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Syndication

The toughest undertakings are often the most rewarding. When something is so easy that everybody can do it, it’ll take an extraordinary effort to do it successfully. Podcasting is an activity that still has a learning curve and an equipment barrier, which could allow you to stand out if you make sure your show is unique and fills a niche.

Podcasts are a great way to reach your readers. Thanks to major improvements in apps, hardware, and software, these audio programs are easier to listen to than ever before. Many of your potential fans spend all day listening to podcasts to pass the time as they work at the office or from home. Whether you choose to make your show informative or entertaining, you’ll have the opportunity to succeed if you answer the right questions before you begin.

Here are five questions you should consider before you invest the time, money, and energy into creating a podcast.

Direct download: 5questionstartingpodcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

The habit of writing 5,000 words a day will likely make you a successful author. Doesn’t that make you a little bit mad? There are writers out there who not only accomplish this feat every day, but they’re also blogging about it. Heck, some of them even write books about how they’re able to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat day in and day out, 52 weeks a year.

There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll be able to increase your writing output to this high number. Something you can do, however, is make sure that you spend your writing time doing one thing and one thing only: putting words on the page.

It takes a lot of training to get yourself to want to write for a certain number of hours per day. At first, you’ll seek out any possible excuse, such as cleaning the kitchen, playing with your cat, or anything else that’ll take you away from your laptop. Don’t cheat yourself. Even when you don’t feel like writing, you need to get your butt in the chair to unpack those sentences from your brain.

Here are seven ways to force yourself to write when you feel like you have nothing left for the day.

Direct download: ultimateguidetowriting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:55pm EDT

Facebook can be a time suck. A few minutes scrolling through the posts of your friends and family can easily turn into an hour. It’s tempting to cut out your Facebook use altogether when you’re trying to become a more productive author, but it’s still one of the best places to find new readers for your books.

Facebook has changed dramatically over the years. While it was once free to reach all of your followers with a single post, the social media site has become a pay-to-play platform. You must optimize your posts and the ways you connect with fans to ensure the most effective use of your hard-earned money.

Here are seven ways you can make Facebook worth your time and generate genuine connections with fans who’ll love your work.

Direct download: 7facebooktimesuck.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:46pm EDT

Have you ever gotten jealous of another author’s book launch? Obviously, you’re excited for your peer to be able to vault his or her book into the Amazon Top 1,000, but you can’t help but wish that your own work could reach the same heights time in and time out. If you want the kind of results other authors will be jealous of, then you need to put in the effort to build up your email list.

Emails are far more targeted than social media posts or Google search traffic. It’s a good use of your time and money as well. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing has a 4300 percent return on investment. The authors with the best results have leveraged the power of email to help them sell more books.

Here are five ways to build up your email list to find true fans of your work.

Direct download: 5buildupemaillist.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT

There’s nothing quite like a superfan. It’s great having readers who will read and review your books. It’s equally cool when certain folks will comment on your blog, video, or podcast. When one person does all of that to the extreme, in addition to posting like crazy about your latest release, you might just be witnessing a superfan in action.

Superfans don’t just like the books they read. They devour and love them. As an author, you should do everything in your power to seek out these devoted readers. One way to hunt down fans who have no issue sharing the books they love is on Pinterest.

To the casual user, Pinterest is great for seeking out recipes or wedding ideas. Superfans use Pinterest to pin links to their favorite memes, art, movies, music, games, and books. When your work is included as part of the pinning frenzy, you may find Pinterest as your top referrer of traffic and email subscribers.

If you’re confused by Pinterest or new to the platform, here are five ways you can use the site to find new superfans.

Direct download: pinterest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:54pm EDT

Twitter isn’t the optimal platform for selling books. Even with the recent implementation of #AmazonCart, authors shouldn’t go into the social media platform assuming they’re going to make a killing right away. If that’s the case, then why should you still consider Twitter as part of your author platform? It’s simple. Marketing is about more than selling.

The term “marketing” gets a bad rap because many people picture an Internet marketing guru with a never-ending sales page peddling products for $97 a piece. Despite this salesy image, one of the biggest parts of marketing has nothing to do with selling at all. It has to do with making connections.

Twitter is a great platform for connecting with readers and other authors. It’s also one way to open yourself up to opportunities such as contests, collaborations, and speaking engagements. If you’re interested in reaching beyond your circle, here are five ways to optimize Twitter for making connections.

Direct download: optimizetwitter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

Building up an email list is like getting your first car. With your hands behind the promotional wheel, you can do anything you want to directly market to your readers. Much like a brand new vehicle, however, you need to take care of your email list and make sure you’re using it properly.

If you use every email to scream “buy my book,” that’s the equivalent of taking your new car out drag racing night after night. You might get a few sales here and there, but eventually, your email list will crash from too many unsubscribes.

Instead of using your list primarily to sell, you should figure out how to make a better connection with your readers. You likely know your ideal readers best, but here are five things you should consider sending the members of your list to keep them engaged.

Direct download: 5things_emailreadersengaged.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT

When you don’t yet have a large author platform, getting positive reviews and lots of them is one of the best ways to get readers. Reviews can seem like a catch-22 sometimes. You might say to yourself, “I need readers to get reviews, but I also need reviews to get readers.”

All up-and-coming writers must deal with the same seeming contradiction. Fortunately, there is a process you can use to gather more reviews on your book. If you invest the necessary time, energy, and money into building up reviews, then you’ll find new readers for your work.

Here’s a seven-step process for getting your book from nine or fewer reviews into the double or triple digits.

Direct download: ampodcast_7stepsgettingreviews.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:43pm EDT

How far do you expect to get doing the same things as everybody else? Unless you’re more effective or efficient than the massive contingent of authors submitting to email advertisers, blogging twice a week, and creating a Facebook following, you’re bound to lag behind.

Marketing isn’t solely about repeating what has worked for others. You need to constantly test new promotional methods. When you hit a wall with your standard marketing activities, try one or all of these five outside the box ways to promote your book.

Direct download: ampodcast_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:36pm EDT

How many marketing tools does it take to grab a reader for keeps? For some authors, the answer is one: an autoresponder sequence.

It can be overwhelming to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram when you know you need to spend your time writing. Autoresponders, which are the automated messages sent out after a reader subscribes to your email list, allow you to connect with readers without daily upkeep. By creating a sequence of these messages to go out a certain number of days after subscription, readers learn about who you are and what you have to offer in the correct order.

You can use Autoresponders as a feature on AWeber or the premium edition of Mailchimp. Using a well planned out series of messages can defray those costs, if not double your investment by gathering more engaged readers.

The biggest problem authors face when using autoresponders is figuring out what to send out, and how often. Need some inspiration? Here are seven autoresponder messages you can use that have been adapted from the mailing list of successful thriller author Mark Dawson.

Direct download: ampodcast_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:26pm EDT