In today’s ever-expanding digital landscape, it’s no longer enough for authors to only write a book. Even if you've written the very best book within your niche, your sales may eventually lose momentum unless you start producing accompanying content to blast to your audience via newsletters, e-mail marketing automations, your blog, social platforms and more!
Jyotsna Ramachamdran, founder and director of Happy Self-publishing, asks why a carefully curated content strategy is so important for authors, and how to build and implement one.
(While the examples she uses as illustrations focus on non-fiction, her advice can be adapted for fiction writing and adopted by novelists.)
To Stay Relevant
Firstly, it’s imperative that authors stay in touch with their followers in order to remain relevant and keep their finger on the pulse of what’s trending and of interest to readers.
To Test Future Book Ideas
Secondly, there’s no better way to test which topics resonate with your readers than by producing brief sections of content about them prior to committing to writing a full book. Your content strategy is where you’ll ultimately be able to experiment with and decide on your next book’s topic.
How Readers Think
Think of the last time you read a really great book. You more than likely ended up Googling the author afterwards and landing on their website or social media platforms. Once you got to their site or Facebook account, you were delighted to see that they were offering a free mini-course to, let’s say, help readers save more money, achieve their dreams of self-employment and so on. Without hesitating, you gladly signed up and subscribed to their e-mail newsletter list.
If the book provided such great value to you, chances are their post-launch content strategy would too.
Now that you’re following the author, you receive first-hand notifications when they create new work, announce a book launch or share interviews they’ve done with the press. This makes you become more likely to buy their next book, engage with the content they’ve produced and share it with your own followers, further expanding that author’s reach. In turn, the author is able to test out what you’re responding to and what you aren’t.
How to Start Creating Content
Now let’s flip it back to you, the author. You've written one or more books, so you must be creative enough to create a valuable content strategy to help promote your author brand. Not sure what to write about? Here are some ideas.
What’s new in your world? Chances are, your readers will be interested to know. If you’re a star decorator, send a weekly update to your followers letting them know what you’ve been working on and which tips and tricks you’ve used to create the best possible spaces for your clients that week. Alternatively, talk about a new technique you’ve used and offer insight as to how your followers could recreate it on their own.
Remember – if your content provides value to somebody, they’ll keep seeking it out.
2. Social media content
Let’s use the same example as above. After self publishing your bestselling book, 27 Ways To Makeover Your Home On A Budget, you’ve garnered an audience of thousands across your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts who are hungry for more content from you. Why not publish a photo of a recent space you’ve been working on? In the caption, consider adding information about where you found that incredible lamp, which company you bought the wallpaper from and so on. By providing a window into your daily life at work, your followers will keep coming back for more.
3. Blog posts
Blog posts are where you can really get detailed with your content. Are you thinking about ideas for your next book but can’t seem to narrow your top three options down to one? Why not write a blog post about each and see what your audience response to the most?
What better way to deliver value to your audience than by hosting detailed, educational conversations with some of the other influencers within your niche? If you’ve got the gift of gab and prefer chatting to writing, organize weekly talks with your design peers.
5. Video updates and tutorials
It’s one thing to talk about staining your own coffee table, but something completely different to actually SHOW your audience how to do it! If you’re adept at videography and editing, create fun, snappy videos to share your expertise with your followers.
6. Online courses and free guides
Platforms such as Active Campaign and ConvertKit can help newcomers easily create marketing automations to blast out to their e-mail subscribers. If you’ve created an online course or design resource guide, consider dripping it out to your followers via these platforms.
There you have it – just a handful of the possibilities you can explore while creating your author content strategy. Of course, we’ve only just touched on the tip of the iceberg. What’s most important for newbies to the content game to keep in mind is to stay consistent.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION! What content strategies and tactics have worked well for you? We'd love to hear your success stories.#authors - how to keep readers engaged by building a content strategy around your books - simple tips from @JyotsnaR Click To Tweet
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