SEO for Authors – How to Rock
SEO for Authors – How to Rock
Do Authors Need to Worry About SEO Skills?
Simple answer – yes, you need to work on your SEO skills – even if you’re just an author trying to sell books. As an author SEO should be one of the top skills to learn if you plan on doing any type of self-promoting of any kind. Let’s get started on tips about SEO for Authors.
You need to get traffic to your site, no matter what you’re doing online and SEO skills are one of the most important aspects for organic traffic. If your site isn’t optimized for search engines, you’ll likely just be wasting your time, so be sure to get it right from the start.
SEO skills are also incredibly important for any kind of searchable book descriptions or author biographies, so you do want to be sure you brush up on them. The easiest way is to practice some blog posts on your website, focusing on SEO.
Afterwards, you may even want to go back and edit some of your descriptions and bio because just playing around with SEO gets the gears turning and for someone who already, most likely, has a love for words, you’re going to have some serious inspiration.
Don’t worry though, SEO for authors is easier than you think with a single, and free, WordPress plugin. You’ll be a pro at it in no time because YoastSEO is on your side and regularly updates to keep on top of new search engine rules and changes.
Even if you have a few posts and pages already, with YoastSEO, you can easily go back through them and edit them to spruce up your search engine optimization.
Sometimes I will go through old posts just to tighten up the SEO and find that old posts are getting lots of new traffic because of it. Plus, I actually really enjoy it and it helps to awaken new ideas and gets me writing.
As an author, learning SEO skills are a lot like learning grammar skills, except for websites.
You need to tell the search engines what kind of content you have on your site and what it’s about so that people can find it in the vast sea of information. It’s very easy to learn, takes practice, and becomes second nature when you regularly write posts.
When you’re writing a post, the first thing to do is decide what the main content of the post is about and draw out your keywords from it. Think of it as a pitch, but even shorter.
So, say you’re writing a post about golf instruction and you want it to be about *Making Your Best Golf Swing.
For your keywords you could choose ‘best golf swing’ and then you make sure those three words are together in the following parts of your post:
- throughout the content
- image alt tags
- featured image alt tags
- post and category tags
That doesn’t mean that you should use the exact phrase over and over again randomly, but in a natural way throughout. For image alt tags, I find it’s best to change things around, such as ‘Best Golf Swing for Pros’, then another: ‘Finding Your Best Golf Swing’ . You can see how they both have the three words together while saying a different thing. This way you’ll have different phrases that will show up when people type them in the search engines, while still having keeping focus on your keywords.
For practicing advanced SEO for authors skills you can easily find out what are the most popular keywords and phrases are and use them, using free online tools such as within Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Keyword Spy. There are loads of other keyword tools online.
I always try to make sure when I’m choosing keywords to think about what I would type in if I were looking for something. This is one of the keys to awesome SEO for your website.
And as always, the more content you post, the better you get, and the more traffic you get – you reap what you sow.
If even after using the free YoastSEO plugin, and trying to create some blog posts using keywords, and you still need help, just let me know, this is one of my services and I’m more than happy to answer any questions you might have.
*I know absolutely nothing about golf, so I apologize if that’s not a good example. Please don’t hold it against me, and please, no golf related questions – I won’t be much help to you.
Thanks and have an awesome day!
Traffic to Your Author Website with Awesome SEO
SEO Tips for Getting More Traffic to Your Author Website
First of all, you may be asking, what is SEO and what does it matter to me? I’m just putting my website up so that people can go there and see my stuff – right? Yes, it matters a lot, just as much as grammar and punctuation matters to writing. Here are some tips to get you started.
These are your basic areas to focus on for a well-rounded SEO strategy for your author website. Focus on all of these areas and you’ll have a secure foundation for all your traffic sources.
Keywords are the essential building blocks of your SEO strategy. To compare with writing, they would be your plot, and everyone knows you need a good strong plot to make great writing.
It works like this:
- You have your blog post. What is the plot for your post?
- Then you come up with a great headline that captures the main idea.
- You take your headline and break it down so that you capture the plot in just 2-3 words.
Those are your main keywords.
A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase where instead of saying “kangaroo” as your keyword you would use “children’s Australia book about kangaroos”. Long-tail keywords are more specific and when trying to come up with them it’s best to try and think of the phrase you would type in if you were looking for your book.
Always try to be specific with your phrase, but don’t use common words, such as pronouns and articles, as these are considered ‘stop-words’ and search engines are programmed to ignore them. So instead of saying “a children’s book about kangaroos” in your keyword phrase, you would simply say “children’s kangaroo book” and leave out the unnecessary stop-words.
When you’ve written a few blog posts on your site, chances are you’ll be able to categorize them according to topic. This is a great time to look at the common themes and make sure you put them into relevant categories. When you title your categories use keywords that describe your site’s main content.
Back to the kangaroos book, you could have some categories like this:
- Children’s Kangaroo Crafts
- Kid’s Australian Recipes
- Australian Nature Tidbits
- Kangaroo Books
When titling your categories also try to avoid using stop-words. Instead of writing “Australian Recipes for Kids” I dropped the “for” and switched the words around so that it still makes sense. It takes practice, but, as you know, all good writing does.
With every post that you write you should add a few post tags so that you can further maximize your SEO. Post tags are usually 1-2 keywords that you choose to describe your post without them having to be structured for readability.
- Post title: Australian Wildlife Facts About Kangaroos
- Category: Australian Nature Tidbits
- Tags: wildlife, australia, kangaroos
With tags, the words don’t have to be capitalized or any such thing either. They show up as separate links at the bottom of your post. When a visitor clicks on the word “kangaroo” it will take them to every post that you’ve written about kangaroos.
When you insert a graphic or photo on your WordPress blog post, there are several keyword opportunities that come up.
Editable options for images in WordPress:
- Caption – visible text beneath image
- Alt Text
- Description – visible on image info page
All of these can be changed to maximize your keywords within your posts. You can use your main keywords for the title and different long-tail keyword phrase for the rest. It’s best not to repeat your phrases word for word, try to mix things up a bit and think of different ways someone would search for the same thing.
You don’t have to use all four spaces, but I highly recommend using the first 3 options where possible, and Title and Alt Text at the very least.
Make sure your post URL contains your keywords or keyword phrase. In WordPress, the first thing you have to do is make sure your Permalink settings are set to Post Name. This is under Settings —> Permalinks.
Then when you first type out your post, you’ll notice that as soon as you finish typing out your title that the URL will automatically change to the title. You can, and oftentimes should, edit this, to remove superfluous words, especially stop-words to clean up your links.
Other SEO Tips
Outbound links are links that link to other websites within your content. Now, you may ask, why would you want to link to other websites when you’re trying to grow your audience on your website? The reason is ranking in search engines. When you link to other high quality websites in your content, such as in giving examples or further reading, you’re giving your own website authority. If you link to low quality websites, then you’re telling search engines that your content is also low-quality. So, you should, when possible, have a few high quality links within your content to show the search engines that your content is also high quality.
Using outbound links within your content increases and improves your authority and search engine ranking. It may not always make sense, but that’s how it works.
Tip: I always have my outbound links open in a new tab so that it doesn’t actually take anyone completely away from my website and they can easily come back to it for further reading.
So, if outbound links take people away from your site – what are inbound links? Inbound links are links to your own content, also known as “backlinks”, from other websites. Now, if you’ve got your social media profiles right, as discussed in This Post, then you already have several inbound links from around the web. This is a great start, but not enough to really increase your traffic.
To get inbound links to your website you have to start with finding where your audience is hanging out. What types of blogs do they follow and what kind of online communities are they a part of? These are the places you also have to go and hang out.
While you’re there, add your comments on some posts, with a link to your author website. Now, this goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway, don’t post spam.
Spam looks like this: “Great post!” or “thanks for posting this!” just as much as this does: “I’m commenting just to get a link to my website on your blog!” or “buy viagra at the lowest prices” – it’s all the same.
Your comments need to add to the conversation or topic, basically adding your two-cents. The link is clickable on your name, and that’s enough. Sometimes you’ll get people who will click on your name and go to your website, but the main point to start with is to give your website quality inbound links.
This also goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Your comments should be positive, polite, relevant, and not obnoxious, or this makes you look bad, and may even get your comment deleted, which defeats the entire purpose. People who do this are known as trolls. This can be a serious waste of your time and energy that could be spent in more positive pursuits. If you find you’re on a blog that you find too controversial, then find a different one that is more in line with you and your audience since you wouldn’t want to have your site linked to it anyway.
I’m not saying to avoid controversy, because some can be good and bring you a lot of traffic, you just want to be sure that it’s something you’re alright with having yourself associated with, possibly forever.
You also want to be sure you post comments regularly, but not in the same post. You don’t have to reply to someone just because they replied to you, but you can such as in the case of they asked you, personally, a question. Regularly would be a couple times a week per blog. If you find several blogs or online communities you may only want to post once a week at each one. Just try it out and see what works for you.
Blog Commenting Tips:
- Find Where Your Audience Hangs Out
- Post Relevant, Polite Comments
- Add Value to the Topic or Conversation
- Include Your Website Link
- Use Your Author Name
- Never Spam
- Comment Regularly on Different Sites
Learning and putting all of these SEO tips into practice for your website will significantly improve your site structure, search engine listings, and increase your website traffic.
If you have any questions regarding these SEO tips, please don’t hesitate to contact me – I’m more than happy to answer your questions and help you in any way I can.
Have an awesome day & the best success!
Content Ideas for Your Author Blog
Content Ideas to Post on Your Author Blog
Sometimes when your creativity is focused on your book it’s hard to come up with content ideas for your author blog. Here are a few tips and ideas to get you started for when you’re having difficulty coming up with content ideas.
Some things to keep in mind about your audience:
If you’re an author of children’s books – you don’t want to be posting things on your blog such as how to publish your book, where the best places to market your book are, or where to get a good illustrator. These things may be of interest to you, and most likely are, but they are not things that are interesting to your readers. This is a very common, and frustrating, problem, especially with social media. It’s a mistake you don’t want to make on your author website.
Your audience is not other authors unless you have written a book specifically for authors.
If you’re writing children’s books your audience is the parents of the age group of your genre. They want content that is relevant for their children and you want them to take an interest in your books.
First, decide who your audience is by starting simply with your genre, what your book is about, and then break it down from there. For children’s books, your audience is almost always the parents of the age group, not the children themselves.
Some questions to think about when posting content on your website for your audience:
- What are their interests?
- What do they want to read about?
- What kinds of things do they buy?
- Do they like the outdoors?
- Do they like dogs? (or fill in animal that might be relevant to your story)
- What do they like to do for fun?
Then ask yourself:
What will bring them to your website and make them want to buy your book?
Certainly not a post about how to self-publish your book with Amazon and then a link to your book in the sidebar.
They want things that are relevant to their lives, and their children. You’ll want to post content that will deepen their relationship with their kids, entertain their children, excite their children – (in a good way), help their children learn and grow, and content that will engage their children in some way.
You want to post things that will bring them to your site, engage them, and interest them in your book.
For an example: You have a book about a kangaroo geared towards children ages 4-8.
What are their interests? Possibly animals, kangaroos, Australia.
What do they want to read about? Perhaps things that will help their children learn more about kangaroos and animals of Australia. Maybe a craft on how to make a kangaroo mask, or a post on what kangaroos eat, a video of what kangaroos are like in the wild, etc..
What kinds of things do they buy? At the very least, things of interest to children ages 4-8, perhaps nature related, having to do with Australia, animals, things that help their children further explore nature.
Do they like the outdoors? Most likely.
Do they like kangaroos? Yes, and most likely other animals of the world, or specifically Australia.
What do they like to do for fun? They might enjoy taking their kids on nature hikes, science discovery and exploration in their backyard, learning about animals.
Now you take that content and create a simple customer profile and provide content to them that’s relevant to your book and your audience. This way you build a relationship with them and then when your next book comes out about Koala bears, you can repeat the process, providing more relevant content, gaining more readers and expanding your book sales.
Content ideas for blog posts on your children’s author website:
- Best New Books of the Year for kids ages 4-8 – include your own book
- Best Toys of the Year – related to your theme
- Recipes for easy lunches – best if related to your book setting or theme
- Fun kids snacks to eat while reading
- Activity ideas for taking kids to the library
- Great family time reading activities – everyone takes a turn reading a page/chapter from a family favorite book
- Places to enjoy reading your favorite books – picnics, spot in the park, a special reading nook in your kids room
- Crafts related to your genre – masks, bookmarks, printable activities, anything that relates to your main theme
- Coloring pages related to your genre
- Posts on why reading is so awesome for kids
- What books kids really love – and include your’s
- Favorite read-aloud stories
- Music that might be related to your book theme
- Games related to your book theme
Many of these content ideas will go great with adding affiliate income to your blog – READ: Earn Affiliate Money from Your Author Website
There are many creative ideas that you can intertwine to relate to your book that will give you awesome content and bring your readers back for more. You only need to be sure that the content is relevant to the theme of your book, your audience, and genre.
Are you having trouble coming up with creative content for your website relevant to your children’s book theme? Send me an email with your questions and I’ll help you in any way that I can!
Have a successfully creative day!
Tips on Getting Traffic to Your Author Website
Tips on Getting Traffic to Your Author Website
Getting traffic to your author website isn’t luck, a magic formula, or any other such myth. Every aspect of your business, product, and yes, getting traffic to your website requires applying the necessary skills, and yes, work. You have to take the steps to get your links where people will see them, and then have them optimized so people will click on them.
We all want thousands of people on our websites each day – that’s what brings in the sales – right? Well, yes, and no. It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of visitors to your website every day if they aren’t interested in your books, products, or services.
Putting your website on places where you get lots of traffic, such as traffic exchanges, doesn’t work because you’re just taking a chance that maybe one person out of those thousand will be interested in your website. This is a total waste of time and it’s something that is going downhill fast on today’s internet. And if you don’t know what a traffic exchange is, that’s just as well.
1. Something to Offer
First, you must have something of value to offer. People don’t want to come to your website just to hear you talk about how they should buy your books. You have to give them a reason to want to buy your books and one of the ways to do that is to find out what interests your audience has that are relevant to your book.
For ideas on what kind of content to put on your author website – SEE THIS LINK.
2. SEO – Outbound & Inbound Links
The next thing you need to work on is your SEO skills so that you can get the most organic traffic to your author website as possible.
Organic SEO is, basically, the use of keywords throughout your content, image descriptions, headlines, etc., so that your website shows up naturally, (without paid advertising), in search results as high as possible so that people who are looking for your content can find it.
Organic SEO is extremely important and is the foundation of your content and traffic generation. You shouldn’t depend entirely on organic traffic, but you should focus on it from the beginning so that it’s already in place. Think of SEO as the grammar of websites – get your SEO right and you can focus on everything else. Depending on your strategy and content, this could be your main basis for your visitors coming to your website.
The number one free SEO tool for your WordPress website is YoastSEO. I highly recommend using this tool. Not only will it help you get your proper keywords in place, but it’ll also help you build your SEO skills.
Outbound links are links to other websites within your content. This improves your ranking quality when you link to other high quality websites.
Inbound links are links that bring traffic to your author website from other websites. Social media gives you some inbound links, but posting your link to other websites in comments or through link exchanging seriously increases your traffic.
3.Update Old Posts
When you have some old stagnant posts that aren’t getting any traffic, it’s a great idea to go through and update them where possible. Check post keywords, tags, and general wording to see if you can update them in any way. You may be surprised how an old post can bring new traffic with a few edits.
4. Guest Post
Guest posting is you posting a blog post on another website and is a great way to get quality inbound links and lots of traffic to your author website. When you do this you get credit for the article or post and you also get a link to your website. This is an awesome way to get traffic to your website when you can get yourself a post on a big name and high quality blog.
Many large blogs will have a link you can follow that gives you instructions and information about doing a guest blog post. Look for this either in the footer section or other informational section of the website. Some websites are entirely guest bloggers and these types of sites will most likely have such information readily available.
Where there is no information find the contact information for the website owner and send them an email asking if they would like a guest blog post. Give them as much information as is relevant. Sometimes you may receive a rejection, but don’t let that stop you, just try some other blogs.
Since you’re an author, you may also find, instead of blogs, online magazines who take submissions in your writing genre where you can regularly post short stories, poems, or articles. There are many such children’s literature magazines. Often they will also allow you to add your website link with your name as well. Some of these are also paid submissions where you can earn a little extra money along with growing your audience.
5. Social Media
This may seem like an obvious one, but there are some added tips that might help you maximize your traffic through social media platforms.
Read – Social Media for Authors here.
Social Media Groups
You can either join or create your own groups in both Facebook and LinkedIn that are related to your niche or genre and have a place to grow your audience through a mutual topic. These groups can be extremely useful for directing traffic to your author website when you have an active group that regularly posts.
The only thing I wouldn’t recommend is joining groups where it’s an “advertise your book here” type of group. It’s not that they’re necessarily bad, but they aren’t very helpful. Everyone is simply posting their own book links and information and nobody else is interested in anything that anyone posts. It tends to be a waste of time.
For Facebook, you want to start, or join, an active group that’s on a topic of interest. For example, if you have your Kangaroo kid’s book, you might want to start a group about ‘animals of Australia for kids’ or something to that effect. This wouldn’t be relevant on LinkedIn.
The big difference with starting a group verses joining one is that usually the owner of the group doesn’t allow posting of sales links, but if you own the group, you can post your links or information, and make the rules.
6. Social Bookmark Sharing Sites
Websites like StumbleUpon can be extremely useful in getting traffic to your website. These are places where people post links to their websites and content that gets recommended to others. The potential is enormous.
There are a few others that are good to use as well, but StumbleUpon is generally the most used. You can read more about Social Bookmarking Sites, as well as other Social Media Information Here.
7. Interview Genre Related Authors or Illustrators
There are many authors and illustrators whom you could contact and ask if you could interview them. Most people will enjoy the opportunity and you can post the interview on your website and gain a significant amount of traffic from this. You can post the interview in either audio, video, or by writing it out as a blog post from a conversation.
If you were to make this a regular feature on your website you could even attract more well-known authors and gain an even wider audience than you ever dreamed and bring some major traffic to your author website.
8. Use Plenty of Images in Your Posts
Now, how does that help you get more traffic to your author website? Silly, I know, but what happens is the more relevant images you have in your post = the more likely it is to get shared = more traffic to your site. The main key here is relevant images. Your images and graphics should be related to your content and not random photos of people in order to go viral.
Images also show up in Google image searches when you use the proper ALT descriptions and captions in photos and graphics that you post on your website, giving you organic traffic as well.
How many pictures should you use in your posts? The ideal is one every 100 words or so. This breaks up the text nicely and makes your posts more shareable. *I can’t say that I necessarily follow that rule, but I do try to use lots of images.
There are tons of free image creation sites – see an Awesome List Here.
9. Host a Webinar
If you’re not a well-known author this can be a little tricky, but hang on. Yes, it’s true, if you have a very small audience it’s going to be difficult to host a webinar and get lots of traffic to your author website. But, there are other ways to do this. You could find someone who has a little more influence than you and ask them if they’d like to partner with you to do a webinar. Just be sure to let them know what you have to offer.
Even if you can’t find an influencer to partner up with, you still easily have a successful webinar by drumming up enough excitement through all of the ideas above. Just remember to go ahead with it, even if the first one only has a few people show up. I don’t recommend using a webinar software that shows the number of attendees when you’re just starting out.
For awesome webinar software – SEE HERE.
A great way to boost the number of attendees is to sure you have an awesome prize or free gift drawing for those who stay till the end. You can giveaway anything you want from a brand new iPad, a signed book, a toaster, Amazon gift card, anything you want. Amazon makes it easy to do this, even for your own published books. There’s a button at the bottom of just about every product that says “set up a giveaway”. You just select the number of items you want to giveaway and then you receive a special link. You draw a winner from your attendees and send them a special link. It’s that easy.
Alternatively you could giveaway a free PDF or other digital gift for everyone either who stays until the end or sign-up on your email list, and this won’t cost you anything. Just be sure it’s something that really grabs their attention and excites people.
10. PPC Ads
PPC stands for Pay Per Click and these are the advertisements that you see at the top and bottom of your search results in Google. These are ads that people and businesses pay to have shown up in certain search results. It only costs them something when someone clicks on the link.
These types of ads can be useful, but with all of the free options, can be a bit difficult to manage if you don’t know what you’re doing. As an author you want to be building an audience and PPC ads are geared a little more towards selling a specific product and are not very cost effective without a proper strategy. I would recommend exhausting all of the free options above before trying PPC ads for building your audience and selling your books.
Getting relevant traffic may seem like a daunting task, but when you get to thinking of how many ways there are to get traffic to your website, it opens the doors to amazing creativity. If you have any questions about getting traffic to your website, please don’t hesitate to contact me, I’ll be more than happy to help in any way I can!
Have a fantastic day!
Children’s Book Marketing Ideas
Children’s Book Marketing Ideas
Children’s Book Marketing Ideas To Put On Your Author Website or Physically Mailed
As an author in the 21st century, you certainly have to be more vigilant with your own book marketing than ever before, in which case, many authors find themselves having to learn marketing as well. Many authors think this is only relevant to the self-publishing industry, but it’s becoming more prevalent in the traditional publishing market as well. This isn’t a bad thing, however, it can sometimes become debilitating until you find creative ways that work for you and your book theme.
To get started, think of your audience. Who is your audience?
Always remember that when you’ve written a children’s book that your audience is more likely their parents than the children themselves.
Also, remember that your audience is never fellow authors, unless you’ve written a book specifically for them.
If you need some ideas to figure out exactly who your audience is and what type of content they want, see this Related Link – Content Ideas for Your Author Blog.
Now that we know who our audience is, we can brainstorm about marketing materials that you can put on your children’s author website or mail along with a physical book.
These types of book marketing materials should be:
- free – as a gift for signing up for your email is ideal, or sent with a physical copy of your book
- most often printable – in PDF or image format – or mailed with a physical copy of your book
- should include images from your book cover as well as a link to your website
If you are selling your own physical copies of your books, ideally you would want to have a mix of materials that are both downloadable and physically sent along with your book.
Any of these marketing materials can either be in PDF format for your audience to download from your website or you can find affordable printing options in a variety of venues that you can order physical copies from.
You can also offer two versions of almost any of these ideas as well – a full-color version and a black and white version for kids to color.
Let’s get to some brainstorming!
Children’s Book Marketing Ideas – Marketing Materials:
- Coloring Pages – you could create a whole coloring book and even publish
- Artwork – wall art posters
- Bookmarks – add encouraging text
- Pencil Buddies – makes a fun paper craft for kids – just needs a hole punched in each end to slide over a pencil
- Masks – especially if your book is animal themed or has a unique creature
- Journal Pages – for art and/or writing – either individual printable pages or a printed book – another publishing opportunity
- Calendars — Monthly and/or Yearly something to also keep people coming back for updated ones
- Study Guides – a simple guide with questions about the story, moral lessons, and about the characters
- Alphabet Cards – parents love these cards for children’s decor
- Memory Verse Cards – if your book is based on a specific Biblical theme
- Recipe Cards – if related to your book in any way
- Goal Charts – Chore Charts – Daily Schedules
- Science Experiments, Studies, or Pages
- Song or Music Pages
- Games – a simple game board that might require nothing more than dice
- Paper Hats, Crowns, Airplanes, Boats, etc.
- For more ideas, search children’s paper craft ideas, take any craft idea, and change it to match your book’s characters, setting, and theme.
- Some other ideas are Puzzle & Activity Pages:
- Word Searches
- Crossword Puzzles
- Matching Words/Pictures
- Word Games
- Counting/Math Pages
- Spelling/Reading Pages
- Alphabet Letter Writing Pages
There are hundreds of different puzzle and activity pages and you could have one for each character in your book and/or about the theme or setting. For more ideas in this area, just grab any children’s puzzle and activity book.
Once you get your brain storming it can be a lot of fun coming up with marketing materials and you’ll notice they just start to pour, so be sure you keep a tablet handy to jot them down.
If you do need a little help coming up with ideas for your particular book theme, don’t hesitate to send me an email and tell me about it. I’ll help you in any way that I can.
Have an awesome day and careful of the lightning!
Why You Need an Author Website
Do You Need an Author Website?
Many authors don’t think they need a website because they think they should rely on social media, book venues such as Amazon, or their publishers. Relying on outside websites doesn’t help you build your audience, even though it may be bringing you some sales. In order to build your own personal audience you need to have your own website.
Your author website is your personal space on the internet.
You own your author website and it’s where you can engage and interact with your audience. It doesn’t matter if you have published traditionally or you’re an indie publisher, these days you need to be a part of your own book marketing. This gives your audience a place to find you, relate to you, and form a more trusting relationship with you, all of which increase their loyalty to you, and increases your sales.
Using social media platforms to advertise your book is great, but when you engage your audience on your own platform, you’ll see amazing results. As you consistently build your website content, relevant to your audience, you’ll create your own community and there’s nothing that increases sales more than a loyal, growing, community of fans in one place.
Your entire audience isn’t on Twitter, or Facebook, or any other social media platform.
In fact, there may be many would-be fans who won’t see you on any social media platform because they use it very little or not at all. I know it’s hard to imagine these days, but it’s true – not everyone is on social media. But, if you have your own website, you have a base where these people can still engage with you through email and your blog.
The basics you need for your author websites:
- an email newsletter
- a blog
- free downloads
- feedback from your audience
- links to sell your books
There are many other things you could add to your author website, depending on your genre, but these are the basics.
To read more about website marketing materials for children’s book authors READ HERE.
Now, you may look at that and think that maybe you don’t have time or that it’s too complicated, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, it is work and takes time, but ask yourself whether you want to be a full-time author or not. Is it the career you want? Then decide how much effort you want to put into it.
Setting up an author website is super easy and can be up and running in under an hour.
These are the things you need for that:
- a domain name – never use a free one
- free WordPress installation
- a theme – can be free or paid
- a couple free WordPress plugins
That’s it – then you simply add pages from your WordPress administration account, start writing, and adding content.
As an author you need to have your own author website as a home base where your audience can engage with you and where you can grow an email list of your loyal fans, even if they aren’t on social media. This also makes it easier on you in some ways because then your audience is coming to you more rather than missing your tweets and posts in their social media feeds.
If you have any questions at all regarding domains, hosting, WordPress installation, WordPress use, plugins, or anything else regarding this post, please do not hesitate to contact me. I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have!
Have an awesome day!
Do You Need an Affiliate Disclosure Statement?
Do You Need an Affiliate Disclosure Statement on Your Website?
If you use any kind of links or advertising on your website where you receive monetary income if someone clicks on the link or advertisement, then yes, you absolutely need an affiliate disclosure statement.
You also must use a disclosure statement if you receive a free or discounted product in exchange for a review. This includes reviews that you give on Amazon or any other website as well, except it needs to specifically be stated within the review.
What is an affiliate disclosure statement?
An affiliate disclosure statement is a short statement that says you receive monetary compensation if someone clicks on the links on your website or within your content. It doesn’t matter how many links or advertisements you use, you still have to include the statement near the link.
Take a look at the one on the top of my page for an example. I had a colleague once tell me that it looks tacky, and while I couldn’t agree more from a design perspective, but at least I know I’m following the rules, being transparent with my site visitors, and won’t run into any trouble with the FTC.
The statement I have on the top of my page is considered a blanket statement, in which I also include a link to a more detailed page. This isn’t necessary, but I prefer it since I have such a simple statement on the top of my page.
If you only have a few posts where you have an affiliate link then you only have to include the statement on those specific posts.
I don’t necessarily have affiliate links within every single post, but there are ads on the sidebar, at the top, and bottom of the pages even if they aren’t within the content. My WordPress themes have extra page widgets so I can have it set so that it just appears on every single page so I don’t have to keep writing it over and over.
One thing that’s clear, according to the law, you need an affiliate disclosure statement where your visitors will see it right away. There are some website owners who generate their fortune just from affiliate income and they only put a tiny link at the bottom of their page which is totally wrong and could get them into a lot of trouble.
Earning a little extra money, or turning your website into a full-time income, is an easy and perfectly honest means of work. Just be sure that you follow the simple rules that are in place so that you don’t run into difficulties.
If you have any questions regarding affiliate link usage on your website, please don’t hesitate to ask, I’m happy to help you in any way I can.
All the best success,
Where to Earn Money with Your Author Website
Where to Earn Money With Your Author Website
As we said in a previous post – Should You Put Affiliate Links On Your Author Website? – it’s not a bad idea to put some well-balanced affiliate links and advertisements to earn extra money with your author website, as long as you don’t overdo it or make it so your visitors are bombarded with ads instead of quality content.
There are as many different affiliate programs as there are products for sale online so you want to be sure you are selective and stick with reputable companies who pay you when they say they will. Sometimes it’s ok to go with smaller companies, but it’s better to stick with the well known ones, at least to start with.
You may want to keep it simple and just put up some ads from Google Adsense. You can choose to put up just text links or both image and text – which alternate for you. This is one of the easiest things to do where you earn a few cents when your links are clicked on. Be sure to read the rules – you don’t want to lose your account and any accumulated earnings from not doing so.
You can sign up for Google Adsense free HERE.
Google Adsense is by far the easiest, set-and-forget way to earn money with your author website, and is one of the most reputable companies out there.
Also, you know you have to add lots of great content to your website and you have an awesome idea to write about one of your favorite books and include it on your website. There’s no reason why you can’t put an affiliate link to Amazon. It doesn’t cost your visitors anything, and it can earn you a couple bucks, while adding content to your website. Just be sure that you balance out your content so that you’re offering your readers as much value as possible and not simply trying to sell random ‘things’ or you’ll definitely turn off your readers and lose them.
Sign up as an Amazon Associate free – HERE.
If you decide to put up a list of recommendations of other books in your genre for your readers, you may want to use Amazon affiliate widgets for these. This makes it so that even if you’re giving recommendations for other author’s books or products in your genre, you can still earn a little from it while showing readers what other books that are similar to your own. This is great a little marketing tip with added affiliate earnings.
Either alternatively, or additionally, you can sign up with an affiliate merchant network, such as CJ or ShareASale. There are quite a few other networks out there, but these are two of the most popular. I have used them both and made decent earnings from both, but I no longer use CJ and only use ShareASale because I like them a lot better. Just my personal preference, but I think ShareASale is a much more user friendly platform, especially since CJ went through some changes a few years ago when they moved away from the Commission Junction name and I no longer prefer to use them. To me it’s like Pepsi and Coke, you always prefer one over the other.
Basically, a an affiliate merchant network, which is free to join, gives you access to thousands of other businesses who use them as their affiliate network. It never costs you anything and you just pick businesses within the network who you want to promote, they approve you or not, based on the information you provide, and then you have access to their affiliate links all within a single account.
When you earn affiliate income from any/all of your different merchants all of the money is also accumulated into a single account and when you reach the payment threshold you receive a single payment. This makes it super easy and you only have to file a single W9 for the network company instead of one for each merchant.
Think of it like Amazon where you can promote any product on their website, except it’s specific businesses, where you can link to their products or services, instead of a single product. You can join as many as you want, each one being approved by the individual business, but just don’t join more that you’re going to actually promote or it isn’t worth it for you or them.
If you want to try ShareASale – you can sign up here:
Independent Affiliate Programs:
Some companies that you currently do business with might already have their own independent affiliate programs as well. Or you might find out that they use a merchant network or that their products are available on Amazon. This is a great way to start out because you’ll be able to write about a company you already know and trust, instead of having random advertisements.
To find out if your favorite business has an affiliate program the best thing to do is go to the very bottom of the page and look for a link in the footer. If they have an affiliate program, this is generally the first place to look. Some companies also call them “referral programs” – some do this because they think that the word affiliate sounds negative in some way. Or in some cases they don’t actually offer a monetary payment, but where you accumulate something like points that are worth a discount on their products. Just be sure to check what it is you’ll be earning and read all the fine print before you join.
Hopefully that’ll give you a decent start on how to earn money with your author website and also gives you some awesome ideas as well. If you have any questions or need some ideas, feel free to ask – I’m more than happy to help in any way that I can!
I hope you have enormous success and a great day!
Basics for Earning Affiliate Income on Your Author Website
Basics for Earning Affiliate Income
Have you decided to put monetize your website and post some affiliate links but don’t know where to start? This is just a simple list to help you remember some of the basics from earning affiliate income through your website.
Need a website? Click Here.
Start with just a few products, companies, or services that you believe in. Don’t post ads all over your website to the point where your content is lost and your visitors are annoyed.
Keep it Relevant
Stay within your niche or book genre and chooses affiliate products or services that compliment your content, but that doesn’t compete.
Keep it Balanced
Don’t over post affiliate links without having content on your website. Make sure you have solid content and a good way to know how balanced to keep it is to follow a basic 80/20 rule with 80% content to 20% affiliate.
Use an Affiliate Disclosure Statement
Follow the disclosure statement rules for the FTC so that you don’t run into legal difficulties.
Related: FTC Affiliate Disclosure Information
Link to Businesses and/or Products You Know and Trust
This doesn’t mean you have to have used every single product or service that you want to link to, but you should have some kind of faith in what you link to for your visitors because you need to consider your own reputation as well.
Start with Established Companies
e.g. Google Adsense, Amazon, etc. – when your earnings have accumulated to the payment threshold, you want to be sure you receive your commissions and working with well-established companies is a good way to make sure of this.
Consider a Merchant Network
e.g. ShareASale, CJ – merchant networks make it easy to find several companies within a single account. This makes it easy because you can get all your links in one place, fill out a single W9 tax form, and receive a single payment for multiple merchants.
W9 – Tax Info
Any affiliate program that you join should have a W9 tax form for you to fill out. This protects them and you. It’s a very simple form and most can be done online with an electronic signature, or you can print, sign, scan, and return. Most companies will give you one to download and fill out, but if you need a copy – Click Here.
Look for Affiliate Programs for Companies You Already Do Business With
Check their website footer – if you do business with a particular company that you absolutely love their products and services you might want to look for a link, usually in the footer, where you can sign up for an affiliate program with them.
If you have any questions about earning affiliate income on your author website, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Have a wonderful day!
Should You Put Affiliate Links On Your Author Website?
Should You Put Affiliate Links On Your Author Website?
This is a common question for authors and it doesn’t really have a specific answer. But, if you’re an author asking this question, you’ve come to the right place to find out if you should put affiliate links on your author website.
First of all, if you have a website – it’s good to make money from it, even if it’s just enough to cover the costs of hosting, domain renewals, email services, self-publishing your book, etc.. But, of course, you might be worried about turning away your readers with a bunch of bothersome ads. Don’t worry, it’s not something you need to over concern yourself about if you do it right. Earning an income from your website is a perfectly honest form of work.
The best way to still make a little extra money, make your readers happy and still sell your books is to be very selective about what kinds of ads or links you put on your website and how many. Obviously, if all your visitors see when they come to your site is a bunch of ads in their face they’ll most likely leave right away. I know I do because sites that are overloaded with advertisements generally don’t have any worthwhile content anyway and can’t help me with whatever I was looking for in the first place.
The first question to ask yourself when you put up an advertisement or link is: How is this going to benefit my readers? If you can answer that in a positive way, then you’ve struck gold, if not, find something else.
The one thing you have to be sure of is that you use an affiliate disclosure statement – which is very simple, and it has to be near the link, according to the FTC rules of conduct. This is usually not a problem to your visitors or anyone else.
You also don’t want to have your readers going for your ads instead of your books, so how can you make a little extra, still sell your books, and not put your readers off?
It’s all a question of balance – no, we’re not talking about the Moody Blues.
You simply don’t want to have your website so completely filled with promotions that your readers don’t even know what you have to offer them, but having a few reviews of things that are related to your genre are a great way to earn a little extra.
Just don’t plaster your website with too many ads on the sidebars, and on every single page so that readers don’t know what they should be clicking on. And keep ads to a minimum on your pages where you’re talking about your book and yourself. Keep your website personal, but opt in for a few ads here and there – like salt, sprinkled lightly just to bring out the flavor and add value, and don’t over do it and you’ll be fine.
If you have any questions about putting affiliate links on your author website just let me know and I’ll be more than happy to help you in any way that I can.
Wishing you all the best success!