Whenever you create new content, the next logical step is to get it in front of as many people as possible. This requires the constant and consistent marketing of your books and articles.
Unfortunately, this is where many writers fall ways short of the mark. But the good news is that you can take some concrete steps to get your content in the game. The best way to approach marketing is to do a little bit constantly and stay at it.
Over time, you begin to see what works and what doesn’t work. Then you can focus more on the most effective avenues of content marketing.
11 Tips for Content Marketing
Here are some tips and pointers that have worked very for writers in general. You can apply them regardless of your writing medium or your chosen niche.
Understand that some of them will work better for you than others.
Know the purpose behind what you do
Many writers will create social media accounts, podcasts, video channels, or even a blog and will then wonder later on about those that can be monetized. This is something you need to identify before creating one of those web entities.
Social media accounts can be great assets, but they can easily take up an enormous amount of your time. There is nothing wrong with creating a huge social media following, but you need to have a plan for that following.
For me, I use them to drive traffic to other monetization pages – like those on one of my blogs or an Amazon page that features one of my books. The key is having a plan for what you do and not waste your valuable time.
Serious writers create their own site
It’s tempting to start with one of the many free blogs or websites available these days. While some writers have done this successfully, there are too many potential problems with this approach.
You do not own that free blog – someone else does. And they change the rules on you at any moment – and they will if it helps their bottom line.
Don’t believe me? Look at Facebook, for instance.
Years ago, Facebook users spent a lot of hard-earned money to build up their “fan pages.” By running Facebook ads, they attracted hundreds of thousands of new fans to these fan pages. This was a great thing because they now had an audience devoted to their niche – and they could market to their fans as much as they pleased. However, building up the fan page cost them several thousand dollars.
Today, these fans are not accessible to fan page owners anymore. They have to buy even more advertising to market to their own fans! The fans on a page that they created and paid for!
What’s worse is that owners of these free websites can delete your free blog (and all your hard work) in the blink of an eye – for no reason at all. Now what would really suck is to build a nice following over a few years, only to wake up one day and discover it is gone. This has happened to thousands of people on many of these sites.
Design your site for mobile and ease of use
While creating your own blog is very important, perhaps even more important is having a mobile-friendly blog. These days, blogs and website owners are getting a massive amount of traffic from mobile phones.
This can vary from niche to niche, but I can safely say that across my blogs, at least half of my traffic comes from mobile. This means that the theme you use for your blog needs to mobile-friendly.
Fortunately, this is not as difficult as it sounds. Most WordPress themes today are designed for mobile viewing. You only need to verify that the theme you use serves mobile audiences.
Build your own email list
Building an email list is something that every writer should consider. Setting this up on your blog takes some effort upfront, and there’s a bit of a learning curve, but the rewards can be tremendous.
If you’re not familiar with this, it’s where you get readers to submit their email addresses for a free giveaway or bonus item. You do this by installing an “opt-in” box on your site, promising something very valuable in exchange for their email.
After getting their email, you can notify them whenever you publish a new book or content that you think would be helpful for them. Over time, you can build a massive list of several thousand people – which is an enormously powerful asset.
A word of warning here – do not spam your list. Treat them the way you’d like to be treated. You’ve probably been on lists before – keep that in mind when you have one of your own lists.
Create excellent content
One thing the Internet has plenty of is garbage content. There is no shortage of bot spun content that makes no sense and serves nobody. Because of this fact, you must ensure that your content stands out from the crowd. This is not a hard thing to do these days.
I recommend using something like Grammarly to raise your content to the highest quality level. It is well worth the cost.
Be sincere, personal, and authentic
The most potent aspect of anyone’s writing ability is their personality. This is what makes you unique. The world already has a Steven King and John Grisham; it doesn’t need copycats of them.
Knowing who you are and your strengths and weaknesses make you human – and that’s what people want to read about. Do not be ashamed or afraid to share your personality with your readers.
Recently, I read about a study where a group of people was trying to work with robots, and at first, they deeply resented their computerized colleagues. However, it was after the robot made a mistake that the humans began to connect with them. This illustrates the power of having flaws and being human – it is how we built rapport.
Create content in your niche
There’s a saying among online marketers regarding niches; you can either go “wide” or go “deep.” This means that you get very specific with your niche (going deep) or keep your niche broad (going wide).
There are advantages and disadvantages that come with both approaches. If you go wide, then you can potentially reach more people, but their reason for reading your content won’t be as strong.
Going deep has the opposite effect. The people who find and read your content will be driven by a more specific reason (like buying, perhaps?), but you won’t get as many visitors.
The downfall for going wide is that competition can be fierce, and the problem with going deep is that you may not get enough traffic to justify creating a blog in the first place.
I think the best solution for this dilemma is to do both. You can create a blog under a broad topic of your choosing, but you can also create articles that address specific issues within that topic. This gives you many avenues of tapping into your audience. It’s been my experience that the best performing articles often are the ones you would least expect.
Balance learning and creating content
This is very important. Being a writer requires a lot of work, and if we’re not careful, we end focusing solely on cranking out new content.
However, to be a great writer and an asset for our readers, we must keep learning more and more within our market. Therefore, there must be time set aside for researching and learning. Otherwise, you’ll keep repeating and rehashing many of the same messages over and over again.
Also, learning new things keeps your excitement and motivation level high as well.
Know the difference between copywriting and writing
This can be a problem for fiction writers because they do not need to write copy in their work. Copywriting is writing to persuade others to take some action. A fiction writer never does this; they only entertain.
So promoting and marketing books can be a real problem for fiction writers. To do this successfully, you must be able to write enticing headlines and opening paragraphs that are very persuasive.
Copywriting skills require understanding the psychology of getting people’s attention – among many other things.
Link to others and share traffic
Whenever you’re building a presence online, you must have a generous attitude. Be willing to like and share the content of other people that you genuinely like. And if the content was beneficial, then you should share the link with your readers.
Understand this. When you share, like, or link to another writer’s content, they will not always reciprocate – so be prepared for this. Keep the long-term picture in your mind. The more social karma you spread from your online presence, the more you will eventually get in return.
Do not allow your mind to become poisoned because someone failed to return a kindness.
Always Use images
There have been countless studies across many years about using images on your Internet content. And the result is always the same. Content that has images receive far more engagement than content that doesn’t have images.
With this fact known, there is simply no reason for not using images. The only thing with images is that you must have permission to use them. However, countless sites have thousands of images that you can use legally. So there’s simply no excuse for nothing having an image in your articles.