Tag Archives: T-shaped marketing

[Guest Blogging and Content Syndication] T-Shaped Marketing for Authors

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

As I’ve discussed beforehand in a few of my books, the primary reason why blogging is so important is search engine optimization (SEO), which means to improve (optimize) your standing in the organic search results on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Think, for a minute, about when you use a search engine to find something. Where is the first place you look when the search results come up? The top and centre of the page? In addition, how many links are you willing to click through to find what you’re looking for? Maybe ten at the most? Maybe your eye will scan down that first page for something interesting; or, if you have the time, maybe you’ll dig a little deeper and look through the second or third page to see what comes up there. Statistically, most people will stay on the first page. This is why it’s crucial to make sure you (e.g., author name, book title) appear on that first page for as many of the major keywords that are associated with your genre/topic matter as possible. Regular and consistent blogging is one way to help you achieve this.

Two Types of Blogging Can Help You in Different Ways

First and foremost, you can write and post content to your own blog.  When it’s your own blog, you set your own content criteria and can say whatever you want. Your posts can be an obvious advertisement for your products, services, events, et cetera, if you choose; however, it’s important to always provide quality content to your subscribers. The information has to be useful to them if you want to keep them engaged and attract even more subscribers down the road. Blog entries improve your search engine ranking depending on one of the major criteria that search engines are looking for: quantity of posts. Google’s algorithm rewards more points to websites that post new and relevant content on a regular basis.

Secondly, you can post content to someone else’s website that matches well with their content criteria (e.g., you can post articles to an online publication such as EzineArticles.com, or you can guest post on someone else’s blog). The idea is to write several keyword-rich posts—relevant topic matter that contains the phrases your prospective readers will type into a search engine when they are looking for your type of book, and that also contains a link back to your own blog/website— and then share them with others via email and social media websites. Guest posts and online articles such as these will garner higher points for your own blog/website using two additional criteria the search engines are looking for: backlinks and traffic. Backlinks are clickable referrals from one relevant webpage (someone else’s blog or a high-traffic online publication) to another (your own blog). The more backlinks to your blog (and the more traffic that generates for your blog), the higher its point value will be in the eyes of a search engine. As such, the higher it will appear in the organic search results.

A Great Alternative to Guest Blogging: Content Syndication

In a perfect world, we would all have time to write and post fresh content on our own blog and someone else’s website every single day. If we did this, we would quickly see an increase in our traffic and search engine ranking as a result. But that’s not always possible, so a great way to keep one’s momentum going is through content syndication.

In a nutshell, you can offer previously posted content from your own blog to someone else’s high traffic site if it appears to be a great fit for them and you can show them the value in partnering with you in this way.  For more details regarding exacting how syndicating your content works, including how to write a syndication pitch letter to relevant online publications, I highly recommend you read this article by Ritika Puri: Content Syndication: The Definitive, Insider’s Guide. It is a well-written article that should answer all your questions.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

[Email Marketing] T-Shaped Marketing for Authors

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

In an earlier blog post, I discussed the concept of T-shaped marketing and how today’s authors are using it to sell more books online. To briefly recap, your deep knowledge/ability (the stem of the T) is the content you’ve written about in your book(s) whereas the flat, horizontal part at the top represents the various other creative and analytical skills you can learn to best utilize the Internet in selling your book(s). Email marketing is one of the skills you can learn and use as part of your T-shaped marketing plan.

Books are perfect for email marketing. They go hand in hand. Why? Because email marketing is all about sharing, promoting, and selling information … and a book is an information product.

Here is a fantastic resource regarding email marketing (e.g., finding your perfect niche, setting up your opt-in page, getting email addresses, auto-responders, campaigns, statistics, you name it): The Circle of Profit by Anik Singal. It is a free .PDF that you can download, and it contains all the information you will ever need regarding how to run a successful email marketing business. I’ve read it three times, myself. I get something new out of it every time. That’s how detailed it is.

After reading this book, I adopted email marketing as part of my overall T-shaped marketing strategy. I think you should, too. And I’ll tell you why with this excerpt from Anik’s book:

Who do you trust more: a friend or a stranger? The answer is obvious: Your friend. And when your email list subscribers start seeing you more as a friend than some random person sending them emails, you’ll get the best response.

Email marketing allows you to reach people in a more direct and personal way than most other kinds of advertising and publicity can. This is your opportunity to really engage with your readers. Become their friend by letting them know a little more about you, the person, rather than just advertising your book(s) to them in an impersonal way. Spend some time getting to know them a little better, too, by replying to their emailed questions with thoughtful answers.

The readers who know and trust you will be your most responsive buyers each and every time you contact them to announce a new book. But this trust must be earned over time by providing quality, valuable content to your subscribers on a consistent basis so they stay engaged with you over the long term. Always remember there are no easy or quick fixes in the world of book sales and marketing.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

[Thinking Outside the Box] T-Shaped Marketing for Authors

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

Online marketing—blogging, social media marketing, email marketing, pay-per-click advertising—to name only a few kinds, provides today’s authors with a vehicle to reach a worldwide audience where, in the past, they were limited to their own backyards. But to make any kind of real headway in this crowded space full of millions of people doing the same thing as you’re doing online, you’ve got to think outside the box. You’ve got to figure out a way to stand out among the rest by combining analytical and creative skills together. I’m talking about T-shaped marketing.

I invite you to click on this link because it will bring you to a diagram that depicts the T-shaped marketing concept really well: The T-Shaped Web Marketer. To quote the author of this Moz blog entry: “T-Shaped basically refers to having a light level of knowledge in a broad array of skills, and deep knowledge/ability in a single one (or a few).” Your deep knowledge/ability (the stem of the T) is the content you’ve written about in your book(s) whereas the flat, horizontal part at the top represents the various other creative and analytical skills you can learn to best utilize the Internet in selling your book(s).

Many of the most successful online companies of today used T-shaped marketing (also referred to as “growth hacking” which will be discussed in an upcoming blog entry) to grow their businesses when no venture capital was available to help them. AirBNB utilized Craigslist users as part of their growth hacking strategy. PayPal paid people for referrals. DropBox gave people extra storage for referrals. There are many more examples of this, as well.

I believe authors can do the same thing as these companies did to really put themselves and their books on the map. If you have any doubts about that, I invite you to read this online Forbes article: Amazon Pays $450,000 A Year To This Self-Published Writer. Mark Dawson was first trade published. But when he saw how few copies his trade publisher sold for him, he switched to self-publishing for his next book and learned how to become an entrepreneurial author instead of a mere trade published author. This is T-shaped marketing at its best.

I hope today’s blog entry will whet your appetite enough to join me again for the next one. I’ll be talking about growth hacking in a bit more detail when we meet each other again.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.