How to Build an Online Audience by Elgé Premeau at WWCON11

How To Build An Online Audience
Elgé Premeau
Willamette Writers Conference, WWCON11
  • Many source materials located here: http://www.emarketingstrategist.com/WW2011/BOA/
  • The days of “build it and they will come” are over on the internet, even if it ever existed.
  • It’s easy to build an audience when you have one, not so easy when you don’t.
  • Get smart
    • Know who you want to meet.
    • Know where to find them.
    • Know why they should help you.
  • Assumptions & Mindset
    • You have a website/blog or are working on one.
    • You will need to create content
    • You are willing to contact people you don’t know.
      • People like the idea of internet marketing because they want to hide out on their couch and avoid people. But in the beginning especially, you really need to reach out to people on an individual basis.
    • You will dedicate time on a weekly basis to do this. You don’t work out once and get rock-hard abs.
  • Online audience: A group of people who look forward to consuming the media you produce.
    • media is any information that gives them what they want.
    • it always comes back to the written word.
  • Your publisher is going to expect you to at least be a partner in marketing and promoting your book. Agents too look for people with an online audience.
  • When you don’t have an audience, you are essentially talking to yourself or half a dozen of your closest friends.
  • Dialogue is the key to building an online audience.
    • You can do this without ever using Facebook or Twitter.
  • How to do it
    • Step 1: Clearly define who you are trying to reach: readers, agents, industry people, influencers such as bloggers and book reviewers.
    • Step 2: Figure out where the people you are trying to reach hang out online.
    • Step 3: Building relationships with people who have larger audiences than you and are willing to promote or review your book.
    • Step 4: Drive traffic back to your home base: website, blog, social networking accounts, mailing list. 
      • Have a variety of ways for visitors to keep up with you, so you can stay in front of them: mailing list, twitter, etc.
  • This is not a linear process.
  • Step 1: who are you trying to reach?
    • Readers
      • Who would like to read your book?
      • What other types of books do they like to read?
      • What other hobbies do they have? (You’re not limited to book only websites.)
    • Agents & Publishers
      • Who do you want to work with?
      • What personality types would you be successful working with?
      • Consider having pages specific to your target markets: Should you maybe have a page targeted specific to literary agents?
    • Influencers
  • Biggest Challenge
    • You can’t connect with people when you don’t know where to find them.
  • Step 2: Find out where the people are online.
    • search : http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=list+of+book+blogs
    • sci-fi blogs: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=list+of+sci-fi+blogs
    • Google alerts
      • set up a search term: e.g. “sci-fi blogs”
      • then select frequency...
    • Blog Directories:
      • Technorati
        • Look for blogs, not posts, to find the blogs that on given topics, because you are looking for influencers on a topic, rather than a one-off post.
    • Search example...
      • searched on technorati for “book reviews”
      • find a site called the book smugglers. they list their review policy.
      • news from blogads book network.
      • click on that, it shows a book ads network
      • the network shows a list of all the blogs they use AND their readership level.
      • a good measure of how engaged blog readers are is how many comments they have on their blog.
        • one blogger has 3,000 comments on her post.
        • lots of good bloggers will easily have 200 to 300 posts.
      • research takes her to http://www.themillions.com
        • he links to websites he likes
    • Start making lists of people and websites
      • categorize them.
        • book lovers
        • book reviewers
        • journalists
        • industry experts
  • In PR, the good people have a big network of connections they can use.
    • now a lot of PR seems to consist just of broadcasting information.
  • Twitter
    • Great resource tool: 
    • [note to self: @contextual_life/scifi]
  • iGoogle http://www.google.com/ig
  • Bloggers like it when you comment on their blogs.
  • Bookmark on the web with delicious.com
    • Loved it for years.
    • Yahoo just sold them. 
    • A little leery...
  • Friends vs. Fans
    • Professional writers should have a fan page.
    • Don’t friend people from your personal account. 
    • Use your fan page to post professional stuff
    • Use your individual page to for family stuff.
  • Infrastructure
    • destination
      • blog
      • website
    • things for them to do
      • sign up mailing list (very powerful)
      • follow you on twitter
      • go to linkedin
    • Youtube
      • second largest search engine after google
  • Quality Content
    • What do you put through the pipes?
    • create content people look forward to
    • invest your time in quality content as opposed to more frequent content
  • Blog post I want to comment on...
    • Sometimes that’s a comment on his website.
    • Sometimes that’s a blog post on my website, and then I post it back on his website.
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