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The Money’s in the List

$By Joel Friedlander

As authors have flocked to the internet and social media to meet readers, get market insight, create communities of interest and, perhaps, build a robust web asset of their own, many have run into a problem. How will all this activity translate into the income necessary to continue to do all the marketing and branding?

 

After all, most of us aren’t involved in social media, blogging, or other online activities just to change the world, to tell as many people as possible our stories, or to improve people’s lives. These are all noble aims, and many of us hope to accomplish some of them, but there’s that one inconvenient truth: we all need to make a living somehow.

 

There’s a “missing link” in the fan-finding, Facebook-liking, and blog-posting process that so many authors are filling up their time with, and that’s building an email list.

 

A Sad Truth about Author Websites

 

Sadly, if you surf the web looking at author websites, you’ll find that many of them lack this essential function: they have no sign-up place for people to add their names to an email list. Many of these blogs offer an opportunity to sign up for the blog articles, but all that will do in most cases is add you to a subscriber list that will be sent each blog post as it’s published. That’s not the same thing as your own email list, although there are some email providers who can combine the two functions.

 

On other sites you’ll see an “opt-in” box where you can enter your email address and perhaps your first and/or last name, too. In exchange, you’ll be promised a free download, or a free newsletter, or perhaps a free short course in a subject that’s related to what the author is writing about on the blog. This opt-in box is the sign that the blogger is actively building an email list.

 

You might be wondering why this is so important. And it is important. In fact, I consider it the most important website element for any author who intends to make their writing and publishing into a sustainable business.

 

The Purpose of Social Media

 

You might think you don’t need an email list, and I’m not suggesting it’s a good idea for every single author. For instance, if you want to become a novelist but haven’t published anything yet, it might be challenging to build a list particularly if you’re not sure yet what kind of books you want to write.

 

But for the vast majority of authors, an email list is the perfect complement to your other marketing activities, regardless of the publishing path you’ve chosen. Since most of those activities are likely taking place in social media, perhaps we should look at what all those connections are really good for.

 

 

Social media is good for:

  • finding communities of readers
  • engaging with readers and other writers
  • determining how much interest exists for your topic
  • building a community of fans who will support your work
  • keeping up with current developments in your field
  • building “buzz” when you’re launching your book

 

But notice that selling books or other related products and services are not really the best uses of social media. No, it’s really more about being “social,” whatever that means to you.

 

To me, that means meeting people who share my interests, finding out about new products and services, hearing about mass media events, and keeping track of breaking news.

 

The Importance of the Network

 

Once people find out about your content, you have the opportunity to… Continue reading here:  https://forums.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-2231?ref=1466658&utm_id=6182&cp=70170000000c3cP&ls=Email&sls=CSP_Newsletter_Members

15 comments

  1. Mary Fuller says:

    I just want to tell you that I’m beginner to blogs and don’t have a list but actually loved you’re website. Very likely I’m want to bookmark your site . You certainly come with wonderful stories. Appreciate it for sharing your blog.

    • Hi – yes, in the course we are about to release we teach a range of skills and strategies for building your list. I’ll email you as soon as the program is released. Thanks and wishing you a glorious day!

  2. Valeria says:

    There is certainly a lot to find out about this subject. I love all the points you have made. I’ve heard people say before about building a list but I didn’t really know how to do it. Certainly something to think more about.

  3. zac macmillan says:

    Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and terrific style and design.|

    • Hi Chas and thanks for the comment. While I do usually have a free video or report with a sign-up box, at the moment I have taken it down while I prepare the next free training video. I believe in only providing quality content so I’d rather have it down for a while than recycle old material (that’s still quality material, however the industry is constantly changing and hence my training materials need to keep up with the changes). Thank you again for your comment and I look forward to hearing more from you! Wishing you a glorious day!

  4. Camista Leuovo says:

    Hello, I discovered your blog via Google at the same time as looking for a similar subject. I’m new to writing my book and I had no idea about building a list to help sell it. That’s a good idea! I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  5. Georgetta Macray says:

    Great article. I know I should have a way to capture reader’s information but I haven’t done it – but like you say, “you can have results or excuses, not both” so today I will make that change on my website. I have a short story I could give them for free for signing up. Thanks, Ms St John.

    • Hi Georgetta and congratulations – I checked out your site and saw that you’ve made the change – well done! The main thing to remember when communicating with your ‘list’ is that you provide VALUE. Think about – or better still, ASK – your readers what they want to receive from you. I’ve temporarily removed the sign-up box from this site as I’m updating the ‘value’ part and I’d rather not have a sign-up there in the meantime. Great work!

    • Hi Carmen – while info on creating list building tools is not covered in the writing and publishing courses, if you’d like to email me, I will give you a few suggestions and tips. Thanks and wishing you a fabulous day!

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