Getting Your Story Out There

Today’s guest post is from Jical Jial of Mosotomoss. He is a Creative Stager that helps entrepreneurs to stage their story. You can see more of his writing at Mosotomossblog.com.

Create the story you want pepol to seeCreate the story you want people to see and take ownership of what you want them to hear. It’s never too late to get your story out there. I know sometimes it can feel like a daunting task to do everything yourself. There are many steps you have to take to get your story out, but if you break those steps up, it doesn’t seem so daunting.

As a writer, you may think writing your book was the hard part. But I would say, marketing the book is the hard part. When you don’t have a team of creative people behind you coming up with ideas to market the book, it can be frustrating. Don’t wait until the book is finished to start working on the marketing. I’ve seen way too many authors finish a book and then ask, “what’s next?”

To market your story is to seduce your audience into wanting more of what you have to offer. Just like you build the suspense up in your book, you have to do the same thing with your marketing. You have to create anticipation in your audience. Writing a blog post or creating lively chats on Facebook are two great ways for you to build up the suspense.

Create rich dialog about certain situations in the book without giving away any of the book. Make what you’re posting relevant to your audience. All characters must go through something, and so does your audience. Now would be a great time to pull them in, not after you have written the book and when it’s about to be published.

Today’s publishers want to know how big your audience is. That often determines if you will be able to secure a traditional publishing contract. Without an audience, it’s hard to sell the book. Having an audience to sell to says a lot about you. It says you are interesting, and people want to hear what you have to say.

I am often asked whether an author should post excerpts of a new book on a blog. I would never recommend doing that. It’s always best to blog about characters or storylines without giving away anything. It’s really important as an author for you to be engaged with your audience. So find ways to start conversations about the book, rather than giving previews of it.

When it comes to your marketing plan, don’t just think about selling the book. Most authors never think about merchandising, for example, selling T-shirts with quotes on them that your character says, like “Who is John Galt?”  Promoting your merchandise is a great way for you to not only make extra money, but build a brand empire up at the same time as building your audience. 

You are an entrepreneur, believe it or not. Telling yourself you are just a writer won’t work. When you believe you are an entrepreneur, you act like an entrepreneur. There are many more ways of getting your story out there. The main way is to build the story up before it ever really gets finished or heads to the publisher. Generate a buzz about your book as early as possible. The more people you know, the more chances you have in selling them something they want to have.

5 Unique Ways to Get Backlinks to Your Website

Today’s guest post is from Sarah Boisvert, who is an author who writes on a wide range of topics from small business to investing to high technology. She also covers social media and has written profiles of Bill Gates, Steve Wynn, and Chuck Hull.
Spider web image for 5 Unique Ways to Get Backlinks to Your Websites

Backlinks help readers find your website in the tangle of the Web! [Photo credit: Tina Phillips via FreeDigitalPhotos.com]

In this Internet age, websites are key to selling every product and service from books to videos and speaking engagements to webinars. But having a website is just the beginning. To get potential customers to find your specific website in the tangle of the Web requires having a high page rank for your keywords in search engines like Google.

Search algorithms increasingly rely upon backlinks to evaluate content strength. The logic goes that if a website is mentioned with a hyperlink to it on another website, then the content must be valuable to readers.

Knowing this, some webmasters went overboard creating links to hundreds of sites. Many of these backlinks also had no relationship to the subject matter or were connected to sites that bordered on spam.

Google responded to these tactics intended to “fool” the system, of course, and now includes relevance of subject matter in their algorithms. Consequently, backlinks of good quality are essential to driving more traffic to your website.

While it takes a little more effort now to get good backlinks, there are many unique ways to be sure your website stays within Google guidelines. Here are some tips to get you started.

Partner with Smaller Vendors

Large vendors like Amazon have established backlink programs for authors and product suppliers, but don’t ignore the smaller outlets. Get a list from your distributor of stores that carry your books and contact the manager or owner about backlinks. Organizations that hire you to speak are also a good source of backlinks. Of course, you’ll need to reciprocate and link back to these vendors on your website, but that is just good business for everyone.

Befriend Bloggers

Bloggers are always searching for new topics for blog posts. By searching for top bloggers in your subject area, you can build a list of potential websites for backlinks.

Perhaps they could include a book or podcast review, an interview before an upcoming book signing or speech, or a general interest story. This provides an opportunity for the blog to link to your website. As before, you need to be a good member of the online community and reciprocate. You can do something simple like create a page of News and Reviews with links and a brief description.

Twitter logo used in 5 Unique Ways to Get Backlinks to Your Website

Twitter is filled with media writers and bloggers [Image credit: Twitter]

Social Media

Twitter is a great social media platform for finding writers and bloggers who might be interested in reciprocal links. The Twitterverse is full of media types from national, local and international news agencies as well as bloggers covering everything you can imagine. Search for some keywords from your field and create lists of the writers you find.

There are rules of etiquette that accompany being a good member of the community. First, you’ll need to engage with the writers or bloggers, getting to know them in Cyberspace. Once you’ve established credibility and demonstrated that you’re not a spammer, you can ask for a backlink. Most Tweeters who “know” you are happy to comply.

Trade Associations and Other Organizations

Trade associations or other organizations are always happy to promote members. Often they will publish news about individual members or business and corporate members and include a backlink. This is true for every type of group from your local Chamber of Commerce to the national alumni association of your college alma mater. Get to know the membership director or IT specialist to see what kinds of backlinks they can provide.

Don’t Forget Fans or User Groups

It goes without saying that fans are always willing to help out since they are happy customers who want you to succeed. Reach out through your database or blog, but again, you don’t want to be a spammer! Limit the number of requests and, if possible, offer an incentive such as a small gift card or a promotional item.

Working on backlinks has an additional benefit beyond search engine optimization. You’ll be interacting more with the world, and it’s through being visible that good PR opportunities also arise. Following these five tips, you’ll be sure to increase sales of all your products and services through a variety of channels.

Testimonials Are Music to a Brand’s Ears

5-star-rating for Aleweb Social MarketingWe hear it all the time. Word-of-mouth referrals are a brand’s bread-and-butter.

No amount of traditional or social marketing can equal the power of a friend who recommends a product, service, book or experience.

Today is the start of the new week. You may own your own business and look for these longed-for referrals, but how do you get them?

Have you ever heard the adage “It is better to give than receive?” When it comes to referrals and endorsements, this rule holds true.

You can ask friends and close acquaintances to endorse your product or service, but after a while you’ll run out of people to ask.

As JFK was quoted as saying “…ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Or in this case “ask not who can recommend your business, but whose business you can recommend.”

Think over the past week.

Who have you interacted with? Where did you go to lunch? When you took your teenager to the mall, which stores did you go to? What book couldn’t you put down? Whose advice and support has been crucial to your own success?

I challenge you to come up with one thing each week for the next two months that you want to recommend to your friends. It can be a business that provided excellent customer service, an enjoyable experience, or that went out of their way to make your buying experience exceptional. Or it can be a book, play, concert, or any other experience that you loved.

Why two months?

I want you to establish the habit of looking for people and experiences you can appreciate. Enjoy that feeling. Appreciate the sense of gratitude. Pass it forward. Catch people “in the act of getting it right,” and let them know you’ve noticed.

It will change you too.

Being more focused on showing your appreciation for others will take the pressure off trying to get people to appreciate your brand too. You’ll internalize what you’re learning from brands that “do it right” and potentially improve what you’re doing as well.

Regardless, in giving, you will receive. And don’t be surprised if you start to see your own client testimonials increase as well.

So… Have you thought of someone for this past week?

Go ahead and think of one. We’ll wait for you…

Have it now?

Alright… Here’s the easy part. Go find that brand online. It doesn’t matter if it’s on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Angie’s List, Instagram, Google, their website or wherever else you feel comfortable. Just find their listing and post a review.

What should your review look like?

Write it as if you’re talking to your best friend. Tell them about your experience and what made it so special.

Businesses hear often when they’ve done something wrong. Give them a boost. Let them know when they’ve done something right so they can do it more often!

Wherever you posted that endorsement, share it with your friends.

People like to buy from brands they know, like and trust. Your recommendation tells your friends who you know, like and trust, and exactly why. And perhaps that experience is exactly what they were looking for too!

Share a link in the comments below to a brand that made you feel special recently and let us know how they did it.

SEO Copywriting – 10 Tips for Writing Content that Ranks [Infographic]

It can be hard at times to keep up with all the changes to Google’s algorithms, much less just trying to keep up with writing interesting copy on a regular basis. It seems there are never enough hours in the day to do absolutely everything.

So, how do you find the time not only to write great content, but make sure it gets seen? (Otherwise, why bother writing?!)

You make sure that the content you write is written in such a way that humans love it and robots “get” it.

Here are 10 great tips for writing content that ranks well in the search engines in 2013. (I add that only because I can 100% guarantee some of these rules will change in 2014! Perhaps even before then…)

Enjoy this great infographic from SEO Extraordinaire, Henrik Bondtofteand ContentVerve’s Michael Lykke Aagaard.

http://contentverve.com/seo-copywriting-10-tips-content-ranks-infographic/

 

3 Ways to Use Guest Blog Posts to Promote Your Brand

Today’s guest post is from Bev Sninchak, a veteran freelance writer with 16 years of experience producing content for both print and online publications. She writes about many subjects, from how to use SmallBusinessReputation.com to manage your online reputation to mastering the latest social media strategies. She lives with her husband, kids and a menagerie of pets in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Use Guest Blog Posts to Promote Your Brand - Aleweb Social MarketingIf you have a blog and you update it regularly, you might be wondering what else you can do to expand your brand’s online reach. One effective way to promote your brand and mix things up a bit is to guest post on other blogs.

Here are three ways to effectively utilize guest posts to increase interest in your brand.

1. Target Appropriate Host Blogs

The most effective guest posts will appear on blogs that relate in some way to your product or brand. For instance, if your product has to do with telecommunication, it wouldn’t make sense to write posts for blogs that have to do with baking cupcakes. Keep your focus tight and relevant when it comes to targeting potential blogs to pitch your guest posts to.

The smartest way to be invited to guest blog is to be a participant on a blog as a commenter. If you’re already active in the blogging community, then you have a head start. If you aren’t active yet on industry-related blogs, now is the time to get familiar with the online blogging community and make you—and the brand you represent—visible.

You can also seek out blogs that are open to guest posts by visiting websites such as BloggerLinkUp.com or MyBlogGuest.com.

2. Know Your Audience

When you write guest posts for other blogs, always keep your audience in mind. Get a feel for the voice and style of each blog you’ll be guesting for. Take special note of the tone and writing style. The regular audience of a particular blog will have set expectations for the kind of blog posts they’ll read in the future, so model the format of your guest post to that of the source blog you’re writing for.

If your targeted blog uses technical language, reflect that in your guest post. However, if a blog’s posts are written for the general public and are light on industry jargon, avoid confusing terms and wording.

Read past blog posts from your targeted host blogs and check out the comment sections as well. Perusing reader comments can give you insight into the education, knowledge and interests of a blog’s followers. Keep in mind that the average adult reads at a ninth-grade level. Don’t churn out a guest blog post written at a post-graduate level and risk alienating your audience.

3. Make it Personal

Yes, readers are interested in your business, and you want to guide them to your product or brand, but don’t forget to add a personal touch as well. People find personal-themed blog posts interesting because of the voyeur factor. They also draw a lot of traffic.

Many readers will ask questions such as, “What is the company’s CEO’s personality like?” Take, for example, the late Steve Jobs. Although Apple’s products attracted buyers on their own merits, plenty of people (avid Mac users and PC users alike) were curious about Steve’s history, personal philosophy, and work methods. The same can be said for Bill Gates and Microsoft. One way or another, the brand is always connected to the people behind it. Make that connection with your brand and your guest blog readers as well.

You can tap into the personal factor in your blog post, as well as promote your brand, by making readers feel like you’re having an intimate conversation with them, as if you’re sitting down with them and chatting over a cup of coffee at a local shop. When you communicate with readers on a personal level and connect it to your profession, you instill confidence in people and, by association, your brand. Let them see glimpses of your personality and business philosophy.

By taking advantage of guest blog posts, you will keep the attention of your regular subscribers and attract new ones over to your home blog. In addition, your new readers will likely follow you on other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. Guest blogging is an essential way to effectively market and promote your business and build your clientele.

The Importance of Blogging, and Blogging Some More

I recently had someone ask me:

Do I really have to blog?

The answer to that is simple. NO! You don’t have to blog.

There is nothing in this world that compels you to blog, just like you don’t have to get up and brush your teeth in the morning, or put fresh clothes on, or take a bath once in a while.

However, you may not get the results you want though if you don’t.

The Importance of Blogging, and Blogging Some More

By Gabriel Weinberg

By Gabriel Weinberg

If your goal for your book, product, service or brand is to gain more visibility (the positive kind, mind you!), then blogging is a very powerful way to begin, for many reasons.

  1. It’s fresh content, which the search engines like to see.
  2. It’s easy for readers to share with their friends.
  3. It brings traffic to your website, increasing its visibility to the search engines.
  4. It’s more information on the internet that’s all about you and your favorite topic!
  5. It gives prospective buyers a sense of who you are, what you care about, and how you present yourself.

So, how do you get started? Don’t you have to have your own website to blog? Well… The answer isn’t quite so simple.

[Read more…]

4 Unconventional Ways To Market Your Book

Today’s post is a guest post from Josh Allan Dykstra, a fellow member of the Lead Change Group. Josh and I had the chance to meet and talk for a bit at SANG in October, and I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know him. Since he recently released his new book Igniting the Invisible Tribe: Designing An Organization That Doesn’t Suck, I asked him to share a few thoughts on what’s worked best for him in promoting his book online.

Josh Allan Dykstra - Principal, Strengths DoctorsSo, I hear you’re an author with a book on your hands. Or, perhaps, you have a book in production which will soon release to be your groundbreaking tome. First, congratulations! Please don’t take these compliments lightly — many, many (maybe even most) people would “like to write a book someday.” Simply by the act of actually completing the task, you have made yourself a scarce resource. You’ve put your thoughts into the world in a careful and meaningful way. This is something to celebrate!

That said, even though you now (or will soon) have a book that you’re incredibly proud of, what you probably don’t have are millions of eyeballs, poised and ready to consume your brilliant and innovative prose. Don’t let this get you down; it’s a problem most new authors face, honestly. Most of us aren’t radio hosts or TV stars. We don’t have 100,000+ followers on Twitter or celebrity status.

So how do us “normal folks” get the work we’ve slaved over for months (maybe even years) in front of the right readers? Here are four ways you may not have considered:

1. Strategically Join A Great Group

Of course, we’ve all heard ad nauseam about the benefits and importance of networking. This is true, of course, but in this example I’m not talking about rubbing shoulders with just anybody. Some groups provide specific benefits to authors and content creators, and these are the kind of groups you want to look for. For me, being part of the Young Entrepreneur Council has been amazing. The YEC has media partnerships in place that members can take advantage of, and it’s helped me get my writing featured in Fast Company, Business Insider, etc.

2. Find Niche Bloggers

The idea here is fairly simple: connect with the people who run the blogs that already talk to the groups of people you want to connect with. The easiest way to identify these sites might be to think about the places you yourself go to find interesting content — if you like it, it’s likely the people who will read your work will, too. Send a note to the blog’s owner (usually easy to find on an About Us or Contact page) and offer to do a guest post, video chat, or email interview; whatever the blog owner thinks will connect most with their audience. If you can show that you’ll create value for their readers, many bloggers will jump at the chance to get great (and free!) external content.

3. Partner With University Professors

Do you know any professors who teach something related to your material? Offer to get them a free copy of your book and see what they think! If they find it helpful and you can get on the syllabus as required reading, classrooms can be a great source of recurring revenue — and, perhaps even more exciting, a perfect way to get your ideas into the heads of impressionable minds. I’ve found the best way in is through the professor directly; many times they have complete “creative control” over what they want their students to be exposed to. If you can get them excited about your work, they’ll be a great advocate.

4. Start and/or Lead A Tribe

This is the hardest, but probably best, way to grow your readership. Because of the ways the world is changing, particularly in regards to technology, it’s easier than ever to connect with the people who care about the same big, hairy problems you do. Stake your claim and purchase the URL. Start talking and writing about it everywhere. Obsess over how to create value for the members of your tribe, and make sure your book is a worthy conversation piece for tribe members. I won’t lie and say this is easy — it takes a tremendous investment of work and time — but once you are seen as a thought leader of a movement, you’ll find that book sales will come much more easily.

It’s an amazing privilege when people give us their most scarce resource of time to read our thoughts, isn’t it? I’m truly honored you gave a bit of your time to read my thoughts here. My sincere best wishes to you on your adventures as an author!

//

Josh Allan Dykstra is a recognized thought leader on the future of work and company culture design. His articles and ideas have been featured by Fast Company, Business Insider, MSN.com, Under30CEO, and The Agency Post. He is a co-founder of Strengths Doctors, a consulting firm that helps leaders and entrepreneurs design energizing places to work. Josh’s eclectic background includes projects with organizations like Apple, Sony, Genentech, Starbucks, and Viacom/CBS as well as startups, nonprofits, and universities. He holds an MBA in Executive Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his new book, Igniting the Invisible Tribe: Designing An Organization That Doesn’t Suck, is available on Amazon.com. Connect with him online at http://joshallan.com.

An Interview with Jeff Goins, author of “Wrecked”

Today’s post features an interview with author, Jeff Goins. Tara Alemany, owner of Aleweb Social Marketing, had the opportunity to ask Jeff a few questions recently as part of his virtual tour for his new book, Wrecked, which came out in August 2012.

Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked, interviewed on alewebsocial.comJeff is a writer who lives outside of Nashville with his wife, son, and pup. He works for Adventures in Missions and blogs at goinswriter.com.

When you started your blog in 2010, you had some burning questions about making a living as a writer that you were trying to answer for yourself. (To see Jeff’s questions, click here.) With the recent publication and success of Wrecked, it looks like you found the answers. I’d love it if you could share part of that journey with my readers because it’s a trip they’d all like to take too!

[Read more…]

Why Would I Guest Blog?

Why Would I Guest Blog? - Aleweb Social MarketingI was asked a simple question recently.

Do you guest blog or have guest bloggers on your site?

Although my answer was rather lengthy, I want to cover the gist of it here with you. The short answer is: “Yes. I guest blog and have guest bloggers on my site. And so should you.”

If that’s all you wanted to know, you’re free to go read something else now. But if you’d like a more in-depth explanation, stick around, because here it comes.

I believe in guest blog­ging, as well as being a con­tribut­ing blog­ger because I can’t expect that every­one is going to come to my site all the time to learn about my brand. As much as I love bringing traf­fic here, I’m not a traf­fic con­duc­tor, I’m an infor­ma­tion pur­veyor.

As such, I have to be will­ing to go where my tar­get audi­ence is (on social net­works, other blogs, and online com­mu­ni­ties) and par­tic­i­pate. Oth­er­wise, it’s sim­ply hubris to expect every­one to come to me for the infor­ma­tion I feel like sharing.

So, I guest blog when invited and the audi­ence is rel­e­vant. I invite guest blog­gers on a selec­tive basis, need­ing to know that they’ll pro­vide qual­ity con­tent of inter­est to my read­ers.

My blog is syn­di­cated to other blog net­works (like Business2Community, All­Top and oth­ers), and I am a con­tribut­ing author to the Lead Change Group’s blog that is related to a sec­ondary inter­est of mine, leadership.

All of these build authen­tic­ity for my brand, mak­ing me a val­ued and trusted resource for those that do decide to fol­low me.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Would you?

What are your thoughts about guest blogging? Do you like it when someone guest blogs on a site you follow? Do you write guest blogs yourself?