7 Ways for Writers to Use the Internet to Boost Profiles and Sales

Are you a writer who just wants to write and let someone else do the marketing?

Is your favorite writing day made of up of hours sitting at the computer oblivious to the rest of the world while your characters shock and amaze you and scenes just appear on the screen? There is a certain freedom in doing this, for sure, but somewhere along the line you’ll probably want to share your writing with the world.

Along comes the biggest three-letter word in your writer’s world.

How?

You’re probably wondering how you tear yourself away from your writing and use your computer to actually sell your writing. Writers have special talents which can be put to good use in promoting their products but they must remember their need to market their writing every bit as much as if they were selling mouse pads made out of real mice.

We need to let people know what it is we have and how it will fulfill one of their needs or desires. A how-to book on making fabulous jewelry, a fantastic sci-fi novel, or the story of a young couple thrown apart by the Revolutionary War–which will appeal to our audience so that they will buy? And how do we reach those who are clamoring to read books similar to ours?

Well. Volumes have been written on this very subject by many knowledgeable people but here are just a few ways to get started building your tribe on the Internet. (tribe=those who follow you and/or your books.)

7 Ways for Writers to Use the Internet to Boost Profiles and Sales.

1. Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads to find groups who are interested in either your product or the making of that product, (readers and writers) and interact. Get to know your people.

2. Do blog hops to widen your readership and to find others who might be interested in your blog and your writing niche. I did a blog hop about chocolate, of all things, purely to find out how a blog hop worked. You can see my post about it here. (Hmm. Maybe I’ll have to do one centred around historical fiction.)

3. Guest post on blogs whose readership dovetails with your own and widen your follower group. This is a cornerstone of Danny Iny’s Firepole Marketing platform.

4. Find other blogs and post insightful comments on them. Such phrases as “Great job!” are not enough. The key here is insightful. Leave comments which show that you have engaged with the post and which actually add value to what has come before. ( “I agree with what you’ve said but think another point might be….”

5. Give, give, and give again before asking for anything from your readers. This is a tricky one as most people, when they’re selling, feel they’re in a horse race and charge out of the gate at full gallop with their sales pitch. And of course the reader clicks on to the next blog, email or site, never to return. What might you give? That depends on your expertise and the length of time you’ve been doing this. Some suggestions: a download of collected posts on a particular subject, a download of a short e-book full of how-to information (most writers start out as deer-in-the-headlight newbies and are delighted to find free sources of on-point, valuable information about the publishing world.) Just make sure it is valuable to your audience.

6. Take courses. Writing, writing, and more writing but also related ones such as marketing, finding your niche, finding your audience, choosing between traditional publishing, self publishing and ebooks or combinations of these formats. Learn. I’ve been to several free marketing courses in person and on the Internet and also have paid to take a few. I always learn and a side benefit is talking to the instructors afterwards. Pick their brains. These contacts can be the most valuable part of a course.

7. Don’t put things on the Internet that are too private or not in line with your goal. Goal: to establish yourself as a writer in a certain area, and sell books, articles, short stories, or whatever it is you write. (Rewrite this to personalize it for your own purposes.) Your cousin’s spoiled kid is not a topic for your online presence. Keep it all about you as a writer.

This list is by no means exhaustive but simply reflects some of the strategies I’ve learned so far. We each need to map out our personal Internet strategy, starting today. Choose just one thing to enhance your own online presence with a view to selling your writing. Today I am going to be working on a new FREE download which writers might use to help on the long journey to publication. Coming soon, I promise.

Consider leaving a comment below and adding to the conversation.

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17 thoughts on “7 Ways for Writers to Use the Internet to Boost Profiles and Sales

  1. I think it can be a lot more work than anyone realizes. The sad part is that I see no way around doing some of it. The old days are gone when a writer could JUST write. Or at least that’s what I hear. I read a survey yesterday on the RWA site that said a large percentage of romance readers like to read author blogs. That’s cheery news. They also like Facebook fan pages.

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    • The Internet is certainly my go-to place for information and reading a favorite author’s page is like stepping into the front foyer of their house–a little titillating and eye-opening. The work is ongoing with all this social media and I love the connections with others, so much so that in order to write I have to turn off notifications and just write. I even mute the phone and my husband is kind enough not to interrupt when he comes upstairs from his office, if he sees I am deep into somethiing. For years we heard about multi-tasking and how great it was. Now, not so much. Like so many other ‘great’ ideas, multi-tasking has given way to focused work on one task at a time. Works for me!

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  2. Hello Elaine, You visited the Blue Monkey Writing Blog, so I thought I would hop on over and check out your blog too. I really love it. This was an awesome post! I definitely agree with your 7 points on using the internet to boost profits and sales! 🙂 I would so be interested in a blog hop – I have done a few with other writers, but I think I might try start my own sometime too. 🙂 That might be kind of fun! 🙂

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    • And what’s life without fun, Devin? Let me know if you try a blog hop. I’d love to participate and I especially like the ones that relate to writing. Well, I haven’t really seen one on that topic but it would be fun. When I run out of things to get done yesterday, I may try that.
      Thanks for your lovely comment, Devin! Right back at you!

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  3. Hi,
    I love this article and especially points 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7. Point one must be considered very carefully because I believe being active in Social Media means becoming interactive with your readers. If they think you want them to like your FB, join your connection in LinkedIn or whatever only so that they will buy your book, then you probably will not have any success.

    The bottom line in any increase whether it is in the popularity of people reading your blogs or books or growth in your sales is interaction with your readers. Word or mouth propaganda is still one of the best means of growth and that happens with interacting sincerely with your readers.

    Ciao,
    Patrici

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  4. Another great post, Elaine. I’m trying to do all these things, but it’s still hard to sell books. I think I also need to get out into the community more, but there are only so many hours in a day.

    Interesting suggestion to give a freebie. I have a characterization workbook I’ve been working on. Hmmm.

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  5. Great post! Thank you for all the useful advice. I think “get to know your people” is so important, especially when social media can get rather noisy sometimes. It’s so nice when you are out there and you actually connect to familiar faces.

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