Okay, my previous article gave you a blueprint on how to sell directly from your blog rather than go through an online store like Amazon and other stores. While it’s wise to have your products listed at these stores, how do you generate free traffic to your email list in hopes to directly sell to website visitors?
The process is easy and straightforward, but a lengthy one of trial and error. That said, there are five awesome ways to get your products in front of new readers and grow your list of subscribers which you can sell more books to.
Wouldn’t it be great if you never had to rely on Amazon again and could even cut down a little on paid promotion?
What about saving money for sponsored social media ads and other avenues like Pay-Per-Click (PPC)?
Well, these traffic generating strategies are cost-effective and some won’t even cost you a dime in investment, which is sick when you think about it. In fact, you don’t even have to go out and look for people; you can do all your searching in the cyber universe, allowing you to maximize profits from selling directly from your site royalty-wise, but also bringing in mass numbers of traffic.
Let’s get started.
Link Your Books to A Landing Page
As I said, it’s still wise to have your books for sale on Amazon and other retailers, but do most readers simply click the buy button every time they see a book that looks good to them?
Of course not.
Instead, they’ll check out your awesome cover, then browse the description and probably use the ‘Look Inside’ feature to make a final decision.
Well, you can just stick an ad to your reader magnet in the front cover, as I mentioned in previous articles, and you have a one-way ticket to your website.
As a society, we’re conditioned to click things when browsing online. Also, the average attention span for people these days is about the same as a gnat, meaning we’re easily distracted. I mean, a reader might be on our Amazon page, but there’s a sponsored ad under our book and there are other suggestions that can distract a reader.
However, if a reader utilizes the ‘Look Inside’ feature and clicks through your Call-to-Action (because people also need to be told to do things), they’ll end up somewhere else; on a landing page where you can:
1) Get their email address in exchange for a free book, and
2) You now have them on your site.
Why a landing page?
Because landing pages give the readers two options: They either answer your CTA, or they leave, but they can’t click away; they can only exit the browser.
Here’s an example of my own landing page containing my reader magnet:
Also, most of us procrastinate as well, so even now that they have the book delivered straight to their email, you can now market the same book you were selling to them, because it’s likely they may’ve forgotten about downloading or even buying your work.
Sound counterintuitive? It might to some, but to others, it’s genius.
Look, on Amazon and other sites, there’s no guarantee a reader is going to purchase the work, so it’s a one and done thing. They might buy, they might click somewhere else, like those Amazon ads.
And if the potential reader goes, you lost them forever. They forgot your work ever existed. Or, what if they bought but didn’t join your email list because you didn’t have a nice ad in there?
Again, you just lost them.
Get their email address by exchanging a free book, now you have them and a potential customer for future works.
Also, it typically takes the average person between seven and eleven times of exposure to a product before taking action, so I can either:
1) Take the risk of losing them forever on Amazon due to the number of distractions, or
2) Place a link to my landing page in my ad which funnels them to my site and gets them to sign up for my mailing list, where I can expose the book they intended to buy right to them with a direct link instead of Amazon. Being that the reader can buy in .mobi form means they can upload the work to their Kindle.
So, it’s wise to keep your books on the major retailers, but keep in mind there’s no guarantee they buy. And if you don’t prove your brand then and there, you lost the customer. Get them to sign up for your email list then when you send emails regarding your works, it’ll jog their memory.
Basically, you’re simply generating traffic from retailers; literally but legally stealing business, which is really cool. But, you need an ad, a link, and a blog to do this so if you don’t have these, head over to Wealthy Affiliate where you can create up to two for free.
This one’s easy. You simply find another author in your genre and bam, embark on a “you promote my book to your audience, I promote your book to my audience” quid-pro-quo. Find an author, just one author preferably with a similar reach to yours.
If you both have 200 subscribers and cross-promote, you just reached 200 new potential customers.
If you both have 800, that’s 800 more prospective readers.
You can either do a newsletter swap, or you can send out your own newsletter mentioning and reviewing the book. I’d recommend reading the author’s work before inquiring whether they’re interested in a swap ocross-promotionon.
You can also promote reader magnets or box sets, whether you wish the cross promo to be subscription-driven or sales-driven. I’d recommend going after the subscribers first, then sell once you built trust. If you simply try to sell without building initial trust, any kind of newsletter promo will backfire.
Trust first, sell later.
This is another kind of, sort of cross promotion, but with more authors on board and you’re promoting everyone’s work at once. Basically, you and an infinite number of authors can promote each other’s work. It can be as little as three authors, or as many as fifty. I’d say somewhere between three and ten works best.
Again, find authors with a similar reach as you. If you all have 500 subscribers and there are six of you, that’s another 2,500 subscribers to promote your books to if everyone’s platform is identical.
Joint promos can be risky, as promoting too many books at once will cause some to get lost in the crowd, so I recommend ten or under, which can and will increase your reach substantially.
Where can you find these authors?
This one might cost you a couple hundred, but it’s worth it. You’re simply going to host a giveaway, promote it on platforms like King Sumo, and collect email addresses with a link to your site.
This is what you need to do:
1) Host a giveaway with something relevant in your niche, such as a bundle of hardbacks that influenced your work or a Kindle with the works pre-uploaded onto it.
2) Just for joining the giveaway, everyone gets a free book! Yes, so upon joining a giveaway, I’d either mail them Northern Knights or The Skyehawk Chronicles.
Now, some readers are just in this for the giveaway and have zero intentions of sticking around, so you’re going to want to keep them around. An email such as ‘Hey, the giveaway has ended and the winner has been chosen. If you would like to remain subscribed for future giveaways and more freebies do nothing at all. If you wish to unsubscribe, simply ‘click this link’ and you’ll be unsubscribed from my mailing list.
Give them a bonus for sticking around. I’d give them a downloadable copy of Northern Knights and if they liked the work, not only do I have another fan/subscriber, but also a customer.
Just like a joint promotion, a joint giveaway means several authors are in on the same giveaway. You guys could giveaway something like a Kindle with the first in series of each novel written.
So, if you and ten other authors did a joint giveaway for a Kindle with the books uploaded on the device, you have potential for greater growth.
Each author would create a landing page for the giveaway, just like any other time, the reader signs up for that author’s mailing list and preferably, is sent a free copy of another work, and another new potential subscriber has signed up.
It’s important that authors can’t share email addresses, but again, when promoting on platforms like King Sumo, it’s generally easier to gain subscribers.
Just like with what I mentioned above: at the end of the giveaway, send another email giving the readers the option to unsubscribe, or to stick around if they want more giveaways and material from you in the future.
Start Promoting and Gaining Traffic
So, now you have ways to generate endless traffic.
These five strategies must all at some point include buy-links to your works in emails, but it may entice those who’ve never heard of you into buying some high quality products.
You can do something like this once or twice a month to build a solid base. Perhaps begin with cross promotion and go from there. Find a few authors, cross promote, hold joint promos, and start investing in giveaways.
Before you know it your traffic will quadruple, readers will flock to your site, and all you need now is to have a buy button ready that can lead them to your own online bookstore. One where you collect more royalties than any of the other retailers offer.