The e-book and book market in general is so saturated these days many shy away from the publishing industry because there might be more books than actual readers. But this is why you need to build your author platform and build it well.
Sure, the book market itself is so saturated it’s lucky it hasn’t had a heart attack yet and flatlined, but what if I told you there is opportunity in the mix of all the lost books, half of which are probably better than some of the best-rated books on Amazon.
If your book is lost in a sea of books, fear not, because there’s a great way to lead readers directly to your books: A blog which will build your author brand which in turn becomes your platform.
But where do you begin?
Blog, Blog, Blog
Yes, blogging is the key way to build the platform, but I know many of us have likely had a blog at one time or another that failed to generate traffic.
1: You failed to research keywords. Instead, you likely just wrote without thinking about what phrases people search for. This never works and is a recipe for failure.
2: You failed to choose a narrow niche. My Freedom Flame is all about writing and making a living writing. Anyone following my blog knows what they’re getting.
3: You’re writing about yourself and your own life. Look, unless you’re a travel blogger you just put your readers to sleep.
4: You aren’t blogging often enough. I started off with two articles a day to build my initial content, which is now cut down to three to five per week.
5: Your articles weren’t between 1,000 and 1,500 words. Google favors longer articles.
6: You didn’t receive any comments. Google also favors engagement.
Does it Cost Money?
No, but rest assured, if you’re looking for a freebie you won’t get far. In fact, one in several thousand will get by with a freebie, so forget about starting a free wordpress.com blog.
Also, to generate traffic and get higher rankings in Google, you need comments on your articles and write about relevant topics people are searching for.
Get a self-hosted wordpress.org blog, or a paid wordpress.com blog, which does the hosting for you at a higher price.
You’ll also want a keyword tool so you know what people are searching for, and those can cost up to $50 per month.
It’s one reason why I decided to join Wealthy Affiliate, which costs $50 per month or for a yearly membership, $349 per year.
It beats paying for the following:
$100 annual for web hosting.
$50 or more per month for a keyword tool.
And who knows, if you want to be formally trained in this, it’ll likely cost thousands from scammers.
So we’re clear, I’m not trying to sell you anything, I’m simply stating that responsible business people make sound investments to fuel their business, and indie-authors looking to build an author platform are no different; we’re business owners.
Again, make smart investments in your business, and Wealthy Affiliate is one way to go with this as it’ll also teach you affiliate and ad marketing, something that will supplement your business.
Kind of cool, right?
At $350 per year, anyone on a budget can afford this, or if you don’t like commitments, simply pay $50/month and you can back at any time.
Another thing I love about Wealthy Affiliate is the fact they have a free Starter membership that gives you a taste on what the paid Premium membership looks like before investing.
What About Site Comments
To let you know how to really build the author platform the right way, training at Wealthy Affiliate allows you to join a comments thread where you comment on other blogs and others comment on yours.
No, you probably won’t build the platform at WA, but at the very least you’ll get the comments you need that Google will push your site through the rankings.
How do you know you’re doing well?
WA teaches you the importance of Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, which will help you track your progress.
How legit is this?
My Freedom Flame is NOT through Wealthy Affiliate, but my second blog, Get Pro Football Apparel is, and it’s already seeing organic traffic.
Get Pro Football Apparel is rising through the rankings as well and is seeing more visitors each time I check Google Analytics.
This means one thing: WA works.
It will take time and effort to build your author platform, but WA will give you a nice little cheat sheet you can continually revert to when needed.
Oh, and the community there is kind of vibrant, so to be honest, if you have any question, you have about fifty answers. It’s kind of nice.
For every new article you write, you give a few comments, and you’ll get a few comments. Again, Google loves this and will push your site through the rankings.
Real Customers Come
For us, our customers are our readers and real ones will be coming when our sites are pushed up in the rankings.
Google Webmaster Tools will show you how to monitor your rankings and in time, you’ll find that you’re getting more and more clicks to your site in favor of the latter sites.
The keyword tool that comes with WA will allow you to spot how many other sites are using that same keyword and how many real people are searching that term. It will also show you the projected number of website visitors via each keyword if your site ranks on Google’s first page, which it will in time.
The more traffic you get and the higher you are in the rankings due to the help you receive from the WA community, you will find that real customers will come to your site. Real readers. Real followers. Real people.
And that, my friends is how you build your author platform.
Word of Warning
I know I’m telling you all the goods to how Wealthy Affiliate can and will help you build an epic author platform, I do want to forewarn you in a sense as well.
Though I said ‘shortcut’ in the title, WA is by no means going to make a difference overnight.
Like any business, both on and offline, you won’t see immediate success. WA isn’t a three clicks to success or anything like that.
You don’t need experience to start, but you will need a work ethic, patience, and commitment to make it work.
WA is like your personal trainer to generating web traffic so you can sell your own products, affiliate products, and make income via ads. But you have to put in the work. It’s the gateway, but you’re still walking the path.
Don’t think because it’s cost-effective and gives you every single tool imaginable that it’s a miracle worker; it isn’t. it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.
But it’s a pipeline, a gateway, a path, for you to build web traffic in the publishing industry, plus any niche you’re passionate about.
Click on the following article to see my own journey at WA: My Wealthy Affiliate Science Experiment