By Jimmy Moore
Shhhhh. I've got a secret to share with you that you may not even know about.
In fact, if you have ever written a book or thought about writing a book, I'm gonna let you in on something that won't cost you a dime of money, but could produce an incredible opportunity to effectively market your work.
What is this dream plan for building an audience of enthusiastic buyers for your book? Simply put, it's a blog. What's that?!
A blog, short for weblog, is a web site journal where you can post just about anything you want about whatever subject matter interests you the most. For me, after losing 180 pounds on a low-carb plan in 2004, I knew I had found a topic that I was very passionate about sharing with others and that there would be an audience who would be willing to listen.
In April 2005, I started my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog located on the Internet at http://livinlavidalocarb.blogspot.com. When I first started my blog, I had just begun work writing on my book, also called "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb."
The early days of a blog are kinda like being on a 100-watt radio station out in the middle of nowhere. You talk and talk and feel like nobody's listening. And if you expect to find instant success with your blog, then just don't bother.
But if you write freely about what is in your heart, share openly and honestly about what's on your mind, and provide relevant content that people will want to read, then you will begin to build an audience who will follow you and want to come back for more.
To let others know about my blog, I went to other similar kinds of blogs and web sites to introduce myself and to let them know about what I was doing. I probably posted my URL on about 50 different low-carb message boards to get the word out about it. In my first month online, I had about 5,000 pageviews.
By the third month I was online, the pageviews at my blog grew to 10,000 that month. In the meantime, I continued to post articles on a daily basis to keep the web site looking fresh and new all the time and I bought the domain name for my book, LivinLaVidaLowCarb.com. I had the domain forward all of the traffic to my blog. This is an excellent way to build those repeat readers by making it easy for them to find you, and the faithful will come back to you often.
Whatever you do, don't just suddenly stop posting to your blog. Nothing frustrates a reader more than to come to your blog for three or four days in a row with zero updates. Some people may wonder if you've gone away forever and may never come back. Don't leave 'em hanging. If you can't post for a few days, then let your readers know it.
When my book debuted six months after I began my blog, I was getting about 15,000 pageviews per month. This built-in audience for my book gave me an instant marketing strategy to provide them with an additional resource for information about low-carb, something that I had already been providing them at my blog.
Since they knew my writing style and felt confident in my ability to write, I noticed that many of my blog readers began buying my book. While that was not my sole purpose in creating the blog, it certainly didn't hurt to build an audience that would be receptive to my book when it was released.
In the three months since my book has been released, the pageviews at my blog have simply skyrocketed. November and December each had 20,000 pageviews and the month of January is expected to easily surpass the 30,000 pageview mark. WOW! I would have never thought something free would ever bring about this kind of success.
But it has and you should learn to capitalize on it, too. Don't be afraid to stir up a little controversy in what you write. Readers like to root someone on who is willing to fight for a cause they believe in. No matter what the subject content of your book may be about, there is always an audience looking for a leader. Be that leader!
Don't be afraid to change the format of your blog often so the web site looks like you are working hard on it -- and you are! Also, don't be afraid to market your book front and center at your blog. You are providing your readers a service by imparting information to them. Many of them will reward your consistency at your blog by getting your book and telling others about it, too.
One of the things that helped me grow my blog was when other blogs posted links to articles I had written. This brings in many new readers who would have otherwise never come to your web site. Feel free to do the same for anything you see on someone else's blog. You can even post a permanent link to their blog which many will reciprocate with a link to yours.
Building this community of readers can and will help you market and sell your book. I have had the fortune of having three fully-paid speaking engagements/book signings in Huntington Beach, CA, Milwaukee, WI, and Brooklyn, NY in the past two months because key people discovered me and my book thanks to the work I invested at my blog. Never underestimate the power of this invaluable tool for building a growing audience for your book.
About the Author
Jimmy Moore is a customer service specialist and freelance writer from Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is married to Christine and enjoys working out and writing on his Livin' La Vida Low-Carb blog. A former 410-pounder, Jimmy is now a healthy man thanks to the low-carb lifestyle. You can visit his website (and blog) at http://www.LivinLaVidaLowCarb.com and you can read more about his book at http://www.booklocker.com/books/2183.html.