Links Roundup April 2017

Spring is here, and so is our Links Roundup for April 2017! We’ve found articles about how to simplify your writing with different apps; tax advice for bloggers; tips for creating compelling blog content; how to make your blog more user-friendly; and up-to-date advice on how to publish an e-book. Whether you create your own author website or we create one for you, we want to give you the best possible tools to build an effective online author platform and get your writing out there for the world to read.

Simplifying My Life And My Writing – via I’d Rather Be Writing – Tom Johnson talks about the need to simplify your life to focus on what matters most—writing! He also discusses several writing apps and how they helped him solve technical writing issues such as verbosity.

Blogging 101: Tax Tips For Bloggersvia Advice From A Twenty Something – With April 15 right around the corner, Amanda Holstein talks about how independent bloggers can organize their income and expenses for taxes, using programs such as QuickBooks Self-Employed and TurboTax Self-Employed.

Irresistible Reading: Psychology’s 6-Tip Guide To Great Writing via ProBlogger – Ellen Jackson tells us how to create compelling blog content, from eliciting emotion to writing accessibly to utilizing empathy.

These Simple Changes Will Make Your Blog Ultra User-Friendlyvia BlogTyrant – Blogging expert Ramsay discusses ways to make your blog more user-friendly. Tips include simplifying navigation based on a certain goal, increasing your font size, making sure that everything loads as quickly as possible, and more!

How To Publish An E-Book – via Jane Friedman – Jane Friedman reviews the best methods for publishing an e-book: using the right basic e-book files, choosing your e-book retailers and distributors, optimizing your product pages and descriptions, and navigating sales, marketing, and promotion.


5 Ways To Take Your Social Media To The Next Level

You may think that because you’re a writer, creating engaging, insightful, and clever social media content will be easy. But sooner or later, you’re going to write posts, tweets, and pins that are resounding duds. Don’t fret—it happens to even the most influential people on every social media platform. If you’re not getting the results you wanted from your social media efforts, there are easy ways to take your social media skills to the next level. And here’s an added bonus: These easy-to-use tips apply to most—if not all—social platforms.

Here are 5 ways to take your social media campaigns to the next level:

What you’re doing now: posting only one or two times a week. Posting only a couple times a week may bring you some good results and feedback—but it may not be enough to maintain interest.

What you should be doing: posting every day. Posting relevant content every day is the best way to maximize the effectiveness of your social media, because it allows search engines to correlate you with certain subjects. And posting engaging content daily helps you maintain and grow your social media standing.

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What you’re doing now: making most of your posts text based. Words may be a writer’s best friends, but they’re not typically the most engaging posts on social media.

What you should be doing: integrating photos, animated GIFs, and videos in more posts. Adding more visuals will draw viewers into your posts. A good combination of relevant text and visual interest makes for the best social media campaigns.

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What you’re doing now: occasionally responding to comments or interacting with other users. Infrequent interaction doesn’t allow you to connect with the broad, engaging communities available through social media platforms.

What you should be doing: responding to most comments and interacting with users. Find users via hashtags, trending topics, and comment sections, then respond or engage with any posts you find interesting. This is an excellent way to establish a presence on social platforms.

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What you’re doing now: only posting your work or your own content. While sharing your work is essential to growing your following on any social media platform, exclusively promoting only your own writing will not garner the followers or engagement growth you’re looking for.

What you should be doing: discussing other topics: literary news, current events, etc.—even some writer humor. Diversifying what you post on your social media is a good way to make the person behind the profile a little more three-dimensional. It lets other people engage with you on more interests besides your writing and grows your audience as a result.

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What you’re doing now: not adding video content. It’s no secret that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will promote natively posted video content to more viewers. So shying away from posting original video content could keep new eyes away from your social media profiles.

What you should be doing: creating video content! To truly take your social media campaigns to the next level, original video content is imperative. You don’t need a flashy, professionally produced video to get your message across. If you own a smartphone, DSLR camera or a point-and-shoot, you’re already capable of making great video content. Record yourself or someone else conveying a message you would like to get across via social media, upload it, and now you have some new video content for current fans and potential new followers to enjoy.

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Creating effective social media is not as complicated as you might think. You just have to use the tools already at your disposal—most social media desktop and mobile apps are designed so you can make the most out of the platform. Using these five easy tips, you’ll be able to positively impact the effectiveness of your social media campaigns.



7 Strategies To Get More Guest Blog Post Invitations

Book bloggers who have popular websites can provide powerful promotion opportunities for book authors. Bloggers can help authors drive up sales and build their reputations. Here are our expert marketing tips for how to get featured as a guest blogger on more websites in order to promote your writing:

How To Get More Invitations To Be A Guest Blogger And Promote Your Writing

Chat on social media. Bloggers love their audiences—and if you’re a genuine fan, they might love you too! Leaving comments on blog posts and social media profiles can help your target blogger recognize your name (and build your reputation among readers as well). Just don’t be too aggressive; be a genuinely supportive voice for the blogger you love, and that blogger just might support you back.

Connect in person. Authors who have blogs regularly show up at writing conferences all over the country. Not only will attending a writing conference let you network with agents and editors, but you’re sure to meet bloggers as well. Keep your business card handy and be prepared with ideas for mutual promotion.

Let bloggers know you’re available. Reach out with a friendly email that takes a no-pressure approach and tells bloggers what you have to offer (as opposed to asking for something from them). And make it clear that you’re flexible.

Hire a publicist who has connections. If networking isn’t high on your list, you may be able to hire a professional publicist who can help you connect with bloggers for guest blog spots, interviews, or book review quotes. Before you hire someone, be sure to ask how many guest blog posts the publicist is able to schedule for an author client.

Offer a giveaway. One of the best ways to get your favorite blogger to give you some coverage is to offer a freebie to the blog’s readers: A promotional gift basket or a free book are often attractive goodies. Sweeten the deal even further by promising to refer your existing followers to the blogger’s website to enter to win. Learn more about hosting a book promotion contest.

Suggest a guest blog post swap. Your author blog can be a great tool for encouraging other bloggers to promote your writing—especially if you’re willing to return the favor. Mutual guest blog posts that appear on the same day (and perhaps even cross-promote joint content) can mean big social sharing for everyone!

Share examples of guest blog posts. Sometimes, bloggers will be more excited about you if they know that you’ve done some successful guest blog posts before. Here are some tips for writing a promotional guest blog post. Bonus points if you can show that your guest posts brought a new audience to the bloggers who hosted you.

And If The Blogger Still Says “No”…

Don’t take a “no” personally: Sometimes, a blogger will turn you down as a matter of policy. Or perhaps he or she simply doesn’t read your type of book, or has too many guest blog posts lined up already. Whether the blogger you’re targeting agrees to let you do a guest blog post or not, always say thank you. If you play your cards right, a “no” right now might still become a “yes” sometime down the road.


Question: Have you ever written a guest blog post to promote your writing? Share a link in our comments section, along with a note about how you came to be offered the guest blog post opportunity.


How To Create Backups Of Your Author Website If Your Web Host Doesn’t

Like the savvy writer you are, you have your author platform running like clockwork. Then one day, you check your email and find that the host for your author website has contacted you—and it’s bad news. Your website has been taken down because it’s been hacked. Unfortunately, this is a problem that’s becoming more and… Continue Reading

Links Roundup March 2017

Lucky you—here’s our March Links Roundup! This month we bring you articles about how to set up your browser to minimize distraction and increase productivity; predictions for SEO in the coming year; tips on how to start a blog; advice on teaching an online writing course; and what we can expect for book marketing in… Continue Reading

The Lazy Writer’s Social Media Cheat Sheet

You have a looming writing deadline…calls to return…groceries to buy…kids to tuck in…etc., etc., etc. But wait—don’t forget your social media updates—a vital part of your author platform! If you need some quick-fix ideas for your social media posts (including your Facebook author page), don’t panic! We’ve put together some “instant” post ideas just for… Continue Reading

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