Category Archives: T-Shaped Marketing for Authors

My Winding Road from Traditional Publishing to Digital Publishing

How to Publish a Book in Canada … and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit! © 2013

I started Polished Publishing Group (PPG) as a “digital publishing” company in November 2009. In retrospect, I didn’t fully understand effective digital publishing at that time. Nine years later, I can confidentally say I do, and the way I run my company is evolving as a result.

Like many others in my generation and older, I come from a traditional publishing background. I cut my teeth on paperbacks, hardcovers, and offset printing at a small literary press back in 1993. We put all our authors’ books through a thorough, substantive editing process followed by an even more fastidious graphic design and proofreading regimen to polish them to perfection. Then we “sold” (and I use that word loosely) our books by mailing out printed press releases and review copies to all the relevant media in our area, entering some books into contests, arranging the occasional breakfast launch or evening wine and cheese reading event for others, and shipping part of our inventory to various Canadian distributors to house for us. Other than that, we relied on standing orders and word of mouth to “sell” our books to the masses. Once the next season of frontlist titles came out six months later, the latter became part of the dust-collecting backlist.

An Early Education in Traditional and Digital Publishing

It was an eye-opening experience for someone like me who took this job straight out of college thinking I was going to learn what it takes to become a bestselling author from the inside out. (Even just writing that sentence makes me chuckle now.) As detailed in the introduction of How to Publish a Book in Canada … and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit!, I quickly learned the realities of this industry. I came to see that our top authors were the ones who bought wholesale copies of their books from us and worked tirelessly to sell them out. They saw themselves as entrepreneurs, and they treated their books as their businesses.

Small Canadian presses aren’t alone in this. Far from it. In fact, the “Big Five” international trade publishers—Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster—also admit to focusing primarily on their frontlist titles for only a short period of time. Once those books fall to the back list, the responsibility of continued promotion falls to their authors as detailed in this excerpt from Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century by John B. Thompson (16-Mar-2012) Paperback:

As soon as a book shows signs that it’s going to take off, the sales, marketing and publicity operations mobilize behind it and look for ways to support it with extra advertising, trying to get more radio and TV appearances, extending the author’s tour or putting together a new tour to cities where the book is doing particularly well, and so on. … the sales, marketing and publicity operations are geared and resourced in such a way that, when they see that a fire is starting to ignite, they are able to pour generous quantities of fuel on the flames. … But if further appeals fall on deaf ears and sales fail to pick up, then the marketing and publicity effort will be wound up pretty quickly – ‘In two to three weeks we might pull the plug,’ … So how long does a book have out there in the marketplace to show signs of life? How many weeks before it becomes a dead fish that will be left to float downstream? … I would say the life of a book today is about six weeks. And quite frankly it’s even shorter than that, but you probably have six weeks and that’s it. (Thompson, 2012)

How to Publish a Bestselling Book … and Sell It Worldwide Based on Value, Not Price! © 2014

Unless you’re selling it yourselves, authors. Sell it yourself and your book will have a much longer shelflife. As long as you stay focused on selling on any book, it will remain a frontlist title for you. That’s a fact.

I knew that much nine years ago. I had also learned how to sell after leaving my job at that literary press to begin a lifelong career in corporate sales with some of the most prominent industry leaders in print media, office supplies, and multi-function digital and offset printing. I had a strong grasp on digital communications and how easy it now is to communicate and do business with people all over the world so long as each party has a proper WIFI connection. So, in my mind, I was a “digital publisher” because I operated in a virtual office environment, and because I not only had the experience and expertise to help authors produce trade-quality books; I could also teach them how to sell their books worldwide both offline and online.

But Here’s the Problem With That

I now know effective digital publishing requires a little more finesse than simply intermingling yesterday’s offline sales and marketing methodologies with today’s online techniques. Doing so can acutally be counterproductive because the latter requires patience while the former requires momentum. In the traditional offline world, authors must appeal to the interests of people such as agents, booksellers, reviewers, and publicists to help you move more books on their schedules; but, in the online world, you’re working with impartial algorithms and search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to increase your exposure as detailed here: https://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/2018/06/a-shortlist-of-googles-top-ranking-factors-an-excerpt-from-search-engine-optimization-seo/. In other words, if you want to succeed at selling books in this day and age, you can no longer “waste precious time” by publishing only one book per year or one blog entry per week and promoting it on someone else’s timeline. The Internet rewards speed and productivity, and the Internet is your greatest sales tool.

How to Publish a Book in the East That Your Can Sell in the West © 2018

How much speed and productivity are we talking about? There are literally millions of new books published around the world every year now. The playing field has drastically changed from when my publishing career began 25 years ago. It is far more competitive and nearly impossible to stand out among the crowd if you’re doing things the traditional way. I’ve come to see that my approach has to change with the times if I’m to survive in this new digital arena and all my authors—myself included—are to thrive. More and more, I’ve also come to see that it’s necessary to embrace a digital revolution known as “rapid release” publishing, as discussed in my latest book titled How to Publish a Book in the East That You Can Sell in the West. You can reach people worldwide now, but there is a right way to do it that will improve your odds of success. This is the new publishing model I’m now developing for PPG’s upcoming authors.

How do I know this works? I’ve watched the PPG Publisher’s Blog increase from a mere 1,000 registered users in early 2017 to over 5,000 a short year later (and still growing) by doing all the things I recommend to you in my new book. I’ve also seen downloads of my backlist books on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral collectively increase from under 5 books per month to over 300 per month on average (and still growing) within the same time period. That’s my firsthand experience with this to date, but that’s nothing. You’re sure to be inspired by many even greater success stories contained within the book. And once I’ve grown my own numbers to a “respectable” level by today’s North American corporate standards, I plan to package the program to help you achieve the same effective digital publishing results with a dedicated team by your side.

For those of you who are public speakers and business professionals selling your books at trade shows and conferences, the traditional publishing methods still apply. You’ll find the first two books mentioned above are still helpful. For everyone else, stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.  

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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 © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



A Shortlist of Google’s Top Ranking Factors … an Excerpt from Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Enjoy this excerpt from the upcoming sixth installment of the T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook series. Coming soon to an e-reader near you…

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Throughout this T-shaped marketing ebook series, in several of my past blog posts, and in many of my other books, I’ve referenced the following six ranking factors that will help you to improve your website’s SEO. Improving your SEO is crucial to your success as an author because it will help you to attract more readers and sell more books. How do I know these things work when applied with a consistent focus? Because I’ve watched the PPG Publisher’s Blog increase from a mere 1,000 registered users in early 2017 to over 5,000 a short year later (and still growing) by doing all the things I recommend to you. I’ve also seen downloads of my backlist books on ecommerce sites such as Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral collectively increase from under 5 books per month to over 300 per month on average (and still growing) within the same time period. That’s my firsthand experience with this to date. I also regularly read the research published by SEO industry leaders, such as Moz, which has guided me in building my book business so I can guide authors like you in doing the same. In short, this stuff works!

  1. Publish relevant content on a consistent basis:
     . 
    Blogging is one of the best ways for you to stay engaged with your current and prospective readership; and, the more often you post something new online, the more points Google will award to your blog site thus improving its SEO. But you should know that Google is far from being the only search engine that rewards new content. Amazon and Kobo do, too, as mentioned in this book. Want to dramatically increase your SEO over the next year? Start posting relevant content on a consistent basis that pleases all these search engines.
     . 
  2. Build a high number of relevant backlinks to your website:
     . 
    In addition to blogging, I’ve also mentioned how legitimate book reviews, guest blogging, and content syndication can be used to increase the number of relevant backlinks to your website. This, too, is worthy of a higher ranking in Google’s eyes thus improving your SEO.
     . 
  3. Protect and improve your SEO with proper HTML coding (REL=CANONICAL and META NOINDEX tags):
     .
    While guest blogging and content syndication are both fantastic ways to improve your own website’s SEO, they can also cause duplicate content issues if too much of the same copy is being reused on different sites without due care. This is where implementing REL=CANONICAL and META NOINDEX tags can come in really handy as discussed in the HTML Coding for Beginners T-shaped ebook.
  4. Attract regular click-through traffic to your website:
     . 
    It stands to reason that the more content you post, the more backlinks that redirect to your site, and the higher your SEO ranking grows, the more traffic will find its way to your website and click on it. You want these people to stay there as long as possible. If they only click once and then leave, that’s called a bounce; but, if they click on a few different pages and stay there for a while to read things over, that’s called a click-through. A high bounce rate may affect your SEO negatively while you’ll garner more SEO points via an increased click-through rate—all the more reason to ensure your website contains relative and enticing content people will want to stay there and view.
     . 
  5. Encourage more social media activity and shares (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube):
     . 
    I dedicated an entire book, titled Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors, to teaching authors how to utilize social media marketing as part of your online sales strategy. Did you know social media activity is one of the things Google rewards that can help to improve your SEO? Well, it is. And certain social media sites will earn you more points than others, so I’ve learned. For example, did you know YouTube is owned by Google? Now that you know, you may be more inclined to start posting more video content on a regular basis.
     
  6. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly:
     
    On March 26, 2018, Google went live with its new Mobile-First Index. According to Google, “Mobile-first indexing means Google will predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. Historically, the index primarily used the desktop version of a page’s content when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user’s query. Since the majority of users now access Google via a mobile device, the index will primarily use the mobile version of a page’s content going forward. We aren’t creating a separate mobile-first index. We continue to use only one index.” If you want to know how to ensure your own website is mobile-friendly, be sure to pick up a copy of the Mobile Marketing T-shaped marketing ebook for some great tips.

Although I’ve written and spoken about the above six SEO ranking factors before, I’ve never discussed the below six. We’re going to review them in this book because, according to Searchmetrics Ranking Factors, they are some of the strongest factors that were found in all the sites surveyed that ranked in the top 10 Google search results:

  1. Protect your website’s security with HTTPS (SSL security certificates).
  2. Include attractive images and easy-to-read fonts in your website’s main content area to encourage more time on the site.
  3. Increase Pinterest activity.
  4. Increase Google+1 activity.
  5. Ensure you have a strong local SEO (e.g., free listings in business directories such as Google My Business, White Page, Yellow Pages, Yelp).
  6. Answer industry-related questions on your blog to encourage featured snippets inclusion (as briefly mentioned in the Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising T-Shaped ebook).

As you can see, there are even more things you can do to improve your SEO that will be covered in this latest T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook. Do all these things, and the end result will surely be an increased readership and more book sales for you. Now, let’s dive in a little deeper to learn more….

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I hope you enjoyed that little excerpt. Watch for the book this coming month on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral.



Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising (T-Shaped Marketing for Authors Book 5) … an excerpt

Enjoy this excerpt from the upcoming fifth installment of the T-Shaped Marketing for Authors mini ebook series. Coming soon to an e-reader near you…

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Much like Google AdWords and Facebook, LinkedIn PPC campaigns are run as auctions. Advertisers like you place a bid to pay a certain dollar amount (e.g., $2.25) per click on selected keywords or criteria; your prize for winning the auction is effective ad placement on whichever platform your ad appears. Yet, there is more to winning a PPC auction than just placing the highest bid. Nine times out of ten, you’ll end up paying even less than you bid as these sites will only charge you whatever price per click was necessary to win the auction, and that price is based on many factors including the amount of competition involved and the overall effectiveness of each bidder’s ad.

LinkedIn PPC Targeting Criteria

LinkedIn PPC advertising is much better suited to non-fiction books than fictional novels because of LinkedIn’s audience and that of the LinkedIn Audience Network as a whole. As of writing time, your LinkedIn targeting criteria is limited to:

  • Geographical regions: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America, and Oceania (of which you can drill down to your choice of the countries and cities that you wish to “include” or “exclude” from your campaign).
  • Other business-related criteria: company name, company industry, company size, job title, job function, job seniority, member schools, field of study, degrees, member skills, member groups, member gender, member age, years of experience, company followers, and company connections.

Once you’ve made the above choices, you can the select your bid type: cost per click (CPC); or, cost per mille which means the cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM). CPC is the best choice to make when you want to drive more sales whereas CPM is used when your sole purpose is to drive top of mind awareness (TOMA) of your brand. I personally always choose CPC because my goal with PPC advertising is first and foremost to sell books, and I believe CPC also achieves TOMA over time. Two birds, one stone … as the saying goes.




The Price of an Affluent Audience

From there, you will choose your maximum daily budget and your CPC or CPM bid for the criteria you chose earlier. Although you can start your bid as low as $25 per day and $2 per click, you’ll most likely end up paying more on this site to get any significant results. LinkedIn PPC campaigns tend to be more expensive than Google AdWords or Facebook. Some will say it’s because you’re paying for exposure to a more affluent business audience. Here’s another way to look at it according to JD Prater, author of “How Much Do LinkedIn Ads Cost? [New Report]” on the AdStage blog:

…LinkedIn boasts more than 500 million users, which is impressive but still limited compared to Facebook. With a limited supply of ads coupled with growing demand, the auction is getting more competitive, which means advertisers will pay more to enter.

…Hanapin Marketing conducted a paid social survey asking marketers where they plan to increase and decrease budgets in 2017. They found that 43% of marketers were NOT investing in LinkedIn Ads. However, 39% advertisers planned on increasing their ad spend within the following year. It looks like LinkedIn Ads are delivering results for certain companies, which is leading to budget increases. (Prater, n.d.)  

The anatomy of a LinkedIn PPC ad is similar to Facebook in that you can include an image, a punchy headline, some brief ad copy, and a link to your desired landing page. All these elements are important; but some would say the image is the most critical element. Igor Belogolovsky reports the following in his article for the Kissmetrics Blog:

Hot tip: According to LinkedIn’s own optimization team, choosing a photo of a woman typically drives the best clickthrough rates. Only use your business logo if you’re trying to build brand awareness. Don’t have too much going on in your photo — remember, it’s a small thumbnail and you have a lighting-quick opportunity to draw the eye to your ad before, poof, it’s gone. (Belogolovsky, n.d.)

If this is to be believed, then female authors may want to include your author picture in your LinkedIn PPC ads; male authors may want to include your eye-catching book covers, instead. Whatever you decide, make it stand out. Put yourself in your audience’s place. What would grab your attention? Before designing a book cover, I always recommend to my authors that they should browse the section of the bookstore where their books will one day appear and see which covers stand out ahead of the rest to them; use that data as the starting point for their own designs. I think it’s a great idea to do the same thing with PPC ads. Log into LinkedIn and view the ads on your page. Take note of what appeals to you most. Use that for inspiration.

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I hope you enjoyed that little excerpt. Watch for the book this month on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral.



Reach Your Mobile Readers With QR Codes

What is a QR code and how can you create one for free?

A static QR code (static meaning “unchangeable” once created), such as the one to the left of this paragraph, is a two-dimensional barcode. You can easily create one for your blog and/or website free of charge on this website. Where traditional linear, one-dimensional barcodes (like the ones on the back of books) are used to store small bits of information about the object they are on (such as the price of that book), a QR code has a larger storage capacity and can re-direct scanners to websites for much more detailed information.

How are QR codes used?

It’s as simple as downloading a free QR reader on your smartphone and you’re ready to go. That’s why this is the perfect tool to reach your mobile readers. Anyone with a QR reader on his or her phone can now scan these barcodes from magazine ads, books, signs on the side of a road, computer screens, you name it. I even saw a large QR code on the side of a city bus and was able to scan it through the city train window so I could view a local restaurant’s take-out menu on my way home from work. Brilliant!

Why pay someone to create a QR code for you ?  

Several years ago, my company website looked much different than it does now. It looked great on a laptop or desktop screen, but it wasn’t mobile friendly in the least. At that time, I wanted to learn more about QR codes. I created a free one for myself and also paid another company to create a more professional-looking QR code for me so I could see the difference between the two. The QR code they created is shown to the right of this paragraph.

When scanning the static QR code I created for myself, I could see that it took people straight to my website as planned. This was wonderful except for one thing; that website was intended to be read on a large computer screen. When it was viewed on a smartphone, the text and graphics all appeared very tiny, and it was difficult to navigate.

There was quite a contrast when I scanned the dynamic QR code (dynamic meaning “changeable” once created) that was created for me by some QR mobile marketing experts. Not only did they create a much more attractive QR code for PPG, but they also created a much more mobile-friendly landing page that still redirected to PPG’s main site. They even went so far as to add one of PPG’s promotional YouTube videos to that landing page. 

Case in point: if your website isn’t already mobile-friendly, and your website service provider has been unable to help you fix that for some reason, then you can always use the services of a professional QR code creator. They will oftentimes create a mobile-friendly landing page for your site along with the code itself.

How can authors best utilize this technology?

Authors can place a page at the back of each of their books that contains a QR code that redirects readers to their blogs or websites to keep readers abreast of any upcoming book launches, tours, or books. It’s a real-time update for readers even five years after that particular book was published. How convenient is that?

Watch for my upcoming T-Shaped marketing book on Amazon, Kobo, or E-Sentral that contains even more great mobile marketing tips! In this ebook, we’ll discuss the importance of mobile-friendly websites along with the value of QR codes, email marketing, text message (SMS and MMS) marketing, and social media marketing for authors.

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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 © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



[COMING SOON!] Seven New Ebooks in the T-Shaped Marketing for Authors Series

Guest Blogging and Content Syndication

HTML Coding for Beginners

Mobile Marketing

Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Social Marketing

Video Marketing

T-Shaped Marketing for Authors. The New Way to Sell Books.

Online marketing provides today’s authors with a vehicle to reach a worldwide audience where, in the past, they were pretty much 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 be Internet savvy to a degree. 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.

Co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin (2013), provides this succinct description of T-shaped marketing on his company’s blog:

“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).”

In other words, your deep knowledge/ability—the stem of the T—is the content you’ve written about in your book(s). The flat, horizontal part at the top represents the various creative and analytical skills you can learn to best utilize the Internet in selling your book(s).

Some of today’s most recognized companies used their own unique T-shaped marketing strategies (also referred to as “growth hacking”) to build their businesses quickly when little or no venture capital was available to them: Airbnb used some shrewd background coding to hack the Craigslist platform to boost its own site’s user experience; PayPal grew quickly by paying early users for referrals; and Dropbox used a strategy similar to PayPal’s by giving early users extra storage for referrals. These tactics piggybacked their other online efforts (e.g., SEO, PPC) to supercharge each company’s scalability, hence the term “growth hacking.”

Authors can do the same. They can use T-shaped marketing to their advantage, and many of today’s most successful online authors already do. Each ebook in this series will focus on one particular T-shaped marketing avenue so authors can learn to utilize several customized strategies:

* Online (paid) and Offline (unpaid) Book Reviews | Advertising vs. Publicity
* Email Marketing
* Advertorials and Blogging
* Content Syndication and Guest blogging
* HTML Coding for Beginners
* Mobile Marketing
* Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
* Search engine optimization SEO
* Social Marketing
* Video Marketing
* And the list goes on!

Authors are entrepreneurs, and T-shaped marketing is every entrepreneur’s friend. The top authors move more books by getting in front of their customers and communicating with them in a clear and consistent manner; and they do this by virtue of social media marketing, blogging, book reviews, email marketing, publicity/media tours, and all the other T-shaped marketing strategies we’ll be discussing. They do what’s necessary to make themselves stand out among all the rest for their particular genres, just as business people do with traditional companies.

The good news is it’s possible! There are examples right before your eyes—right inside these mini ebooks—of successful authors who have used T-shaped marketing to sell THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of books. You can use T-shaped marketing like a pro, too. I’ll show you how.

T-Shaped Marketing for Authors – Inaugural Ebook

Coming soon! Watch for it in the fall of 2017.

T-Shaped Marketing for Authors. The New Way to Sell Books.

Online marketing provides today’s authors with a vehicle to reach a worldwide audience where, in the past, they were pretty much 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 be Internet savvy to a degree. 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.

Co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin (2013), provides this succinct description of T-shaped marketing on his company’s blog:

“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).”

In other words, your deep knowledge/ability—the stem of the T—is the content you’ve written about in your book(s). The flat, horizontal part at the top represents the various creative and analytical skills you can learn to best utilize the Internet in selling your book(s).




Some of today’s most recognized companies used their own unique T-shaped marketing strategies (also referred to as “growth hacking”) to build their businesses quickly when little or no venture capital was available to them: Airbnb used some shrewd background coding to hack the Craigslist platform to boost its own site’s user experience; PayPal grew quickly by paying early users for referrals; and Dropbox used a strategy similar to PayPal’s by giving early users extra storage for referrals. These tactics piggybacked their other online efforts (e.g., SEO, PPC) to supercharge each company’s scalability, hence the term “growth hacking.”

Authors can do the same. They can use T-shaped marketing to their advantage, and many of today’s most successful online authors already do. Each ebook in this series will focus on one particular T-shaped marketing avenue so authors can learn to utilize several customized strategies:

* Online (paid) and Offline (unpaid) Book Reviews | Advertising vs. Publicity
* Email Marketing
* Advertorials and Blogging
* Content Syndication and Guest blogging
* HTML Coding for Beginners
* Mobile Marketing
* Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
* Search engine optimization SEO
* Social Marketing
* Video Marketing
* And the list goes on!

Authors are entrepreneurs, and T-shaped marketing is every entrepreneur’s friend. The top authors move more books by getting in front of their customers and communicating with them in a clear and consistent manner; and they do this by virtue of social media marketing, blogging, book reviews, email marketing, publicity/media tours, and all the other T-shaped marketing strategies we’ll be discussing. They do what’s necessary to make themselves stand out among all the rest for their particular genres, just as business people do with traditional companies.

The good news is it’s possible! There are examples right before your eyes—right inside these mini ebooks—of successful authors who have used T-shaped marketing to sell THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of books. You can use T-shaped marketing like a pro, too. I’ll show you how.



T-Shaped Marketing for Authors | Exclusive Kindle Edition

It’s FREE worldwide for five days on Amazon’s group of sites:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRJZCCX
Download your copy TODAY!

It’s FREE worldwide for five days on Amazon’s group of sites: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRJZCCX. Download your copy TODAY!

T-Shaped Marketing for Authors. The New Way to Sell Books.

Online marketing provides today’s authors with a vehicle to reach a worldwide audience where, in the past, they were pretty much 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 be Internet savvy to a degree. 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.

Co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin (2013), provides this succinct description of T-shaped marketing on his company’s blog:

“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).”

In other words, your deep knowledge/ability—the stem of the T—is the content you’ve written about in your book(s). The flat, horizontal part at the top represents the various creative and analytical skills you can learn to best utilize the Internet in selling your book(s).

Some of today’s most recognized companies used their own unique T-shaped marketing strategies (also referred to as “growth hacking”) to build their businesses quickly when little or no venture capital was available to them: Airbnb used some shrewd background coding to hack the Craigslist platform to boost its own site’s user experience; PayPal grew quickly by paying early users for referrals; and Dropbox used a strategy similar to PayPal’s by giving early users extra storage for referrals. These tactics piggybacked their other online efforts (e.g., SEO, PPC) to supercharge each company’s scalability, hence the term “growth hacking.”

Authors can do the same. They can use T-shaped marketing to their advantage, and many of today’s most successful online authors already do. Each ebook in this series will focus on one particular T-shaped marketing avenue so authors can learn to utilize several customized strategies:

* Online (paid) and Offline (unpaid) Book Reviews | Advertising vs. Publicity
* Email Marketing
* Advertorials and Blogging
* Content Syndication and Guest blogging
* HTML Coding for Beginners
* Mobile Marketing
* Pay-per-click (PPC) Advertising
* Search engine optimization SEO
* Social Marketing
* Video Marketing
* And the list goes on!




Authors are entrepreneurs, and T-shaped marketing is every entrepreneur’s friend. The top authors move more books by getting in front of their customers and communicating with them in a clear and consistent manner; and they do this by virtue of social media marketing, blogging, book reviews, email marketing, publicity/media tours, and all the other T-shaped marketing strategies we’ll be discussing. They do what’s necessary to make themselves stand out among all the rest for their particular genres, just as business people do with traditional companies.

The good news is it’s possible! There are examples right before your eyes—right inside these mini ebooks—of successful authors who have used T-shaped marketing to sell THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of books. You can use T-shaped marketing like a pro, too. I’ll show you how.

book reviews, email marketing, publicity/media tours, and all the other T-shaped marketing strategies we’ll be discussing. They do what’s necessary to make themselves stand out among all the rest for their particular genres, just as business people do with traditional companies.

The good news is it’s possible! There are examples right before your eyes—right inside these mini ebooks—of successful authors who have used T-shaped marketing to sell THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of books. You can use T-shaped marketing like a pro, too. I’ll show you how.

Content Syndication Welcome

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

A while ago, I shared a post with you regarding the differences between guest posting and content syndication, and how you can use both to improve your search engine ranking: [Guest Blogging and Content Syndication] T-Shaped Marketing for Authors.

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.

For those of you looking for some great content to post on your own blogs, but who are inundated with other work and just don’t have the time to write fresh content on a regular basis, I’m happy to share the wealth of information contained on the PPG Publisher’s Blog.

YOU CAN FIND EVEN MORE DETAILS ON CONTENT SYNDICATION BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK.

Feel free to use any of the posts you find here. Cut and paste whole or parts of whichever posts you would like to use. Just make sure to always attribute the original source so we don’t get dinged on the SEO front. That’s all I ask. You can do so by ensuring the following message appears at the top or bottom of your post:

This post first appeared on the PPG Publisher’s Blog here:
[insert direct link to the original post]. It has been republished with permission.

Here is a great example of how Alexander von Ness of Nessgraphica used one of my Quora posts on his own blog. Note how he acknowledged the original post at the bottom and also included a direct link to it: Independent Authors Earnings – Three Independent Authors Who are Earning $150,000+ Annually.

One more option for you to consider: add our Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed to your blog/website. You can find a link to it below, on the bottom right-hand side of this blog. Or simply click here to access it: https://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/feed/.

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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.



[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 exactly 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.

CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW!

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.