5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting an Author Podcast

5-questions

The toughest undertakings are often the most rewarding. When something is so easy that everybody can do it, it’ll take an extraordinary effort to do it successfully. Podcasting is an activity that still has a learning curve and an equipment barrier, which could allow you to stand out if you make sure your show is unique and fills a niche.

Podcasts are a great way to reach your readers. Thanks to major improvements in apps, hardware, and software, these audio programs are easier to listen to than ever before. Many of your potential fans spend all day listening to podcasts to pass the time as they work at the office or from home. Whether you choose to make your show informative or entertaining, you’ll have the opportunity to succeed if you answer the right questions before you begin.

Here are five questions you should consider before you invest the time, money, and energy into creating a podcast:

1. How Is This New?

Image from http://www.webhostgear.com/how-to-start-a-web-hosting-business.php

While there aren’t nearly as many podcasts as there are blogs, that doesn’t mean you’ll find an audience by copying your favorite shows. You need to take the time to determine what about your podcast will make it stand out from the crowd. This doesn’t mean you need to reinvent the format from scratch.

Listen to all of the podcasts you can find in your niche. Take notes related to the format of the show and the tone the hosts take. Check the reviews of these shows and determine what these shows are doing well and what they’re doing poorly.

From there, give yourself 30 minutes to an hour of freewriting time as you brainstorm how you can create your own unique show. It’s a good idea during sessions like this to write in a stream-of-consciousness style without interruption. Don’t censor yourself; just write whatever comes to mind. When you come up with an idea with promise, riff on the concept at length until you have a few different variations that could work.

Check in with your fans or friends to see what they think of the idea. Don’t simply assess if they believe it’s a good or a bad idea. Gauge the way in which they like or dislike the concept. If they suggest you dump an idea because it’s too ambitious or crazy, then you might have a concept that will really stand out in the podcast landscape.

2. Is This Show Relevant to Your Target Audience?

Image from http://evenesis.com/blog/social-media-for-events-how-to-do-it-do-it-well/

As a writer, your first instinct when creating a podcast may be to do a show about writing. A non-fiction writer who writes about the craft of writing might do well with such a podcast. A sweet romance author on the other hand might do better with a show that’s aimed at his or her target reader audience.

Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. Hold another brainstorming session in which you guess at what subjects your readers would enjoy. For example, a steampunk author might create a talk show in which he reviews the latest steampunk books, movies, and comics. Come up with a lot of different ideas. Brainstorming is like picking a sandlot baseball team. The more potential choices you have, the greater the strength of the final product.

Take your idea to the digital streets. Ask the readers on your mailing list or check around on social media for opinions on your concept. You’re looking for excited reactions of people who’d really be interested in tuning in every week. You don’t have to find your entire audience in the brainstorming stage, but starting with a few dozen excited fans who are ready to spread the word certainly wouldn’t hurt.

3. What’s the Purpose of Your Show?

Image from http://www.3dcart.com/sell-online/how-to-sell-books-online.html

A podcast is a major time commitment. Most hosts create a show once a week to share with their listeners. Consider this time commitment when you ask yourself the point of creating this regular program.

One major point for most authors who start a podcast is to sell more books. It’s important to think beyond that as well, since many podcasts take months or even a year to really hit their stride. Ask yourself what you want to get from the show beyond potential new readers.

Perhaps you want to become a respected figure in your genre, giving you the ability to curate what content people consume. Maybe you want to show off your personality so that people will have a stronger reaction to your books. There could even be a subject you want to become an expert in, and doing this weekly podcast will give you in the incentive you need to become a guru. This secondary purpose to your show may give you the motivation you need during weeks where recording seems like a hassle.

4. Would You Listen to It?

Image from http://knightwise.com/our-shortlist-of-favorite-cross-platform-podcatchers/

Podcast listeners are a passionate bunch. When they get invested in a show, they look forward to seeing that program appear in their feed or app every single week. Since they have a limited amount of time for listening, only the best and the brightest shows survive. Whether or not you’re one of these voracious podcast listeners, you need to consider whether or not your show concept would make the cut.

It’s not just enough to put in the time every week to put together a good show. It needs to be something that you’d want to hear if you were just coming upon it for the first time. That’s easier said than done, but it’s a necessity if your show is going to be at the top of your listeners’ to-do list.

After you’ve come up with your concept, determine what you can do to make it a “must-listen” for your followers. If you have an interview-based show, then determine who would absolutely knock your listeners’ socks off. Entertainment shows should seek to create comedic content that’s epic and viral. Informative shows can look for ways to improve their format from week to week. Most shows don’t start off at their best, so keep working on improving as you go.

5. Can You Keep It Up?

Image from http://timemanagementninja.com/2012/07/10-reasons-why-confidence-leads-to-success/

Before you start a podcast, it’s important to keep the stakes in mind. Creating a show and running it for 10 or 15 episodes before quitting will not only nullify your hard work, but it’ll also frustrate listeners who became fans of your show. To establish a long-term relationship with your listeners, you need to be committed to putting in the necessary work for the long haul.

Practice commitment to weekly goals before you start on your podcast. If you’ve had a hard time keeping up with your writing goals or your other meetings or appointments, then you’ll likely struggle with podcast regularity as well. This is why having a co-host is helpful. When you have the potential to let both listeners and your partner down, you’ll be less likely to skip out on your next episode.

Keep Asking Questions

It’ll take a while before you know whether or not your show is a success. While many of the above questions apply to a brand new show, it’s important to keep asking yourself probing questions as you go on. Don’t just settle on a workable format and let it stagnate. You need to keep innovating and trying to improve over time. Your occasional changes may not always work, but when you keep asking yourself questions you’ll be able to adapt and grow along with your listeners. With enough introspection, you’re bound to find a format that makes you proud and brings you the readers you deserve.

Listen To This Episode
Press play below to listen, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to get updated on all new episodes.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing When You Don’t Want To

ultimateguide-writing

The habit of writing 5,000 words a day will likely make you a successful author. Doesn’t that make you a little bit mad? There are writers out there who not only accomplish this feat every day, but they’re also blogging about it. Heck, some of them even write books about how they’re able to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat day in and day out, 52 weeks a year.

There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll be able to increase your writing output to this high number. Something you can do, however, is make sure that you spend your writing time doing one thing and one thing only: putting words on the page.

It takes a lot of training to get yourself to want to write for a certain number of hours per day. At first, you’ll seek out any possible excuse, such as cleaning the kitchen, playing with your cat, or anything else that’ll take you away from your laptop. Don’t cheat yourself. Even when you don’t feel like writing, you need to get your butt in the chair to unpack those sentences from your brain.

Here are seven ways to force yourself to write when you feel like you have nothing left for the day:

1. Set a Timer

Image from http://www.directindustry.com/prod/simex/digital-timers-37901-577264.html

There’s nothing like a deadline to get your pen moving. Think back to high school and college. Miraculous 10-page research papers seemed to materialize out of thin air when they were due the next day. A deadline for your fiction or non-fiction writing can have the same effect.

Even the simple matter of setting a short window of time for yourself (i.e. 10 minutes) can force you to avoid wasting time. For instance, say you’ve been staring at your screen or surfing the web for the last half hour of your writing time. Once you’ve caught yourself in the act of procrastination, set a timer for 15 minutes. During that time, you must write in a steam-of-consciousness style until the timer goes off.

Sometimes, you need to simplify things for your brain. You’ve given it one task to do for a specific length of time. That can be the difference between an unproductive two-hour time frame and the most productive quarter hour of your week.

Use an online tool like E.ggTimer to set up your countdown clock. Train yourself up from five minutes until you have a timer going for your entire writing session.

2. Disconnect The Internet

Image from http://www.newmediaandmarketing.com/why-engagement-cannot-be-measured-quantitatively/internet-disconnect/

Distractions are not your friend when you don’t want to write. The Internet is like the flashing red button that gives you a boost of endorphins every time you push it. There’s so much to learn out there and so many terrible celebrity articles that you could easily spend every writing moment engrossed by these tempting words and pictures.

Famous writers, from standup comedian Louis C.K. to fantasy author George R.R. Martin, have discussed their Internet-free writing time. Whether you buy an ancient computer, test out an electronic keyboard like the Hemingwrite, or you have the willpower to shut off your connection manually, your productivity will skyrocket without the Internet to consult.

While there are many programs out there like Freedom and Leechblock that will limit your Internet usage to certain times of the day, it’s best to go with the nuclear option. Find a way to use a device without Internet entirely. If you can also turn off your cellphone or put it on airplane mode, then so much the better.

3. Play Instrumental Music

Creative writing is all about getting into your flow state. This is the rhythm your mind takes on when you naturally move from word to word and sentence to sentence. Writers who consistently churn out 1,000 or more words per hour have figured out how to get into their flow state over and over again.

One method for finding that sweet creative spot in your mind is to play instrumental music while you write. Piping in this wordless melody during your writing sessions can serve as just enough distraction from the outside world to keep you focused on the task at hand. Classical music, movie soundtracks, and meditation tracks drown out the self-doubt and over-thinking that plagues most prematurely-ended sessions. Subscribing to Pandora One or Spotify may provide you with the music you need to keep your flow going.

Another solution is to use a white noise app like WhiteNoise or Lightning Bug to keep you from getting distracted while you churn out the words.

4. Escape To Another Location

It’s easy to get used to your routine; good or bad. If your typical writing location is plagued by stops and starts or interrupting conversations with friends, then even applying the above three tips may not penetrate the way you’re used to writing. When you stumble over the same problem in the same location multiple times, it’s time to plot your escape.

There are many different locations you can run off to when your go-to spot seems to be sapped of creativity. Start within your house by looking for nooks and crannies where there are few distractions. Temporarily set up shop in an attic, basement, or laundry room. The ideal location is a place where you can close the door to block out noise or people breaking your creative flow.

If the house is out as an option, and you’ve gotten permission to flee the premises, scout out locations in your town. The coffee shop is a standby for many writers, and the white noise of customers and espresso machines may help you kill two birds with one stone. Libraries will give you quiet or the ability to listen to your own collection of music through your headphones. One location that isn’t often considered is the car. Simply inch up the front passenger seat and type or write on your lap to take advantage of the quiet and distraction-free vehicle.

To ensure that you always have a third writing location beyond home and work, you may consider renting out office space in your area. Some cities have co-op spaces for working and in rare cases you’ll even have a devoted space for writers nearby. Search online or call around to local writers’ groups to see if there’s any such location in your neck of the woods.

5. Get Your Juices Flowing

Image from http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/comment/articles/2011-09/22/gq-sport-the-running-man-21

Writing is often a sedentary sport. The warriors of the word may find themselves sitting for hours at a time. While some are masters at maneuvering prose without moving, others need to get the blood flowing every so often.

Walk, jog, run, bike, swim, dance, stretch, or do anything else that’s active and tends to get the oxygen flowing to your brain. In addition to being good for your body, exercise can provide your mind with the building blocks it needs to form new ideas.

Some authors, like bestseller Russell Blake, have used the power of the treadmill desk to simultaneously keep their words and legs moving. You don’t have to walk and write eight hours a day to take advantage of creative exercise. Try using a treadmill, standing, or stationary bike desk for half an hour or an hour at a time to get your creative juices flowing.

6. Discard Technology

Image from http://computer.howstuffworks.com/discarded-old-computer.htm

When all else fails, spend your creative time like the 16th century poets did: writing by hand. While you may find it incredibly inconvenient and slow to take out the old pen and paper for your writing session, creativity isn’t always about speed. It’s about figuring out what works for you in the given moment. Technology doesn’t always mix with inspiration.

One of the best parts of being technology-free is that you can take your pen and paper anywhere you choose. As long as the weather holds up, you can move your writing session anywhere from a park bench to a backyard blanket. Feel free to combine the longhand method with any of the above tips for an added productivity boost.

7. Give Your Eyes A Rest

Image from http://blogs.rochester.edu/thegreendandelion/2010/10/daylight-harvesting-to-the-rescue-how-to-save-energy-and-increase-office-productivity/

There’s only so much the human body can do. Pushing yourself to the limit every waking moment can be harmful to your health. Staring at a screen for several hours straight is no favor to your eyes or your creativity.

Every so often, it’s a good idea to give your peepers the rest they need. Close your eyes for 60 seconds or look away from the screen to hit the refresh button. Roll out the yoga mat and meditate with your eyes shut for 10 to 15 minutes. Take a good old-fashioned catnap for a few minutes with your trusty timer at hand. Sit back and relax in the other room without your phone or computer and let the ideas come to you.

Even the great Leonardo Da Vinci advocated for napping and daydreaming. If one of the most creative minds of all time spent valuable hours resting his eyes, then you can certainly consider it for your self-published work.

Listen To Your Brain

These seven tips will help you blast out more words during your writing sessions, but it’s important to listen to your brain. There are simply times when you need a day off to recharge. In situations like this, it’s best to not worry about emulating the 5,000 word per day crew. Know yourself and learn from your mistakes to expand your creative limits happily and healthily.

Listen To This Episode
Press play below to listen, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to get updated on all new episodes.

7 Ways to Make Facebook Worth Your Time and Find Real Reader Connections

7ways-facebook

Facebook can be a time suck. A few minutes scrolling through the posts of your friends and family can easily turn into an hour. It’s tempting to cut out your Facebook use altogether when you’re trying to become a more productive author, but it’s still one of the best places to find new readers for your books.

Facebook has changed dramatically over the years. While it was once free to reach all of your followers with a single post, the social media site has become a pay-to-play platform. You must optimize your posts and the ways you connect with fans to ensure the most effective use of your hard-earned money.

Here are seven ways you can make Facebook worth your time and generate genuine connections with fans who’ll love your work:

1. Optimize Your Profile Picture and Cover Image

amcb

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Many potential fans may see you for the first time as the small image on the side of a post or comment. This is why your optimizing your profile picture is so important. It will serve as your branding on the newsfeed of your followers, on the comments and posts you make, on the posts on your page’s timeline, and over your cover photo.

It’s best to either use a close-up picture of your face or a three-dimensional image of your book. Crop your picture as a square. Keep in mind that while your profile picture is uploaded at 180 X 180 pixels, it will be displayed at 160 X 160 pixels. Check your profile picture on your timeline and next to comments to ensure it’s displaying properly.

When potential fans click through to your page, they’ll see your cover image prominently displayed at the top. This is your opportunity to tell fans who you are and what you do. If your cover image is off-center or it fails to tell your story, then readers will click away from your page without giving you a second thought.

Use a tool like Canva to create an 851 X 315 pixel image. Use copyright-free images or your own book covers to ensure you don’t infringe on anyone else’s copyright. Facebook has a rule for images you plan to use for advertisements regarding the amount of text you include. Whether or not you plan to promote your Facebook page through advertising, it’s a good idea to fill less than 20 percent of your cover image with text.

2. Ask Fans to Join

Image from https://www.seoclerk.com/facebook/94433/Add-25000-Likes-To-Facebook-Fanpage-OR-5k-Instagram-Followers-OR-Likes-Instantly

Spending time on your Facebook platform will only feel worthwhile if you have active participation on your page. The best way to encourage fans to join in on conversations is to ask them to visit. You can funnel fans to your page by using calls to action on your website and through your email list.

Embed the Facebook fan page Like box on the sidebar of your blog and at the bottom of your posts. This ensures that every fan who visits your site has the opportunity to Like and follow your page. It’s also possible to embed your fan page feed on your sidebar. Readers can use the feed to see when new posts are made to your page.

If you’re building up an email list, there are a few different ways to optimize Facebook Likes for your fan page. Invite your readers directly to the page using a link and a description of the page. You can also include a link to your fan page in every email you send through the use of a signature. Both of these methods will be more successful if you give readers a compelling reason to join your page, such as an event or a giveaway.

You can also invite readers directly from your personal page or place calls to action in the front and back of your books.

3. Target Real Readers

Image from http://stomp.ie/visualize-target/

You may be tempted to take shortcuts to build up your Facebook following. It seems like more companies are cropping up every day that suggest the only path to Facebook success is through buying Likes from a third-party. This is actually a surefire way to decrease fan engagement and reduce the number of people who see your posts.

In many cases, the Likes you buy will either be random people paid by a company or completely fake accounts. It’s very rare that any of the people you recruit will actually be interested in your books. That’s why it’s better to take the slow and steady approach to grow your page.

Running targeted events and giveaways can cost you just as much money as buying likes with much better results.

4. Run an Event

Image from http://blog.eventbrite.com/seamless-integration-with-facebook-events-buy-tickets-link/

Facebook gives readers an opportunity to connect with their favorite authors and like-minded readers. One way to tap into this desire for connection is with the use of multi-author Facebook events.

It can be difficult to build up more fans when you have so few to begin with, but if you ask multiple authors with larger fan bases to join an event, then you’ll have the opportunity to bring those fans over to your page as well.

Start by setting up an event directly through your fan page. Ask fellow authors in your genre to connect for a sale or a multi-author box set. Give them a specific date and certain times of the day for the authors to stop by to chat with readers and offer prizes. Ask the authors to invite their fans to the event through their email lists and fan pages.

By hosting the event through your Facebook fan page, all of the attendees will see a link to your page at the top of event page. By moderating and frequently posting during the event, interested readers will click through and like your page to keep up with what you have going on in the future.

Make sure your event has something special to offer, like bonus content or a massive giveaway for those who drop by at specific times.

5. Hold a Giveaway

Image from http://www.myfreesamplesaustralia.com/win-16-gb-ipad-air/

Publishers Clearing House wouldn’t still be around if people weren’t interested in winning a grand prize. While you may not have the sway of PCH or your state lottery, you can still harness the power of the giveaway during your Facebook event.

Many authors set up giveaways during their events that encourage comments. They’ll make a post that promises to give one lucky commenter a prize, perhaps asking an open-ended question to encourage responses. While this is an effective way to generate excitement, it’s better to create giveaways that encourage Facebook Likes and email signups.

Rafflecopter is a free giveaway tool (with a premium edition) that you can embed in a blog post or attach directly to your Facebook page. Use the latter option to encourage more likes. KingSumo Giveaways is a premium giveaway tool that plugs into WordPress. Both tools encourage social sharing and allow readers to get extra entries if they like your Facebook fan page.

6. Think Like a Blogger

Image from http://homepage.ntlworld.com/morgan.wyche/morgan.wyche/Intro_Gwynfyd_Thinking.htm

You need to remain active on Facebook to build up an engaged following. It can be easy to get bogged down with daily posts, even if you use a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to manage them. To get over this feeling of overwhelm, it’s best to change your mindset about social media posting entirely.

Blogger and speaker Jane Friedman refers to posting on social media platforms as “microblogging,” a process by which you provide a tiny piece of value every day. If a blog is a website in which you keep an ongoing record of your current endeavors, then a microblog is a challenge to show something related to your progress in a smaller space. You can post a small part of your book, a line of poetry, a character sketch, or something of your own creation daily to get readers excited about following.

Beyond reader excitement, you also want to get yourself invested in posting to your own page. You won’t get readers interested if they can tell that you aren’t into it yourself.

7. Promote Less, Connect More

Image from http://www.irrefutablesuccess.com/2012/07/three-steps-to-connect-with-other-people/

Readers who join your Facebook page aren’t interested in seeing countless ads about your book. In most cases, they’ve already bought your book and your promotion posts are more likely to shoo them away.

It’s best to promote your book in fewer than 20 percent of your posts, and much fewer than that if you’re posting every day. Instead of self-promotion, make an effort to forge a deeper connection with your followers. Ask them questions, give them prizes, and make sure they feel their voices are heard.

Put yourself in their shoes and treat them exactly as you’d want to be treated.

Facebook Is What You Make Of It

There’s so much talk out there about how Facebook’s changes make it a bad platform for authors. It’s not a way for you to sell a lot more books, but it can still have a major impact on your readership. Spend your time wisely and give your followers multiple ways to keep up with you and your latest social posts.

Listen To This Episode
Press play below to listen, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to get updated on all new episodes.

Kleptomaniac: Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway?

by Frank Chase Jr (Author)

KLEPTOMANIAC, Who’s Really Robbing God Anyway is a trek through the pages of the Bible to find the untwisted truth about the centuries-old teachings on tithes and offerings. Every page of this book has information that will make you become an analyst in getting to the bottom line of what tithing is in the Old and New Testament. It takes you on a journey to first define the word tithe and then breaks down the differences between giving and tithing as the Bible instructs.

VIEW BOOK ON AMAZON

“Another Author Marketing Club Premium member featured book. Ready to see your book featured here? Become a Premium member today”

How to Build Up Your Email List to Find True Fans

Have you ever gotten jealous of another author’s book launch? Obviously, you’re excited for your peer to be able to vault his or her book into the Amazon Top 1,000, but you can’t help but wish that your own work could reach the same heights time in and time out. If you want the kind of results other authors will be jealous of, then you need to put in the effort to build up your email list.

Emails are far more targeted than social media posts or Google search traffic. It’s a good use of your time and money as well. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has a 4300 percent return on investment. The authors with the best results have leveraged the power of email to help them sell more books.

Here are five ways to build up your email list to find true fans of your work:

Optimize Your Landing Page

Image from http://charlesngo.com/situations-when-to-direct-link-vs-landing-pages/

Your readers, like most people in the digital age, enjoy clicking on links. A well designed website has attractive links to visit the pages for each of your books and your latest blog posts. When a potential fan visits your mailing list signup page, however, you want her to do one thing and one thing only. You need to ensure these visitors join your list before they click elsewhere.

Using a landing page, also known as a squeeze page, can help you make sure that readers who visit the page don’t leave until they sign up for your list. These pages are absent of all other links within your site, except for the mailing list signup form. Readers can only take one of two possible actions on a squeeze page. They can either sign up for your list or they can leave.

In a guest post on David Gaughran’s blog, author Nick Stephenson talked about the use of squeeze pages to bring more people into his email list. After setting up the page, which was devoid of any links or buttons aside from the email signup form, he started getting 60 percent of the people who visited the page to join his list.

In WordPress, you can create a squeeze page on some themes by selecting the blank template option. This will take away your sidebar and header links, leaving you with nothing but the text you write and the code for your signup form. You can also buy premium plugins like LeadPages, OptimizePress 2.0, and WordPress Landing Pages to beef up your signup pages.

2. Put Calls to Action in Your Book

Once you’ve created your landing page, you need to start sending people there. While there are many ways to send traffic to a certain page, you’d be best served by only funneling targeted traffic to your landing page. Target people who read and like your books by placing calls to action (CTAs) in the front and back of your book.

In the book Write. Publish. Repeat. authors Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant talk endlessly about the importance of CTAs. A CTA consists of two parts: asking a reader to take a certain action and linking to the post where he can take that action. The most successful authors are CTA powerhouses, using CTAs to get readers to buy more books, leave reviews, and join their email lists.

Place a CTA in the front and back of your books compelling readers to join your email list. Here’s an example of a CTA you could use:

Want to find out more about Erik’s adventures? Click here to join the Erik the Dancing Viking email list.

In addition to placing CTAs in the front and back of your book, you should use CTAs on your website, at the end of any guests posts you write, or in the closing seconds of your podcast interviews. Your chances of getting someone to sign up to your email list go up significantly when you ask a person to do it.

 3. Give Away Freebies

Image from http://domain-cheap.com/how-to-create-a-website/how-to-create-a-website-step-29-freebie-stuff-marketing.html

It’s important to put yourself into your readers’ shoes when it comes to mailing lists. What does it usually take for you to subscribe to another author’s list or the list for an online retailer? In many cases, these authors or e-retailers provide you with an incentive or coupon. Authors with large lists typically provide their readers with a free book for signing up.

There are many different things you can provide that will make readers excited to join your list. Offer the first few chapters of your book for free or consider gifting your entire novel. Some authors offer audio content or a special bonus that ties in with their series. You can use this free item as part of your CTA in the back of your book.

Here’s an example of that amended CTA:

Want to keep reading? Receive a free copy of the second book in the series right now. Click here to join the Erik the Dancing Viking email list and get your free book!

There are several different ways you can deliver the free gift. You can host the file on your site or on Amazon Web Services and provide it as a link in your first email autoresponder. You can also use Leads, a free website extension offered by SumoMe. Make it easy for readers to download the free gift so you don’t spend your writing time answering tech support emails.

One thing to keep in mind here is that some readers will only join your list to get the free book. After that, some of them will never read one of your emails again. Make sure to check your email stats from time to time to remove readers who aren’t active. This will keep your costs down and your open rates high.

4. Add a Popup to Your Website

Image from http://khamphablog.blogspot.com/2014/11/5-popup-website-quang-cao-thuong-dung.html

Popups are hotly contested among authors. Popups, popovers, and lightboxes are windows with messages that interrupt your website visitors’ viewing experience. This interruption provides your readers with a CTA to sign up to your email list. Most web visitors have experienced a popup at once time or another, and some associate the messages with spam or viruses.

Since many authors think popups qualify as spam, they refuse to use them to bring more email subscribers into their lists. According to AWeber, popups can increase email signups over 1,000 percent. It’s a staggering number, and the results alone should make popups worth considering.

Many Internet users have become desensitized to popups at their favorite retailers, so it’s unlikely that you’ll receive complaints if you apply them to your site. It’s also rare that someone who was interested in following you will decide to avoid you because you used a popup. A visitor to your personal author website probably wants to learn more about you. Giving her a convenient popup signup form is helping her find exactly what she wants.

You can create these popups directly in AWeber. Just place the code on each page or in a header that appears on all pages on your site. You can also create popups for free through SumoMe’s List Builder or through premium services like PopUp Domination or OptinMonster.

5. Create a Viral Giveaway

Image from http://www.techgyd.com/10-most-powerful-tricks-to-win-blog-contests-giveaways/3821/

There are many authors using the above four steps to build their email lists. It’s important to try to stand out among the crowd, and one of the ways to do that is to create a viral giveaway tied to your list.

Put yourself in yours readers’ shoes again. Would you be more or less likely to give your email address to a website if you had a chance to win a free $20 Amazon gift card or a signed paperback? If you already liked the site, then the giveaway might be just enough to put you over the top to enter your information.

Viral giveaway services like Rafflecopter and KingSumo Giveaways allow you to take these giveaways to the next level. These services provide extra incentive to entrants to share the giveaways with their friends and followers. You can set up each sweepstakes to give users more entries if they share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and elsewhere. When entrants spread the word about your giveaways, you can reach new potential fans you never would’ve found on your own.

The most sharable giveaways are the ones with the best prizes. You can provide items like signed paperbacks, audiobooks, and even Kindle devices loaded with your books. The better the prize, the more likely you are to get signups.

Rafflecopter has a free and a paid option, while KingSumo Giveaways costs $199. You can get a 50 percent discount on the service by clicking on the Powered by KingSumo Giveaways button at the end of any giveaway.

Keep in mind that giveaways run into the same problem as giving your readers a free item for joining your email list. You’ll get some people who are only interested in free goodies. For this reason, it’s a good idea to import these email addresses into a different list from your main one. These email addresses will be less targeted, so you won’t want to send them emails as often as your primary list.

Make sure to tell them how to join your main list in one of your autoresponders, but you should expect less than 20 percent of them to move over. If you get a couple thousand subscribers from the giveaway, then even 20 percent or less will give your list a significant boost.

More Writing Will Lead to More Subscribers

One more surefire way to bring more subscribers to your list is to write more books. Voracious readers see an author with three, four, five, or more books and get excited, particularly when the books are part of a series. When you have more books, the chance that readers will want to follow you grows exponentially.

There’s also a lot more you can do with your marketing when you have additional books. You can give away the first book in a series for free and entice readers to join your email list by getting the second book free as well. More books also mean more calls to action. No wonder so many indie authors recommend that you spend less time marketing and more time in the writing chair.

Building up the kind of email list you need to do a massive launch will take time. Once you’ve honed your email signup system, however, you’ll inspire excitement for your readers and jealousy amongst your author colleagues.

Listen To This Episode
Press play below to listen, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to get updated on all new episodes.