How to Explode Blog Traffic by Grabbing a Celebrity’s Attention like a 9-Year-Old School Girl

Who else?

Most writers would love to the grab the attention of a celebrity, editor, literary agent, or producer with their blog, right?

I hear ya. There’s nothing like seeing your blog traffic rise like the temperatures in Phoenix!

explode blog traffic

But what about this?

You start a blog/website, sign up for the “big three” social media websites, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and post links to your blog posts, hoping someone of a VIP status will see them.

You wait and wait and nothing happens.

You begin to wonder if you’re a good or even great writer. You wonder if you should just throw in the towel and find something else to do.

But that little voice inside your head won’t allow you to give up, yet. The voice knows you’re in a ‘niche’ that receives a lot of traffic. It knows you have the solution to your audience’s problem. But you can’t seem to wrap your head around ‘why’ your traffic hasn’t increased or why your comments section isn’t that chatty.

Well, check out this story from Scotland…

Nine-year-old school girl reaches Jamie Oliver

Martha Payne is a 9-year-old Scottish school girl who started to review her school’s lunches on her blog NeverSeconds. Let’s face it; childhood obesity and nutrition are ‘hot’ topics. Who better to speak about this than a child who receives mediocre school lunches every day?

Anyway… Martha’s dad helped her photograph her school lunches and she reviews them on her blog with the following criteria:

  • Food-o-meter/overall taste
  • Portions
  • Health
  • Courses (or dishes)
  • Pieces or strands of hair (gross)

The good news or not-so-good news is Martha found two hairs on her lunch tray. It could have been worse.

The best part about Martha’s blog is her dad understands why she’s hungry. Parents now have a better understanding why their kids are starving when they come home from school. Now they know the quality of the school lunches that are served to their kids every day.

How to Get a Celebrity’s Attention

Step #1: Blog about a topic that’s close to a celebrity’s heart

Martha has a timely blog topic that’s close to First Lady Michelle Obama and Chef Jamie Oliver’s heart. Both are concerned about children’ health and nutrition.

Martha’s dad tweeted her blog posts, which grabbed the attention of Food Revolution extraordinaire, Jamie Oliver, who tweeted Martha’s blog to his millions of Twitter followers, which blew up Martha’s blog traffic/page views.

Dad did more than sympathize; he got the attention of Food Revolution general, Jamie Oliver, via Twitter. After Oliver tweeted the blog to his followers describing it as “shocking but inspirational,” Martha’s page views reached nearly half a million. (As of Monday, NeverSeconds is closing in on 700,000 page views and counting.)

Step #2: Be active on social media websites to multiply blog traffic

Be active and helpful on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc.

Celebrities, editors, literary agents, producers, and other influential people take advantage of social media to connect with their audience and to promote their work and increase their blog traffic.

Step #3: Read and comment on celebrity blogs

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is the perfect example of the ‘lifestyle niche’ which encompasses recipes, wellness, travel guides, fashion, and culture. Lifestyle writers can find other websites and blogs like Ms. Paltrow’s and start reading and commenting on them.

Writers, once you become familiar with blogs within your niche, pitch guest blog post ideas to the owners. Make sure you stay on topic and write eye-catching headlines!

Step #4: Contact local media outlets

Thanks the efforts of Martha and her dad, the local media in Scotland has added pressure to Martha’s school, which has resulted in the school’s implementation of healthy reforms to school lunches. Children are now allowed to have as much salad, fruit and bread as they want. The only caveat is that some kids may need gluten free bread and or may have to watch their sugar intake if they have juvenile diabetes. It’s still a sticky situation that needs to be monitored.

Step #5: Post videos on YouTube and link to your blog

YouTube is another social media website that celebrities use. Post videos about your blog’s topic and link back to your blog. Not only will this increase your blog traffic, but you’ll shine a spotlight on you, your writing, and your passion for (fill in the blank).

So… what are you waiting for?

If a 9-year-old-girl from Scotland can get energetic Jamie Oliver to ‘tweet’ her blog posts, you can too.

You may have to revisit your blog content and headlines and see what needs to be tweaked here and there, but the effort and time you put into your blog will be worth it in the long run.

I know some of you may want to quit, but don’t give up yet.

Think about your readers.

What do they want? What do they need? What’s keeping them up at night? Do whatever it takes to find out. Take a poll or survey if you have to. You can be the solution to their problems.

Get started right now.

Your readers and celebrities are counting on you.

 

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Photo credit: Stock Exchange: Sigurd Decroos

The 50 Shades of Grey Way to Grab Media Attention

Are you blushing?

Have you read the book “50 Shades of Grey” by E. L. James? It’s okay to admit it. You’re not alone.

authors grab media attention

The erotic romance has grabbed the attention of housewives, young adult women (20-somethings), women in their 30s and 40s, and celebrities.

I found out about the book last week. How? My mom watches ABC’s “The View” and the book and E. L. James were mentioned during the promos. The name of the book sounded familiar to my mom; she thought my sister ordered it from the library. Yes, my sister ordered the book from the library.

I was curious about the book and decided to order it from the library. I was 1,231 out of 1,231 holds. Luckily, my sister finished the book and lent it to me. Out of curiosity, I checked the number of holds the book had since I requested it. It now has over 1,300 holds.

Do you see the power of the media? Do you see the power of word-of-word mouth advertising?

Authors, it’s time for you to take advantage of the media and spread the word about your book.

Authors Use the 50 Shades of Grey Way to Grab Media Attention

1. Write something controversial. Strike a nerve! Some libraries want to ban “50 Shades of Grey” because of the sexual content. To be fair, the book is labeled as an Erotic Romance.

If you’re passionate about a topic, research and write a book about it.

2. Believe in your book. If you don’t believe in your work, who will?

3. Embrace your authentic self. Without giving too much of the book away, Mr. Christian Grey makes no apologies for his, um, tastes. Make no apologies for the book you write.

4. Tell your family and friends about your book. Word-of-mouth advertising still works. Tell your family and friends to spread the word about your book.

5. Blog about your book. You could start a blog based on your book. This may work better for non-fiction, but fiction writers could provide blog posts about their characters, scenery, etc.

6. Be bold and daring. Take a risk. Try self-publishing versus traditional publishing. You may like being in control instead of submitting to a traditional publishers policies.

7. Go after what you want. On the flips side, if you want to be published through a particular book publisher, go after what you want. Don’t be shy about it. But make sure you don’t come across as a stalker.

8. Try something new. If you mostly use social media to spread the word about your writing, contact your local bookstore and ask if you can speak about your latest project.

9. Spend money to make money. Sometimes you need to spend money to make money. Instead of editing your book, hire a freelance editor to do it.

10. Create an intriguing book cover. Nothing grabs the media’s attention like a well designed book cover. Hire a graphic designer to create a book cover that stands out.

11. Attention grabbing title. Your book needs an eye-catching title. Brainstorm until you find the perfect title.

12. Keep your pulse on what readers want. Find out what readers want. What are they hungry for? What do they need? Know your target audience inside and out and the media will get to know you.

13. Timing is everything. Meet your deadlines; otherwise your book won’t be published.

14. Keep your eye on the prize. Don’t give up. Focus on your goal which is to publish your book.

15. Understand different marketing techniques. Online marketing is different from print marketing. Study both of them and use which one works for you or use both.

16. Know which media outlet to target. Which media outlet is interested in your book genre? Find out and target them.

17. Respond to the naysayers with grace. You don’t have to sling mud at those who disagree with your material. Handle the critics with dignity and grace.

18. Photo opp. If you get the chance to have your picture taken, go for it. The publicity will do you good.

19. Hold a contest. Give your book away through a contest. Tweet it, post it on Facebook, and Stumble it.

20. Build relationships with readers. Be yourself when you speak to readers. Answer their questions and thank them for reading your book.

21. Follow media outlets on Twitter. It’s a powerful social media tool, and it’s easy to use. Follow editors, publishers, TV stations, radio stations, etc.

22. Join groups on LinkedIn. There are many groups on LinkedIn. Join writers groups, but also join media and publishing groups.

23. Pin it. If you’re on Pinterest, use it to pin your front and back book cover and other images.

24. Be vulnerable. You may be scared to do this, but it’s a good way to show your human side. Authors are human too.

25. Get a makeover. Hey, if you’re going to be in the spotlight, you need to look good. Get a new wardrobe and hairstyle. Ladies purchase new makeup. Hire a stylist or style consultant if you have to.

26. Be assertive. Own your power; don’t allow others to walk all over you. Stand up for your writing.

27. Be confident. If you’re not confident or confident your writing will sell, you need a confidence booster, fast.

28. Be a guest blogger. Guest blogging is a great way to market you and your writing.

29. Write a press release. You’re a writer/author. Write and submit a press release about your book.

30. Be interviewed for websites. Don’t be shy about sharing your knowledge about being an author. Share your best tips and tricks. You can always be interviewed about your book too. Subscribe to Reporter Connection, HARO, and other sites like these.

31. Create a podcast. Sound is still important. Use your ‘voice’ to sell your book by reading short snippets from your chapters. This can entice people to buy your book and grab the attention of the media.

32. Build your email list. Don’t panic if you don’t have an author blog. It maybe to your advantage to create a “Coming Soon” (don’t call it this) page for your author blog and or book blog. Offer the first chapter as a ‘gift’ to those who sign up for your newsletter.

33. Volunteer at your local bookstore. This is a great way to build a relationship with the bookstore and meet your favorite authors and their publicists. Ask questions, be sincere.

34. Become an expert. The media and literary agents love ‘experts.’ Build your platform and you’ll have literary agents salivating and tripping over themselves to sign you. The media will want to know ‘who’ you are.

35. Speak at an industry event. This may be easier for non-fiction writers than fiction writers. However, if you’re offered the opportunity to speak, take advantage of it because the exposure can help you.

36. Hire people to help you. Remember the point about spending money to make money. You may have to hire or recruit family and friends to help you get the message out about your book.

37. Start a Facebook Group about your book. This is doable for both fiction and non-fiction books. Fiction readers will enjoy discussing the characters, plot, scenes, etc.

Non-fiction writers will enjoy connecting with like-minded people who’ve been through what they’ve been or discussing a book’s topic in depth.

38. Use visuals. Ask the graphic designer who designed your book cover to create images for your book. Fiction writers can have images of characters and scenes from the book (not too risqué). Non-fiction writers who write personal development/self-help can have heartfelt images with inspirational words on them. You get the picture.

39. Headlines. Write attention getting headline for your blog posts and calls-to-actions.

40. Be open to more. Open your mind to the possibilities. If you have the opportunity to plug your book on a radio or talk show that’s out-of-state, book a seat on your favorite air carrier and enjoy the ride.

41. Be enthusiastic. Don’t be shy about showing how excited you are about your book. Enthusiasm is contagious.

42. Smile. “Smile and the whole world smiles with you.” Remember that saying? Your smile is a great accessory — you can show it off anytime you want.

43. Diversify your writing. This is where a pen name could work for you. If you’re known as a memoir writer, but want to write a graphic novel, choose a pen name that will fit the genre, the market.

44. Network. Get to know people in the media. Get to know people in your genre or who compliment your genre. Build a ‘business’ relationship with people. Who knows? You could develop new friendships too.

45. Comment on blogs. Start commenting on blogs and or articles. Write comments that make readers and website owners raise an eyebrow at your comments.

46. Welcome media attention. Accept media attention with open arms. Don’t try to push it away.

47. Go on vacation. You need and deserve a break. A vacation can rejuvenate you and you can meet different people, some of which could be in the media.

48. Get sleep. You won’t be ready for your close up if you have bags underneath your eyes.

49. Set up Google Alerts. Set up Google Alerts that coincide with your book. For example, let’s say you wrote a book for day care centers and schools on safety plans to prevent bullying and school shootings. Create a Google Alerts for “bullying,” school bullying,” etc. — keywords/phrases for your book’s topic. When an alert shows up, contact newspapers, radio, and television stations in the city where bullying or a school shooting has occurred and offer to comment on what happened. Share your expertise!

50. Turn heads. Write a fiction book that’s a page turner and leave readers wanting more. Write a non-fiction book that reaches people around the world, perhaps it changes their lives. Do this, and you’ll grab media attention.

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Photo credit: Stock Exchange. Keith Syvinski.

How to Promote Your Book (Even if You Hate Marketing)

You wrote your book and now you have to market it. You know you’ve got to do it. But you procrastinate, hoping someone else will do the marketing for you.

Your book, which you spent hours, days, months, and years writing requires marketing.

Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan (Photo credit: EmaStudios)

What do you do?

You can’t use Harry Potter’s magic wand to establish your platform and marketing plan.

Or can you?

No, magic doesn’t last forever. You must roll up your sleeves and get down and dirty with marketing.

The good news is you can market your book even if you hate marketing. The solution is easy. Stop saying you hate marketing and you won’t attract negative thoughts, feelings, and beliefs around marketing.

What you resist persists

Debbie Ford, a #1 New York Times best-selling author and international expert in the field of personal transformation and human potential, says “What you resist persists.” She’s right.

If you keep resisting the marketing of your book, it won’t get marketed. It will sit in boxes (if you ordered copies) or sit online.

Accept that marketing is a part of being an author and writer. Even if your book is published by a traditional publisher, you’re still responsible for some of the marketing. You can’t get away from it.

Turn That Marketing Frown Upside Down

Whether you like it or not, sales and marketing are a part of an author’s life. You may as well become friends with marketing instead of resisting it. When you do this, the tightness in your chest, face and shoulders will decrease. You’ll feel more relaxed and won’t freak out when you hear someone mention ‘marketing.’

Forget about the pressures of marketing. Think about how much fun it is. Think about it from a networking standpoint. You’re meeting and greeting people and showing them your great product, your book.

Once you’ve embrace marketing, use the following easy steps to promote and market your book.

1. Use social media. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are the ‘Big 3′ social networks. You can tweet excerpts from your book or chapter titles. You can set-up a Tweet Chat and ‘chat’ with readers. Set-up a Facebook fan page and hold a contest for your book. It’s simple! Write an ad for a contest, choose a winner from the millions of entries, and make someone happy by giving them your book for free! Use LinkedIn to promote your book. Find questions that pertain to your topic in the Answer/Question section of LinkedIn. Answer questions and provide a link to your author website or book website. Join groups that pertain to your topic. Or, create your own group.

2. Ask your family and friends to spread the word. Family and friends will be delighted to help you out, right? If they support you and your writing they will. Don’t be shy about asking them to speak about your book at work, the gym, etc. As long as they know ‘who’ your target audience is they won’t have a problem spreading the word about your book.

3. Hold a meeting at your community’s business center. Do you live in an apartment complex that has a meeting room? What about a condo or townhome complex that has a business center? Ask if you can book the room for two hours and invite people from your area to check out your new book. You can speak for 20-30 minutes or longer. Not only is this a good way to promote and market your book, its’ a good way to get to know your neighbors.

4. Become a guest blogger. Find blogs and or websites that are in alignment with your book and pitch website owner’s guest blog topics. It’s a win-win situation because you get to promote you and your book and the blog owner provides fresh and unique content to readers.

5. Asked to be interviewed. Sign up with Reporter Connection or HARO and help people out. You may not be thrilled with phone interviews, but you could always do an interview via Skype or email. I know some people, old school types, ‘poo-poo’ email interviews, but people are busy these days. Sometimes you have no choice but to do an email interview. Plus, they’re easy and convenient. No one says that you can’t do a follow up phone interview.

6. Conduct a teleseminar or webinar. There are plenty of platforms to use from GoTo Meeting to Instant Teleseminar 2.0. Some are free, while others have a monthly fee. Use the service that works for you. You don’t have to hold a two hour teleseminar or webinar. You can hold one that’s 30 minutes. When you become more comfortable, you can hold one that lasts one hour.

7. Become comfortable with saying “I’m an author or I’m a writer.” Keep repeating that you’re an author or writer. Imagine how it feels to be a New York Times best-selling author. Feel and own it. Don’t be shy about it. Imagine how it would feel to have people come up to you and say, “Your writing helped me get through a difficult time.” Your writing inspired me to follow my dreams.” Go to that place within your mind’s eye and ‘feel’ it. Visualize yourself as a successful published author/writer, and you’ll be one.

So there you have it. If you want your book to succeed, if you want to succeed, you have to embrace marketing. It’s a part of an author’s life. It’s a part of a writer’s life. You can’t run away from it. You may as well accept marketing into your life.

Let’s face it. You’re a writer for two reasons: 1) to solve people’s problems; and 2) sales and marketing.

Your book is ready for millions of readers to read it. But who will know about it if you don’t market it. How will you solve a person’s problems if you don’t market your book? People are waiting for you and your book. Don’t let them down.

This means feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

This means persevering when you want to give up.

This means tuning out the naysayers who tell you that marketing is too hard and it takes time and money. Don’t listen to them. No one ever got anywhere without doing some work. Your book is your baby. It’s your responsibility to make sure that it’s nurtured and cared for. You’re the one that can make sure it succeeds. Let go of the idea that it’s up to others. It’s up to you.

Market your book even if you hate marketing. People are waiting to hear from you. They’re waiting to read your book. They’re waiting for your solution(s) to their problems.

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Writers: Discover the Top 3 Lessons from The Social Network

You’ve seen “The Social Network,” starring Jessie Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, right? It’s a must see movie for writers, particularly screenwriters. Entrepreneurs need to watch it too.

I was glued to the TV as I watched “The Social Network” unfold. It was a smooth movie that moved from scene to scene. I kept saying, “That’s a great line,” and so forth.

I connected with all of the characters; I don’t think I ever done that before when I watched a movie.

Jessie Eisenberg deserved his Oscar nomination for his performance as Mark Zuckerberg. Not that I’ve met Mr. Zuckerberg or was at Harvard when Facebook was developed. But the movie was based on The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich.

As I watched the credits roll for “The Social Network,” I realized there were many lessons that could be learned from the movie, lessons that are important for writers, regardless if you’re a freelance writer, ghost writer, creative writer, YA writer, fiction writer, etc.

Spoiler Alert! Here are the Top Three Lessons from “The Social Network”

The Social Network

Lesson #1 Patience

Jessie Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mr. Zuckerberg showed the audience how patient Mark was.

He could have opened Facebook to everyone after “thefacebook.com” gained popularity on campuses, but he knew an early launched it too early, it would lose its ‘cool’ factor.

Writers, if you launch a book too early before it’s ready for the public to read, may be disappointed by sales and the lack of interest.

Anyone who quits their job to start a freelance writing career or ghost writing career, may find themselves in a ‘feast or famine’ situation. Start slow and build up your freelance writing clients while you work full-time.

It could take time to build your online presence, to become known as an expert in your field. You don’t have to reach the finish line tomorrow. Have faith and patience that you’ll reach your destination. Enjoy the journey!

Lesson #2 “The internet’s not written in pencil, Mark, it’s written in ink”

The above words were spoken by Rooney Mara who portrayed Erica Albright in “The Social Network.”

Before you begin a blog, research your niche. See which blogs rank the highest. Study the blog format, look at the keywords, and become a guest blogger. Build your profile first and then start your blog.

Leave thoughtful comments on blog posts. Really think about contributing to the conversation.

Don’t leave comments such as, “Great post!” because it doesn’t add to the conversation. Don’t be afraid to disagree with a blogger in a professional manner. You’re entitled to your opinions.

Please don’t bash other writers on the internet! Telling another writer, “I thought your writing sucked,” could backfire on you. Constructive feedback is usually welcomed, but attacking other writers is not.

Lesson #3 Build and develop relationships

One thing that drives me nuts is people who don’t personalize emails or LinkedIn requests! If you’re like me, you’ve probably received many of these.

Please, please write a thoughtful email and or LinkedIn request to connect. Tailor each submission to the person, especially if you’re inquiring about writing a guest post. Blog owners receive many emails about guest posting. Make yours stand out by crafting a well written email that will grab the attention of blog owners.

Before asking anyone for favors, build and develop relationships. Otherwise, you’ll come across as just wanting to advance your own career. Everyone wants to advance in their careers, but don’t do it by using people.

I recommend watching “The Social Network,” if you haven’t seen it already. Even if you did, watch it again. There are valuable lessons for writers within the movie.

Bonus Lessons from “The Social Network”

1. An idea is an idea … anyone can develop it.

2. Some writers may be jealous of you and your success.

Have you watched “The Social Network?” What did you learn from it? Share.

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