We long to be famous authorsWanted to be an author since childhood?
The quest to become an author is noble, and I don't intend to sober your dreams in this article. Rather, I am going to provide you with a marketing tool that many wannabe authors have yet to discover.
Think realistically about the way people use the internet. Do you and those you know frequently perform searches to find a novel about dragons and dwarves? Not likely. We perform searches to find answers to questions, and the problem with fiction is that it cannot accomplish this. People just don't search for books that way.
How do people search for novels to read?
Even more frequently, I go to lists of prize winners because I usually have good luck with them. Specifically, Nobel Prize Authors, Pulitzer Prize Book Winners, Man Booker Prize Winners, and Newbery Award Winners. Many other great booklists exists if you do just a bit of searching. I put great faith in Oprah's Book Club List.
Even specialized search engines have been created to help match you to a book you might like, Lexile The Framework for Reading asks you some demographic questions and then helps you find a good match. You can do surprisingly well with these tools.
Are the books on your mental shelf findable through these resources?
This means the most frequently used resources for finding books are going to be useless to most of us authors. Sure, Amazon makes it easy to publish your book, but that says nothing about selling them. The book publishing and selling industry has gone through so many changes, that independent writers must be more resourceful in marketing their books: you must think of yourself as a marketer.
Traditional creative writing blog
The problem is that because of the way people search for creative writing, more than likely, the beautiful layout will be seldom seen. Much of the hard work you put into the aesthetic design will not receive viewers. The question is how can you expose your book in another forum so that people come across your creative work through other means.
Content writing blog for your creative writing
This means that you write content other than fiction that searchers will be looking for, and you draw them to your website through organic methods. They have questions, you provide answers. This brings people to your site and allows you to market your creative works to them, even though they did not arrive for that reason.
Some things to consider in content marketing your fiction:
- Pick a user friendly and versatile blog platform, and purchase your own domain name. I chose Weebly because the drag and drop feature is so easy to use, but the number one platform according to users is WordPress. You can try out several before you decide on a platform because they offer free versions. Wait until you have decided on the platform before you purchase your domain name. It just makes things easier.
- Do the research and work of verifying and registering your site with the major search engines, especially Google. Weebly guides you through the process of verification, but other platforms may not. If you do not verify through Google and Bing, your site will not be searched.
- Read all the help Google provides for you and watch their tutorials. You will need, among other things, to learn how to use: Google +, Google Pages, Google Communities, Google Webmaster and Google Analytics. There are more tools to use, but these are the most important in getting started.
- Create a blog thread in a niche area that will attract people interested in your fiction. So, pick a topic that you know about, would like to research, and can write about. Be very particular in choosing what you write about in your content blog because this will be your audience draw. If you want to market your creative short stories, for example, you might select the topic of how to write or how to market short stories. Be creative, and keep your ideal audience in mind.
- Maintain this content niche area blog consistently and promote posts across social media.
- Make your blog content solid, powerful, and readable, and consistent. You will develop consistent readers if you do this, but you must make your content sparkle. They will be interested in your creative writing if you write well in your blog.
- Remember that your primary objective is to get people to the content site, and your secondary objective is to market your creative work. Do the work to market your content website and get it into the search engines, and then creatively market your fiction alongside the content blog.
- Continually study all the SEO and best practice material available to steadily improve your site. There is a lot to do, and the search engines are always changing. Keep up with the changes so that you will continue to draw traffic.
While this is only one means of marketing your material, content marketing is powerful. It moves your blog from "creative" to "important information" status in the eyes of the search engines. It means more work for you, but you know that becoming an author is not easy.
You will also enjoy:
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- The Skills and Process You Need to Write a Powerful Blog Post [infographic]
- Reading an awesome book is better than sex? The power of books.
- Blog paragraphs are rough on the brain, but here's how to fix them
- Power your writing and draw traffic this summer using some simple techniques
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