Pop-up ads (in case you live in a cave somewhere) are those panels that “pop up” over the content you are trying to read on many web sites. Sometimes they tout products or services for sale, but more often they ask you to join a mailing list. They are the most annoying form of advertising I have encountered. And … they are very effective. Continue reading “Grim Reaper Comes for Pop-ups”
Many of the expert book marketing folks have touted the benefits to authors of running a blog. On a blog you can offer excerpts from your book, talk about your characters, offer insights into your life and personality, even plug your books, all with the intent of piquing the curiosity of your target audience so they will want to buy your books. But to do that, people must actually come to your blog and read it.
A blog, or a web site, is like a box of brochures in that they can be effective advertising tools if disbursed but if left sitting in the back of a closet, they are useless to you. Handing out your digital brochures can be done in a number of ways.
Put the URL on every print piece of advertising you produce; from business cards to your books.
Add the URL to your e-mail tagline.
Add it to all your social media accounts.
Comment on other people’s blogs and fill in the URL field.
It is this last one that I want to talk about today. Commenting on other blogs that are related to yours or attract the same readers that you want to reach is a good way to introduce yourself to a new group of people. But to do it effectively requires some research and some thought. Continue reading “Speak Up, Stand Out, Build Your Audience”
A while back I received a notification from Klout.com saying that according to their metrics, I am ranked in the top 10% as an influencer in social media. That caused an eyebrow to jump up my forehead: “Who? Me? No way!” But who am I to argue with social media metrics?
What is Klout.com
For those who don’t know, Klout.com is a utility that you can sign up with to track and measure your influence across all your social media accounts. You tell it which media outlets you use and it tracks how much influence you have by watching how many of your posts generate how much interest. Exactly how they do that is a closely guarded secret – and it seems to have changed several times over the past couple of years — but I suspect it has something to do with reading tea leaves. Continue reading “Social Media Mogul”
To most of my readers a farm is not a strange or unusual sight. Many readers live on farms. But to most city dwellers, a farm is as mysterious and distant as a tropical rain forest is to us. Many city kids have never seen how food is grown; they know only that it comes from a supermarket wrapped in plastic. Some cities have started busing school kids out on field trips (literally) to nearby farms so they can get a look at what a field of produce looks like. Many cities have parks, and maybe a horticultural garden, but not farm land. I bet the last place you’d think to look for farm land would be inside a major industrial city, such as… oh, say… Detroit. The Motor City. And you’d be wrong!
The city of Detroit has for years been the poster child for urban blight: having lost 25 percent of its population over the last decade and with roughly 40 of the city’s 139 square miles vacant, according to The Detroit Free Press. But the actions of some residents and organizations may be about to change all that.
In the wake of the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Detroit is rebranding itself as The D.I.Y. City, with projects such as urban farms, encouraging small businesses selling locally made products, and residents pitching in to handle municipal upkeep.
Bands of citizen volunteers have been swarming into vacant properties, abandoned and neglected by their owners, to cut grass, clear brush and pick up litter and debris. Many of the derelict homes are being razed by the city, but some feel there is a better way to go.
We’ve all seen the ballyhoo about how all authors should have a web site to use in promoting their books. There has been a lot of talk about adding a blog, what to show on your web site, selling from your web site, what kind of content to provide and how often it should be updated. But one thing that hasn’t been mentioned much is how to determine if the web site is doing you any good. Statistics will tell you this.
Aside from an increase in book sales, it’s hard to know if a web site is helping you. If you’re trying different types of campaigns which ones work, which ones don’t? The answers often lay in the traffic reports that are available from your web host. That usually looks something like this: Continue reading “Making Sense of Your Web Site Statistics”
I’ve never cared much for all the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) machinations that many of the top bloggers say everyone must do to become really popular. So I’m not going to talk about those. There are some basic things that we should all do to grab a reasonable amount of search engine spider attention. And if you want a really quick way to learn to improve your blogs SEO – and if you have a self-hosted WordPress blog – snag the WordPress SEO by Yoast plug-in and install it. If you have a WordPress.com blog, it appears you can not use plugins at all.
If you’ve been around the Internet for very long – more than a day or so – you will have encountered the advice that social media is a great way to promote what you’re selling. In our case, books we’ve written. And among social media, Twitter is a favorite. Some of the marketing gurus make a case for following anyone and everyone you can find so they will follow you back, and you will develop a huge “audience” very quickly. They often make it out to be a simple matter of follow, follow, follow the tritter brick road to riches.
It’s like running a race; you’re hitting your stride, settled in and making good time. Suddenly out of nowhere, a block pops up out of the track, you trip over it and end up stumbling and twisting all around trying not to end up face down in the dirt.
On Twitter you’ve been tweeting good stuff about you and your work, sharing interesting links, retweeting things for others and your following has been steadily building up. You found another great person to follow and clicked the button. But suddenly a window pops up and says “Looks like you’ve hit a limit” and it won’t let you follow this great tweep. Why NOT!? Continue reading “Jedi Mind Twits: Follow Limit on Twitter”