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Monthly Archives: April 2018

How to Promote Your Blog Offline via @problogger

How to Promote Your Blog Offline

Today I’m tackling questions from listener, Julianna Barnaby about whether it’s important to spend time offline building your blog’s personal brand and reputation.

The answer is simple. “Yes.” Offline promotion is worth it. Get creative, and get out and meet people.

You may need to step out of your comfort zone, but that can be rewarding. You never know when someone you meet will become a reader, collaborator, team member, or even sponsor.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to offline promotion, and engagement is sometimes much stronger. People are more likely to comment on, share, and buy your products and services.

Offline methods to promote and grow your readership:

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Platform: What IS It? Why Do Writers Need One?

what is a platform, how do we build an author platform, Facebook privacy violations, Cambridge Analytica, social media censorship, Facebook facing congress, social media and privacy violations, branding tips

A platform offers major advantage when it comes to selling books. Before social media, non-fiction authors had an edge. These authors already had an existing audience by the time their books were ready for sale.

Novelists, conversely, found themselves relying on a lot of pure luck, prayer, and alignment of the stars. The fiction author had little to no control regarding the business side of their business. The only way to build a platform was to not completely FAIL with book one.


Non-fiction authors, however, were not nearly as vulnerable because they had ways to cultivate a following ahead of time. Those ways also permitted them to KEEP growing the platform even bigger as they continued to publish more works.

For instance, if one happened to be an expert of some sort, it was far easier to build an audience interested in your topic. Therapists, psychiatrists, physicians, personal trainers, business owners, etc. obviously could begin with their ‘job’ (I.e. a private practice). Then these experts progressively expanded their platforms in a logical fashion.

They might broaden to speaking engagements, guest appearances on television and/or radio, serve as ‘experts’, and maybe even fold in lectures and seminars. With every expansion, the NF author added more numbers to their ‘platform.’

What IS a Platform?

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User or Lose It: A Beginner’s Guide to User Generated Content by Brenna Vallar @ABCCreative

User or Lose It: A Beginner’s Guide to UGC


One of destination marketing’s most valuable assets often goes underutilized by brands that fail to stay up to date on the latest trends. The best part of this one, it’s easy on the budget. For decades, destinations have invested plenty to lure in journalists and other influencers with promises of accommodations and five-star experiences, all…
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Stacking free promotions to replicate BookBub results

This week’s guest post is from Kayla Tirrell, contemporary YA romance author (and the very first guest on the podcast!). She recently attempted to replicate the results of the nearly impossible to book BookBub promotions and was generous enough to share her very impressive results. Thanks Kayla!



A silly name for an amazing service. As a reader, if the best place to find deals on books. As a writer, it is the holy grail of paid newsletters. Everyone wants a place in their newsletter. Some spots cost over $200 and authors are lining up around the block, so to speak, to pay this insane amount of money.

That said, for most of us, BookBub is a dream that may never come true. I’ve applied SIX times, and have yet to be accepted. What’s a girl to do? Give up? Grab the biggest container of Ben & Jerry’s and cry? Listen to depressing music on repeat?


I decided to try what I affectionately call a FauxBub. It was an experiment that consisted of stacking as many high performing promos as possible during a free 5-day run and see what my results would be.

This wasn’t my first free run, and it wasn’t my first promoted free-run. But, I was pleasantly surprised by the results I got the second time around.

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Writers: Grow Your Instagram Account Organically via @jfbookman

On March 1st, Pew Research Center released its newest report on social media use.

As everyone would expect, YouTube and Facebook lead the pack, capturing a good portion of Internet users.

But not far behind, with an estimated 800 million users as of September 2017 (Statista), Instagram proves that it’s continuing to flourish.

If you’ve never used Instagram, I recommend that you read an earlier post I wrote for Joel Friedlander titled Instagram Primer for Indie Authors. Since that time there have been a few changes: Instagram is more nimble on desktop computers, and you can now schedule posts without reminder notifications with most scheduling applications if you have a business account.

But today we’re going to be more concerned with growing your Instagram account.

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Author Success

Why does everything seem to just work for some authors?


There you are slaving away, hustling to get each and every Twitter follower, Facebook like and, well, let’s not even talk about book sales.

You know your books are good, just as good as those successful authors’ books.

But while their fans are falling over themselves to pre-order every title they release, you don’t have any fans to even speak of.

What gives?

The difference between you and your competition is they already know who their readers are, where they hang out, what they like, and how to talk to them.

These are all things you have been trying to figure out, but why not learn who your most successful competitors are and leverage what they’re doing instead?

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Offering Readers Extras

As an indie author, simply writing your book is not enough. You need to have a marketing strategy, and let people know about your work. You also need to find your target audience, and then give them a reason to keep buying your work.

One way to do that is to offer extras to your readers. The Write Life calls them “insider treasures.” The idea is to make your readers feel special by giving them a gift:

Many authors create incredible extras inspired by their writing, drawn from their characters or worlds. This can be anything from a map of an alternate world to lovely character cards, or a peek behind the curtain at your creative process.

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How to Launch a Book Without a Platform: Interview with Rachel Swanson

A question many first-time authors ask is how to launch a book without a platform? Is it possible or do you need to build your followers first?

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Our guest for today proves you can successfully launch and sell a book, without a major platform. Rachel Swanson was once an aspiring author with a small blog – under 100 email subscribers – and what she did with her first book was nothing short of amazing! She launched a book and sold thousands of copies in the first few weeks, and that trend has continued ever since.

To start off, I share the email she sent to pitch herself to come on this show. I think it’s a great example of how to position yourself when asking to be a guest on any podcast or other medium, and I wanted you to hear it.

We then transition into talking about how her book has sold over 10,000 copies. This is an exceptional milestone that many books don’t reach in their first year, and yet Rachel has accomplished this in just the first six months of her book’s launch!

On today’s episode of The Portfolio Life, we discuss how Rachel’s book came to be and how it became so successful, plus candid advice for following in her footsteps.

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How to Increase Website Traffic – A Guide For Beginners

How to Increase Website Traffic – A Guide For Beginners

There is no way around it. If you have a website, your business needs visitors. The more, the merrier.

But, quantity is not the most important thing you need to worry about. You also need visitors who perform the actions you want them to perform, whether it be purchasing your product, subscribing to your email newsletter, or downloading your PDF file.

So, the real question is not how to get more website traffic, but rather how to get traffic that converts? Furthermore, how do you do it profitably?

This article will help you answer those questions. It is a simple guide to increasing website traffic for beginners.

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How to Sell More Books with 13 Pre-Order Strategies

How to Sell More Books with 13 Pre-Order Strategies

If you’ve never done a pre-order campaign, or your last one wasn’t successful, I want to go over 13 strategies that will ensure you’ll sell more books next time around.

Working pre-order campaigns into your author marketing plan help you build buzz. Plus they are an excellent excuse to engage fans and draw in new ones. And pre-orders can really be lucrative for sales, when done right.

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