Developing an online following can be a long and daunting task for the self-published author. If done correctly, this process can mean long-term success for both the author and their projects. The best way for an author to organically develop this following is to follow the age old philosophy of, “give and you shall receive.”
So, when and how should you write for the sole purpose of giving it away?
In addition to writing and editing your own work, you need to be able to set enough regular time aside to effectively market everything you do. Your busy schedules and a possible lack of direction can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort. What you really need is something you can use as bait to attract the real big fish.
And that's where giving something away for nothing can pay off.
Serialized blogs or newsletters
Writing an exclusive blog series or an ongoing newsletter can give readers a good reason to submit their email. The offering of knowledge and solutions to those seeking it is very compelling. But, their value doesn’t end there.
These series also fulfill the ongoing need to have fresh content created for SEO purposes. Meaning the more you create and post the higher you’ll rank in the search engines.
Short how-to booklets
How-to instruction booklets are seen as the guides your would be readers use to navigate through accomplishing very specific tasks. By being the originator of these booklets your put into an authoritative position in the consumers mind.
Providing these how-to booklets for free, makes exchanging them with anyone willing to leave their email address with you a win-win for both of you.
Exclusive e-book offers
After you’ve written an industry specific e-book or even an interesting title of another nature you can use a special offer on your website to get new subscribers to type in their email in exchange for a deep discount or free copy.
All of these types of “free” offers allow you to attract a specific type of interested reader. The type of reader that can go into an extremely valuable, very targeted email database for future follow up. This precious new list of people will become the targets you directly market to when launching your projects.
You see you're now working in the realm of “permission based” marketing and it's all made possible by you offering your unique and interesting content. The most successful companies in the world employ these tactics every day.
And remember, you ARE a writer! You're the most cost effective writing resource you have. You can generate an unlimited amount of fresh content, in your own voice, just the way you want it, and post it to your website or blog on your own predetermined schedule.
Finally, make sure your website has a way to capture these email addresses. Most do-it-yourself sites have the option to setup a subscription box, if not call your webmaster and have them add one today.
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