Traffic is king for self-publishing.
There is no doubt that earning money from self-publishing will become increasingly difficult. The enormous number of books, and especially ebooks, which are now published each and every day are flooding the market and making it extremely difficult for a self-published author to get noticed and by extension, to sell books and make money.
However, as self-publishing is by definition simply a new way of trying to sell a digital Internet product, perhaps it is time to go back to the basic idea of Internet marketing and forget about actually selling books. The difference in logic is that instead of blasting social media platforms with book promotion posts to send people to Amazon, concentrate on driving web traffic back to your own blog or website. This is where traffic is king. By doing so, it will create extra income opportunities through advertising or affiliate marketing and at the same time promote your books and you as an author.
Of course, your blog or website will be promoting your books, but by placing a high value on website traffic, there is the opportunity to derive additional income from site visitors. It is worth noting here that a $2.99 ebook sale generates about $1.98 in royalty payment. Yet one click on a Google Adsense advertisement by a site visitor can pay between $1.00 and $1.50. So why not shoot for both possibilities? Even if a site visitor doesn’t buy your ebook, you can still make some money.
Amazon Associates have an affiliate marketing program, which is another way to bring in revenue for a website or blog. There are also a number of pay-per-click advertising companies that operate in a similar fashion to Google.
So what do you need?
I would recommend a self-hosted WordPress blog because it is very easy to incorporate advertising and to install plugins to drive traffic to your site. For example, there are a number of free and paid plugins that stream posts to Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. These are the types of tools needed to build traffic. Of course, Google Search can deliver good traffic too, but more and more now, social media sites are becoming the true drivers of web traffic.
Also, keep building Twitter and Facebook followings, but with the thought in mind of building traffic and not just selling books.
Does it work? All I can say is that after I changed my thinking a year or so ago and concentrated on increasing traffic and forgot about selling books, my website income is now well in excess of my book sales income, which by good fortune has remained about the same as a year ago. That’s a good enough result for me. Traffic is king,