By Brian Feinblum, Media Connect CMO
Many authors want to sell lots of books, get media attention, win awards, hit a best-seller list, and impact society with their books. Lots of writers will employ a social media strategy that contributes to marketing their books and promoting their brand. Can any author achieve a significant milestone, such as snagging one million page views for a website or blog?
The answer is most definitely yes, but the bigger question is: How long will it take you?
Within five years of launching my blog, www.bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com, I reached 1,000,000 page views. The blog, now six-and-a-half years old, features nearly 2,600 posts and will surpass 1.5 million page views this spring. For some, they would love to average my traffic of 25,000 page views per month. For others, it’s too little and too slow. They want to blow the Internet up. Today. Now!
So your first decision is about pace and how fast you hope to generate lots of web traffic. Will you invest time and resources that are needed to speed this process up? Will you hire marketers and publicists to help? Will you find a part-time helper, perhaps a smart and eager college student, who can assist in researching, commenting, and posting? You need to be realistic about your time.
Second, confront your technological IQ. Are you digitally savvy enough to post regularly online and to share content on key platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram and Pinterest?
Third, can you produce enough content on a regular basis that’s truly interesting, unique, and moving? Are you really a good writer, creative and talented? Mediocrity won’t cut it here.
Fourth, are you personality-driven in some of your posts? The Internet loves bluster, humor, emotion, and forceful claims. Be bold in your posts.
Fifth, decide if you really want to hit a lofty goal like 1M page views, or if your bigger goal is to accomplish something else. Getting lots of clicks shouldn’t be a goal in itself. It’s a means to achieving some greater purpose and you may have better, alternative methods to get to where you want to be. Is a digital-centric strategy your best — or only — way to get there?
Sixth, you will have to post often, regularly, and on many platforms to have a chance of increasing your clicks. You will also need content that has viral potential — something so outrageous, shocking, or visually arresting that people feel compelled to share it. Filter your efforts through the prism of, “Would I want to share this if someone sent it to me?” If not, don’t waste your time. Find the post that will amaze others.
Seventh, to achieve success at anything, you need to learn from others — attend seminars, participate in webinars, scour the Net, and read books on anything regarding Internet marketing.
Eighth, model others who have broken through. If someone has generated a lot of views-clicks-connections look at what they did, break it down into steps that can be replicated even at a fraction of their results, and look to be a mini-version of them.
Ninth, connect with and follow people who have tons of connections and big followings. You can pay them to sponsor content. You can befriend them and hope they recognize your talented voice. You can incentivize them with some type of a reward in exchange of a favor, such as having them post your link on their social media. Be gutsy and creative. Take a risk. Offer something that stretches you. Maybe you need to bring a third or fourth party in and make a big trade. You give A something from B; B gets something from you and A gives you what you want.
Tenth, use Google Ads to advertise yourself and build up link clicks.
Eleventh, give something away of perceived value. The more giveaways of a greater value, the quicker your clicks go up.
Twelve, one way to get to a million page views is to give people a reason to check in daily-or multiple times a day. The more frequently you update your content, the more often one may go back to see what’s new.
Thirteen, getting traditional media coverage will likely get you more page views. Go out of your way to mention your website. Same with speaking engagements. The more appearances you do to bigger crowds, and where you offer a reason for them to go to the website, the more likely you’ll reach a million page views.
Fourteen, consider getting guest-content from people who provide interesting content that you can share with people who are more likely to share as well. Further, the guest provider will likely share on social media and guide people to your site.
Fifteen, have everything pass through your site. Your blog, podcast, video, giveaways, and special offers should be available through one place — your website. Don’t distract people to go anywhere else but to one place.
Sixteen, you can also post the offers of others on your site. For instance, let’s say Starbucks is offering an online coupon for a free drink. You can then create a short post on your blog or site about this deal. You then send out a link to your site’s story (which contains a link to the coupon). Now people will go to your site and get something of value.
Seventeen, collaborate with others, where you each agree to post about one another and share each other’s content. Such a friendly exchange is great for getting exposure to others you may otherwise have never been discovered by.
Eighteen, increase your clicks with paper. That’s right, you heard me. Hand out flyers and cards to promote your site with a reason to click, handed to those who would welcome your message. You may have to pay to sponsor an event, but if the crowd is big and targeted, it’s worth it.
Nineteen, beg your friends, family, colleagues, and frenemies to click on your site and to share the link with their following. Ask them for direct introductions to those they know have a lot of followers. Seek to impress them.
Lastly, at number 20, know that to get a million or more page views in a short time takes not just talent, skill, style, friends, money, and time. It takes luck. Many people get lucky breaks and they don’t know why or how they happened. Be active and assertive and you may get lucky too.