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Article Marketing Strategy: How To Create A Multi-Faceted Marketing Campaign For Your E-Book
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Here was an interesting question I received this week:

I have an e-book that I’d like to market, and here is my plan: Â I want to create a Google Knol for each chapter of the book. Then, I Â want to discuss topics from the book on my blog. I have a feeling that article marketing can have an integral role in this marketing plan, but I’m not sure what it is. How can I use article marketing with all these other marketing tools?

Great question–it is a good idea to make content do double (and triple) duty in different forms on the web. First, let’s recap the steps of your marketing plan for your e-book, and I’ll pick up where you left off:

1- You said your first step was to publish a Knol for each chapter of the book.

Other options are Squidoo and HubPages. You could also skip this step if you like, as it’s not absolutely essential for a marketing campaign for a website. I know you only have so much time, so if you’re just getting started, the two places where you’ll get the most bang for your buck are with your blog and article marketing, and the blog and article marketing can bounce off of each other.

2 – The second step you mentioned in your marketing campaign is to discuss the book on your blog.

The blog is a great idea, and you’ll be accomplishing a number of things here, including:

  • Building up unique content on your blog, always good for both real value for visitors, and SEO
  • Generating publicity for your e-book
  • Encouraging interaction with visitors and potential prospects for your e-book

Now, you’re wondering what to do next. Here’s what I would do…

3 – Write free reprint articles on your niche.

You will already have a huge head start on this, because you have lots of content in your e-book which can be recycled as free reprint articles, and you can also convert the content from your blog. Additionally, you could use the content from your Knols as a basis for free reprint articles.

4 – Create your resource box.

A resource box is basically an author bio with a link to your website. You may be wondering what website to link to. After all–you have all those Knols, and you have your blog, and presumably you have a website that sells your e-book (not sure if that’s a separate website from your blog).

Since your goal is to generate sales for your e-book, in your resource box you will want to mainly reference the book and link back to the book’s website.

In the resource box you could say something like “Article was excerpted from my ebook ‘[your ebook title]’, by [your name]. For more powerful ways to do xyz [whatever the topic of your book is], go to [your url]”.

Now, that is just a partial resource box, so you would want to flesh it out with your own information.

Remember, in every resource box you will include:

  • Your name
  • A little author bio info
  • A reason to click through to your website (and you’ve got that part covered–you e-book is the lure!)
  • Your website URL

You can get creative with how your phrase things, but remember to mention that the article was excerpted or based on your ebook, give the title, and give your own name and the URL.

However, for more rounded SEO, building up links to your other pages that are in turn linking to your main e-book sales page, you can also use the resource box to link to your Knols and your blog posts. One way to do this is to use our ArticleLeverageâ„¢ tools to create different versions of your resource box to go out with each article.

That would mean that when an article is published, it could be published with one of say three different versions of your resource box, each of which will link to a different web page, whether your main e-book sales page, your Knol or one of your blog posts. Doesn’t have to be with every article you send out regarding your e-book, but you could do this with a subset of them.

5 – Submit your article.

After you’ve written your article, you would then enter the article and resource box into our system, choose a category relevant to your topic, and submit your article to us. We then distribute your article to our large network of publishers.

6 – Set up the website for your book so that you can to capture email addresses (and then follow up to sell the book).

A smart thing to do would be to ensure you have some form of email capture on the page you’re linking to and then sell your book via follow up email messages – only a small fraction of those visiting your webpage for the first time are going to buy straight away, most will want to get to know you a little first, and automated email follow-up is a great way to accomplish this.

Now, you have to think of a great reason why someone would want to surrender their email address to you–why should they give that information away to you? What will you give them in return?

Here are some things you could offer your readers:

  • The first 10 or 20 pages from your book. That gives the reader a bigger taste of what they can expect should they decide to buy the book.
  • A free report that you put together based on information in the book.
  • An e-course based on the information in your e-book

Conclusion:

For anyone who is trying to market an e-book, I just wanted to make clear that it’s not essential to set up any Knols or a Squidoo lens or anything. That was this particular reader’s personal choice. The most important elements are:

  • the website that captures the email addresses,
  • the blog (ideally part of the website for the book),
  • and the article marketing campaign.

So, feel free to ignore step #1 if you like, although it all helps to build up an online ‘presence’.

Over time you can also build up this ‘presence’ through social media such as Facebook or Twitter, both of which also tie in nicely with article marketing, for example, through sharing your latest articles or other content on these platforms.

The goal is to get a higher search engine ranking for the website that sells the e-book, rather than to try to generate sales from people reading your articles directly. You want your website to show up high in the search engine rankings for specific keyword terms associated with your book–that is how you’ll generate the most traffic to your website.

The step after that is to capture the email addresses, and then work on selling your book through follow-up messages that you send out regularly. That step is HUGE–you’ll need to take the perspective that you’re developing a relationship with your subscribers. It’s not a “hit and run” situation, but rather a relationship that you invest in over the long haul.

This is a multi-faceted marketing campaign. It’s a process, but it’s one that can work well over the long term.


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11 Responses to “Article Marketing Strategy: How To Create A Multi-Faceted Marketing Campaign For Your E-Book”

  1. Nick says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks as always for the great post……however , I am a little confused!

    Perhaps< I am reading it wrong but you didn`t seem to be interested in using Squidoo for promoting his site, just articles.

    I thought that Squidoo & other such sites would be great for this as they attract good SERPS.

    Am I missing something? Please help!

    Nick

  2. Steve Shaw says:

    @Nick: Hi Nick,

    Thanks s much for your question–Squidoo, HubPages, Knols, etc can help to build up an online ‘presence’, and feel free to do them if you like.

    Everyone has limited time though, so the advise I’m giving here is how to get the most bang for your buck (and time).

    The real goal has to do with your own website–the place where you’re selling the book. The blog and article marketing can directly contribute to getting a higher search engine ranking for your website.

    Pages on Squidoo and other sites like that can themselves rank well in the SERPs if you market them (and you can use article marketing to market them, using our ArticleLeverage tool for the resource box, more on that in the post).

    But that would be just icing on the cake–the main goal is still to focus on getting a higher ranking for your own website, rather than a page that you created on someone else’s site. That’s why I emphasize doing article marketing and having blog.

  3. Awesome article. Very timely, too.

    I’m launching a book (digital and in print) next month and all of the above (w/ the exception of #1) are VERY important parts of my marketing plan.

    Have a great weekend.

    Best,
    Jennifer

  4. Steve Shaw says:

    @Jennifer Minar-Jaynes: Thank you, Jennifer. Best of luck on the book, and good for you for having a marketing plan!

    Enjoy your weekend too!

  5. Halina says:

    Great article Steve. One more thing I would add to this list is online press release, which can have a huge impact on getting the word out about an e-book (or even a physical book). Working the PR angle also helps publicize an e-book, especially if the author can be quoted by a reporter.

  6. Dear Steve,

    Thank you very much for sharing the reply to my question with your motivated and well informed audience. Like Nick I was wondering if KNOLs or the like were needed, but your answer to my question and to the remark of Nick is very clear. Obviously Halina is right mentioning that there are other aspects like PR to consider.

    Perhaps something important about my strategy to promote my book (in print, not yet an e-book). Within marketing the most single critical success factor is testing every marketing action in the beginning before scaling it. That requires certain precautions to be able to measure the impact of every such individual marketing action.

    I started by having the book sold on a large number of online webshops (about 50 now), subsequently looking on how Google picked it up. Just that. Without doing anything the book is now, after a little more than 1 month, number 1 on 2 of the 4 well chosen and trademarked keywords in a number of well known online bookshops (including amazon.co.uk, barnesandnoble.com).

    But just selling the book via about 50 online bookshops indicated a number of problems. First it seems impossible to add keywords unless they are in the title. The precaution was taken to include the book in a series, so that a second keyword was available in the series title, while a first keyword was chosen as part of the book title. But a series title does not help as I found out.

    Second, Amazon copies Google and has thus its own ‘Adwords’, own keyword ‘SEO’ and now also its own discussion groups. What we are used or leaned to do with search engines and social media, we usually forget to apply to several large online bookshops. We are now creating an own webshop to sell the book (with a related blog), and that has the advantage of capturing emails as you mentioned.

    But the disadvantage of an own webshop is that you become responsible for logistics, thus for the fulfillment, which you can never do as cheap as the major online bookshops. For example you will pay multiples in shipping costs, at least if the book is more than 1 kg and if it can thus not be sent cheaply through the postal mail service internationally. Also you need interim personnel and shipping material to send the many books you sell through your own shop. Doing all this fulfillment is not what you want because it is not your core business and you haven’t the scale to do it cost efficiently.

    So perhaps there is still a gap to be filled somehow to provide a better solution. In that respect it must be said that we are paying only 25% fee for distribution of the book through the online bookshops, so we keep 75 % of the sales revenues of the book to compensate the publisher and myself as author.

    For those interested to do the test, just go to http://www.amazon.co.uk and type teh keyword: board of directors in action (TM). You should find my book as number one (author Paul Meurisse). Please note that a board of directors is an organisational group, which is needed to understand why the next keyword is related. Then type ‘group in action’ (TM) as keyword and you will not find the book in any way. It demonstrates the point that the first keyword (part of the title) provides a number one ranking while the book can not even be found on a second important keyword. That is where approaches like article marketing can play a role to generate approperiate traffic. The only issue is that the articles would now need to refer to one of the online shopping websites, and that would be a bad use of the resource box.

    In my case article marketing can help not only to discuss the content of the book (chapters), but also to make my keywords – which label the new approach described in the book – known as well as the approach itself.

  7. Beverly Bass says:

    Great article and really helpful to newbies like me. Everytime I read one of your articles or open your emails, I get inspired to keep going, even though I’m in ‘information overload’ mode….Thanks for all that you do to help writers everywhere!!

  8. Steve Shaw says:

    @Meurisse Paul: Hi Paul,

    Excellent points–Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! I’m sure others who are marketing e-books are learning from you!

    Yes, article marketing is great for helping you specify keywords that you want to be associated with your website, which in turn is associated with your e-book.

    One thing to keep in mind–Even if you have your book on Amazon or another online shopping site, you can and should still link to your own website for the book from the resource box. From your website you can give more info about the book and also give a link to Amazon or whatever other shopping site your book is on. Link to your website, and then let your website link to the shopping site.

    One of the most important reasons to link to your website is that it offers you the opportunity to build your email list. That will help you sell the book, because lots of time people aren’t initially interested in buying a product, but after you’ve built a relationship with them and offered more info, they then become interested. The email addresses that are on your newsletter list are extremely valuable, because they allow you to keep in touch with people who are interested in your topic.

  9. [...] may be wondering how to go about attracting readers to your book and how to make the sales. What article marketing strategies can you use, and can other online marketing tools work with article submissions to help send [...]

  10. [...] may be wondering how to go about attracting readers to your book and how to make the sales. What article marketing strategies can you use, and can other online marketing tools work with article submissions to help send [...]

  11. sudha says:

    Article marketing is a tricky game. People spend less time writing articles for these directories but spend more time for articles to be written on their own site. While this is ok, its better if the focus equally on the articles to be submitted to the article directories as well because the number of page views/ and the number of people clicking on your links are going to be much higher for them.

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