The Blog Numbers Game
We talk a lot about driving traffic to authors blogs and several of you have asked the question, why not simply post a link to Amazon direct to buy the book? Well, its about credibility of the unknown. If someone tells you there is a new book from James Patterson, here's a link, well you know who he is and already have an opinion on him, which if it is good you'll click that link and check out his new book. However, all our authors are 'unknown' to most of the millions of Holmes fans around the world so you need to be more subtle and employ a two stage sales process. Establish the credibility, then try and make the sale.
Let me give you a non-Holmes example. Alicia Eaton has written an amazing book on bedwetting - Stop Bedwetting in 7 days. Quite frankly its brilliant, and works 80% of the time. But then we are going to say that aren't we, and the average parent hasn't heard of Alicia. So, Alicia writes interesting and informed articles about working with children as she is a specialist in that field. For example, she wrote a wonderful short blog post about how to handle fear in children (4-5 paragraphs). We promoted that article and lots of people, interested in that subject visited her blog - sales of her bedwetting book went up. (?) But bedwetting has nothing to do with the subject of fear in children? Well, here are the stages of the sales cycle:
1000 people see a link to an article about fear in children (most of them are parents, as the link is posted where parents are looking)
100 parents click on the link
75 parents actually read the article in full, and as its well written, 50 of them enjoy it - Alicia has now gone from 'unknown', to 'knowledgeble expert' for those 50 people.
One in 5 parents' child has/is/will suffer from bedwetting - so perhaps one in 10 of the people that now think Alicia is now'credible' buy the book - either for them or for a friend.
(perhaps 2 or 3 then follow the blog to automatically get future articles from Alicia).
Lets relate that back to Holmes [there's huge choice in Holmes these days, so fans are interested to know which writers are credible]:
1000 people see a link to an interesting aricle from Dr. Dan about Sherlock Holmes (again, most are Holmes fans)
100 Holmes fans click the link - a good chunk of these are serious fans due to the nature, and indeed title of the article.
75 Holmes fans read the article - 50 decide that Dan is now'credible' - and some go on to buy his books. [important note - can you see how powerful that becomes near Christmas where people are searching for 'interesting' presents for their friends? And why subtle links to where you can buy your books should be right at the top of your blog?
The Multiplier Effect
If that isn't interesting enough, this is where social media gets very interesting. Each time you post 'very interesting' content on social media, people pass it on. So imagine Dan's article is very good, this happens:
50 fans read the article, 10 people share/like it (starting the chain again for all their friends and contacts - i.e. reaching another few thousand people each time). This is often called 'viral marketing' and the better the content, better in this context being most interesting, the more viral it becomes. A really brilliant article that is very relevant to the reader base can reach millions of people. People who really get social media realise that its about'giving'. If you give people quality content, they pay you back in spades by sharing the content, and therefore the relevant traffic with others.