I see all to often, writers and authors on Facebook and blogs looking for a “quick fix” to having more people visit their website. They don’t take the time, or simply aren’t interested in really building a rich community with their platform. It’s sad, because this more strategic and thoughtful approach is how you build a readership of visitors that will one day buy your book.
Ok, so what do you do…or rather, what DON’T you do?
Before you look outside your website to finding the ideal strategies to building an audience, I’m going to touch on some mistakes that authors should address on their own website or blog first, that when avoided will see more growth and traction.
If you are diligent in avoiding these mistakes then you are well on your way to creating a destination that will provide value to people, which is the very reason people will visit your author website at all and ultimately buy your book.
1. You don’t define who your audience is
This has got to be the single biggest mistake authors make. They don’t take time to think through what audience they want to speak to and why. Is your author website speaking to other writers and authors? Or are you reaching out to general readers of your genre? You’ll run into trouble and find it difficult to get traction if you are diluting your message. Readers will get confused and feel the content is not for them. Decide who your target reader is before you create your blog or write your next blog post.
2. You don’t blog enough
Consistent value is key. This is something I have to be very diligent about myself. It was the big one I struggled with starting out. Some people write three to four times a week and others find once a week is manageable. I find twice a week works well for me. You’ll have to test to see what frequency works best for you and your audience. You don’t want to be posting any less than once a week, if you want to increase traffic and Google Juice.
3. You don’t write intriguing blog titles
Your headlines are the most important piece of your blog post puzzle, why? Because if you don’t capture the readers attention straight away and have them be intrigued to read further…they’re gone! As Brian Clark states on Copyblogger, an average of eight out of ten people will read the headline text, but just two out of the ten will continue reading the blog article. Headlines that state the reader can, ‘learn how to…‘, ‘get more…‘ or ‘don’t miss out on…‘ will work much better because they are presenting something readers can get value from.
4. You Blog only about YOURSELF
I’ve come across many an author website, where the person just talks about their books and themselves. Guess what? Nobody cares. Readers care about themselves, it’s just the way it is. You’ve got to keep in mind the classic acronym;
‘WIIFM’- What’s in it for me?
That’s what your readers are thinking when they get to your website. Are you solving a problem of theirs? Are you offering valuable advice? Are you entertaining them? Give them a reason to read and come back again.
Learning to blog effectively is an ongoing learning experience for everyone, you’re not alone. Keep these in mind and you’ll see an improvement in your blogs growth, moving leaps and bounds ahead of most other writers and authors blogging today.
More visitors = more regular fans = more trust in you = more book sales
Here’s to learning and growing in the blogosphere!