Benefiting from Your Blog
One of the best ways to sell books and gain attention online is to have an author blog. To get the most out of your blog and gain more traffic, you should always keep it updated with fresh content. This is what will keep your readers interested. You can even create an email list sign-up that sends out updates when you have posted new content to keep readers coming back. You should also consider posting new content on a schedule (ex: new posts every Thursday afternoon) so that your readers can know when to expect it and visit your site.
If you are going to have a blog, you should also learn how to utilize SEO (Search Engine Optimization). There are certain keywords and descriptions that can aid in this, as well as small tasks like adding alt tags to images that you post.
Another way to get the most out of your blog is to utilize the comment section. End posts with a question or call to action to encourage readers to comment below. This will increase your interaction with your readers, making them feel more connected to you, and also connect fans to each other.
Social media can be very useful in promoting your work, but you should also be cautious. It is important to remember that you should be running your social media accounts, not the other way around.
One way to better manage your social media is completely separate your private life from your professional life. It is better to create an author account for promoting your work and interacting with readers, as this gives you more credibility and keeps everything book/promotion-focused.
The two social media accounts that will be most useful for promotion will be a Facebook page (not profile) and a twitter account. You can start growing your Facebook page by creating an inexpensive like campaign on Facebook. This means that your page will be advertised on Facebook, and you will be charged a low price for each new like you gain from the ad. This is a tactic you should consider because a Facebook page ultimately does you no good without likes/followers. Once you have a good amount of people who will see your page, it is important to utilize the many promotional tools available with Facebook pages such as a shop/services tab, website links, and more. You should also regularly update the page with new content, including new blog posts (with links) and press releases.
The main purposes of your Twitter account will be to increase traffic to your website/blog and to interact with your readers. Like Facebook, post teasers and links to new blog posts, and also include an author website link in your bio. Gain more followers by following potential readers/buyers. You can find these by searching hashtags or keywords (“books”, your genre) or combing through the followers list for other popular author accounts. While Twitter can be very useful, it is still important to not get sucked too far into it, so try to limit yourself to spending a maximum of 45 minutes a day on your author twitter account.
Other social media platforms you can use to increase traffic to your website/blog, include Pinterest, Google +, and Instagram. If you decide to use these, consider only using them to promote and tease new content or announcements which can be found on your site.
Reach Past Your Current Followers
While keeping current readers and fans interested in your work is important, it is also vital that you try to reach new possible readers and buyers as well. Ways to do this include forming relationships with other authors and bloggers. In doing this, you can form a partnership of sorts to promote each others work on your separate sites and accounts. You should also consider using a site that specifically focuses on book promotion, such as Whizzbuzz. There are both free and paid options for online book promotion, and this is a great way to reach a new, larger audience.