider the choices in Parts 1 and 2 to get ideas about where to start. Then decide when you’ll have something ready for selling. This is crucial since so many individuals fail to attain their goals because they don’t set a deadline. Make an effort, postpone other plans, and FIXATE.
(4) Expand your clientele
Over time, assemble a mailing list of folks who are interested in what you’re producing. You’ll need a credible website and an email collection tool, such as Mailchimp or Aweber (which I use), to do this. more on-the-job training! Having a list of potential customers is crucial for durability over time.
How else can you ensure your future financial security?
You are prepared to scale once you have these fundamentals in place.
(5) Increase the volume of goods you sell.
Once the idea has been shown, you may now broaden the scope of your offerings.
This might include adding additional books, courses, audio goods, or speaking to the mix, or it could involve affiliate marketing.
Once you use these strategies to earn $100, you’ll discover that you can see earning $1,000 and eventually $10,000 using the same strategy.
(6) Create a strategy to transition your income to full-time writing.
I don’t advise quitting your day job tomorrow and starting to earn a livelihood off of your writing right now. For the majority of us, it’s more of a sluggish growth curve.
To begin, set a goal of replacing 10% of your monthly income with writing.
What it means to you, put in writing.
Do some math now.
How many self-published books must you sell in a month to reach your goal if each one brings you a $2 profit? If you just have one book, the number could be too high, but what if you have three or five?
Do the same sort of exercise for any other sources of income you are considering. How many episodes would you need to release, for instance, if your podcast generates $200 in sponsorship every show? How many listeners are required to bring in that level of sponsorship?
When you reach 10%, you may then develop a strategy for moving forward.
When I got to that stage, I decided to switch to working four days a week at my day job so I could expand my writing company. I had to work part-time for almost four years until my income increased to the point that I could quit my day job in September 2011. Time flies.
(7) Act now instead than putting it off.
The other day I received an email from a woman I met in Australia. In 2010, we both took the Brisbane, Australia, Queensland Library’s “Year of the Novel” course. She was writing on her first book when I was working on Stone of Fire, which was then known as Pentecost.
She said in the email that she was still working on the first book while I was now on book 14. She questioned how I had accomplished so much in such a short period of time.
Everyone has the same amount of time, and there is no secret.
What we concentrate on, we receive.
The difference is that I want this. I’m motivated to write better every day and to publish books that will inspire, educate, and amuse readers. Every day, I commit to writing and do it as my job, my pastime, my passion, and my way of life.
You CAN support yourself with your writing if you share this sentiment and are prepared to put in the necessary effort.
Your turn now. Go write now.