The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It



Today’s post is from Hootsuite’s blog. I answer a lot of questions on Facebook’s Pixels – how to insert them, what to do with the information, etc. This article explains Facebook Pixels very clearly. Enjoy and be sure to visit Hootsuite’s blog for more educational content!

*****

If you’re using Facebook ads—or you plan to use them in the future—there’s one key tool you should start using right away to get the most out of your social ad budget: the Facebook pixel.

What is a Facebook pixel?

A Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. It helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads based on collected data, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to qualified leads—people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.

It works by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads.

 

Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

Benefits of using a Facebook pixel

There are several ways you can use data collected from Facebook pixel tracking to refine your Facebook advertising strategy.

Track conversions

The Facebook pixel allows you to monitor how people interact with your website after viewing your Facebook ad.

You can even track customers across their devices so you know, for example, if people tend to see your ads on mobile but switch to a desktop before making a purchase—or maybe it’s the other way around. This information can help you refine your ad strategy and calculate your return on investment.

Remarket

Pixel tracking data allows you to show targeted ads to people who have already visited your site. You can choose to get really granular here—for example, you can show people an ad for the exact product that they abandoned in a shopping cart or added to a wishlist on your website.

This capability is why you should create a Facebook pixel now, even if you’re not using Facebook ads yet—so you have retargeting capabilities from your very first Facebook ad.

Create lookalike audiences

Facebook can use its targeting data to help you build a lookalike audience of people who have similar likes, interests, and demographics to people who are already interacting with your website, helping you expand your potential customer base.

Run effective ads

Using a Facebook pixel can make your ads more effective by improving the quality of the ads you run, and by improving the targeting of the people who see them.

In addition to improving your ads based on tracking their effectiveness, you can use Facebook pixel data to ensure your ads are seen by the people who are most likely to take your desired action.

For some examples of companies using the Facebook pixel effectively, check out our post 5 Surprising Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Ads.

How to use a Facebook pixel

You can use Facebook pixel tracking to collect data on two different kinds of events: a set of nine standard events that Facebook has predefined, or custom conversions that you set up yourself. An “event” is simply a specified action that a visitor takes on your website.

Standard events

The nine standard Facebook pixel events for which you can simply copy and paste standard Facebook event code are:

View content: Someone lands on a page on your website.
Search: Someone uses the search function to look for something on your site.
Add to cart: Someone adds a product to their shopping cart on your site.
Add to wishlist: Someone adds a product to a wishlist on your site.
Initiate checkout: Someone starts the checkout process to buy something from your site.
Add payment info: Someone enters their payment information in the purchase process on your website.
Make purchase: Someone completes a purchase on your website.
Lead: Someone signs up for a trial or otherwise identifies themselves as a lead on your site.
Complete registration: Someone completes a registration form on your site, such as for a subscription product.

Custom conversions

You can use custom conversion events in place of standard events, or to collect more details than Facebook pixel standard events can provide.

Custom conversions use URL rules based on specific URLS or URL keywords. So, for example, you could use Facebook pixel tracking to record views of a specific category of merchandise on your website, instead of tracking views of all content using the “view content” standard event—perhaps to separate dog owners from cat owners based on which sections of your pet supply website they viewed.

Before you can use Facebook pixel custom conversions, you’ll need to help Facebook understand the details of the conversion event you want to track. To do so, head to your Facebook Ads Manager, then go to Custom Conversions and click Create Custom Conversion to define your custom conversion event using URL rules.

You can also create Facebook pixel custom events by adding more details to standard events using additional bits of code called parameters. These allow you to customize the standard events based on:

How much a conversion event is worth
Product name, category, or ID
The number of items someone adds to their shopping cart
A specific search string
The status of a registration

How to create a Facebook pixel and add it your website

Now that you know what you can track, and why you would want to do so, it’s time to create your pixel and put it to work on your website.

Step 1: Create your pixel

1. From your Facebook Ads Manager, click the hamburger icon (≡) and choose Pixels.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

2. Click Create a Pixel.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

3. Name your pixel, accept the terms, and click Next. When choosing the pixel’s name, keep in mind that you only get one pixel for each ad account, so the name should represent your business, rather than a specific campaign.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

Step 2: Add the pixel code to your website

To put the pixel to work gathering information on your website, you now need to install some code on your webpages. There are two ways to do this depending on the tools you have incorporated into your website. We’ll use the copy-and-paste method here. The other option is to use an integration or tag manager.

1. Click Copy and Paste the Code.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

2. Copy and paste the pixel base code into the header code of your website—that is, post it after the tag but before the tag. You need to paste it into every single page, or into your template if you’re using one. When you’re finished, click Next.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

3. Copy the appropriate event code based on the actions you want to track on your website. For custom conversion code, click Custom Event. This Facebook help article can help you figure out which type of setup is best for you: basic, recommended, or advanced.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

4. Paste the event code in the appropriate location on your webpage based on the action you want to track. It should go just below the tag for a new page that opens as a result of the tracked action (like a thank you page). Or, you can attach the code to specific HTML elements like buttons that trigger actions within a page. When you’re done, click Next.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

Step 3: Confirm your Facebook pixel is working

Before you start relying on the data from your Facebook pixel, you should confirm that it’s working properly.

1. Download the Facebook Pixel Helper extension for Google Chrome.

2. Visit the page where you have installed the Facebook pixel. If the extension finds the pixel, the icon will turn blue, and a popup will indicate how many pixels are found on the page. The popup will also tell you if your pixel is working properly. If not, it will provide error information so you can make corrections.

The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It | Hootsuite Blog

Image via Facebook for Developers.

Note: The current Facebook pixel combines two older pixel versions: the conversion tracking pixel and custom audience pixel. Facebook discontinued the conversion tracking pixel on February 17, 2017. If you were using the Facebook conversion pixel, you’ll need to switch over to the new Facebook pixel. You can learn how to do so in this Facebook business help article. If you were using the old custom audience pixel, these instructions for Facebook pixels explain how to upgrade to the new version.

Get the most out of your Facebook ad budget with AdEspresso by Hootsuite or Hootsuite Ads. Both are powerful options that make it easy to create, manage, and optimize campaigns.

Learn More

The post The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It appeared first on Hootsuite Social Media Management.

 

Source: The Facebook Pixel: What It Is and How to Use It

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Marketing



Source: How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Marketing

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

self-publishing, authors, indie publishing, writingThis is part six of a six-part series.

You’ve written your book, had it edited, sorted out the formatting and typesetting and done everything you can to make sure it’s as good as it possibly can be. Your cover design makes your book stand out to potential readers and you’ve polished the blurb until it gleams. So what can you do to get it in front of as many people as possible and get those sales rolling in?

Getting your book reviewed

It takes a long time to review a book. Reviewers often have a backlog that they’re working through, and naturally you want them to read the whole thing and give their considered opinion. You need to plan your campaign well in advance and start much earlier than you might imagine. If you want national publications or well-known/tastemaker bloggers to review your work, you’ll probably need to allow four to six months’ lead-in time, and remember that it’s likely they’ll want hard copies.

Plan ahead and get creative!

If you’ve written other books before, you should already have been using these as a platform to generate excitement among your readers and get them anticipating your next one. Even if this is your first book, you should always try to create a buzz on social media. The more resources you are able to create, the better your campaign will work. This could even include writing short stories based on some of the characters in your book. Try some point-of-view changes, experiment with pre-releasing a prologue, write a poem, start a story and invite your readers to finish it as part of a competition—this is your chance to really get creative!

Social media

It’s better to use just one social media platform well than to try to do everything and not get the results or engagement that you’re looking for. We recommend Twitter and Facebook as starting points, but if Pinterest, Instagram or something else is your thing, then go for it.

Every platform has its benefits and reaches a different audience, so it helps to know who your target audience is beforehand and to determine which platform they are likely to be using before diving in there yourself. It’s important to be enthusiastic about the platform you’re using rather than seeing it as a chore; this will shine through in the way you use it. You can use a scheduling tool like Buffer and then plan some time in your schedule to create your updates all at once rather than letting it eat away at your writing time. Try not to use formal language (unless it suits your target audience), and don’t forget to check back on your notifications and to respond to your followers!

Giveaways

Lots of self-published authors recommend free giveaway periods to generate interest, get further up the lists that matter (recommended reads, etc.), gain reader reviews on sites such as Goodreads and then start gaining some traction elsewhere on the web.

Save your money

Be cautious about going for paid reviews. They aren’t necessarily bad, but the general consensus by both authors and tastemakers is that they aren’t worth the money or the effort. Reader reviews have a more engaged reader base behind them and are more honest, therefore perceived as more trustworthy and of greater value.

Keep the momentum going

Think about how you are going to sustain interest for more than just the initial release period. You might want to plan some longer-term projects to keep the enthusiasm going, or look at how you can use this book to start marketing the next! Keeping your fanbase engaged over a long-term period is the key to a successful writing career. Is there an aspect of your life or a theme in your book that you can use to connect more personally with fans and use as leverage in your marketing?

If your main character is a baker, for example, and this is important to the story, why not target baking or related trade magazines and see if they’ll give you an interview or feature? If a character has a health problem, would a related charity like to collaborate with you to raise awareness of what they do? Whatever the theme, create content based around this and start conversations on a regular basis; this can be anything from blog posts or Q&As to a mini video series.

In the real world

There is a wealth of information about how you can promote your book online—use it to your advantage. But don’t neglect real-world promotion as well. Bookstores are often keen to promote local authors and may be able to help you stage events like book signings. Libraries might welcome the chance to get more people through their doors, too.

Don’t use social media as your sole method to drive sales online. Try some old-fashioned promotional tools like bookmarks and flyers as well, and try to get people back to your own website and to join your mailing list. Remember that you don’t own your fanbase on Facebook/Twitter etc. The network does, so by converting likes and followers into mailing list sign-ups, you have more ownership over their contact details. You can then use this to create higher engagement and better relationships with the people who are genuinely interested in your writing.


To get all the ebook and digital publishing news you need every day in your inbox at 8:00 AM, sign up for the DBW Daily today!

 

Fiction Writers: A Simple Approach to Build a Better Email List



news-226931_640

Source: Fiction Writers: A Simple Approach to Build a Better Email List

You likely know that getting more people to subscribe to your mailing list should be one of your top priorities.

Failing to do so would be a huge business mistake. Besides, as a fiction author, email marketing is one of the best ways to cultivate a readership.

The problem? It’s easier said than done.

You have to get people to subscribe.

You have to send out engaging emails.

You have to compel your audience to support you.

These are huge marketing challenges. And while improving your persuasion skills is a good idea, there’s another adjustment you can make that’s also effective.

Best of all, it’s simple to do.

The surprising benefits of choosing a smaller target audience

Let’s start with a brutal truth: People don’t like giving out their email addresses.

That means it’s hard to get a signup from someone who isn’t already enthusiastic about your work. And even if you do, it’s challenging to hold their attention with the emails you send.

So what if you focused your email marketing on people who have enjoyed at least one of your stories?

This is a different mindset than trying to get anyone with some interest onto your mailing list. Targeting readers who have experienced and liked your fiction writing makes your email marketing choices clearer. By tailoring your actions to a very specific group of people, you’ll increase the chances they’ll positively respond.

The areas of your email marketing that will benefit include:

Attracting subscribers

The magnet for fans is your storytelling. Offering free eBooks is great as a lead generation tactic as well as an incentive for email list signups.
It’s clear that asking for a subscription to your mailing list at the end of each of your fiction pieces is one of the best places to do it.
You know if you’re not getting more subscribers, it almost always comes down to one of two reasons:

your fiction is not yet seen by the right people,
or, your writing needs additional refinement

Sharing content that engages

Once you know you’re emailing fans, then coming up with ideas for your emails should be a lot easier. If you understand why they like your storytelling, then you can figure out ways to elevate their enthusiasm.
Remember that existing readers have a certain level of interest and familiarity with your work. You can make references from your world that outsiders wouldn’t get. The engagement level is high.
You can show your appreciation by giving stuff that you know will be valuable to your fans. Maybe that’s your time by responding with a personalized email, or your writing by sharing some flash fiction.

Presenting desirable offers

If you’ve done the hard work of finding and engaging people who like your fiction, then you shouldn’t have to make any hard sells. Your offers are geared for an audience who want them.
You’re also in a position to ask for non-monetary support such as book reviews and spreading the word on social media.
If you track your analytics, you’ll see open and conversion rates that are reflective of a true readership that you’re connected with online.

Photo: pixabay.com

The post Fiction Writers: A Simple Approach to Build a Better Email List appeared first on The Book Designer.

An Intro to BookBub Ads (Insights From NINC 2016)



Wanting to dabble in BookBub Ads? This is a great article from this year’s NINC. Enjoy!
NINC Master Class - BookBub Ads

 

 

 

BookBub’s partners know us in the context of Featured Deals. But BookBub now offers more than just a single marketing channel to our author and publisher partners. In our workshop at this year’s Novelists, Inc. conference (slides below), we focused on explaining the differences between Featured Deals and BookBub Ads in order to help our author partners determine when, why, and how they should think about using each marketing tool. Our new BookBub Ads platform is not yet available to all our partners, but it will be in the coming months, so we hope this information is helpful even for those of you still on the waitlist.

Featured Deals provide authors with predictability. Most of you are familiar with the Featured Deals process: We decide which books get selected (and have strict requirements for what can be submitted), we determine the category (or which readers you’re reaching), we choose the timing, and we quote you a price. Having this control allows us to fairly accurately predict how Featured Deals will perform. We’re able to charge fees intended to generate positive ROIs, and we know the majority of partners will be successful.

On the other hand, BookBub Ads provide authors with flexibility. We’ve heard from partners for years that they want to reach BookBub’s audience with different kinds of book content, and we launched Ads to address this pain point. With Ads, you can advertise whatever book you want. It doesn’t have to be discounted or meet any of our other Featured Deal requirements. You decide what runs, when it runs, how often it runs, what your ad looks like, which readers you’re reaching, and how much you want to pay. That’s a ton of control.

The downside to flexibility is that the onus is now on you to make your campaign work. Flexibility means Ads won’t work for everyone. It will work best for partners willing to test and optimize their campaigns. We will continue to evolve the product to help you run successful campaigns, but Ads will always be more hands-on and more variable than Featured Deals.

The value is that you now have another marketing channel in your toolbox, and when BookBub Ads work, they can be enormously powerful. You’re now able to reach BookBub’s millions of active, engaged, hungry book buyers with any book you want to promote. The power is in your hands. Now, as Tim Gunn would say, it’s up to you to “Make it work!”

The presentation below is from the workshop we gave at NINC on how to run successful Ads campaigns. Browse through the slides for some key takeaways, and please remember that BookBub’s Partners team is always available to help. We’re here to work with you on your marketing strategy and help you get as much value out of our partnership as possible. So please feel free to email us at [email protected] any time!

Note: If you’re interested in running a BookBub Ads campaign, you can join the waiting list using the form at the bottom of this article or on the right side of this page. We’re only able to support a small number of advertisers at this time, but we’re busy expanding capacity, and in the months ahead we’ll gradually invite members of the waiting list to use the tool.

How Will an Author Platform Make You a More Successful Author?



Another great article by Rachel Thompson! Author platform – topics that authors need to pay attention to. Enjoy!

How Will an Author Platform Make You a More Successful Author?, Rachel Thompson, BadRedhead Media, @BadRedheadMedia
(This post is for those in need of understanding book marketing. We’re not here to discuss the craft and art of writing, which is another subject entirely, and something, I would hope, each author has spent many hours on already.)

Every day I hear prickly, sometimes even angry authors, discussing the evils of book marketing:

“Blogging is a waste of time. I could be writing.” 

“Social media doesn’t result in sales, so forget it. Not worth it.” 

“Author platform is just a dumb term some bean dip in a suit made up. Next year they’ll call it something else.” 

Oh, dear. Let’s deconstruct.

Author Platform Defined

Many writers run kicking and screaming from the term author platform, but they need to get over it. If you have any hope of marketing your books — er, selling your books — you need to understand that selling books is a business. Art is commerce. You are part of the machine that you are so vehemently protesting.

Irony, huh?

Simplified, think of your platform as a big wheel. To make the wheel turn, you have to place the spokes. Everything we are going to discuss today is a spoke.

Further defined:

Your platform consists of how visible you are, your authority on a particular topic(s), proven reach, and knowing your demographic (Source: Jane Friedman). Most authors I work with have or know maybe one of these. Do your homework.

According to Bowker data (2013), over 1,000 books are released every day (if you have updated data, please pass it along). That’s about 400,000 books each year.

How do you plan to stand out if ‘writing is all that matters?’

Branding, platform, marketing, advertising — all those crazy ‘buzzwords’ — don’t sound so crazy when you are faced with the herculean task of trying to get someone to notice you, your book, and actually you know, sell your book.

Smart Work, Hard Work 

I’ve released four books (award-winning, bestselling) in the last five years (slow by some people’s standards but hey, I’m a busy girl, what with running a business, being a mom, and writing my next two books). I can tell you that getting all four of my books to #1 best seller status on Amazon didn’t come from magical fairies sprinkling bestseller dust over me while I write or sleep (I miss sleep).

It happened because I made it happen. I work hard and smart to build relationships with readers, authors, publishing and industry folks, book bloggers, and reviewers. I don’t sit back eating bonbons while the fairies dance around me, making the magic happen. How do I do it?

Author Platform Secrets 

My secret? It’s not a secret because I blather on constantly about building relationships. You’re probably sick of it by now, but it’s so true. How do I build relationships? Let’s look at Jane’s definition above and break it down.

Demographic: I share lots of interesting content (other than ‘buy my book!’ because dear god, if that’s all I knew how to write, why on earth would anyone buy my book at all?), articles, other people’s posts and articles, quotes, pictures, videos, and yes, the occasional promotional giveaway or sale, all having to do with what my demographic is interested in because I targeted specific people with similar interests.

I do the same for my clients. We share their own blog posts of course, but also articles about their topics of interest, and interact/follow people with similar interests.

Visibility: I’m very visible: I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram — social media is best used for building relationships, not for blasting ‘buy my book!’ links. I blog weekly (on both my author blog and my business blog), I guest blog, I write for Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, FeminineCollective.com, I pay for low-cost ads, I do occasional blog tours and book promos. If you google RachelintheOC, BadRedhead Media, or Author Rachel Thompson, you’ll find me.

I rarely discuss my books other than to share visual quotes or teasers; rather I focus on sharing real-life stories, others’ stories, and meaningful articles and information. Being ‘other-focused’ and generous is like catching flies with honey.

Social Media: At the very least, you want to be on Twitter, have a Google+ brand page, and a Facebook author page. Why Google+? While most people have written it off, Google hasn’t, and they index every update. In terms of SEO, Google+ ranks much higher than Facebook pages, hands down. (Twitter and Google have an agreement as well, so Twitter updates are also indexed.)

YouTube (note: owned by Google), Instagram, Pinterest and SnapChat are the next tier and terrific visual channels. StumbleUpon, Medium, Reddit are great aggregators as well.

Where are you spending your time? If you’re like most authors, you’re on your personal Facebook whining about book sales. I suggest rethinking that strategy.

Authority: This one seems to be trickier, but it’s really not. Everyone is good at something or knows a particular topic intimately. That’s not usually the issue. The issue is giving ourselves permission to be an expert on what we know, what we’re good at, and share that information in a way that initiates discussion. I use my almost two decades from soul-sucking Big Pharma to help me in my current business. We all come from somewhere.

Share what you enjoy, what you are good at, even your struggles. Be authentically you. People respond to that.

Proven Reach: Your branding, author platform, social media, SEO-optimized website, and consistent blog posting is the best way to build a readership and fan base. It’s also how you will connect to book bloggers and reviewers, yet I hear from many writers how they’re too busy to interact with readers online.

Let me get this straight: you want readers to find you, but you don’t want to interact with them. You just want to write.

You want a traditional contract because you think everything will be done for you (not) — I have traditionally published clients right now who hire me to do their social media because their publishing company doesn’t do any of it.

Here’s the bottom line: publishing companies will look at your manuscript to see if you can write, of course, but they will also look at your ability to bring in readers. Publishing is about making money. Are you a sure thing?

That’s how I eventually got an agent and signed to a publishing company. They will check your social media numbers, website visits and comments, and how you interact with people. They want to see your brand, how well you market, and if you can prove that you have reach.

How can you have that, if you don’t have that? 

Author Platform – A Basic List

  • Active and interactive social media (Twitter; Facebook — both a personal account to connect not sell, and an author page; Google+ brand page, and either Pinterest or Instagram; and, depending on your demographic, LinkedIn or Snapchat)
  • StumbleUpon and Medium
  • A fully SEO-optimized website and blog
  • Blogging consistently (minimum once-weekly)
  • Minimum 25 reviews of your book (debatable; some say helpful, others say this number is BS. I say, how can it hurt?)
  • Blog tour (debatable, but helpful for visibility; not so much for book sales)
  • Awards and/or writing contest wins
  • Guest articles, interviews, blogging
  • Writing for publications
  • Advertising
  • Subscriber list and email newsletters
  • Promotions, contests, giveaways
  • and, most importantly, building long-term relationships with influencers and readers!

Don’t forget the face-to-face interactions as well (more of a PR tactic which as a businessperson, I don’t focus on; but as a writer, I do):

  • Signings
  • Conferences (aka, cons)
  • Library events
  • Bookstore events
  • Speaking opportunities

Bottom line: your author platform is what it takes for you to market your books. Will it guarantee sales? No. There are so many other factors: pricing, promotions, fan base, timing, competition, reviews (we haven’t even discussed that yet!), and so much more. But it’s absolutely the foundation to get you rolling.

Have patience, be realistic, have a plan, and work that plan!

 

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo)

All content © 2016 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.

 

 

Source: How Will an Author Platform Make You a More Successful Author?

We Didn’t Know How to Promote a Podcast. So Here’s All We Learned



Do you have a podcast? Are you thinking about starting one? Marketing a podcast is something that many people struggle with – like audiobooks, it seems to be difficult to find the right audience. This is an excellent article from Buffer. If you don’t already subscribe to Buffer – please do – an excellent source of information!

Enjoy!

Before we launched our Buffer podcast, so much of our time and energy (99.9% of it, I’d wager!) was spent getting the sounds and feel just right. We did all the podcast things we were supposed to do in order to make a really great podcast — the interviews, the mixing, the uploading — and now that the time had come to press publish …

… we needed a plan to promote the podcast.

How do people promote podcasts? We didn’t know. We’d never promoted a podcast before!

So we went to work, researching all the best tips and strategies for getting a podcast seen by as many people as possible, downloaded as many times as possible, and maybe hopefully listed on iTunes’ New and Noteworthy list.

Here’s all we found and all that we’re excited to try. We’ll be sure to report back with what works!

The #1 Goal: Do Really Great on iTunes!

iTunes is responsible for as much as 70% of a podcast’s listens and downloads

itunes-new-and-noteworthy

In the process of researching how to promote a podcast, much of the advice kept centering on iTunes as the key channel for growth and attention. I hadn’t realized just how key iTunes really was!

Nieman Lab claims “70 percent of podcast listening happens through iTunes or the native iOS Podcasts app.”

Scott Britton says, “Listens on SoundCloud and YouTube are pretty insignificant compared to iTunes.”

Erik Diehn says, “There’s basically Apple and then everybody else.”

I’ve heard similar rumblings from others, too. When we launched our culture-focused podcast, CultureLab, my teammate Courtney’s primary goal was getting to a good spot in the iTunes listings. She was our oracle: iTunes is really important.

We’ll report back with the specific numbers that we find for The Science of Social Media podcast. If you notice that a majority of the advice in this post is iTunes-related, now you know why. 🙂

How to promote a podcast: 10 strategies to try

Many thanks to the people and brands who have been generous to share their podcasting tips online. Some of the best advice I found dated all the way back to 2012, which shows just how long some folks have been excelling in the podcast game. I’ll link to some favorite resources at the end of this article as well.

Here’s the big list of podcast promotion strategies we’re keen to try.

1. Leverage your guest’s audience

Make it easy for guests to share by creating snippets and quote images

We’re fortunate that our podcast has an interview format, where we get to talk to amazing people like Rand Fishkin of Moz and Meghan Keaney Anderson of HubSpot.

These people have big audiences.

Rand has over 335,000 Twitter followers.

HubSpot has over 1 million Facebook fans.

What we’d love to do is make it easy for our guests to share and promote their podcast episode. One idea is to send them a note on the day their podcast goes live and include a series of shareable media:

Pullquotes
Images
Links
Prewritten tweets and status updates

Here’s an example of one of the images we made for Meghan’s episode:

Meghan Keaney Anderson quote - get hired on social media

Here is the email we sent for Rand’s first episode (feel free to copy it if you’d like):

outreach-email-for-podcast-guests

From this thread on Growth Hackers, there’s some interesting advice to treat podcast promotion like you would content promotion, an area in which we have a bit more experience. Here are the specifics from the Growth Hackers thread:

Quality > Quantity
Solve a problem
Provide actionable insight
Hustle just as hard to distribute as you did to create
Leverage your guest’s audience

^^ It’s this last one that we’re excited to experiment with in some fun ways.

2. Promote on social media … in a dozen different ways

Share rich media, soundbites, video, images, teasers, evergreen — anything you can think of

We’re so lucky to have the amazing social networks that we do. There’s just so much creativity and fun to be had with promoting a podcast on social media.

For starters, share an update when the episode first goes live. 

Then, keep sharing.

Here are some ideas:

> Pin your episode tweet or Facebook post, featuring the iTunes URL.

> Create quote images in Canva or Pablo. Share these as standalone social updates with a link to iTunes.

Here’s the Canva template that we’re using.

> Create 15-second soundbite clips. Upload to Soundcloud. Then share on Twitter.

Twitter has a really neat implementation of Soundcloud audio specifically. People can play the audio right from their Twitter stream.

tweet-with-soundcloud-embed

> Tease the next episode 24 hours ahead of time.

> Reshare the podcast episode multiple times. 

We do 3x to Twitter the first day, 2x to Facebook the first week.

> Talk about the behind-the-scenes stuff in an Instagram story.

3. Release at least 3 episodes on launch day

“I actually received negative reviews from people who had listened to the first episode and were upset that there was only one.”

The above quote is from Pat Flynn, the founder of Smart Passive Income. His advice about launch quantity is right in line with the best tips from others, too.

Publish 3 to 5 episodes when you first launch.

From our research, the very minimum number of episodes to have at launch is three. In general, the more the merrier. We had seven interviews complete before we launched our podcast, with three episodes planned for launch day and two apiece for the following two weeks.

This multi-launch strategy is a key part to Jason Zook’s plan for hitting the New and Noteworthy section of iTunes, which, as we mentioned above, is a huge way to get traffic.

Jason’s plan hinges on these two concepts:

Record and release several podcasts on launch day (3-5)
Build your audience before launching if possible

4. Convert the audio to a YouTube video

Name your video “Interview with …” for potential SEO

One thing we’d love to be able to do with the podcast is to repurpose it in as many ways as possible. Some companies do neat things, mixing live video (on Facebook and Periscope) with the live podcast interview. We’re excited to try a slightly different route.

We’re keen to add every episode of the podcast to our YouTube channel.

With a YouTube version, you get a handful of benefits:

Video to share on social media
Closed captioning and transcripts automatically from YouTube (great for accessibility if you’re not going to transcribe)
SEO benefits

This last one is really exciting.

In some cases, Google values video 53x as much as text.

So while we’re hopeful that our show notes help us rank a bit for long-tail terms in Google, we’re also excited that having a YouTube version could boost our rankings as well.

Scott Britton used this strategy to good effect with his interview podcast, choosing a specific strategy of ranking for “[Guest Name] Interview.” So for us, this might look like:

Rand Fishkin interview
Interview with Rand Fishkin

By adding this to the YouTube title, fingers-crossed, we’ll see some good results!

To convert audio (.mp3 for instance) to video (.mov), you can use a variety of different tools. Google’s support center recommends iMovie for Mac users and Windows Live Movie Maker for PC users. I quickly hopped into Screenflow to build a fast video version of our podcast.

Choose a canvas of 2,560 pixels wide by 1,440 pixels tall for best viewing at 2K resolution (there are a handful of other ideal dimensions here if you’re not interested in 2K)
Grab free stock video footage from Videvo or Pexels. Looping video is best; search “loop.”
Include a quick thumbnail either of your show’s logo or of your guest (or both)
If you’re feeling especially proactive, you can annotate the video with links, cards, and more from within the YouTube creator studio

Here’s one we made for our first podcast episode:

 

5. Submit your podcast to podcatchers and aggregators

Podcatchers — a pretty cool name, right? — are simply apps that play podcasts. The most popular one is the main podcast app in iOS; it’s the one with the purple icon and a picture of a microphone.

Beyond the iOS podcatcher, there are dozens of other apps that collect and play podcasts, and there are a host of websites that feature new podcasts and assist with discovery.

Here’s a quick list of 10 of the more popular ones:

Overcast
Stitcher
Podcast Addict
Podcast subreddit
PodcastLand (your podcast is automatically listed here if it’s in iTunes)
TuneIn
Bello Collective
Castro
Podcast Republic
Downcast

PodcastLand has a featured podcast of the month, which is chosen by user votes.

(In many cases, your podcast will work great with any of these services, particularly if you’re already on iTunes. The best bet is trying each app out for yourself to ensure a smooth experience for your listeners.)

6. Transcribe the audio

Try a service like Rev.com ($1/minute) or Fiverr ($5)

A lot of highly successful podcasts offer a full transcript of the entire show. We’re choosing to take a slightly different route with this, pulling out highlighted portions of the transcript and including these in the show notes.

show-notes

Would you rather have the full transcript? Or selected excerpts?

The transcript is great for SEO benefits and as a place to collect leads (you can add lead capture forms and links to your show notes page). We hope to capture some of these benefits still, while saving time and money from doing the full transcription.

7. Throw a two-week ratings party

One of the most significant factors in driving a podcast up the charts in iTunes (and into the New & Noteworthy section) is the rate at which you collect downloads and positive reviews in the first couple weeks.

You have eight weeks from when your podcast launches to get to New and Noteworthy. The first two weeks of these are especially crucial.

Here are a few party-planning components that can help make these first couple weeks after the podcast launch feel like an event:

Run giveaways (more on this below)
Throw a real party on launch day, either in-person or virtually via Facebook Live
Publish two weeks of podcast-themed blog content. This post is an example!
Switch out the email signatures on your personal email and on your team’s support emails
Get your teammates and company execs to post and tweet about it
Email 10 friends per day

8. Run a giveaway contest

How to enter: Leave a review on iTunes

The allure of free stuff and discounts can be a powerful motivator to get more listens to your podcast. And here’s the clincher: Ask for a review on iTunes as part of the entry requirements for your giveaway. This will hopefully earn you more reviews, which will boost the social proof on your podcast and get iTunes to take notice.

If you have the budget to allow for it, these might make some great giveaways:

T-shirts
Product discounts
Stickers

And if you don’t quite have the budget:

Mention in the show notes
A shoutout at the end of the show
A 5-minute guest spot on the podcast

The best way to go about this is to simply kick off the contest either on social media or by mentioning it on the show. Ask people to leave an iTunes review in order to enter.

One of the tricky things with this is how to get in touch with someone who leaves a review. There’s no straightforward way to do it, but the good news is that most usernames now are a close enough approximation of someone else’s social media handle that you are likely to be able to find them, DM them, and get in touch.

Here’s one we did on Instagram where we hoped to spread the launch of the podcast by encouraging people to @-mention their friends.

buffer-podcast-giveaway

9. Find partners to mention you

Mention brands in your podcast. They might just mention you back!

This strategy has roots in content marketing where there’s often a reciprocal effect when you mention a business in a blog post. You’ll often find that business then mentions your post on their social channels.

For podcasts, it can work in a similar way. If you mention any businesses or brands in your episode, this provides an opportunity to reach out to those brands afterward to give them the good news of being featured.

Or, if you see a connection with your podcast and another brand, a simple email might be enough to do the trick.

Scott Britton of Life-Long Learner tried this outreach with Feedly, and it worked like a charm:

In addition to Facebook and Twitter promotion, I got Feedly to feature my show’s audio feed as the 3rd ranked recommendation in their “entrepreneurship channel.” This is essentially a curated list of content sources for people interested in Entrepreneurship.

They included my show for a few weeks and it resulted  into 1k+ feedly subscribers to my podcast feed.

10. Be a guest on other people’s podcasts

Just like movie stars hit the talk show circuit to promote a new film or politicians travel the country before an election, you can head out on a podcast tour and make guest appearances on podcasts in your niche.

Booking guests for regular, weekly podcast episodes can be a bit of a challenge. We’re noticing just how much work this advanced planning can be as we fill out the interview calendar for the Buffer podcast.

Many podcasts are likely to appreciate the proactive outreach. Any who take you up on the offer will make for a great promotion opportunity for your new show.

To find a listing of podcasts in your niche, you can visit the iTunes listing page and view podcasts according to dozens of categories. In the “Business” category alone, there are nearly 240 shows!

itunes-show-listings

Bonus: How to get in the New & Noteworthy of iTunes

The New & Noteworthy section of iTunes is one of the most highly visible spots within the iTunes podcast area. You have two months (eight weeks) to get there before your podcast joins back with the rest of the podcast listings.

Though they don’t release the specifics of how podcasts are chosen for New & Noteworthy, iTunes seems to weigh the following factors quite heavily: number of subscriptions, downloads, and reviews in the eight weeks after launch.

There’s a lot of great advice out there from people who have successfully earned the New & Noteworthy distinction. Much of it we’ve covered here in the post. Here’s a quick recap:

Build an email list or outreach list before your podcast launches. This can be blog readers, product users, social media followers, etc.
Record 3-5 podcast episodes before you launch.
Pick a launch date. Note: It can take 2-4 days for iTunes to show your podcast after you’ve submitted it.
Create assets like images, clips, and shareable quotes.
Launch day!
Message your list to ask them to listen and review.
Keep publishing new episodes consistently. 

 

Further reading:

Everything You Need to Know About Podcasting – Inc

What You Need to Know to Launch a Successful Podcast – Smart Passive Income

How to Promote a Podcast – Inbound.org

How to Get Your Podcast to No. 1 in iTunes – Chris Drucker

Over to you

I’ve been really lucky to have heard lots of great podcast advice over the past few months from a handful of readers and Buffer customers. I’d love to keep learning! If you have any tips or wisdom to share about what has worked for you and your podcast, it’d be awesome to learn from you here in the comments.

Or, if you’re keen to share any thoughts on our Buffer podcast or promotion strategies (which ones feel good to you, which ones feel like too much), that’d be great, too!

Excited to keep the conversation going!

Image credits: UnSplash, Pablo

Source: We Didn’t Know How to Promote a Podcast. So Here’s All We Learned

The Anatomy of a BookBub Blurb & Ebook Description Copy Tips



Blurbs are the source of stress to many authors. BookBub is clearly the master when it comes to creating something compelling. Learn from the masters 🙂

Source: The Anatomy of a BookBub Blurb & Ebook Description Copy Tips

The Anatomy of a BookBub Blurb & Ebook Description Copy TipsWhen authors and publishers promote books via BookBub’s Featured Deals email, each promotion includes a blurb. Each BookBub blurb is carefully crafted to appeal to readers subscribed to that book’s category. We often get questions about these blurbs: Who writes them? How are they written? How do we decide what to include?

At BookBub, we have an editorial team that produces each day’s email and writes each of the blurbs. We craft these blurbs based on the copy and information that we know appeals to members subscribed to each of our categories. Much of this is based on data we collect — what copy engages readers the most, A/B tests comparing copy variations, and popular trends and tropes in each genre.

In this post, we’ll shed some light on our process for writing blurbs, explain how we run A/B tests, and share some of the insights we’ve gained from all our tests.

General Best Practices

When writing blurbs, we generally collect as much information about a book as we can. We use sources like the retailer product page, editorial reviews, and bestseller lists. Then we use our set of guidelines to shape this information into a well-crafted blurb:

Length: Blurbs should generally be under 50 words. Keep them as concise as possible, and avoid drawn-out plot summaries that may lose a reader’s attention.

Plot points: Keep blurbs broad to appeal to as many readers as possible without being deceptive about the plot. Avoid categorizing books in overly specific ways (e.g. “inspirational cozy mystery”) that may discourage certain readers from clicking.

Accolades: Include any major accolades — the bestselling status of the book, past bestselling status of the author, and/or awards the book or author has won.

Review counts: Include an impressive number of reviews. Examples include: “More than X five-star reviews on Amazon” or “Nearly X five-star ratings on Goodreads.”

Quotes: Weave quotes from good sources into the blurb for variety and acclaim. (e.g. “This “unputdownable” memoir (Better Homes and Gardens)” or “Hailed as “beautifully observed” (The New York Times)”)

Comparables: Use comparative titles, authors, movies, or TV shows (e.g. “Perfect for fans of Game of Thrones”) when applicable.

Author track record: Mention well-known backlist titles (e.g. “Bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code”) when applicable.

Emotional connections: Particularly for nonfiction, when possible, try to highlight what the book can do for the reader. Some examples include:

World War II history buffs will love…
For those of you who want to make money in your pajamas
If you love chocolate cake, this book is for you

Language: Use active and exciting verbs and avoid the passive voice whenever possible. Try to include laudatory adjectives, such as:

Gripping
Irresistible
Riveting
Chilling
Thrilling

How We A/B Test Our Blurbs

We use data to make our blurbs as strong as possible. Often, that means running A/B tests to see what kind of copy and information resonates with readers.

We run A/B tests by randomly sending a slightly different version of the same promotion to two groups of our subscribers. For example, Group A might receive a version of blurb copy including the book’s number of Amazon reviews while Group B would receive a variation without this information, though everything else in the promotion remained exactly the same.

BookBub Blurb A/B Test

The version with the highest click-through rate is the winner, and we run the same test across multiple blurbs in multiple genres. This method allows us to isolate the copy and find out which version appealed more to our readers.

Top A/B Test Results

Here are some of the most interesting results from the A/B tests we have run.

Content that increases click-through rates overall

These results are consistent across multiple genres, so we are able to use this data when writing blurbs across the board.

Including a high number of reviews. In the example above, we found that including high numbers of reviews in the blurb increases engagement. When a book has at least 150 five-star reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, including the number of five-star reviews in the copy increases clicks an average of 14.1%.

Include comparable titles. Mentioning comparative titles, authors, movies, or TV shows (e.g. “A mind-bending psychological thriller for fans of The Girl on The Train”) increased clicks an average of 25.7%.

Include quotes (aka, testimonials). Our tests showed that book descriptions with testimonials from authors or publications got an average of 22.6% higher click-through rates than those without.

Choose quotes from authors instead of publications. While quotes from both authors and publications increased engagement, descriptions that included a quote from a well-known author got an average 30.4% higher click-through rate than descriptions including a blurb from a recognizable publication. Note that in many cases, the authors quoted were big names in the specific genre of the book, so the results will depend on how recognizable the author or publication is in a particular genre. But our data shows that all else being equal, showcasing a quote from an author is a better bet if one is available.

Include author awards. If the author has won an award in the past for any book, including this fact would increase clicks an average of 6.7%, especially if the award signified the genre of the book (for example, the Shamus Award for mysteries).

Cater to audience interests. Our A/B tests showed that catering the copy to your audience’s interests (e.g. including “if you love [genre]”) positively influences engagement. Copy like “If you love thrillers, don’t miss this action-packed read!” instead of “An action-packed read!” increased clicks 15.8% on average.

Content that increases click-through rates in specific categories

Here are a few examples of results in specific categories. We use this data to help us decide what elements to include within these particular genres.

Historical fiction: Including the time period in the description increased clicks an average of 25.1%.

Chick Lit: Mentioning the age or age range of the protagonist increased clicks an average of 8.4%.

Business: Mentioning publications or media in which the authors have been featured increased clicks an average of 18.8%. For example: “The team behind this aspirational book has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, Forbes, and more!”

Cookbooks: Mentioning specific recipes included in the cookbook decreased clicks an average of 8.0%. Readers engaged more with blurbs that focused on the benefit — for example, time-saving recipes or a two-week eating plan — without naming recipes.

Contemporary romance: If the protagonist in the romance is a single mother, mentioning that fact increased clicks an average of 5.2%.

Content that didn’t make much of a difference

For several tests we ran, we were surprised by the results in that there were no results — these changes didn’t make a difference in engagement whatsoever!

Bestseller type. Whether a book is a New York Times bestseller, USA Today bestseller, or Amazon bestseller, including one versus the other in the copy didn’t make a difference. Including the fact that the book was a bestseller did help!

Posing the hook as a question. We tested posing the hook as a question versus a sentence, and it made no difference. For example: “Will Cora discover that he’s the perfect guy?” and “Cora may discover that he’s the perfect guy.” yielded the same exact results.

Mentioning a debut. If a novel is an author’s debut, mentioning that fact one way or the other didn’t make a difference at all.

Including the name of the series. If a novel is part of a book series, mentioning the name of the entire series didn’t have very much of an impact on engagement.

If you have any questions about our blurb-writing process, let us know in the comments below!

Want to share this post? Here are ready-made tweets:

Click to tweet: The Anatomy of a BookBub Blurb & Ebook Description Copy Tips – http://bit.ly/1Y3TULf by @DianaUrban @BookBubPartners #amwriting #writetip

Click to tweet: Writing a book description? See @BookBub’s process for writing blurbs & their A/B test results! http://bit.ly/1Y3TULf #amwriting #writetip

Claim Your BookBub Author Profile

Claim Your BookBub Author Profile

 

10 BookBub Myths Busted



As the title suggests, there are a lot of myths out there about Bookbub. Since it is considered to be the gold standard by many, these myths deserve to be cleared up. I hope you enjoy this article!

Source: 10 BookBub Myths Busted

BookBub Myths BustedThere are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about how BookBub works — from how we select books to feature to what kind of behavior will get authors on a “blacklist” (this one baffles us!).

We wanted to put some of the rumors we hear about most often to rest. Below are ten myths about BookBub, and the honest truth!

1. There is a BookBub “blacklist” – FALSE

Many authors think that if they do something “wrong” — such as cancel a Featured Deal, resubmit too many times, or encounter any issues setting up a discount — we’ll “blacklist” them and never select their books again.

We can assure you that no such list exists. We know that running price promotions can be complicated and unpredictable, and that your plans or circumstances may change, so we won’t penalize your future submissions for that! We just ask that you abide by our policies and notify us as soon as possible to any potential problems with upcoming features. Additionally, we have no problem with partners resubmitting a book again after four weeks.

The editorial selection process is absolutely not personal. Our editors rely on data from past promotions and their knowledge of our readers’ tastes to select the books that will be most appealing to our audience. Our selection criteria is influenced by a number of factors that can change over time, including the preferences of our readers and the volume and quality of other books being submitted to that category. If your books haven’t been getting selected, you can review some tips for optimizing your submission here. We’d also encourage you to check out the current deals in your book’s category on our website to get a sense of what types of themes, plots, and covers are appealing to our readers right now.

2. You need a minimum number of reviews to be selected for a Featured Deal – FALSE

Many authors think you have to have a certain number of reviews in order to even be considered for a Featured Deal — 50, or 100. The truth is, there’s no minimum number required to be considered or selected. Reader reviews are only one part of the editorial team’s selection process. Equally important, if not more so, is making sure that a book will be a good fit for our particular audience in each category. A book with fewer reviews that hits of all of our readers’ buttons might get selected for a feature over a book with hundreds of reviews about a topic our readers aren’t interested in.

While there is no minimum number required, reader reviews do allow our editorial team to get a better sense of your book’s quality and content, and we’ve seen that our readers respond well to well-reviewed books. For instance, if a book has at least 150 five-star reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, we’ve found that including the number of five-star reviews in a Featured Deal blurb results in an average 14.1% increase in clicks. So having lots of reviews can certainly help make your Featured Deal submission more competitive. You can find tips on how to get more reader reviews here.

3. The longer it takes to hear back from BookBub on your submission, the more likely it is that your book will be selected – FALSE

The truth — it’s random! The time it takes for us to get back to you can vary based on the particular time of day that you submitted your deal, the editorial team’s schedule on any given day or week, and the number of other submissions in our queue. We’ll do our best to get back to you within a few days, but please let us know if you haven’t heard back from us within a week of submitting.

4. If your book is not selected for a Featured Deal in one category, you can resubmit for a different category right away – FALSE

Our editors consider alternate categories during the selection process, and we’ll always let you know if they would like to select your book for a different category than the one you suggested on your submission form. The only time you can resubmit the same book without waiting four weeks is if you submit for a lower deal price than the one you first submitted for.

5. It’s bad to refuse or cancel a Featured Deal offer – FALSE

This is a fear we’ve heard from many authors, and it’s related to the mythical BookBub “blacklist.” However, we can assure you that there are no repercussions to canceling as long as you give us at least seven days notice before the date of your feature (but we appreciate you letting us know as early as possible!). If you do cancel a feature, you can resubmit the same book again at any point — no need to wait four weeks or six months — and it won’t affect the editorial team’s consideration of your future submissions. However, since our selection criteria is always evolving based on our readers’ ever-changing preferences and the other submissions we’ve received, being selected once doesn’t guarantee that your book will be selected again when you resubmit.

If you do resubmit a book you’ve cancelled a feature for, it’s helpful for us if you note that the book had been selected and explain your reasons for canceling in the comments. That way our editors won’t be surprised to see your book again so soon, and our partners team will recall any scheduling concerns you may have had the first time.

6. You have to accept the date we originally schedule your feature for – FALSE

If you’re not satisfied with the feature date we offer you for any reason at all, please don’t hesitate to let us know. While we can’t guarantee that we’ll have schedule space on the days you request, we’ll always do our best to accommodate your preferred promotion dates.

7. If one retailer isn’t discounted on the day of your Featured Deal, it will jeopardize your entire feature – FALSE

If one of your retailers isn’t discounted on the day of your feature, we’ll just leave that retailer out of the email — we won’t cancel your entire feature. However, we won’t be able to offer a refund, so you may see a slightly lower ROI if you don’t reach our whole audience in your category. In order to maximize your ROI for a Featured Deal, it’s best to include as many retailers as possible.

Most discounting issues our partners encounter are related to price matching or international pricing. You can learn how to make your book free here and how to avoid common international discounting errors here.

8. We prefer 2-D covers for all box sets – FALSE

There tends to be a lot of confusion around our rules for box sets, but particularly in regards to our guidelines for box set covers. You can read our complete box set and anthology guidelines here, but in a nutshell, we can feature single-author sets of full-length books (for most categories, over 150 pages). In addition, we can feature single-author or multi-author anthologies of short stories or novellas. Our cover guidelines for each type of collection are designed to make it clear to our readers what types of books they’ll be getting in the set.

Box sets of full-length books can have 3-D covers — in fact, we encourage it. A box set image that displays multiple book covers or spines makes it immediately clear to readers that they’re getting multiple full-length books in their purchase.

Box Cover Comparison

On the other hand, anthologies have to have a single, flat, 2-D cover image in order to be considered for a Featured Deal. We’re very careful not to mislead our readers about the lengths of the books they’re purchasing, so any collection of novellas or short stories that includes images of multiple book covers will not qualify.Cover Comparison

9. Only authors who have run Featured Deals can claim a BookBub Author Profile – FALSE

Author Profiles are actually open to any author with ebooks available on major retailers, regardless of whether you’ve worked with BookBub in the past or whether you’re traditionally or independently published. While we do require that authors “claim” their profile in order to edit it, any author can do this and will be approved if they are actually the author. Our claims process is simply meant to ensure that Author Profiles represent real authors, not spammers or imposters.

You can learn about the benefits of claiming and completing your Author Profile here.

10. You can add books written under a pen name to your Author Profile – FALSE

Claiming an Author Profile allows you to list all of your books on the BookBub website, but you have to claim a separate profile for each pen name you write with. To claim additional Author Profiles, you’ll need to create a new Partner Dashboard account here using a different email address. By associating each profile with a unique partner account, we can ensure that all of our book information is accurate for each author.

If you’d like our users to be able to discover books written under all of your pen names, you can link your profiles. If you’d like to link two of your profiles, just contact us at [email protected] letting us know the two or more pen names you would like to link.

BookBub Pen Name

We hope that this has cleared up some confusion about common myths and misconceptions about BookBub!

Want to share this post? Here are ready-made tweets:

Click to tweet: 10 BookBub Myths Busted – http://bit.ly/1LqWOZw by @CarlynRobrtson at @BookBubPartners #publishing

Click to tweet: There is no @BookBub blacklist. There is no minimum review # to get a Featured Deal. More @BookBub myths busted: http://bit.ly/1LqWOZw

Claim Your BookBub Author Profile

Claim Your BookBub Author Profile

These are the Reasons Most Authors Fail at Book Marketing



Welcome back – today’s share comes from my friend Rachel Thompson’s blog. She calls a spade a spade, and does an excellent job of it in this article. Enjoy!

Source: These are the Reasons Most Authors Fail at Book Marketing

I’ve gleaned a lot of information on author behavior over the years and especially with the free 30-day book marketing challenge I started on February 1 (if you missed out, you can purchase the book which has all the tips in one place — available soon from my publisher, Booktrope).

I’d like to share my insights with you here. Thank you for all the wonderful emails, feedback, and questions! You make me better, every day.

Rachel Thompson, BadRedhead Media, Book Marketing

The Main Reasons Authors Fail at Book Marketing

  • Analysis Paralysis

    I want to market my books, but I’m completely overwhelmed at all the many options, I don’t know where to start! So I don’t. 

That’s the beauty of a daily challenge — one assignment (or two — I’m sneaky), every day, which builds on the knowledge of previous assignments. I create the plan for you, so you don’t have to.

Many people have shared with me that this kind of learning — having a plan set out for them — helps them so much — it’s like taking a class, really. You still have to do the work of course, but without having to create the assignments yourself. Being lost in the cyberspace world of online book marketing is confusing — I get it.

This kind of author is pretty much a self-starter, they just need a little push in the right direction. Without that push, they have lots of ideas and notes, yet never get started. 

Tip: Buy my book when it’s available, or any book from a reputable source, take a course, create a marketing plan, work with a buddy. You need direction, a map, solid goals.

I’ve fielded several of these emails and comments this past month. I understand how discouraging it can be to attempt to conquer say, Hootsuite, and walk away utterly confused. One good friend said, “That’s it. I’m stupid,” and she’s not. She’s a brilliant PhD! Sometimes, our brains just don’t work the way a certain model or tool is designed, and that’s okay. Find a different one! In this case, I offered alternatives (Buffer is awesome, too). Listen, each of these social media management tools is designed in a way that appeals to different parts of our brains.

We are adult learners, which means we carry certain biases already. As a sales and marketing trainer in the Pharma industry, I spent quite a bit of time learning how to break through these barriers. As authors, we have to learn how to motivate ourselves to do this, and most of the time, we simply give up. According to Malcolm Knowles, who identified the ways adults learn back in the 1970s, these barriers include:

(a) lack of time, (b) lack of confidence, (c) lack of information about opportunities to learn, (d) scheduling problems, (e) lack of motivation, and (f) “red tape.” If the learner does not see the need for the change in behavior or knowledge, a barrier exits. (Source: Medscape.) 

You have to be both the teacher and the student as authors who market our own books, and that can be tough. If you’re not motivated to learn, you simply won’t do it.

This kind of author gives up easily if they lack motivation or can’t see the use of doing the tasks at hand, even for their own books! Let’s face it: time is an issue. We have lives outside of books.

This author will say, ‘It’s stupid, I don’t get it, therefore, it’s not for me.’ 

Tip: Have your meltdown, eat a cookie, then get back at it. Figure out what the stumbling block is, and seek help (whether that’s taking a course, reading a book on the topic, or paying a consultant if you have the budget). There are plenty of blogs (like mine) with free tips, or find video tutorials, and free webinars to help you with book marketing, if cost is a factor.

Fear. That’s what is getting in your way. You panic because you are terrified of this technology you have convinced yourself you cannot figure out. Well, you have somehow managed to read this blog post, learned how to use Word or some other program to write your book, and you’re certainly on Facebook bitching about stuff so nope, sorry, I don’t buy it.

This is especially true for older authors (please don’t throw things). You may find this hard to believe, but I didn’t grow up with computers. I still clacked out my college papers on typewriters, too. I had to learn how to use computers in my work life, just as many of you did, or at home as I progressed as a writer.do the work, badredheadmedia.com, Rachel Thompson

I learned how to use social media by researching, reading, watching, taking webinars — learning. How much time have you invested in truly learning how to use social media? How much time have you taken to research the best way to market and promote your books? 

Example: many of my Gravity Imprint authors come in terrified to participate in a Twitter chat, and come out beaming because it was so incredibly interactive and fun!

This kind of author tends to close themselves off to opportunities before they even have a chance to find out about them, because they say, ‘Well, I don’t know how to do that,’ which is really sad. 

Tip: You don’t have to have a BS degree (or be thirteen) to use Twitter or Google+ or Pinterest, or to Google something. How many times have you become frustrated because you didn’t know how to do something, and then realized later you could have googled it? If you’re overwhelmed by Twitter, take a basic webinar on it. If you can’t figure out how to use Pinterest, do the same.  Again, most are free (How to find them? GOOGLE.), or hey, check the Help Sections!

  • Good, Old-Fashioned Lazinessbadredheadmedia.com, rachelintheoc.com

There’s no getting around this one. Some people are just lazy. I was literally spoon-feeding valuable free information to people daily with this challenge, and they still wanted more. I get that this challenge was challenging (um…), but do the work! Nobody said that being an author is easy, or that learning how to market our books would be a cakewalk. Get off your ass and do the damn work.

Tip: I’m not offering any tips for this one, because if it’s not obvious by now, I can’t help you.

I’m thrilled and honored that over 1200 people signed up to take my challenge, but remember, it’s a challenge! If this was a college class and you couldn’t complete the assignment, would you wait until class the next day to ask the teacher all the questions you had? No, you’d find the answers somehow by researching online, at the library, asking a classmate, right? (Well, maybe you would, and that’s why you’d fail the class.) So…

You can do this.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise.
Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo)

All content © 2016 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified.
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.

photos courtesy of unsplash

 

This is How You Find Your Readers



Source: This is How You Find Your Readers

  • Where can I find readers? someone asks me at least once daily.
  • Who is your demographic? Most authors have no idea.
  • How do I connect with them? What’s the best channel?
  • Is Social Media just for teens?

It’s not a mystery, but it does take some research, effort, and digging to answer these questions. And no, social is not just for teens. That’s so 2005.

Let’s deconstruct. Finding your perfect reader, RachelintheOC, Badredheadmedia.com

Who Is Your Demographic?

What is your reader most likely to carry in their handbag or briefcase (great exercise from my publisher’s cofounder, Katherine Fye Sears)? This should give you quite the insight.

Make a list. Is your reader a teen girl, a middle-aged stay-at-home parent, or a blue-collar worker? Write it all down. Then, head over to these resources:

  • Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that provides tons of great info about our world. Enter whatever search terms you’re looking for about demographics and it’s likely in there. All free info.
  • Hubspot: one of my favorite marketing blogs, hands down. If you know nothing about demographics or marketing, this is a great place to start! Their services are spendy, but the blog is free.
  • Buffer: next to Hubspot, my next favorite marketing and social media blog. Their blog is free, also, and separated by topics of interest.

Once you’ve determined who your demo is, you’ll have a better idea where to find them.

Where Can I Find my Readers?

I just finished up my Free 30-day Book Marketing Challenge (and am now writing the book, out soon from Booktrope!) and received quite a bit of feedback from authors, bloggers, and small business people. One of the biggest concerns from authors, especially, is their discomfort about being on any social media channel beyond Facebook.

This is too bad, because readers are everywhere! Facebook is indeed the largest social media channel in the world, so being there is definitely important. Remember, however, that you must use your author page (not personal ‘friends’ account), for marketing and selling your work.

Example: connecting with readers, particularly if an author writes YA (Young Adult), is about being where readers are, and that’s on social media channels like Twitter, SnapChat, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, and newer channels I probably haven’t even heard of yet.If you write nonfiction, channels like Medium, StumbleUpon, and Twitter are key. If you’re an expert in some kind of business, LinkedIn can be critical to your success.

And don’t forget Goodreads!

Let’s actually look at the data (Source: Pew Research):

According to the last full survey of social media done by the Pew Research Center in September, 2014 (wow, think how much has already changed since then), here’s the breakdown by channel:

Facebook

71% of adult internet users/58% of entire adult population

Fully 71% of online American adults use Facebook, a proportion unchanged from August 2013. Usage among seniors continues to increase. Some 56% of internet users ages 65 and older now use Facebook, up from 45% who did so in late 2013 and 35% who did so in late 2012. Women are also particularly likely to use Facebook compared with men, a trend that continues from prior years.

Twitter

23% of adult internet users/19% of entire adult population

Some 23% of online adults currently use Twitter, a statistically significant increase compared with the 18% who did so in August 2013. Twitter is particularly popular among those under 50 and the college-educated. Compared with late 2013, the service has seen significant increases among a number of demographic groups: men, whites, those ages 65 and older, those who live in households with an annual household income of $50,000 or more, college graduates, and urbanites.

Instagram

26% of adult internet users/21% of entire adult population

Some 26% of online adults use Instagram, up from 17% in late 2013. Almost every demographic group saw a significant increase in the proportion of users. Most notably, 53% of young adults ages 18-29 now use the service, compared with 37% who did so in 2013. Besides young adults, women are particularly likely to be on Instagram, along with Hispanics and African-Americans, and those who live in urban or suburban environments.

Pinterest

28% of adult internet users/22% of entire adult population

Some 28% of online adults use Pinterest, up from the 21% who did so in August 2013. Women continue to dominate the site, as they did in 2013: fully 42% of online women are Pinterest users, compared with just 13% of men (although men did see a significant increase in usership from 8% in 2013). While Pinterest remains popular among younger users, there was an 11-point increase between 2013 and 2014 in the proportion of those 50 and older who use the site. Other demographic groups that saw a notable increase in usership include whites, those living in the lowest- and highest-income households, those with at least some college experience, and suburban and rural residents.

LinkedIn

28% of adult internet users/23% of entire adult population

Some 28% of online adults are LinkedIn users, up from 22% in August 2013. The site continues to be particularly popular among college graduates, those in higher-income households and the employed (although the increase in usage by those who are not employed to 21% from 12% in 2013 is notable). College graduates continue to dominate use of the site. Fully 50% use LinkedIn, a 12-point increase since last year. It is the only platform where those ages 30-64 are more likely to be users than those ages 18-29.

Hopefully, the next update will include sites like Snapchat, Vine, Periscope, and other channels which have captured some of the pie. Not sure where YouTube and Google+ are either, as both are owned by Google and clearly critical to our SEO/SMO ranking.

How Do I Connect With Readers? What’s The Best Channel?

The best way to connect with readers is to pay attention to this research, understand what your author branding is (what are your key topics of interest?), and share interesting and compelling articles, quotes, and visuals about those topics consistently on the channels where your the readers of your demographic are.

What’s your genre? What’s the age range? If you’re sticking to Facebook because you refuse to try out something new, and your readers are Middle Grade, well, good luck to you.

The best social media channel is the one that connects you to readers.

It’s not rocket science — none of these social media channels are that difficult to figure out, so here’s my suggestion:

  • Pick at least three social channels and follow/connect with readers, not other authors (or not ONLY other authors)
  • learn how to use these channels via YouTube tutorials or their Help Sections (most are very user friendly),
  • download the mobile apps so you can use them on the go as well,
  • and just START.

Networkinggirl hair moving unsplash

Social media isn’t just for teenagers, so throw out that old, silly notion. Sure, teens use it and have phones growing out of their hands, but so do most adults at this point. Social media is an integral part of any author’s platform, and it needs to part of yours, too. Social is social, and it’s how adults and professionals network. Every one of my clients comes to me via online connections, mostly through social media, referrals, and networking.

Tip: I find it’s really helpful to join groups on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn — not the ‘buy my book!’ promo groups most authors join, but groups with other interests (i.e., women’s groups, professionals, wellness, etc.), to sincerely build relationships and network. Eventually, someone will find out about your books and the news will spread like wildfire. Trust me.

Do the work.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise.
Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo)

All content © 2016 by BadRedhead Media aka Rachel Thompson, author, unless otherwise specified.
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.