You Need an Email List…As In Yesterday
Ok, so you have a website. It is professional and modern looking, and you keep it updated. But, no one is returning to your site. What do you do? Well, unfortunately dear, sweet, author, your marketing journey is not over. Fortunately, the next step requires very little “selling” on your part. You need an email list as well as content, such as a newsletter or blog, to consistently send to that list.
Let’s start with the content. The most important part of marketing is creating great content. No one will return to your website, even if you have a fantastic email list, if you have crappy content. Keep a consistent blog or newsletter, or both (I would suggest both), with well written, problem solving content.
Important reminder, warning, this may be harsh: your readers don’t care about you. They care about what you can do for them. Make sure that your content is not focused on you and your books. Instead, focus on solving people’s problems. Show your readers how you are going to help them. Keep thinking of new problems they might have and how your expertise can help them solve those problems.
Now comes the hardest part. How should you structure your content? And how often should you post it? Michael Hyatt and [amazon text=Rob Eagar&asin=159963421X] have some great ideas on this, but here is a simple breakdown.
- Keep it short (the sentence length, the paragraph length, the post length)
- Make it scannable
- Invite your readers into the discussion with a question
- Post at least once a week, but no more than once a day
Remember to not make these mistakes.
- Have a professional layout (either hire a graphic designer, or use standard software such as Microsoft Word)
- Include a feature article (it could be a blog post or an excerpt from your book that has been reworked)
- Include your contact info, bio, and a calendar of events
- Send them out at least every quarter, but no more than once a week
Remember, the name can be deceiving, but this is not about your news, it is about solving your readers’ problems.
Now that you are generating great content, you need a way to get that great content into the hands, or computers, of your readers. In other words, you need an email list. This may seem like a tricky thing, but it is simpler than you think. If you already have an email list, but you need to grow it (because you always need to grow it), the following tips can help you with this, as well as some others from Michael Hyatt.
Get people to give you their email address by giving them something for free.
Offer a free chapter of your latest book. Or create a short pamphlet or booklet that uses your expertise to solve a problem. You could offer a raffle at a book signing, or at your next speaking engagement. Be creative. The point is that people are more willing to give you their email address if they know that it will be worth their while.
Offer an “opt in” on your website.
Whether it is in the top right corner of your homepage, a pop up, or an invitation at the end of each blog post, have a space where people can opt in to receive your email updates.
Try NoiseTrade Books
NoiseTrade Books is a website where you can offer a book, or booklet, to the public and they can pay as much or as little for it that they want. The catch is that they have to offer their email address. Ed Cyzewski wrote a great blog post about his experience with NoiseTrade books.
This may seem like a lot of extra work. But remember, you are responsible for your author brand. Don’t be afraid. Once you begin a routine of creating consistent content, it won’t seem so daunting. So, get out there, write about what you know, and enjoy the work of helping people through your words and wisdom.
Tell us about your favorite blog or newsletter in the comments section below.