How and why to generate leads with your blog


If you want to sell more books, sooner or later you will have to communicate with people who buy books. Specifically the kind of people who buy your books.

You are, for the main, limited to selling within your own platform. That means that if you want to sell books, you need to get and keep the attention of your book buying fans. In marketing speak, these are your leads.

Our tools for your leads

Today we are going to look at three tools that come with your Author Buzz blog.

  • Leads
  • Landing Pages
  • Calls to Action

There is a set of three plugins you can activate for your blog that make the whole lead generation process so much easier. We use them ourselves.

A word of caution, if you use them, you may need to update your GPDR statement. If you are being largely conscientious about the way you use data, this should not be a big deal. I’m no expert of GPDR law, so it may be worth reading up on it yourself.

These tools are provided by www.inboundnow.com and we happen to think they are rather good. You will want a free account to get an API key but the whole process is painless and easy.

Leads

Leads is the tool that allows you to get data about people that are interested in your stuff, and store it in a useful way.

We use this for saving requests for our ebooks on author platforms and promotion. Once they are finished, everyone that signed up will be invited to come and get their copy.

Your leads can be organised into lists. Something that you will be thankful you set up your lists when you try to figure out which people signed up for what thing. We have one list for each ebook people can pre-register for (for example). That way we only ever email out to people that want to hear from us about the things they want to hear about.

I strongly recommend using double opt-in so people not only sign up but then confirm that they meant to sign up. That one move can save you handling a lot of junk data from bots, mistakes, and people messing about with your forms.

Landing Pages

This is the plugin that enables you to create forms people can use to sign up for your lists. You can create as many as you want but I suggest at least one per list.

A good landing page should tell a person why signing up is good for them – what they get out of it. It should be simple. It should be to the point.

Whole books have been written on creating good landing pages. No one expects you to master them in a single sitting. However, there is help available – A/B split testing.

You can create different versions of the same page. The landing pages tool with randomly select which page to show to a visitor. You will be able to see which version(s) are performing best. That way, you can continually improve your landing pages.

That’s how the pros do it. You can do the same.

Calls to Action

Calls to action is the final part in this trinity of tools. You have somewhere safe to store your leads in lists. You have pages for getting those leads. Now you need some way of asking your visitors to go look at the forms.

That’s what a call to action is. You can make yourself any number of custom calls to action and use them in posts, in widgets, and on custom pages.

For example, on that blog post talking about how your new book is coming out next month, why not end with a call to action suggesting people sign up to be notified?

A call to action is that thing you want a reader to do in response to reading your post. One thing. That’s what they whole post has been leading to.

You can A/B split test your calls to action too. If one is not getting much traction, you can change it and all the places it appears will change too.

What to do next?

If you already have an Author buzz blog, all you need to do is log into it, and activate the three plugins. After that, the sky is the limit.

If you have yet to get a blog (or an account) they are free. All you need is to sign i to your free Author Buzz account (or make one) and create a group that reflects the nature of the blog you want to make. Select the option to have a blog and one will be made for you.

If you use WordPress on your own space, or some other blog system entirely, you can still use the principles of leads, landing pages, and calls to action – but we will not be able to help you do it. Fortunately, there is so much information on lead generation out there that you could read about it forever and not even cover half of what there is to read, watch, and listen to.

Whichever way that you approach it, with our tools or something else, list building is the core of any good platform and pretty much all forms of modern marketing.

An author with a solid list is very attractive to agents and publishers. Might as well get started now.


About Matthew Brown

Matthew is a writer and Geek from Kent (UK). He is the founder and current chair of Thanet Creative as well as head geek for Author Buzz. His ambitions include appearing on TableTop with Wil Wheaton and seeing a film or TV series based on something he wrote.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.