A New Way to Meet, Be Rude, and Really Annoy People

Social media is no longer just a way to meet new friends and to stay in touch with old ones. It is a way to create real relationships, conduct real conversations and work for the common good of the community at large. Keep in mind that every entry in social media is a digital signature of you. It is a permanent reflection of you or your brand/business.

“In the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes.” ~ Anonymous

Be savvy and smart when online. It is imperative that you set and maintain clear boundaries of professionalism on social sites. So many users online just don’t get it. They create conversational traffic jams because they don’t understand the rules of social engagement. They abuse the social tools and then throw their hands up in dismay when their accounts get shut down, get chastised by their community, or are unsuccessful as a business.

Here are a few simple rules to live in social media communities:

  • Avoid racial comments.
  • Avoid critical comments, ranting and raving.
  • Avoid abusive language.
  • Avoid foul language and inappropriate jokes.

Play nice with others and they will play nice with you. Don’t be annoying or belligerent. Just keep in mind that social media is all about building relationships. Be transparent and build real relationships based on giving and trust.

Posted in audience creation, blog content, brand marketing, business networks, marketing, marketing strategies, networkers, social network, social networking | Leave a comment

Article Submission Tools for Article Marketing

Article Submitter– This tool automates the article submission process allowing you to quickly complete what can be a fairly long task. It also has a very nice video instruction library.

Content Rewriter– This is a cool tool that lets you take an article (or any content) and have it slightly rewritten. This makes it easier to submit to larger numbers of article directories without having issues with duplicate content.

SEO Elite– This is the program I use to submit articles. While costing more than Article Submitter Pro it really does a lot more. It will also help with link submissions and analyzing your competition. This is a great tool! Also consider purchasing Keyword Elite along with it. It’s the best one two punch for maintaining and creating web sites for profit.

Article Directories– Some good directories are:

Ezine Articles, Go Articles, Free Ezine Site, Article City and Article Alley.

Posted in author platform, Author Promotion | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Using Squidoo as a Part of Your Author Platform

Squidoo and Author PlatformSquidoo is an informational user generated site where web pages are kept in a ‘collection’ of ‘lens’ that are accessible. Squidoo lens are a great way to build your presence online and focus on your latest book or class. Anyone can create a page on Squidoo in less than five minutes; however, to do it in a way that drives traffic back to your author website and builds back links that add to your presence will take a more concentrated effort.

Getting traffic from Squidoo back to your blog or website is not that difficult if you use good keywords in the lens’ content and the title tags that are relevant to content on your blog or website.  Squidoo lens are searchable and therefore are incredibly valuable for driving traffic back to a site if you include the all important link.

To build links with Squidoo to increase your presence onlinebegin with the anchor text in the link. Carefully consider where will be the link point, where it will reside on the page, and the keyword rich content that surrounds the link.  Implement deep linking on your lens as well. Link to your internal pages to promote your site so it is obvious to search engines. This not only increases your sites visibility on the web it increases the rankings of additional pages on your website. The beauty of a Squidoo lens is that you can create dofollow high quality keyword related links that will ultimately help your site achieve a higher PageRank.

The hour or two it takes to create a highly optimized Squidoo lens is well worth the effort. Build a few lenses and see what it can do for driving more traffic to your website and blog. Link building is never time wasted. It is just one more element that sets your author platform apart from the others out there who are also trying to create an audience and market their book.

Posted in audience creation, author marketing tools, author platform, Author Promotion, marketing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Platform Building Press Releases

The press release is a specifically formatted and written document you submit to free or inexpensive public relations related sites. The press release is designed to highlight a particular event. It could be to announce the release of your web site, signing the big book deal of the century, or an award you have won for your work. Make the press release press releases author platformabout something interesting to someone. Editors in all types of media are dying for new content and someone somewhere will pick up your piece.

Most media websites (newspaper, radio and TV stations) are well trafficked and have a high Page Rank. By picking up your press release they may edit it a bit, but they will keep your contact information intact. You now have a link from a well trafficked, high Page Rank site to your site. Google will think you are cool! When you complete your press release think of where you want to release it. You can of course use the larger free-for-all public relations sites and you are likely to get some results there. However, be sure to target local sites and resources as well.

Did you win an award or publish a new book? Launching a new web site or releasing a new series then by all means alert publications in that industry. Don’t go overboard. If you are doing press releases more than maybe a half dozen times a year then you are doing it too often. Sure IBM can crank these out all the time, but they have a lot going on. Do a press release on something of note and you will get exposure. Be sure to put all of your press releases on your website, you never know when someone will pick one up from there and publicize it.

If you are not familiar with writing a press release then get to know the rules to the formatting and basic layout.

Press Release Tools

Media Syndicate Submission Service– This is a free press release submission service. All press releases are reviewed by human editors prior to posting, so be aware it may take a few days to a week for posting. If you like the services they ask for a donation.

PRWeb– If you are serious about using a press release as a tool then this is the place to go. It is not free, prices range from $80 to $360 depending on the degree of exposure you want. This is a high Page Rank (7) and high traffic site (9,100 or so) so this will provide a boost to your site.

Press releases can be an important part of the platform building process. It definitely helps create great traffic opportunity for your site!

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NaNoWriMo – Is it Impossible to WRIte a NOvel in a MOnth?

Nanowrimo is an international writing effort by authors united with one purpose: individually write and submit a 50,000 word+ novel draft beginning on 1 November and submitting by end of day 30 November. An ominous task for first timers, the project is infectious as the number of participants yearly has grown phenomenally in the writing community around the globe. It is such a powerful experience that authors become repeat participants year after year. Some highly successful works have come out of Nanowrimo including best seller Water for Elephants (and I am sure after many re-writes and edits).

Tamara Sellman of Writer’s Rainbow is a two time successful NANOWRIMO author.  She has some solid words of advice for first time participants:

  • Create your free Nanowrimo account now and make a commitment to your writing schedule.
  • Write 1669 words a day and you will make your word count easily
  • Create an outline or storyboard ahead of time (no actual story writing as that is cheating) so you star with the end in mind.
  • Know your story question before November 1 so you can just focus on the writing and not worry about getting stuck.

Nanowrimo entries are always raw and unpolished work. The idea behind the event is to force writers to get the work down on paper, learn about their characters, and noting areas where you are stuck or need to go back and do research but to just write on and capture your story in the first pass.

Editing comes later. If you really get caught up in the craziness you can join in on Nanoedit month in February. So you have Dec and Jan for your re-writes and research on your Nanowrimo novel!

If you need a partner or a formal setting to support you in your first attempt at Nanowrimo there are all types of local and online groups to join. In Seattle there are sessions devoted to Nanowrimo at Hugo House, most writing organizations and public libraries have similar sessions offering support. Join a team and get ready to join in on the fun.

I’ve already signed up, am committed and have my pencils sharpened…Go Team Seattle! We are going to rock the writing world!

Posted in Book Contest, finding a topic for your book, manuscript preparation, Uncategorized, Writing, writing a book | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

LinkedIn – Another Powerful Element of the Author Platform

LinkedIn is the granddaddy of business/professional networking sites. With nearly 50 million users around the globe it is the professional networking site.

LinkedIn has great authority with Google and other search engines so why not use it as another source of SEO links for your Author Platform? Where do you begin and how do you tap into LinkedIn for some SEO strength?

Let’s start with your profile on LinkedIn and the website links you can add there. Creating unique anchor text links to your website on your LinkedIn profile is easy to do and provides a ‘dofollow’ attribute that is invaluable if your profile has content relevant to your website’s content. Adding your name to your LinkedIn profile URL adds to the search friendliness of your name.  To create anchor text links to your website on LinkedIn select “Profile” on the left side of the home page.

A new window will pop open with a tab titled “edit my profile.

Scroll down the screen to where lines “Website” and “My Company”. Select the edit button.  A new window opens and there are several pop down menus. First select “other” in the website bar, then to the right type in the keyword rich name of your author-based business or book title followed by the URL where you wish people to land first. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and select “save”.

You can add three up to three URLs so add your blog and maybe a second website for your book’s website and a third for your Author Facebook page. These are all live, direct, ‘do follow’ links which are happily scanned by the search engines!  Using the “other” selection rather than the default selection allows you to add relevant anchor text which then adds to your link strength.

Make sure you also set your profile so that your public view exhibits your website and adds to your Page Rank. To do this go to the bottom of your “edit my profile” page and select “edit” beside “Public Profile.” Editing your links in this fashion is seldom done by even savvy LinkedIn users so take advantage of it.

This will take you to another page where you can select what the viewing public can see.  To get the most “bang” for the search engine optimization buck select “Full View Recommended” and fill in all the dots but most importantly the “website” button.

This will help your profile get indexed by the search engines and your website collect a Page Rank influence from having your profile page on a high authority site (LinkedIn).

Now let’s shift attention to the actual contents of a profile.  First and foremost the use of relevant keywords is critical to the process! The headline, personal interests, summary and job description should be populated with keywords related to your website or blog. Avoid keyword stuffing but do utilize important words that are relevant.

Headline– While this is such a small piece of information it is really valuable as your headline is what shows up in lists, groups, and email updates. It says in a nutshell what you do and what your position is. Optimize your job title using your highest ranking descriptive relevant keywords.  Instead of stating your title as “Author” use “Historical Fiction Author” or “Non-Fiction Critique Writer” for better leverage. Avoid throw away words such as experienced, savvy, veteran and other modifiers. They offer no search value and waste space better used for quality keywords.

Current– This segment cannot be technically ‘edited’ as it is pulled from the “I currently work here” from your experience list. It can be optimized for search if you make sure the description of what you are currently doing is keyword rich and relevant to your website.  Pay special attention to your current job title as that is what shows up first on your profile!

Summary and Specialties– Use keywords relative to your website to explain what makes you different or what makes you stand apart yet are related to your brand/industry. Previous books, service, and consulting details that help someone make a decision whether they want to connect with you. Avoid empty words like: quality, fun, innovative, significant, etc. They add no search value. You can either list your skills or you can create a descriptive paragraph of your specialties.  Avoid pasting your cover letter and resume in this section.

Experience– Provide a rich keyword description of your current work. Elaborate in detail on your responsibilities and current writing efforts. Your previous position descriptions should be brief but also filled with keywords that sell your current expertise and add to your credibility.

Connections– It is interesting how adding connections on LinkedIn improves your website’s SEO. It improves your personal visibility online as well as your website’s and your blog’s visibility.

Groups– Joining groups that are industry related helps you get found by others. Participation in the groups helps draw attention to you and your book(s).

Answers– The answers section of LinkedIn allows you to not only improve your reputation it also allows you to construct internal links to your profile which provide more “go juice” for your profile in search engines. These pages are indexed and so are returned by search engines in their search results.  The answers you provide create another opportunity for your website to get exposed as you will add a link to it or your blog in your signature line of your interaction with those who are seeking your expertise or who are reading your answer.

LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable SEO resource for you just waiting to be tapped. All it takes is a little time, some good keywords, and persistence when building a network of connections. If you build it and tend it carefully, ‘they’ will come (search engines).

LinkedIn by itself is a powerful tool you should take advantage of and use to promote your expertise as well as your web presence as you build your Author Platform. With the added bonus of providing valuable links to your website don’t miss making the effort to optimize your profile.

Posted in audience creation, author marketing tools, author platform, Author Promotion, blogging, business networks, marketing strategies, social networking, strategic marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Author Platform Building – Optimizing Your Facebook Author Page

Can Facebook help you with your author profile and your overall web ‘presence’? Can you truly optimize your Facebook fan page for search engines? Yes you can!

Facebook allows authors to have a vanity page on their social networking site. It is a great place to create a hub to other information about your books or your classes or to create links to other sites that are related to you. It is different from a personal page as it should be representative of you professionally and your brand and not your personal life.

The first step to optimizing your Facebook page for search is to identify the best keywords you should use (have you heard this before). Keywords should be selected on the basis of how potential readers who have never heard of your name but who need or want your information. Keywords are tricky to pick out but with a little help from Google’s keyword tools you can uncover not only the right words and phrases but the search volume itself. Try and find good keywords and link them to your name as you choose your Vanity URL.

Make sure your Facebook Page URL represents the identity of you and your genre or niche. They frown on black hat behaviors so keep it above board and choose a username that represents you (Like: Shannon Evans Author Platforms)!

Once you have investigated and selected the best keywords and selected your vanity page URL it is time to concentrate on the actual search optimization of your Facebook page. Here are some general guidelines for on page optimization:

  • Add keywords to your “about” box
  • Place your professional website/blog link URL in your profile
  • Add more than one URL, include your Twitter link, LinkedIn profile link, etc.
  • Publish interesting content on a regular basis that is related to your niche audience that is not salesy
  • Use keywords in everything you post if possible
  • Be social, interact, evoke comments
  • Add video from YouTube, add photos or book covers, your latest podcast or book trailer, etc.
  • Find links related to your site content.
  • Put your Facebook page URL on your email, newsletter, website, etc.
  • Be personal, it’s not all business after all just don’t be too personal!

The “About” text is the place to pack your description with keywords as close to the top of the page as possible. You are limited by the amount of text you can place in here but it is still the best place to add custom text. There is a 250 character limit so use highly selective keywords in your text!

The “info” tab is a critical place to include more keywords/phrases as well as your links to your website and other social networks where you have a presence. This is essentially where the descriptive metadata for your fan page is pulled by the search engines and really boosts your content score.

Facebook has a high page rank with all the search engines therefore it is critical to have your website  listed on your Facebook page to provide this valuable link. To have your website displayed on your main profile page access the information box on the left side of your profile page. Click on the yellow pencil and you will be able to edit the box. Check the box “website” for your site to be displayed. Now visitors can go directly to your website. Here are some things to add to this box:

  • Local Search Information– City, state, and zip code if you work from home or only have PO Box.
  • Company Data– Mission statement, classes you teach, services like workshop presentation, keynotes, etc
  • URL– add links to your website, blog, and other social networking personal pages

Facebook lets you create “static FBML” (Facebook Markup Language) boxes and tabs for large volumes of content, images, or video. The more content you have on your page the greater your content density score with Google; however, keep in mind that each tab you create has a separate URL from the search engine perspective. To add a custom tab or box to your page:

  • In the search box on the top right of your Facebook page type in “static fbml”
  • You will go to a page of listings. Select the “Static FBML” application button.
  • A new page will open and on the top left side are two options. Click the “add to my page” icon.
  • Choose the page where you wish to add the custom content box or tab.
  • Close the dialog box and go to your Fanpage. Just below your profile photo click “edit Page”
  • A new page will open. In the application list is the application “FBML 1.” Click on the pencil beside it.
  • Select “edit”
  • A new page will open with 2 fields – “Box Title” and “FBML”. Name the box or tab with a Keyword related to the content you will place there. If this will be a Tab Title you will be limited to 10 characters.
  • Click “save changes”
  • To return to your application settings page click “edit” at the top of your page.
  • Click the pencil next to the name you selected for the FBML application and then choose “application settings.”
  • To add the FBML you just created as a box select “add” next to the “box” option.
  • To add the FBML you just created as a tab select “add” next to the “tab” option.

Status updates are a great place to post direct links to your website; however, you want to do that judiciously. No one likes to be sold to or constantly pitched. Since Google really likes pages that link to relevant sites, posting relevant related links near the top of your page’s structure are legitimate Google boosters for your Facebook page.

Post the raw URL in the status update frame or use the “attach link” feature.  Posting the raw URL Facebook automatically links the text to the URL. The resulting anchor text is what it is, you can’t change it; however, the URL is linked directly to the destination page and does not have Facebook.com as part of the menu bar on the destination page.

If you use the “attach link” feature Facebook pulls the title, body, and any images from your page and creates a suggested image and text to the side of your page’s link. This is great for increasing your keyword density too by changing the anchor text before “sharing” your link. This link will go through a share URL that places the destination URL in an iframe that has the Facebook menu bar at the top. It will also include a share feature as well as a place for comments.

Content is still king so what you post beyond URLs can influence your searchability. Highly optimized keyword rich content is useless if it is not interesting and varied. Photos are terrific but add keyword rich captions perhaps with a geo-targeted keyword for additional search opportunities. Post an event and include text and keywords as well. Create a discussion forum for those events and to discuss genre and book reviews, etc. All the content you share on your Facebook pages is indexable by search engines.

There are even some offsite things you can do for your Facebook page. One of these is getting inbound links from you website and vice versa. Reciprocal related linking from related and authoritative websites help your PageRank.

Put a Facebook badge or widget on your website to encourage your website followers to link back to your Facebook page. Links from other Facebook pages are also a form of inbound links to your page. The more fans you have the more links you have to your Facebook page thus adding to your overall search presence.

Encourage your followers to comment and discuss topics on your page. Get them to “like” content on your page as that links their name back to their profile page thus creating yet another back link. When fans comment back on your page from their Facebook account, Google sees their entry as a reciprocal link. This increases your ‘footprint’ on the web. Reciprocal linking is heavily weighted by some search engines.

SEO is important to all that you post on the Internet related to your author platform. Growing your social media connections on Facebook is greatly aided by simple search engine optimization tactics.  You can do a lot to maximize your author platform exposure to search engines through your Facebook page.

Posted in audience creation, author marketing tools, author platform, Author Promotion, publishing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments