Whether you are an aspiring author or published author or simply a blogger, discoverability remains the watchword. That means you have to find ways to make yourself and your work easily found on the Internet. How do you do that?
Lot’s of exerts have written articles and blog posts about how to improve discoverability or spoken about this topic during podcasts or radio interviews. So what new can I add to the conversation?
I actually have a practical, goal-achievement tip to offer. In The Success Principles (TM), Jack Canfield relates the story of how he sought the advice of a teacher who told him, “If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp ax, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.” Jack and his partner, Mark Victor Hansen, took that lesson and began doing five specific things every day to move themselves closer to completing their goal of making Chicken Soup for the Soul a #1 New York Times Best Seller. For example, each day they would promote their book by:
- doing five radio interviews
- sending five copies to editors to review
- making five phone calls to network marketing companies
- giving five free copies to celebrities
- sending five press releases
They did this for two entire years and ended up selling over eight million copies of their book. They and their book became highly visible, highly discoverable.
In the same way, if you want yourself, your blog and your book to become discoverable on line, you must show up daily. But show up more than once. Use Jack Canfield’s Rule of Five. Do five things daily to make yourself discoverable.
Here are my suggestions for how to show up.
- Write a blog post—This is the best thing you can do because it’s filled with keywords that can be cataloged by Google. and anyone who knows me knows the number one thing I tell everyone to do to become more discoverable is to blog often and consistently—2-7 times a week for the first year of your blog.
- Share the link to that blog post on all your social networks—especially on Google Plus, if you can, since it get’s cataloged really well and shows up on search engines.
- Say something or share something on a social network—Create a short Vine video or take a photo with Intstagram, comment on a blog post or on someone’s FB status, answer a question in a group or forum…be visible somewhere. I don’t think anyone cares much about what you ate for lunch, but I’m always amazed at the engagement I get when I post photos of the fresh squeezed grapefruit juice made with fruit from my trees, for example. Your readers want to know who you are.
- Share someone else’s information—It’s important not to just toot your own horn. Find great information provided by others, and send that out to your friends and followers.
- Check trending topics—So many things happen in the world that can provide fodder for posts, status updates, comments, or shared information. Be on top of the news to become part of the news.
Putting action plans like the Rule of Five to use in your life will get you discovered on the Internet much faster than most other tips and tools. It will also help you get your book blogged and go from aspiring author to published author.
Photo courtesy of tungphoto | freedigitalphoto.net
Marlene Cullen says
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Very helpful info which I intend to implement. There. . .I did one thing today, four to go. Marlene
Teena Lyons says
Point 5 is a great one and very obvious, yet so many people completely ignore it…
A tool I use and which I recommend to others is Google Alerts. It helps stay on top of particular topics, allowing you to comment on them as they happen.
Nina Amir says
Google Alerts is a great tool! Thanks for mentioning it. I also use them.
Thanks for your comment.
Let me touch on the rule of five …
Where am I going to find five radio stations willing to interview me (a nobody)?
Sending five copies of my book equals to well over $100 (I’m unemployed at the moment, so I can’t afford that)
Make phone calls to network marketing companies … are you kidding me, they charge a fortune!
I don’t know any celebrities and sending it to them ends up with their agent who doesn’t care.
Press release from unknowns end up in the trash.
Nina Amir says
I suggest you try adopting an Author Attitude. Become a somebody. Blog about your topic until you become an expert. It’s free. Then contact the radio stations…or podcasters and internet radio hosts, who are more open. Produce an ebook, and send that out; it’s basically free. Contact any number of people who do believe in you and your book, and gain testimonials. Press releases can be sent online via a variety of free services and reach readers and journalists. Use the free ezine article services to get your name out there and info on your book as well.
To succeed as an author, you need willingness, optimism, objectivity, and tenacity. Negativity only keeps you stuck where you are. Think outside the box. There is always a way.
Nina, I’ve been at this game a long time. I’ve tried getting a literary agent and failed. I’ve self published books and failed. I’ve sent out press releases, set up a website, had business cards printed, joined writing groups … all without any results.
I look at the comments of these people raving about how helpful the blog post was and … I feel sorry for them, they are either dreaming or don’t know what they’re up against.
There was a time that I believed in myself and in my work, but not anymore. Self published authors swim against the tide and it’s only a matter of time before they get beaten and give up.
Sure, from time to time there is an author who gets noticed and makes it big, but those are the exception rather than the rule.
I’m still willing, but my optimism is gone. I don’t want to be negative, but life has me beaten.
What makes it sad is, I believe that my work is good and I get good reviews, but without money for proper marketing my books get lost in the crowd.
As for blogging … I used to be on Blogger and received on average 800 views a day. but I didn’t make any money of it, not one dime. So what’s the point of blogging really? It’s nice and it gives one a chance to be informative or get things off your chest, but it is not profitable.
Sorry to be so negative, but like I said, life has me beaten.
Nina Amir says
An author blog isn’t necessarily about making money. It’s about promoting yourself and your book. And there is a right and a wrong way to do it if you want to sell books. I don’t know if you have or had an author platform, but without that, it’s awfully hard to make a self-published book into a success. A blog serves as the center point of most platform-building efforts.
Now, 800 views is not 800 readers. 800 Unique visitors is 800 readers. There’s a huge difference.
800 UV a day should be getting you some people buying your book, but even with that, it won’t be 100 purchases a day…not without platform elsewhere as well.
And you are right, the indie successes we hear about are few and far between. Most sell just 100 books a year–or in their lifetime–if they are lucky.
But a blog remains the best tool in an author’s tool kit and success is still possible.
I would like to comment on both Nina’s and Connie’s comments. Nina, the advice you have given is really practical. But I am still struggling to find the right audiences for my authors, too, so I understand Connie’s frustration a bit.
Okay, here’s something we can all do for close to free. Get on the radio. Connie, you say you are a nobody? With that attitude, why would anyone want to listen to you? Get past your frustration and keep going. Why should anyone care more than you care. Having said this, maybe the following information will help.
ACTION: Make a list of TV, cable, radio and online stations where you could be interviewed.
IDEA: Public Access, internet radio shows are easy to get on. Start with these in your area. This helps you develop your skills and gives you feedback on how you are coming across. It also gives you a demo CD you can send to bigger stations. Don’t just trust what you think about your interviews, show samples of it to everyone and have them give you real feedback. You need to develop your radio/tv presence to a fine performance.
Here are some links that I have used in the past and they might help you (I haven’t checked that they are still valid; I last used them about a year ago): Radio – http://www.radio-locator.com and http://www.dir.yahoo.com’news_and_media/radio ; Radio talk shows – http://www.newslink.org/rneradi.html and list of public radio stations http://www.newslink.org/rpuradi.thml; Radio directory – Bacon’s radio directory or http://www.bacons.com/research/radiotvcable.htm
Now, once you have all this information, you still must do the most important thing. Figure out why anyone would want to listen to you. I know this sounds harsh, but so what you’ve written a book. Lots of people write. Why would this radio station’s audience want to listen to you for 5 minutes or a half hour?
Look at it another way. You are asking someone who doesn’t know you to let you use their reputation that they have taken years to develop. You are also asking them to put you in front of the audience they have taken years to cultivate. You have to be worthy of that. Are you super entertaining? Are you funny or poignant? If a stranger on the street came up to you and asked you to promote their interests to your best friends, would you? That’s what you have to overcome.
Your book is a throwaway fact that will be tossed into the conversation on occasion but you have to entertain their audience for the duration. Find a link, a point of commonality so you can rant together or laugh together or … what will make the radio personality shine? Is there a particular day of the year that you can make newsworthy by your presence? Is there a tie-in to your book? They need content, you need exposure, it could be a win-win if you can come up with the reason and the attitude to make their audience love you and the host.
If you can’t think of anything, ask your friends. Maybe someone who knows you can tell you something about you that is really special, entertaining, interesting, compelling. Once you have that kernel, build it into something that others will want to hear. Hope this helps, dayna
Nina Amir says
Great advice, Dayna. Developing the confidence to get out there and speak your message can be tougher than putting it down on paper for many people. Finding the message is the key, and discovering that sense of self-worth. Really knowing that what we have to say is worthy. I remind people that they don’t have to help every reader or every listener on a call or every person in a room. But for sure there will be at least one person who needs to hear their story or to receive the wisdom or information they have to offer. And that person’s life be forever changed. That’s enough reason to try…
Thanks so much for your lengthy comment and the great resources and tips.