Have you ever wondered if your Blog-Tweet-Tube-Post-Plus routine is all you should be doing to promote your book or grow your author platform? What you are doing right now is probably such a grind that you are cursing at me through your monitor at the mere suggestion. So why am I telling you there is more to be done?

Because there are some key steps you could be missing which might make your marketing efforts easier!

What? Easier, you say?

Yes, you heard right. You might even be able to get away from your social media page long enough to do some actual writing!

Will your author platform look like this, or can you think of a better way to build it? #amwritingImagine…
…trying to make a platform of wood that is 6 feet high…
…then imagine doing it with just wood–no nails or other bits and pieces.

Unless you are an engineer, right now you are probably imagining a big pile of wood. Endless pieces of wood, more more more… Not very sturdy, prone to collapse at any moment, especially if you try to stand on it.

But add some nails and suddenly you can imagine building a much sturdier structure, much faster, and with a lot less wood.

These two author marketing strategies are some of the nails you have been missing.

1. Build Inbound Links

Inbound links are so important to your SEO (I am talking New SEO, not Old SEO*) that you could have the most sleek and optimized website in the world and barely even register on the Search Engines. But get your self some inbound links and even the worst clunker of a website gains Google ranks by leaps and bounds.

Definition: Links that are coming into your website from other websites.

Isn’t that what you are doing when you post your blog to Twitter or share your website in your Google+ stream? Why yes it is. But posting links in your social media is not the only way to create inbound links, and although such posts have vast benefits, their SEO benefit is questionable.

Results: Inbound links strengthen your relevance to search engines and increase your chances of being discovered by your audience. They tend to have more permanence than social media posts, and accumulate over time rather than dissipating into the Inter-ether. Picture rolling boulder down hill, not rolling boulder uphill (admit it, social media marketing does sometimes feel like an uphill battle).

Things to boost your Inbound links:

  • Guest posting – Doing a guest post on someone else’s blog allows you to work in a link back to your page. Having someone guest post on your blog means they will probable post a link to your blog in a few places to tell people about the cool guest post they just did.
  • Link baiting – Cast your lure with a very tempting bait. Create awesome, reliable, and well researched content that people will want to link back to in references in their own websites. If you post your own pictures or content that people tend to “rip off” for use on their own site, don’t freak out, ask for credit and a link back.
  • Give unto others… – People love to reciprocate. If you talk about a topic and mention another person’s website with link, they might do the same back for you.
  • Ask – Ask for reciprocal links from people with websites in your niche. Submit your link to any sites that provide resources that your page would fit under. Send out press releases to the media with your links. Just remember: use it but don’t abuse it. You don’t want to wear out your welcome.
  • Don’t forget the Homefront – Internal links do count. So do link to other content and posts within your page when it is relevant.
*There is no such thing as New and Old SEO, I just made them up because I am not a fan of old fashioned SEO nit-picky tactics, good SEO is so much more than those tired old tactics, and still very necessary.

2. Link Tracking

So you have all these links out there, you spend all kinds of time all over the place, maybe you even spend some money on ads (though I advise against it) and you hope those links get seen by your audience.  You spend spend spend…but you have no idea if it is even working, or worth it. Could you be spending better by investing in your writing time, or paying for better cover art? Are the books sales and website traffic a result of your efforts, or just blind luck?

These are the questions that keep you up at night.

The answer is: link tracking. You can track every single link you post, whether it is to your website, to you book’s Amazon page, to your best friend’s ferrets Facebook page. If you have the right tools in place then you are already tracking where clicks to your website are coming from, if not then you really did miss a memo, and you need to get some web statistic tracking going on.

There are some much bigger guns at your disposal in link tracking than website analytics. Services for link shortening like bit.ly are one of the easiest ways to accomplish the kind of tracking you need to determine how effective your efforts are, especially if you create an account with them.

The four D’s of effective link tracking:

  • Divide your links into different categories: Homepage, Blog posts, Ads, Book sale pages, etc 
  • Divide your posting into different categories: Blog, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.
  • Decide what you want to track. For example, do you want to track how many clicks to your Amazon book page are coming via Twitter vs. via LinkedIn? Or how many came from that video you posted to You Tube?
  • Designate a unique link for each of these using bit.ly

Then just sit back and watch the fruits of your labor preform, or not preform. If you post on Facebook and you get no clicks, but your post on Twitter got a dozen, you know where you are going to be spending more time, and where you are going to be spending less time.

memo_spikeSo consider yourself memo’d!

Alice_&_Red_QueenThe good news is these are not new fangled strategies that will be obsolete next tuesday, leaving you running to stand still like the poor Red Queen. These are tried and true strategies that will never get old, and only get easier as you learn to make them part of your routine.