I am a self-published writer. And because I’m choosing to go this route instead of using traditional publishing, there’s more work on me to build my brand. Hence, many self-publishing writers don’t sell many, if any, books. To get readers you need to showcase your talent to an audience. How? Here’s 3 ways how to build your brand online.
You must build your brand online because that’s where your potential readers are now. Gone are the days when people got their information from newspapers and TV. Americans spend about 24 hours a week online, on average. Globally, people spend 16 hours a week online per 2017 statistics.
Plus, it’s cheaper and easier to build a brand online. Advertising companies compete with their ad pricing, meaning you can run ads for very little money. Later in this article, I’ll cover this in more detail.
How To Build Your Brand: Social Media
You probably started this step without knowing it. Using social media platforms to advertise your self-published books is an easy yet inexpensive way.
However, many writers spread themselves too thin by creating accounts on several social media platforms. This is a problem because posting and monitoring your account on several platforms consumes your time. Thus, you spend less time writing and publishing.
So what should you do? Choose one to two social media platforms to target readers. This decreases the amount of administration time. And choose a platform you want to use, and is easy for you to use. If you choose one with a high learning curve, you spend more time learning how to use it instead of writing. Finally, you want to use one with a mobile app as you can post on the go!
I use Twitter almost exclusively to build my brand. This platform has a great writing community, a big self-publishing community, and it’s very easy to use. Plus, it’s easy to stay on the pulse of the reading community, as that changes.
Finally, I run ads on Twitter discussing my books and short stories to gain an audience. Yes, this requires money but there’s no minimum cost to run a Twitter ad. Granted, if you send less your ads won’t be seen by that many people.
How To Build Your Brand: Buy A Domain Name
As a self-published writer, your brand ties to your name or pen-name. Thus, you need to buy a domain name related to your name. This way when people search for you, your work comes up first in the results.
Again, this cost money to initially buy and renew every year, but the costs are very reasonable. Depending on the type of domain name bought, you may spend anywhere from $10 to $20.
I use Namecheap for all of my domain names, and I highly recommend them due to their ease of use, fair costs, and customer service.
How To Build Your Brand: Build A Website
To go with your domain name, you need a website to build your brand online. This should contain information about yourself, the list of your works, where to buy those books, and a way for people to get in contact with you.
Now, there are free ways to develop a website. WordPress.com offers a free edition. In addition, Wix offers a free website plan. However, I must caution you that these free editions are usually limited, and you will probably spend money to get more features.
I spent money developing my website, as I used the self-hosted version of WordPress. This involved more work for myself, but I know how to do that work and I have more control over the look and design of my website.
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