Anyone using content marketing, i.e., their blog, to promote their books? Got any tips for 'spreading the word' and getting a bigger audience? I use social media, Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon and Google+ and I'm on a blog directory or two. I also ping my blog every quarter, but seem to have hit a peak. I'm getting 2,500 page views a month currently and at one stage had almost 10k visits, but I sometimes wonder if the blog http://tom-kane-author.website/blog/ itself is a problem.
Any advice, hints & tips etc., would be much appreciated.
It sounds as if you're doing all the marketing right. If you're getting that many views on your blog, and it's just about your books, you may well have peaked.
I get about 4 times that many views on my blog, but it's non-fiction and informative. I do talk sometimes on my blog about my books (fiction), but I don't see it boosting sales. But I think it's good spreading accurate information anyway, which is why I enjoy blogging. Most successful blogs give information about a topic in which people are interested.
I had a quick look at your blog. Initially I couldn’t find any links to your books on Amazon, until, after a short perusal, I saw that they were at the bottom of some of your posts. Is it possible to put the links somewhere more permanent, rather than at the bottom of a post that, as you add more posts, will disappear over time? I don't blog myself so not sure, but its worth looking into. And then those links took me to the UK site rather than Amazon.com, the US site. I’m not terribly familiar with the genres/niches you’re aiming at, but as a general rule of thumb, the US site is where you’ll get the lion’s share of your sales, so best to link to Amazon.com rather than Amazon.UK.
But having said all that, promoting Amazon Kindle eBooks on blogs and social media sites is not really necessary these days. The Amazon Kindle market is its own powerful marketing system, and as long as you are a canny operator within that system: doing your market research, aiming at hot niches, and modelling your books on other books that are selling like hot cakes – then you’ll make sales.
As to your books themselves, looking on Amazon.com, most of them have sales ranking of over one million, so they’re not selling. However, one title that did catch my eye was “Operation Werewolf: Hitler’s Revenge”. As I write this, that title has a ranking of 287,390 – which given that it was published back in 2013, isn’t at all bad. Maybe, if you’re serious about selling books on Amazon, you should have a closer look at this book, analyse the niche that it’s in, and consider writing some more books in that vein as it would seem you're doing some business with that one, (assuming that the book’s sales ranking is due to genuine sales and not just your best mate doing you a favour).
As to blogs though: if you enjoy writing them for their own sake – fine. If you’re just looking at them as a tool to sell books on Amazon –then your time could be better spent.
The site looks clean, but I did spot a couple things that might help, primarily to do with legibility. The text box is really wide. Sounds silly, but if you check most blogs and websites, the text box is quite narrow. Online readers tend to skim text, rather than read it slowly, so narrow text boxes make that easier. Your text almost completely filled my screen, which is a bit overwhelming.
Your paragraph breaks are also very narrow, which creates a block of text effect. That can turn readers away. Breaking text up with subheadings, bold, short paras, greater spacing between paras, etc. can be helpful, as well as more images. Side bars are useful things. They can be used for thumbnails of your books, or thumbnails of other blog posts, or a list of other authors your follow. These are things that can help keep people clicking through your site, too, since online readers are easily distracted
All of the social media links on the site are for sharing. What if someone just wanted to follow you? Where are the links to your Facebook, Twitter, etc?
Do you post on your blog regularly? At present your Archives bar on the right side shows that other than Sept 2017, there are no archives since 2014. Regular content makes a big difference, too.
My main question, though, is what is the intent of your blog? It's a bit all over. You have stuff about Cyprus, blogging, writing, and so on, so I'm wondering who your target audience is? Who do you want to attract? Write content to target those people.
Do you connect with other bloggers in your target market? I run a food blog, and to develop a readership I visit other similar bloggers, comment on their posts, follow them on social media, share their content, invite them to visit my recipe roundups, etc. People are more inclined to share and read your content when you show an interest in theirs
Hi, Tom, I had a brief look at your blog (I'm at work right now) and I have some feedback, which is all intended to be constructive:
Your homepage URL has both the word website and blog in it. With a website and a blog being two different things, consider separating the two so you have a) your website (with a static homepage) and b) a link to your blog in your top right hand corner menu, where you can house all your blog posts.
Your name/logo appears huge. It covers up the entire screen and takes 5 scrolls of the mouse to get past it. Shrinking it down in size would look more neat and tidy and just be far easier on the eye.
A good format I'd suggest is a static home page, with a menu at the top which looks something like "Home/About/Books/Blog/Contact." A separate page to display all your books is what I see on most authors' sites. And of course, having a static homepage would mean your posts would have a proper home in the blog section, and your books wouldn't be nudged to the bottom of the pile whenever you publish a new post.
Since you used WordPress to build your site, have a look at the plug-ins and widgets available. If you have a Goodreads page then you might want to consider the Goodreads widget which will appear on the side of the page; clicking on it will take visitors straight to your GR.
Those were my main impressions, and I hope that came across in the spirit it was intended, and not as overly-critical Best wishes, Fern.