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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This may seem like an obvious one, but there are some added tips that might help you maximize your traffic through social media platforms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!