The third key to being a best selling author is having the ability to be flexible and change your approach when needed:
There is a theory that most marketing or promotion authors do for their books is a waste of time. That might be true if you are using the shotgun method of marketing where you just throw information out into the world and hope people will catch it.
However, I believe that if you know where to find your ideal reader (assuming you know who that is) and you make a deliberate effort to provide rich content in a consistent manner, then you have a better shot at being effective.
How do you know if you are being effective? You have to analyze your traffic, interaction, following and conversions (how many of your visitors actually click the buy button), to determine if you are doing it right.
There are some great tools and graphs online that help you analyze your internet activity and presence (there are also many systems you can buy). You can use Google Analytics that is often touted as one of the best ways to track your promotion free. When you use Google Analytics you’ll be able to tell exactly which of your online promotional efforts are paying off (as in leading to conversions).
If you don’t want to learn another program (although GA is pretty easy to use), you can do some basic research on your own.
I like to do my research with Hubspot’s Grader. With it you can use MarketingGrader to see how you can improve your website and Facebook. Use TwitterGrader to measure the power, authority and reach of Twitter. Try BookGrader to measure and improve your book promotion (although if your book is new this feature won’t be very helpful). They’ve also just launched SearchGrader that measures keywords and SEO for your website.
You can also look at your website’s statistics to measure your reach:
- See how many visitors you have each day and see how many pages they view before they leave your site. Do you get more views on the days you post? Which days bring you the most traffic?
- See how many readers sign up for RSS feeds (meaning they get email updates when you post). Is that number growing steadily?
- Look at your top referrers and see which website is sending the most traffic to your website. Look at your top five referrers and try to determine why you get traffic from them. Then apply those tactics to your other internet presence.
- Now compare your website traffic with your book sales. What percentage of readers are buying your books? Why or why not?
Once you have this information, look back at your plan and see where you need to readjust. You can ask yourself these questions:
- Do you need to improve your content?
- Do you need more interaction?
- Can you draw your local community to your website? How?
- Are you spending too much time doing things that don’t bring traffic?
- Are the links for your book sales easy to find?
- Do you have a clear call to action to encourage the reader to buy?
Answer these questions and ask more. Then think about how you can change what you are doing to make it better.
When you have some new ideas or want to try to approach your book promotion differently, you need to go back to part one of this series and make a new plan. Then you need to do part two and consistently provide rich content and stick with it like glue. After a few weeks or months, look at your statistics, determine what is working, toss what is not working and repeat the process.
These steps will give you an organic plan that increases its effectiveness every time you analyze and adjust. Before you know it, you might become an overnight success from your months and months of diligent work!