We all know that social media and online presence matter. It’s nearly impossible for Indies to sell ebooks and paperbacks without utilizing internet tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, forums, blogging and more. If you talk with enough authors, it’s clear they each have preferences. Many swear by Twitter, but this can be a difficult/confusing tool to start out with. Others prefer Facebook or LinkedIn. Some love spending time in forums, like at Goodreads, Amazon or Authonomy.
My preference is doing a little bit of everything, but regular blogging for me has been the single most important element in building an internet presence and selling ebooks online. It’s just from my own experience, but the power of blogs ranks number one for making connections with perfect strangers from all over the world.
Why, and what’s a perfect stranger? A perfect stranger, to me, is someone who finds my blog by searching for the subject matter of what my blog is about. They use Google or another search engine, type in a term like “sell ebooks on Kindle” and then happen to click on my blog listed among the pages of search results. Of course it makes a huge difference when my blog comes up on the first page and near the top, hence the need to learn/practice good SEO habits and also use a great host like WordPress or Blogger (which also provide free blogs).
The other question is why are blogs my preference over other social media methods like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, forums, etc? The answer is because a blog post acts like a perpetual billboard over time, discussing a topic that will become searchable for years to come. Hundreds to thousands of people the world over will see my individual blog posts covering an array of related subjects, and since there is relevancy in my posts (and books) to their search terms, the chance they might buy my books is much higher than just someone seeing a general listing in a forum or on Facebook.
Blogs bring targeted customers to your website. What you discuss is relevant to what they want.
I maintain a free blog at both Blogger and WordPress. The one at blogger is dedicated to my novels and personal life. The WordPress one (this one you’re at), is dedicated to Indie authors selling ebooks and e-publishing in general.
There are just a few rules for successful blogging. One rule is to add posts regularly, at least weekly and as often as daily (if possible). Some very successful bloggers I know, Joan Reeves of Slingwords and Jana Matthews of New Moon Manifesting, usually blog several times a week and have great results from that.
Another rule is to use your own voice. It can be professional or downright personal and filled with slang. People want to see the real you, and a blog is great for that. Be true to yourself, and the right people for your books will come back.
Another rule, and the most important, is to use great SEO habits with each post like the ones outlined in Get On Google Front Page. My WordPress blog has only been in existence for 18 months, yet it’s had over 2,000 search terms lead perfect strangers to it and to my books. What follows is a list of last week’s search terms that led people to my blog, just one week’s worth of searches totaling 125 search terms, words/phrases typed in by people to search engines which resulted in both this blog being listed in the results and people actually clicking on the link for this blog. It’s an indicator of how well a WordPress blog and some regular posts with good SEO will attract people from all over the world in a relevant search to the products offered here. (You may want to scroll through it quickly, since it is rather long .)
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That’s quite a list, and hopefully yours will be similar soon if it’s not already. My advice is to start blogging if you’ve been putting it off. Check out WordPress and Blogger for great free blogs. Stick to topics related to your books or products. Keep posting at least once a week for as long as you can. Use good SEO habits like the ones in Get On Google Front Page. It might amaze you who shows up in time.