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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Marketing Strategy 7: Blogging

Websites come in all shapes and sizes. Some look very professional and others have the mom and pop feel to them that may or may not be intentional. If you are looking to sell a book and have it fly off the shelves, then a great website is a must.

The internet has changed drastically in the ten or so years since I've been using it often. My first website consisted of a few pages and cost upwards of $1500.00. Today websites come in all shapes and sizes, those costing thousands of dollars and others that cost, nothing. Free sites are blogs such as this one that are monetized. In fact, if you know how, you could spend practically nothing for a website.

But a website is not personal in the same way that a blog is. A Blog tells people who you are, what you do and why they should pay attention to what you say. I use to believe that if I was the least bit challenging or interesting, I would have readers. Instead I have learned that having a blog is not the end of the is the beginning of the need to promote yourself. It pays to have a mentor and in my case, I belong to a professional group of Bloggers and Podcasters. These people are in the know and many have been successful Bloggers for years. I have learned there is much more to blogging than meets the eye. It takes dedication, stamina, will and…well, something to say.

One of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome was the feeling that I needed to be inspirational every time I blogged. I soon learned that was not the case. The blog could contain inspirational and content filled information, every once in awhile…but I did not need to write a thesis each and every time!

You can use many different sources for blogs, as well as different blogs on various topics. This blog is for authors and publishers, I have a "mommy blog" on that is part of my website. That blog is fun to write because I can post about all kinds of family happenings...and if I blogged about everything, the site would be full of just blog posts! I recently enabled responses to the blog post and that has definitely increased traffic.

There are tutorials you can watch on youtube or similar websites that explain how to create a blog. Many people I know use wordpress software for their blog. I tried setting up a site there and never followed through on completing it. I may revisit it at some point as I have friends that rave about how wonderful that website works...and best of all they can create "real" looking websites for practically free using wordpress. You still need a place to host the website especially if you are putting up video or lots of audio. That can eat through bandwidth very quickly.

You can use your Blog for the following reasons:

1. Instead of a website. A blog can fill in nicely for a website if you can use it to sell your products or point people to your shopping cart.
2. To make an income stream: many blogs have ads posted, and when you can click on the ads the Blogger makes money.
3. Use blog posts to tell readers about a new book or product.
4. Use your blog for cross promotions, trading with others and posting an article on their website while they post an article on yours.
5. Use you website to interview guests in your blog topic

Ultimately a blog gives you name recognition. Bloggers with a large following have been offered book deals by royalty publishers. I read a blog from a man who had created it two years ago. In his posts he was keeping people updated about his upcoming book. He had passed the million viewer mark and had planned to self-publish the book, but instead accepted a publisher’s contract. This would never have happened if he did not have the readership. The publisher knows the value of this as translated in dollars.

Recently I had a big promotion with an increase of traffic to 4,000 viewers in one day. Of these 4,000 people, 490 or so opted into the newsletter feature, this was not necessary to download the free product. Specials such as free downloads, coupons or money off is a good way to drive sales to your site. In this day, print ads can be so prohibitive in cost. Blogging is by far one of the best ways to get mileage out of your time. Yes, your time is valuable but if it translates into book sales, it is time well spent.

Question: If you use blogging as a way to generate revenue what have you found works best?

Coming up next: ways to promote your blog


  1. Blogging is also a great way to hone your craft and an excellent forum for new articles that you can turn into new books.

  2. I recently read of a blogger doing just that. He turned his blog into a six-figure book deal. Who would think he could do this in two years? We live in a new world.

  3. What a super post! Thanks Felice! This is a keeper!

    I have a very good friend who creates "BEST OF" books from the topics on her blog. It is a super easy way to build your site, but also work on your projects.

    I LOVE blogging!

    Thanks for a great post!

  4. I am still learning that blog posts don't need to be as long as a book! But, what a great idea, Cindy. I bet the book could easily be an ebook. Thanks for sharing.