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Visit The Heart of Transylvania

Cluj-Napoca is the official capital of the Grand Principality of Transylvania. A city in Europe you never thought of visiting, but you should!

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Who Actually Writes the World’s Bestsellers? – Ghostwriters!

At least half of the world bestselling books are actually written by ghostwriters and the majority of the other half are heavily re-written by editors.

Top 8 Most Effective Email Marketing Practices

Your email list is the best source in generating sales. Email marketing is arguably the most powerful marketing channel. Here's what you need to know.

Steven Pressfield

A very interesting read from a great from a writer, Steven Pressfield, and even better, today you can grab it here for free… Just download this and read it later, the normal price for it is $10 on kindle.

7 Tips for Authors to Grow Your Audience on LinkedIn

7 Tips for Authors to Grow Your Audience on Linkedin

Not all social media platforms are created equal. For writers, it’s almost imperative that they’re on Twitter or Facebook, but do not always need to be on Tumblr or Snapchat. The last two are great tools if you’re writing young adult fictions because that’s where you can find most young adults. On the other hand, if your genre falls into categories that target the more mature demography, you may very well choose other places where you can connect with them in a more professional manner.

  •             Twitter [check]
  •             Facebook [check]
  •             LinkedIn [?]

If that’s you asking how your “existing” LinkedIn account can help you as an author, I’m here at your service. I have valuable tips for you on how you can maximize the benefits of LinkedIn for an author like you. But if that’s you asking what good is it to start a LinkedIn account…

Give me a glass of water, please. I can’t even finish my sentence.

I can’t believe you’re not on LinkedIn!

For your own sake, hop on the website now and create an account.

But whether you are on LinkedIn or not, these tips will make you do two things: (1) Create an account if you’re not there yet; and (2) Regularly use LinkedIn starting today.

Because LinkedIn is not just for finding jobs or looking for applicants…

Bare it all

I’m not talking about what you should do the next time you attend your friend’s stag or shower party. I’m talking about your descriptive title.

Your descriptive title on LinkedIn is what instantly appears next to or below your name, if they look up for you on the search bar or see your name anywhere else on LinkedIn. It’s the shadow that never leaves you so you better choose a well-crafted description of yourself which is brief enough to fit at a glance.

Fill your profile with keywords

This will cover two sub-topics:

  • Profile

Your profile is where you will have to put a more detailed description of what you do and your achievements. Do not worry about going too long on this as you would want to fill this with as much information about you as a professional writer. This will help you become more searchable with the keywords that your profile contains.

  • Endorsements

When you visit the LinkedIn profile of your 1st connections, you will be asked if you’d like to endorse them based on the skills/ keywords provided. Go ahead and make that endorsement. You can endorse for one or more skills if so suited for the person. In return, they’ll likely endorse you for the skills they know you have.

Be a Teacher (not a Salesman)

LinkedIn is a platform where people go for professional networking first and learning to a close second. It’s easy to build you network here but the real challenge is, how well you would be able to engage your connections.

No, not by selling them your book upfront.

TEACH THEM FOR FREE.

Conduct free educational webinars and share what you know to as many connections as possible. The greatest marketing tool that’s as old as time is word of mouth. News about your teaching for free will spread through the people who have had experience learning from you.

Generosity can never go out of style.

Join and participate in groups

I’m being clear here. I recommend you to not only join groups but also actively participate. Professional groups are common in LinkedIn for these are how people with same interest connect. As an author, there are many groups you can join in or even start by yourself. If you must create, make sure it’s a unique group that does not duplicate an existing one. If you must join, join the one that serves your genre well.

I mentioned earlier about doing free educational webinars. You can do it with the members of the group you’re in and later on start a discussion. As they have joined the group with their own consent, they are for sure interested in what you will be teaching and be more active in the discussion. Who knows, they might buy your books without asking them to?

Feature your writings (books, blogs)

This just proves that LinkedIn are built for authors as much as for companies and corporate professionals. If you explore well enough, you’ll figure that you can add a section called Publications where you can post all the books and blogs you have published under your authorship.

You can go a bit upfront by linking it to the Amazon book page or blog website, or simply puting it there with a description and some news about the book (sale, giveaways, etc.).

Accept Recommendations

Recommendations are not only for employer-employee relationships. If I haven’t stressed enough, LinkedIn is also made for you as an author. If you have added the Publications section, LinkedIn users can have a peek through your books or blogs. You can reach out to connections and members of the groups you’re in to give recommendations for you whether as author, speaker, or consultant.

Having a few reliable testimonies can help boost your credibility. Organizations and individuals would be interested to work with someone who is reliable and responsive.

And as they say, kindness begets kindness. Write some recommendations as well for your connections.

Feed your timeline

Just like most social media platforms, you can share contents in your timeline. But unlike Facebook, you MUST completely avoid the cat videos.

Cat videos on Twitter and Facebook are forgivable but not on LinkedIn.

In LinkedIn, majority, if not all, are professionals, entrepreneurs, and authors. Choose what you will share. Share contents of others such as a link to a Forbes article, tips for entrepreneurs, a new book by an author-friend, etc.

Share your own content very minimally.

It’s best to show that you are not too fixated on yourself or desperate to sell your books. Doing so would make you look like a salesman more than an author. The rule in Twitter and in most social media is applicable to LinkedIn. Share contents of others 80% of the time and 20% your own.

******

As with any other social media, the ultimate rule is to respond. An automated account is easy to spot. When your contacts send you a message, respond. If they sell something you’re not inclined to buy, decline politely. If they comment on your post, respond.

Always remember that it’s a two-way street. If you want to grow your network, you must be sincere with the engagement. Especially if you’re dealing with professionals such as your contacts on LinkedIn.

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How to Turn your Blog Visitors into Book Buyers

From blog visitor to book buyer

It’s kind of like parenting where you promote and support a child from infancy to adulthood. Similarly, you can use the same process with your author-blog followers. You provide developmental support by writing incredible contents and hopefully get them to stick around and become your regular visitors.

Except that you want more than that, without sounding too salesy…

It’s a bit of a mystery to some writers how other author-blogs thrive in terms of book sales while their own don’t. They seem to be following the same “parenting” template yet their own results are less satisfactory than the others.

The template actually works for all. Author-blogs are a great way to market your books. But what most authors don’t know is, they have to forget marketing. You are a writer not a salesman. You only need to follow two critical tips besides the current parenting template you know.

Each of the two factors is subdivided into three sub-topics in order to stress the important key points to remember. As we go through them, visualize your existing blog and identify what you should start or stop doing starting today.

The Stickiness Factor

Malcolm has defined this in his bestselling book The Tipping Point.

“The specific quality that a message needs to be successful is the quality of ‘stickiness.' Is the message-or the food, or the movie, or the product-memorable? Is it so memorable, in fact, that it can create change, that it can spur someone to action?”

Ask this same question to yourself regarding the content of your author-blog. Is the message memorable? Does it drive someone to action?

The answer should not be based solely on your personal opinion or the compliments of your closest friends. Revenues in the form of book sales are the best indicator that your messages stay.

Here are three key points to follow in order to achieve the stickiness factor.

  • Invest to a selected few

Traffic is not everything. You may have strong traffic but poor returns. They’re visiting your website because they’re redirected there by your social media accounts yet they’re not buying your book. Every now and then, new visitors take a peek into your website. But your book sales are fewer than half the pages of a book’s epilogue.

You need returning visitors.

It may be nice to have new visitors to check out your website but it’s even more important to make them become your regular visitors. They can be just a few number but they’re you’re real investments. Focus your attention to that market. Give them some TLC.

Write contents that are relevant to them. They’ll appreciate it. If they find that you speak for them, they’d want more of what you have to say. They want someone who can articulate what they themselves cannot say. And you, as a writer, can very well do that for them.

  • Speak with authenticity

Speak to them as if they’re you’re friends but speak politely. Don’t sound like a preacher nor a college professor. You do a more formal way of writing in your book. Loosen up a bit with your blog. It’s one way for your readers to know that they’re engaging with someone real. Plus, too much formality in a blog is boring and can push your readers away.

Your goal is to establish a place for participation and not a monologue. Get them on a discussion. If they have participated, that’ll stay in their memory.

  • Tell your story

Let them in into bits of your journey. Based on personal experience, I love it when some people I follow and admire share some snippets of their struggles. They come out real to me. Not like they’re from outer space who can’t relate to regular humans.

I am more in awe of those who openly discuss the process, struggles, and experiments they experience as if I’m part of their journey. Do this by posting some photos from your regular writing day every few times in your blog, and you’ll see how your followers will be more participating.

You’ll see that you didn’t even have to promote your book. They’ll buy at their own accord because they can relate to your story.

The Trust Factor

Relationships are best built in trust. Your followers are people whom you don’t have personal relations with, but you can never thrive without them. It’s easy to gain their trust. Having them stay is the next biggest challenge.

Let me give specific key points to help you hurdle the obstacle.

  • Follow-up on promises

You don’t make promises to people you are not personally connected to. The promises I’m talking about here are things you do with your followers where they expect results.

If you started a contest (raffles, giveaways), give what you promised to the chosen winners and fulfill it at the timeline you have originally indicated. If you are to divert from the timeline, let them know way ahead of time. You have to manage their expectations because they’ll easily lose heart on you if don’t follow-up on your promises.

If you set up a webinar, show up. Your followers probably have worked around your schedule no matter where they are in the world. If you make a last-minute announcement that it’s going to be pushed back, you are creating a very unpleasant image of you which will remain in their memory.

Keep your promises all the time to keep your followers interested in what you offer them.

  • Walk the talk

Everything you put online persists for a long time and even forever. Whatever you said today could be used against you or for your advantage in the future.

Do what you say.

If in one of your blog posts you mentioned about supporting an organization that fights for the rights of animals but you were seen walking around Central Park in an animal fur coat, you just lost your credibility.

Say things that are true to you and that you’ll know you’ll never have to contradict yourself in the future. People are often unforgiving to online mishaps. You don’t need to be overly cautious. You only need to be true to yourself and to speak truthfully.

  • Post regularly

Take time to write content on your blog and post on a regular basis. Leaving it dormant for a long period of time will slowly make your followers drift away. Make them stay connected by giving them fresh contents a few times a week. 2-3 blog posts a week would do.

By following bullets 2 and 3 of The Stickiness Factor, you’ll find it easy to come up with new topics every time.

By comparing author-blogging to child rearing, you should’ve figured at this point how big of a responsibility it is to engage your followers through blogging.

The key in all of this is participation.

You want your website to become a place where people can participate and not just do sightseeing. If your contents are sticky enough and if they trust you, you don’t even have to be a salesman of your own books. The participative environment that you created will drive them to buy your books.

Told ‘ya, forget marketing.

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