This is a “writing for money” blog post, which I’d normally post to the Fab Freelance Writing Blog. But this post isn’t just for people who get hired to write, it’s for anyone who’s selling online. So, if fits better here because it’s broadly applicable.
It’s also the single biggest mistake I see companies making with content marketing. Not to mention authors. (Scroll down, if you want to know how to sell more books.)
You’re not selling because….
You’re looking in the wrong direction
Everyone wants traffic, and that’s the big reason you’re not making sales online. Whether you’re selling ebooks, self-help courses, or widgets, content marketing is just marketing.
The goal of marketing is sales. Ditto content marketing.
Your goal is never traffic. I discovered the perils of striving for traffic years ago. Did I learn my lesson? No way. I had to learn it over and over again. Traffic doesn’t help you to sell anything.
Stop looking at your website stats. Start looking at your sales.
Not making any sales? Then your content marketing isn’t working.
You need more content: content that’s focused on your customers, and this content may well be boring.
Josh Haynam describes the benefits of boring content in making sales in an excellent post on Hubspot. Trying for viral posts didn’t make sales:
“Then one day, out of sheer exasperation, I tried a different approach. Instead of just trying to get hits I decided to answer a real question that a real potential customer had asked me.”
Now let’s look at how to sell books — one tip, however. Don’t be boring — that’s the one thing you must remember as an author. Never, ever, be boring.:-)
How to sell more books: book marketing secrets
A couple of students asked me how content marketing — writing for money — works with book marketing.
That’s simple: write more books.
Let’s say you’ve written seven ebooks — fiction, or nonfiction, it doesn’t matter. You’re making sales, but your sales aren’t growing. You took a break from writing a few months ago, and haven’t been publishing. Your sales have pretty much flat-lined.
You’ve considered spending money on advertising. You’re blogging, and using social media.
To repeat: write more books.
Publish more. You don’t need to write more novels, if you’re writing fiction, or lengthy works of nonfiction. Write short material. Authors have had great results from the strategies we cover in Story Power, and from Sell Kindle Ebooks. Basically — write short material, and publish it.
Writing fiction? This post, 4 Easy Writing Tips To Turn Short Stories Into Kindle Cash, will help.
Yes, it’s content marketing. Your ebooks are content. Create more content to sell. With ebooks, a consensus seems to be that it takes authors (who don’t have a backlist of titles to which they have the rights back) around 30 titles to make “good” sales. You may need more than 30 titles to be happy with your sales. Kindle Unlimited helps. You get paid for each ebook of which 10% or more is read.
And of course, by publishing more and publishing regularly, you’re taking advantage of Amazon’s “new releases” list, which attracts readers for you.
So, whatever you’re selling, remember that your goal isn’t traffic.
If you’re Kindle publishing, stop the social media frenzy. Write more — create more salable content — that is, ebooks, and let Amazon sell them for you. Currently, that’s the way you sell more.
“What have you written today?”
A final tip: writing for money means writing. A lot. If something isn’t working, ask yourself the question I ask my students: “what have you written today?”
Sell Kindle Ebooks: Write Bestselling Genre Fiction & Nonfiction FAST
Sell Kindle Ebooks is a comprehensive self-publishing program which helps you to make the most of your talents. Take advantage of the power of Amazon to write both genre fiction, AND nonfiction. It’s time to develop a publishing program, and tell your day job goodbye.
You receive everything you need to become a publisher of both fiction and nonfiction.
How to profit from your writing: online store.