Guest post from Sara of The Traveling PhoBlogWhiPher.
I am expecting a little one and am working hard to generate relatively steady income from my blog and self-published books before he or she arrives. I have found a few free (or almost free) self-marketing tips to be very useful and I think they would be useful for nearly any business.
My blog brings me a small amount of revenue via Amazon Affiliates and a slightly larger amount of revenue through Google AdSense. Basically, non-invasive ads are placed on the sidebar of my blog and I get paid a small amount if/when a person clicks on them, a larger amount if an order is made.
I have taken advantage of free or almost free marketing by creating a Twitter account, using Pinterest to link to interesting or useful posts, and business cards.
I have chosen to go the self-publishing route and am therefore my own publicist. I know this is true for many big-six published authors as well, but they have the advantage of their books being on the shelf at Barnes & Noble or Borders!
Any time my books will be on sale, I put the sale information up on my blog and my Twitter page, as well as a Facebook page I created specifically for my books. I have also made business cards for both of my books and I find them to be particularly useful. Any time someone asks me what I do for a living, mentions in passing that they love to read, references a child named Shannon (the main character of my children’s book) I give them my card.
Know Your Audience.
It doesn’t make sense to tell a college student about my children’s book, just as it doesn’t make sense to tell someone who dislikes travel about my blog. Knowing my audience helps determine which (if any) of my products I should be marketing.
Put Yourself Out There.
This is tough for me, but it’s important. I’m not a famous author. Nobody knows who I am. My own mother probably says “Who is Sara Lucinda Bell? That name sounds familiar.” It’s silly for me to expect sales to fall into my lap without putting effort into it. I have to tell people about myself and my blog/books.
I have found social networking and business cards to be a great help in this area, but a really great area that surprised me was giveaways. People are hosting giveaways on their blog all the time, and I have found that offering a giveaway is often very helpful.
Accept Rejection Gracefully.
Don’t be one of those people. You know the kind! If you start to tell someone about your business and they tell you they aren’t interested, let it be. You can always close with a statement like “I really think you’ll like it, so let me know if you ever change your mind…” but end it there. They may digest it all and come around, but I can almost guarantee that won’t happen if you continue to try forcing it on them!
Sara is currently finishing up an RVing adventure she and her husband embarked upon this summer. She is a full-time writer and blogger who loves to read and save money, and she is expecting her first child this spring. You can visit her blog to read more!
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