Thursday, August 21, 2008


The Next Level of Online Marketing - Web 2.0

by Tyora Moody

Outline for Day 2
Friday, August 22, 2008

Recap from Day 1
So, What Do I Need on My Web site?
Your Online Presence. Go for it!

Recap from Day 1

Now do you really have to try all of these social media platforms?

No, but you should explore different types to find out what works for you. Stay active in your favorite community whether it’s around your personal blog or on a social networking site. The key to social media or Web 2.0, it should compliment your Web site, where your main online presence is located.

Plus promotion should be more than posting announcements or PR releases. This is the time to get out there to meet your readers and let them meet you. Social media allows you to connect to people you might never meet in person. When a person has an experience with you, hopefully a good one AND then enjoy reading your books, you’ve created an INFLUENCER. Someone who will TELL OTHERS about your book.

Ah hah! Now that’s marketing you can use!

Personally, I love blogging and twitter. I do plan on trying the audio format and definitely a book trailer. What are you going to try? We’ll talk more about how to get you started later.

So, What Do I Need on My Web site?

1. Domain name and web hosting

Like I said yesterday, there are two things you need to get started on a Web site. 1) You need to budget for a domain name and Webhosting.

The domain name is usually yourname.com. For branding purposes, it’s always best to use your name unless you are writing under a pen name. There are other extensions like “.net”, “.tv”, “.us”, etc, but most people recognize “.com” as a company and you are in a sense a company or a brand.

When you do a domain name research, sometimes the name you want may be taken so it’s good to have a list of alternatives. For example, author Monique Miller wanted moniquemiller.com for her domain name, but it was already taken. She opted for authormoniquemiller.com.

As you explore domain names think about whether people will have a hard time spelling your name or if someone shares your name. Author Tia McCollors ran into this issue and use not only TiaMcCollors.com, but also TiaWrites.com. Both domain names are directed to her author Web site.

If you decide to use a free Web site service like say Blogger.com, I recommend at least purchasing the domain so readers can find you. (Ex. RhondaMcKnight.net). Rhonda is doing an excellent job of marketing her name in preparation for her 2009 book release with Urban Christian.

A NOTE ABOUT BLOGS - Most sites now are run on a blogging system, so I don’t object to people using blogs for their Web sites. I’m actually encouraging people to go this route more and more.

I would like to recommend that you consider Typepad.com (pay) or Wordpress.com (free) instead of Blogger.com. It’s a lot easier, especially with Wordpress to make your Web site appear to resemble normal Web sites. Plus if you use the combination of Wordpress and your own webhosting, the customization you can do is truly mind-blowing and fun!

2. Elements Needed for a Web site

Now when putting together a Web site, one would think it would be obvious what to put on it, but in my years of designing Web sites, folks can really get bogged down when it comes to content and what type of pages.

Here are a few websites to take a look at: sharonewellfoster.com, tiamccollars.com, stacyhawksinsadams.com and pamelasamuelsyoung.com.

Some of the common elements or the basics:

Home: A homepage is the landing site for your website. First impressions count. Your latest book release should be a focal point when visitors enter your site. A lot of authors still want you to be aware of their other books so they will probably still use those books on the page.

Bio/About the Author: It’s up to you how much information you want to include. Definitely not TOO MUCH PERSONAL INFO. It’s the internet and you still have to use commons sense.

Books: Always if possible include a description, post an excerpt and have links available for Amazon, BN, etc. If you are selling the book, you might want to look into getting a PayPal account.

Tour dates or calendar: This is a must. Include your book signings. Any conferences where you will be speaking? Are you going to be a guest blogger somewhere? Let folks know where to find you. Are you going to be on television, radio, participating in a podcast? The key with a calendar – keep it updated.

Contact Page: I recommend getting a gmail or yahoo account. Keep it separate from your personal email if you can. Spammers can easily grab or harvest your email address from your Web site. Yahoo and Gmail do pretty good jobs of catching spam.

What are you offering? Some authors their speaking topics, book reviews, or tips for aspiring writers. You may have a link to a blog. Remember what we talked about yesterday. Online marketing includes relationship building. If you have the time and expertise, consider how you can expand your site to meet a need or offer a service.

DO NOT put or request irritating things on the site that will drive visitors away like …

· flash intros with no skip – preferably no intro at all especially if you want repeat visitors
· music that loads as soon as the visitor enters the page
· huge graphics with large file sizes – yes some people still use dial-up
· blinking animations
· large fonts
· clashing colors schemes

I could go on … but you get the idea. J

3. Branding – Your name is the brand

Whenever I sit down to create a mock-up for a site I always start with colors. I like to get a feel for a person so his or her personality shines through their brand. Whatever colors, logos, fonts, etc that you use for your Web site, keep the same concept as you work on print materials and online promos like eblasts.

Remember if you are a debut author or if there is a certain amount of time that has passed between your books, you have to teach people your name. Publishers spend a lot of time on creating the perfect book cover. Use those same techniques for marketing your brand.

4. Platform (Nonfiction)

Many writers are speakers. Platform may be more important for nonfiction writers, but it's probably helpful for fiction writers as well. Do you talk about domestic violence, cancer, parenting, divorce, etc in your fiction or nonfiction book? There is a possibility you can speak as an expert on this topic at a conference, on a radio show or on television. You can at least write articles for print or online publications.

Web sites to check out: gillistripplet.com, marriagesuccess.org, toniaspeaks.com

5. Audience

You need to know your audience.

CamillePeay.com. Camille’s YA book, Brittani, is marketed to young adult females. So, when we talked about her Web site, she wanted something not too cute, but would appeal to a young girl.

When you are talking to a web designer or if you are searching for a template, think about your audience. Do you want something that attracts a younger audience? If you write suspense, shouldn’t you think about darker colors versus pastels (even if you really like pastels)?

Plan for the future.

KellyStarlingLyons.com. Children's book author, Kelly Starling Lyons, has mainly written children's books, but when it came time to put together a Web site, she wanted to make sure it would appeal to young adults as well since she’s planning to write for a YA audience.

If you are going to write for more than one type of audience, you may have to think about branding yourself two different ways. Several authors who write adult books, have separate Web sites for their YA books.

Example:

Adult Fiction - http://www.victoriachristophermurray.com/
YA Fiction - http://www.thedivinedivas.com/

Your Online Presence. Go for it!

We talked about several forms of social media and we talked about some ideas to consider for your personal Web site.

Mind if I leave you a little homework assignment. J It’s the teacher in me.

Choose a social media platform that you have not tried yet. Here are a few below that I covered in this workshop.

1. Set up a blog. Free accounts are available at Blogger.com and WordPress.com. Set-up a schedule that works for you. Plan to blog for a month, maybe once or twice a week. Think about a topic you are passionate about and dive in.

Set up a Twitter account. Start following people. Here are a few familiar faces to get you started:

o Barack Obama – www.twitter.com/BarackObama (he will follow you back – really!!)

o Dee Stewart of Christian Fiction Blog - www.twitter.com/deegospel

o Marlive Harris / TheGRITS.com – www.twitter.com/thegritsdotcom

o Carla Nix – www.twitter.com/passion4life
o Pam Perry – www.twitter.com/pamperry
o Tyora Moody - www.twitter.com/cookieaisle
2. Setup up a MySpace page (or try another social networks.)Shoutlife (great community for authors)http://www.shoutlife.com/
Pam Perry of Ministry Marketing Solutions started one especially for authors.http://chocolatepagesnetwork.com/Book Marketing Networkhttp://bookmarket.ning.com/

3. Create a book trailer. Post to Youtube.com or Godtube.com. It doesn't have to be a published book.

4. Set up an account with Snapvine.com or Utterz.com. Record a message by phone. If you want to jump into your own radio show, sign up for http://www.blogtalkradio.com/

I hope you have taken away something from this workshop. Please pass it along to others and if you have questions, email me at webmaster@tywebbin.com or stop by Tywebbin.com.

Have a blessed weekend!

9 comments:

LaShaunda said...

Ty,

Great information.

I'm thinking about moving my blogs to wordpress. How do I transfer everything over or do I lose my content from blogger?

Ty said...

Hey LaShaunda,

I used to have a blog called Cookie Mix on blogger.com. Earlier this year I decided to combine some of my blogs - I run all my sites on Wordpress.

Wordpress can actually connect to blogger.com and export your current posts.

I'm thinking of adding more tutorials to my Next Level blog site and I can definitely add "Moving from Blogger to Wordpress" as a tutorial if folks are interested.

Ty said...

Hey any folks going to try out Twitter this weekend. Here are a few blog posts to check out.

7 Tips for new Twitter Users
http://redcouch.typepad.com/weblog/2008/08/7-tips-for-new.html

Twitter for Beginners - 5 Things to Do as a New User
http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/07/26/twitter-for-beginners-5-things-to-do-as-a-new-twitter-user/

I will complete the ebook this weekend and send out a link Monday, August 25th.

Yasmin said...

Hey Ty...another great post...you're a wealth of knowledge and it's been fun sitting under your tutelage.
xoxo

TheGRITS.com said...

Hi Ty,

You've given us another day of EXCELLENT information! Websites are crucial in the branding process of anyone who plans to use the Internet to market, network, and inform the masses about themselves. business, or product. All that you mention today is key and for authors who desire a website that will be an excellent marketing tool for them MUST incorporate “more” interaction in the way of interviews, blogs, podcasts, interactive features, etc. into their websites that will give visitors to their websites a sense of them and their work!

THANK YOU and continued success on this workshop!

Ty said...

I tried to send the FREE ebook to all the participants. In a couple of days I will make the entire ebook live for anybody to download.

I want to get it to you first, if you participated. Send me an email if you have not heard from me by Monday, August 25th.

Ty

Ty said...

Thank you Yasmin and Marlive for stopping by for Day 2. I have enjoyed the opportunity.

Jeanette Hill said...

This presentation may have presented in two days but you have provided a year's worth of information! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

Jeanette Hill

www.sasprod.org

Rhonda McKnight said...

Okay, I'm really behind on reading. Great post Ty and thanks for mentioning me. Rats that other Rhonda McKnight has .com Ugh!!! net will have to do.