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Why the 21st Century Author is an Internet Entrepreneur | Entreproducer

Can writing a successful book be treated like an Internet startup? Yes, because it's not about "self-published," it's about being a publisher, or a digital media producer.

Twenty-six year-old Amanda Hocking doesn’t fit existing stereotypes of Internet entrepreneurs.
Described by the New York Times as a “hipster schoolgirl,” Amanda favors Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t-shirts, jeans, and prefers to go sans shoes.
Well, perhaps her fashion sense meets with some entrepreneurial stereotypes.
The similarities seemingly end there when you consider that Amanda is an author of fiction. Specifically, she writes paranormal-romance fiction involving vampires, trolls, and zombies.
Amanda’s been profiled in the Times and many other places because she’s sold around $2,000,000 in ebooks — without a publisher. She was one of the early success stories to come out of the Kindle Store, joining James Patterson and Stieg Larsson as one of the bestselling digital authors on Amazon.
Now, things have changed

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How to conceive, create, publish, and market a terrific business book.
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‘Pitchapalooza!’: An ‘American Idol for Books’

‘Pitchapalooza!’: An ‘American Idol for Books’ | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
Politics and Prose Bookstore was filled recently with would-be writers. They’d come for “Pitchapalooza!” — to make a one-minute pitch to the Book Doctors (Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry) and local guest judges.

Usually a venue for best-selling authors, the Washington bookstore was filled instead with would-be novelists, expectant memoirists and unpublished writers of all kinds. They’d come for “Pitchapalooza!,” an “American Idol for Books,” conducted by husband and wife team Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry.

The Book Doctors, as they call themselves, are the authors of “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published,” which instantly sold out at Politics and Prose.


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Book Marketing Information

One of the most overlooked and easiest ways to get your book into the hands of the people you wrote it for, is having a great website.

Build a great Website. I can't state this often enough or strongly enough: you must have an attractive, easy to use Website that lets your visitors do four things:

  • Buy your book.
  • Register and download sample chapters or get your e-newsletter.
  • E-mail friends about your book.
  • Find out more about you.

Your Website should be ground zero for your book business, the place where everyone comes to buy copies, give you their contact information, communicate with you about media interviews or bulk orders, and just learn about your book and why they should buy it. It's the single most important aspect of your marketing plan.


Notice that I said, "great" Website. There are thousands of new books coming out every month, and many of them are amateurish at best. Having a sloppy, clunky, poorly written Website only makes your book look like one of those amateur-hour productions.


Invest the money in a professional Web developer, someone who can design a classy, beautiful site, build your e-commerce system and give you the means to easily update your site's content at any time.

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Guest post: Self-Publishing is No Longer a Dirty Word by Jean Henry Mead

Guest post: Self-Publishing is No Longer a Dirty Word by Jean Henry Mead | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of self-publishing is brought to you by mystery writer Jean Henry Mead.

Self-Publishing is No Longer a Dirty Word 

Not everyone agrees that independent publishing is the key to writing success, but a growing number of authors are proving the naysayers wrong. More and more writers are leaving their publishers to strike out on their own, some with unparelled success, such as Robert Walker, who has repeatedly said that the secret to success is to consistently turn out quality work on a regular basis.


But even Rob will admit that there’s more to it than that. We’ve all heard that writers need a platform and a fan base of readers who trust the author to turn out quality work. But how does one acquire a fan base? Not by hermitting him or herself at the computer without making contact with the outside world. Those days are over.


When I put together my second volume of mystery writer interviews, I met some successful new writers, among them Canadian bestselling author Cheryl Kaye Tardif, who publishes not only her own work but others with her Imajin Press from Alberta.

She says in The Mystery Writers: “In 2010 Amazon opened KDP to Canadian authors and I went back to my roots—to indie publishing. For me it’s probably the best fit. I am by nature very independent and a strong marketer. Plus I’m ‘an idea person’. Even my old publisher saw this in me and often called me a “guru” or “marketing genius”. While I don’t consider myself a ‘genius’ I do know that I’m a risk-taker.”


Independent publishing isn’t for everyone. It requires not only writing talent but good marketing skills and industry know-how to succeed. A number of other self-publishers are included in The Mystery Writers as well as bestselling traditionally published novelists such as Sue Grafton, Lawrence Block, J.A. Jance, Vicki Hinze and James Scott Bell (former Writer’s Digest fiction columnist).

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Books should be as easy to create as websites - O'Reilly Radar

Books should be as easy to create as websites - O'Reilly Radar | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
In this TOC podcast, PressBooks founder Hugh McGuire talks about the current state and future plans for this new book production platform PressBooks.

There are countless author and book production platforms to choose from these days. So why would you want to use a new one like PressBooks? In this TOC interview, I sat down with Hugh McGuire (@hughmcguire), co-author of "Book: A Futurist's Manifesto" and founder of PressBooks to help answer that question. I should point out that I'm a fan of the platform. In fact, that's one of the reasons we agreed to have Hugh create and produce "Book: A Futurist's Manifesto" on PressBooks.

Here's the full video:

http://youtu.be/cbN4aTkjYCM

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F+W Serves Artists eBook Buffet :: MinOnline

F+W Serves Artists eBook Buffet :: MinOnline | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
The all-you-can eat model for digital media has done wonders for Netflix and Spotify in video and music segments, and so it was just a matter of time before more book publishers tried the idea on the exploding eBook market.
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Apple's iBooks And App Store Price Out Creativity | Fast Company

Apple's iBooks And App Store Price Out Creativity | Fast Company | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
Pioneering publishers wonder why Apple makes them underprice their most interactive books in the App Store instead of allowing them more options on iBooks.

When is a book an app and an app a book?
This isn't simply a philosophical question, a conundrum like: What is the sound of one hand clapping? The answer deeply impacts authors, publishers, programmers, and anyone else stretching the definition of a book and dealing with the constraints of Apple's walled garden--people like Ellen Jacob, a veteran children's book editor and creative director, and her husband, Kirk Cheyfitz, a former journalist who is CEO of digital ad firm Story Worldwide.

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9 Truths About EBooks | Publishing Basics... for the self publisher

9 Truths About EBooks | Publishing Basics... for the self publisher | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

Written by Emma Wright

I fell into digital publishing after doing freelance work for various online business start-ups based in East London. At the time, I was looking for a full-time job and not thinking so much about career progression, but it occurs to me now that my background with the online businesses left me peculiarly suited to working with ebooks.
The main reason for this is that, since the traditional publishing industry has gone digital, it has found that the Internet Age has changed consumers’ expectations of digital products for good and it is no longer enough for the ebook just to be the electronic manifestation of the printed book. Ebooks and websites exist in the same world, competing for the top spot on Amazon or Google respectively and drawing similar expectations from the consumers, about their appearance, functionality and interactivity.
So, as a former online business-type and ebook (and publishing) novice, here are the most important things I have picked up and worked out about ebook production since I started nearly two years ago:
Two General Points

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At Busy PLA, ALA President Molly Raphael Talks E-Books

At Busy PLA, ALA President Molly Raphael Talks  E-Books | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
It's been an upbeat Public Library Association 2012 meeting in Philadelphia so far, with strong attendance, and a slate of great authors, speakers, and programs. But the issue of e-book lending has loomed large over the meeting.

On Wednesday, March 14, prior to the opening general session at PLA, ALA president Molly Raphael was in New York, participating on a panel on library e-book lending at the Association of American Publishers annual meeting, a session that was reported to librarians to have been quite positive. PW caught up with a busy Raphael in Philadelphia yesterday following an afternoon session, to talk about that meeting, and get Raphael's take on the ongoing issue of library e-books.

At the opening session, incoming ALA president Maureen Sullivan told librarians that the discussion on library e-book lending that you took part in at the AAP annual meeting on Wednesday went very well—your impressions?
Yes, we got really positive feedback from [AAP president] Tom Allen and [AAP v-p] Tina Jordan, who asked to do the session, but also from lots of individual publishers who came up to us and said ‘we really needed this,’ and that the discussion was really important and gave them a much better understanding of the issues. The reaction was much more than I would have expected from people who just, you know, attended a session, and then left, so I thought it was really good. We were on right before the break and we were scheduled for 45 minutes but the meeting was ahead of schedule so we actually went for about an hour and 10 minutes and we still had to cut off questions. Everyone was very engaged, and really wanted to be able to talk through the issues, and, you know, this was a public meeting, one of the few times when publishers can get together and have these kinds of discussions. So, yes, it was very positive.

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Take Heart, Publishers: Music Industry Has Only Shrunk by Half | Digital Book World

Take Heart, Publishers: Music Industry Has Only Shrunk by Half | Digital Book World | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
The music industry is the canary in a coal mine when it comes to content piracy issues and the effects that it can have on a creative industry -- and that canary is gasping for air.
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INTERVIEW: Seth Godin on Libraries, Literary Agents and the Future of Book Publishing as We Know It | Digital Book World

INTERVIEW: Seth Godin on Libraries, Literary Agents and the Future of Book Publishing as We Know It | Digital Book World | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
He is arguably one of the most successful bloggers and thought-leaders of our time. When Seth Godin speaks, people sit up and listen, even if they’re the CEO of one of the Big 6 publishers. He raised eyebrows with his decision to leave the traditional book publishing industry in order to form his own entity called The Domino Project. But when he made the decision to move on after 12 bestsellers, tongues wagged. Had his precious experiment failed or knowing Godin, was something greater in store? To find out, I asked Godin about this as well as his thoughts on not only the future of the book publishing industry as we know it but also why he calls some book publishers’ decision to pull the plug on libraries’ access to eBooks “silly”.
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AAP Estimates: E-book Sales Rose 117% in 2011 as Print Fell

AAP Estimates: E-book Sales Rose 117% in 2011 as Print Fell | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
Despite slowing growth rates in the final quarter of 2011, e-book sales rose 117% for the year, generating revenue of $969.9 million at the companies that report sales to the Association of American Publishers.

Sales in all trade print segments fell in the year, however, with the mass market paperback segment showing the largest decline with sales from reporting houses down almost 36%, to $431.5 million. Adult hardcover and trade paperback sales were off 17.5% and 15.6%, respectively. In children’s, the YA/hardcover segment sales fell 4.7% and paperback sales fell 12.7%.

The religion segment had a solid year, with sales up 8.4% in all formats. And in audio, physical audio sales fell 8.1% at reporting companies, while downloadable audio rose 25.5% for the year.

In December, e-book sales rose 72% and the AAP noted that based a seasonal buying patterns it expects e-book sales to show strong gains in January and possible February as well as new digital device owners buy more titles. In the month, sales of children’s hardcover books rose, but sales fell in the other trade categories.

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Why You Should Use User-Generated Content

Why You Should Use User-Generated Content | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

Written by Rieva Lesonsky.

Is your small business getting reviews and recommendations from customers on social media? If not, you may need to take steps to encourage this type of social sharing.

A new study from Bazaarvoice, reported by eMarketer, found that consumers of all ages are increasingly relying on recommendations and reviews—both from people they know and from strangers online—when making purchasing decisions.


Bazaarvoice studied how “user-generated content”—which includes reviews, recommendations, questions or comments—was used by consumers in deciding what products, services and brands to patronize. The study focused on two different age groups: Millennials (29 and under) and Baby Boomers, and looked at content on brand websites, social networking sites and third-party websites (such as Yelp!.com).

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10 Key Strategies To Make Your Website an Inbound Online Marketing Machine

10 Key Strategies To Make Your Website an Inbound Online Marketing Machine | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

Written by Jeff Bulas.

In over 20 years in sales and marketing I have made many cold calls. Over the last 12 months I have not made one cold phone call or bought any expensive mass media marketing,  yet sales have increased and business is much more fun.


Isn’t there a better use of your time and money? Think of how your life might change if you were calling only on prospects who actually want to buy from you. A lot of companies still have not realized it’s a digital world and the marketing rules are changing.


So how would you optimise your company’s digital presence to ”get found online” and drive inbound enquiry for new customers and not have to cold call again or buy expensive mass media. Here are 10 key strategies to drive traffic to your ecommerce website, enquiries to your email inbox and make your phone start ringing.

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The Real Magic Behind Content Marketing | Social Media Today

The Real Magic Behind Content Marketing | Social Media Today | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
You’ve heard the term buzzing around the Internet. You may even consider it part of your online strategy. But have you ever stopped to think about just what it is and why this social media phenomenon is so influential?
Content marketing is as simple as it sounds: provide high quality content for your users, partners, followers and/or consumers and you will increase participation, sales, and loyalty. The concept is intuitive and (almost) appears to represent the idea that marketing is headed in a positive direction. The objective behind content marketing is not to spam potential clients or collaborators or to bombard them with pitches and useless brand ideology. Content marketing is the means by which you provide substance your target group can utilize.

What are some examples of the types of material that should be pushed in content marketing? The beauty of this strategy is that is that there is really little manipulative ‘strategy’ involved. Give your customers or business affiliates within your niche content that can give them an edge in what they are trying to achieve: educate and entertain. If you sell a product within the beauty industry, give tips on health and cosmetic trends; if you provide a software service, provide news on ways to get an edgewise by using upcoming technology. Be brave enough to add humor if the situation applies. Don’t just copy and paste a link from the front page of a source they may have already visited. The key is to provide them with knowledge to which they otherwise may not have been exposed. By providing valuable content, you establish yourself as a thought leader.
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Why You Can’t Find Indies In Store

More than half the top 20 books on Amazon’s current Kindle “Movers and Shakers” list—hot books rising fastest up the Amazon sales ranks—are indie or small press published.

Just a few years ago, readers paid little attention to books published by independent (indie) authors. Self-published books were considered second rate, not worth the investment of hard-earned cash. Today, with attractive eBook prices and quality that rivals that of books published by New York houses, readers are turning in droves to indie-authored books. In fact, more than half the top 20 books on Amazon’s current Kindle “Movers and Shakers” list—hot books rising fastest up the Amazon sales ranks—are indie or small press published.

Why then, given their popularity, are so few indie books available on bookstore shelves?

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Jodi Picoult on Writing, Publishing, and What She’s Reading

Jodi Picoult on Writing, Publishing, and What She’s Reading | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
The ‘Lone Wolf’ author reveals her writing habits, inspiration, and why you shouldn’t self-publish. By Noah Charney.

In this series, bestselling author Noah Charney interviews great writers who discuss writing and what inspires them, revealing some secrets along the way. This week he chats with award-winning, perennial bestselling author Jodi Picoult. Picoult is already the author of 18 books, the last five of which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Great quote from Jodi:

“You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Read the entire interview:

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7 Lessons Learned from a Successful E-Book Launch | The Success Center

7 Lessons Learned from a Successful E-Book Launch | The Success Center | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

Written by Ron Kirby.

(Ron helps entrepreneurs, small business owners, and organizations take advantage of social media marketing and new media through his company, Kirby Enterprises.)
Last week I launched my highly anticipated e-book, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Twitter Success. Not to brag or anything, but I knew that it would be an extremely successful launch.


Was it because I had some secret weapon in getting people to download it? No, not really. I believe my confidence rested in my preparation for launch day.


How can you garner the same kind of confidence in launching an e-book, product, or service online? Let me share with you a few things I did to make it a successful launch.


Plan for Success


It’s so critical that you have a plan before you start working on anything. A plan gives you a general direction in which to walk. Without it you’ll be lost before you ever find the success you’re looking for.


Here are a few tips to help you plan out your next e-book:

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Doing It for Themselves: Libraries and E-books « PWxyz

Doing It for Themselves: Libraries and E-books « PWxyz | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

Lurking in the midst of the discussions of libraries trying to obtain ebooks from publishers is a larger issue concerning not just control over ebook ownership, but the control over the delivery platform. If libraries rely on Overdrive, for example, to supply them ebook lending services, they’ve outsourced a critical piece of library infrastructure to an outside party. While this strategy is commonplace for electronic journals and databases, it’s still new enough in digital books that it draws speculation about alternative models.


That’s why a recent announcement of Califa – a library cooperative serving the great majority of the public library systems in the State of California – is intriguing. (HT to Gary Price’s InfoDocket). Califa has decided to create and host its own ebook lending platform, much like the Douglas County Library system and the Internet Archive before it, using its own Adobe Content Server to protect the ebook files with DRM. Califa envisions a pay-to-play model in which its member library systems can utilize its ebook hosting and lending platform.


Califa will license what content it must, but its preference is to acquire the content under ownership terms. It will permit borrowing of its ebooks, like print books, in a 1 loan/1 copy model, with the additional caveat, as articulated by Jamie LaRue of Douglas County, that it will not redistribute ebooks to other parties. Furthermore, Califa recognizes that frontlist books from the largest trade publishers are out of reach for now, and so will be focusing on small and independent publishers that have been consistently more receptive to alternative arrangements with libraries, and more prone to see the benefits of library marketing and promotion.

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How can we take the best of creative, critical and visual thinking? | Seavus DropMind® Blog

How can we take the best of creative, critical and visual thinking? | Seavus DropMind® Blog | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

Thinking is the basic activity of the human brain. Generally refers to any mental or intellectual activity involving an individual’s subjective consciousness. We know the meaning, we know the process. But how do we individually use it, do we make difference among separate types of thinking and do we know how to take advantage of them.


We often use creative, critical and visual thinking and brainstorming interchangeably. In order to develop our thinking techniques properly and use these different types of thinking most effectively, we need to make a difference among them and combine it appropriately.
So let’s look at what theory says:
Creative thinking is the merging of ideas which have not been merged before. Brainstorming is one form of creative thinking: it works by merging someone else’s ideas with your own to create a new one. You are using the ideas of others as a stimulus for your own.
Critical thinking is the process we use to reflect on assess and judge the assumption underlying our own and others ideas and efforts.

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What Is an Author’s Marketing Responsibility With a Traditional Publisher? | Jane Friedman

What Is an Author’s Marketing Responsibility With a Traditional Publisher? | Jane Friedman | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

Written by Jane Friedman

It is a pleasure to share this interview with two authors who are also marketing geniuses, Avery Monsen (@averymonsen) and Jory John (@joryjohn).

A couple years ago they authored a brilliant illustrated book with Chronicle, All My Friends Are Dead, which became an online sensation and breakout bestseller with more than 100,000 copies sold. This year, the sequel released: All My Friends Are Still Dead.

I was eager to learn more about their marketing and promotion strategy, and they have been kind enough to share their methods and perspective.

While I clearly remember the moment I discovered your first book, All My Friends Are Dead—because I was absolutely delighted by it and HAD to share it—I have no recollection of how it got on my radar!

But at the time it was clear to me the book’s preview had gone viral. What were some of the steps you followed to make that happen, and what role did your publisher play, if any?

By the time ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD was published in June 2010, we’d already written one book—a writing and activity guide for kids called PIRATE’S LOG: A HANDBOOK FOR ASPIRING SWASHBUCKLERS—published by Chronicle Books in 2008.

So we had a little bit of experience on the publicity end, reaching out to people, trying to get the word out about our first book. But we’d also gotten the chance to see just how short that publicity window can be and how you have to go all out in the beginning. Otherwise, you just end up posting a link to your book over and over again on Facebook and nobody wants that. (FYI: Our friends put up with a lot. Sorry, friends.)

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Facebook for Authors: Setting up an author page, Pt. 1 | BookBaby Blog

Facebook for Authors: Setting up an author page, Pt. 1 | BookBaby Blog | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

Facebook dominates the social networking world. But how can authors use the Facebook platform to promote their books and find new readers? Naturally, you should be talking about your writing on your personal profile just as you talk about other aspects of your life, but there are some good reasons why you should make the leap and take the focused promotion efforts off of your personal Facebook profile and create a Facebook page dedicated to your literary pursuits.

First we need to clear up a little terminology. Facebook calls the typical individual profiles Personal Profiles and they refer to the profiles created by a brand, product, organization, musician, or writers as Profile Pages. It can get confusing as they can look similar, but there are some big distinctions in how they work. Also, you must have a Facebook personal profile first before you can create a profile page, so if you’re new to Facebook, you’ll have to create that first. Once you’re up and running with a personal profile, here is how you can create a profile page.

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How To Integrate Your Inbound & Outbound B2B Marketing Tactics

How To Integrate Your Inbound & Outbound B2B Marketing Tactics | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

How To Integrate Your Inbound and Outbound B2B Marketing Tactics

A B2B marketers' life is tough! Keeping up in an industry where 'so many tactics and not enough resources' is the constant catch cry, can be extremely challenging. When we speak to our B2B marketing clients their problems often come from having inadequate resources to implement their marketing strategy effectively. However, when we dig below the surface, it's more about a lack of time and experience in integrating inbound and outbound marketing tactics.

What do we mean by inbound and outbound? A snippet of this infographic comparing the two explains it best:

The new age of marketing demands that marketers learn the art of integration by thinking carefully about what works best at what stage of their buyer's journey. At the top of the funnel, inbound marketing is increasingly dominant. This is because buying lists for outbound email is expensive, inaccurate, low return, (and in some countries, even illegal). It's much better to go where your buyers go to educate themselves. However, once you have "earned" that relationship and they move to the middle of the funnel, the style of your content and contact can change.

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Five signs the mobile phone form factor is maxed out | ZDNet

Five signs the mobile phone form factor is maxed out | ZDNet | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it
Smartphones are ubiquitous and capable, but the innovation ceiling has been reached.

Mobile World Congress 2012 wrapped up today in Barcelona, Spain and from the looks of it, the latest crop of mobile devices failed to impress with their homogeneous displays, processors, and mind-boggling app selection. ZDNet Chief Larry Dignan declares, “The big takeaway here is that smartphone makers are competing on hardware specs that can be emulated by others in short order.”

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SEO Copywriting Step-By-Step: 5 Top Opt-In Offer Ideas That Can Supercharge Your Mailing List | SEO Content Solutions

SEO Copywriting Step-By-Step: 5 Top Opt-In Offer Ideas That Can Supercharge Your Mailing List | SEO Content Solutions | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

Written by Tara Geissinger.

Your mailing list can be one of the best resources you have when it comes to direct marketing to existing customers, but how can you reach potential customers with it?

It’s no secret that consumers today are overrun with spam and other bulk emails and because of this, they often avoid signing up for a mailing list.

To entice readers to part with their personal information and opt in to your mailing list, you need to provide them with something they want. Try one of these opt-in offer ideas and see which one works best in your industry.

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Listen Up! Your Facebook Fans Have Great Content Ideas – Constant Contact Blogs

Listen Up! Your Facebook Fans Have Great Content Ideas – Constant Contact Blogs | Write a Book. Change the World | Scoop.it

When people talk about social media, they tend to throw around words like “amplify” and “broadcast.”


This makes sense; one of the major benefits of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., is how simple they make communicating your message to large groups.


But a better way to consider social media is as a conversation.


And like you probably learned in Kindergarten, good conversations start with listening.

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