Being a writer nowadays necessitates having more skills than just being able to spell and use the third conditional. Technology and the Internet have become so much a part of books and book marketing that it is impossible to avoid learning new skills. Writers now have to be computer literate and adapt to a rapidly changing literary world.
Whether a writer is traditionally or self-published, there is no escaping the need now to promote yourself. Yes, yourself first, your books second. The three key facets of Internet promotion are Social Media, a well written and maintained blog and a website. But how do you know if you are succeeding? How do you know if your blog is being read? How do you measure your presence?
There are a plethora of free data collecting services available on the Internet, but the first and most essential is Google Analytics. It’s free and can be used to track both your website and blog. The information it gathers is extremely detailed and includes visits, page views, top content, referring sources, entrance pages and bounce rates just to name a few of the types of information available. Webmaster Tools, also by Google is the second essential. This service assists in getting your content listed by Google and therefore easier to find on the Internet. It also details search queries and links to your blog and website. There are many other tools available, but for your blog and website these two are a must.
Your success on Social Networks can also be measured. If you have a Facebook Page, ‘Insights’ is a data tracking service provided by Facebook. Hootsuite, a Twitter desktop application, includes very good analytics to track ‘clicks’, popular links and regions. If your blog is hosted on WordPress, there is a free plugin Social Metrics that measures your effectiveness on all the major Social Networking services.
If you are to have any chance of success in marketing yourself and your books, you have to understand your market. So get ‘tooled up’ and you’ll stand a much better chance of being a bestseller.