Finding Readers is easy isn’t it? Wait, you don’t think so? Well ok then, this is the place for you because I’m here to offer some tips on how find readers and then keep them happy for years and years and years.
That’s the focus of this entry of the How To Build An Author House, so sit back and get ready for 5 minutes of inspiration and knowledge loveliness.
In the last post of The Millionaire Plan (Author Marketing: Segment Your Audience In 3 Simple Ways) we came to the conclusion that you’re trying to reach three types of people at this stage of your author platform. These are:
Today’s post will focus on the first of these, customers/readers, and will set you on your way in your author marketing activities. By now you should have a good idea about what kind of person your future readers are, but knowing what they’re like and finding them is a completely different matter. The Internet is huge after all so finding the right people in the millions and millions of bodies is hard. But don’t worry, because I have some cool little tips to help you along your way.
We’re going to keep it simple today because the author marketing tactics we look at later in this series (Social Media, advertising etc) will go in to much more depth. However, you need to start your author platform somewhere and start interacting with others. It won’t only help you set your author platform, but you’ll learn a great deal and ultimately inspire you later down the line. So today we’ll look at two elements of the Internet: Twitter and Online Communities.
This will be a post of it’s own later down the line, but I honestly feel getting on Twitter early is a must. It won’t only help you find readers, but will help you connect to the Experts, Agents, and Editors of the world. In other words it ticks all your boxes and helps build some foundation for your author platform.
Reports are saying that there will be 250 million active users by the end of 2012. That’s a lot, so finding the right people to follow is tough. Lucky for us though some rather clever folk have created websites, software, and tools to help us along the way. I’m signed up to all of these, so can happily recommend them to you:
Wefollow.com will help point you in the right direction of millions of like-minded people. You can find people in the same area as you, with the same interests, and talking about the same things. You can also add yourself to the site, therefore making you visible to potentially millions of people.
Tweepz is very similar to wefollow.com, and again lets you search for people based on location, interests, and sectors. For example, because my Blog is largely based on author marketing I simply search for this and voila, 3,022 people are brought up for me. Because you now know roughly what your genre is and what your main selling points are, you could quickly befriend several thousand people in just a few hours.
This is a great site to discover lists that are created by other users. Lists are basically groups of people that tweet on a particular subject (say author marketing) that others can then ‘follow’ (people wishing to know more about author marketing).
I typed author marketing in the search box and was given pages of similar lists and people. A great way to connect to people you’re looking to bring to your site.
Hashtags are one of Twitter’s biggest features and millions of people live their life around them. Again by searching for author marketing I can see people who are discussing this, or ‘Trending’ as the cool kids are calling it. Another way to find those people you’re hoping to connect with.
These are the sites I use to help me find and connect with people I’m wanting to (I use the same tools to find experts and industry folk too), but turning them into followers/readers is another thing. Remember, Twitter isn’t a site for promotion; it’s a site to interact with people and share things. Follow people, comments and interact with them, and in time they’ll become your friend. It takes time, but the end result will be great and you’ll have your own little army to rely on. Go on there and simply promote yourself and you’ll end up following a lot more people than follow you back.
Other than porn, the Internet became what it is because of the communities created. It doesn’t matter about the genre or niche, there’s a forum to interact with fellow folk like you everywhere you turn. By joining a few communities like this it will help you interact with new people and begin to discover potential new readers and supporters. The two I’m currently apart of are:
Goodreads (Coffee & Books Groups)
As an author I strongly suggest you join a writing community as it will connect you with people that can help, will be willing to read your stories, and generally surround you with people sharing your ideals. There are millions though, so have a search around and find one good for you. I’ve linked several I find interesting HERE.
I also suggest joining a forum linked to your genre, and this doesn’t necessarily have to be writing related. For example, let’s say your writing is generally Fantasy related, and you have a great deal of knowledge on fantasy comics. Joining a forum based on this will connect you with people who could become your biggest supporters.
Again though, these communities are NOT promotion sites, so you need to join for interaction purposes, and generally be a useful member of the community. Go on there and do nothing but promote and you’ll quickly become a Troll. This, if you were wondering, is not good.
Do it in the right way thought and you could have a lot of readers sent your way. At the time of writing this, my Blog is 4 weeks old and a quarter of my views so far have come from the AW forum. Now although I do promote in the self-promotion section, I also comment a lot on marketing and promotion ideas, offering advice and anything I can help with. My Blog is in my signature at the bottom of each comment, so people come to this very page if they think I have something good to say.
– Twitter is a must for those initial connections
– Follow people and interact with them
– Do not become a troll on forums, or simply posting links to your site on Twitter
– Join communities and become a valuable source for information
– It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so don’t expect over night fame and a million followers
So far I’m part of two Online Communities, and between now and the end of March I’m setting myself certain mini aims. I’ll be setting one of these for each post (Experts & Agents/Publishers), and my one for Readers/Customers is:
– To join one more Online Community
On the 1st April I’ll create a new Blog post describing where I’ve got to, why I chose what I did, and how I got there. Because my genre is rather general I’m not too sure what kind of community I’ll be joining, but I’ll let you know when I find it.
Why do I want to join three Online Communities?
Well I think it’s important to be realistic and as someone with a job and a life outside of writing/Blogging, I don’t have all day to spend interacting online. I feel three is manageable, and it’s important to have each one to serve a specific purpose. For example the Goodreads group is great to interact with fellow readers and develop relationships. The AW Forum is the same, but I can find more writers here and can interact with people sharing similar issues. What will be the purpose of Community number 3? Stay tuned to find out.
In my next post I’ll be looking at Experts, sharing ideas on how to find them and staying organised. So until next time…
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million
Are you part of any Online Communities?
Do you use any different Twitter Tools to help organise your author platform?
Let us know in a comment below and share the love…