Y’all know me and my hotwashes. I decided to write a full-up recap and analysis of the promotional period for Alliances, up until the release yesterday. There’s some post-release promo going on in the form of a blog tour, which I may write up a quick one after that’s over.
Since it’s a lot of stuff, I’m breaking it up into parts. Today’s review focuses on just the content that was on the blog, since that was the center of the promotional universe. Tomorrow, I’ll look at some of the specific metrics I was tracking.
Although the “project” was supposed to start 1 Jan, I ended up putting up Alliances for preorder on 18 December. But the corresponding blog content didn’t appear on the blog until 5 January, the first Monday of the new year.
For most of all of the blog posts (except for Wednesdays), I added this graphic at the end of all the blog posts. It linked directly to the Amazon page. Did it work? I’m not sure. I don’t know if people saw it and didn’t realize to click on it.
For Empath, I’ve decided to put the blurb and cover of the book at the end of every post (again, except for guest blog posts), with button-links to the ebook stores. That way people can make a decision within the post.
As always, Monday Blogs reigns supreme on all metrics. Alliances focused content on themes from the book, and some other content that I had on stand by (why yes, I have tons of stuff just waiting in the wings). The trend continues to be higher for content about me personally, indie publishing, or general non-book stuff, and lower when it comes to stuff about the book itself.
For Empath #MondayBlogs, I’ve taken the seven things that scare me the most, and written about them. I think it’ll not only be a big driver to the blog, but it’ll be interesting to folks who’ve been following me for a while to see what truly scares me.
The Alliances Teaser Tuesdays were a bit of a dud. I tried to choose passages that were applicable to whatever I blogged about on Monday, which was fun, but it often felt like I was talking about something on Monday that I didn’t show until Tuesday.
Empath offers an opportunity to add in more of the “personal” stuff that tends to draw more traffic.
Because the book comes from such a real place in my life, I’ve put the teasers, but also a discussion about the teaser and where it came from. There will be some spoilers, especially about the things that Lauren comes to realize about herself, but I think some people like to know the background behind books.
Guest Blog Wednesdays
Guest blog Wednesdays were mixed in terms of total traffic driven to the site, but I still believe in doing them because I like having someone else do the talking. Alliances was a blog swap, meaning they got to come on my blog and talk about “trust, friendship, support” etc and I went on their blog and talked about a bunch of different things. They also got their own graphic that not only went on their post on my blog, but vice versa.
Empath guest blog posts are centered on the idea of facing fears (in line with the books). I was pretty excited that so many authors were willing to explore the things that scare them, the way I am. In this case, I’ve decided to just do guest blogs, but I will definitely do blog swaps in the future when it suits the theme of promotion.
Throw-back Thursdays were mixed as well, but it’s a day I can present content and not have to worry about writing it. Same went for Archive Day on Saturdays and Sunday Blog Share on Sundays. I also like to go back to when I was actually writing the book I’m promoting, to see how far I’ve come in the writing of it.
Friday Book Spotlight
Fridays were reserved for the Friday Book Spotlight, a non-review-way for me to continue promoting other authors. I think they worked pretty well, and allowed me the flexibility to pick people up as the weeks wore on. Because I was hosting someone else, of course the traffic spiked on those days.
Chart #1 below shows the Google Analytics from 1 Jan-10 March, divided into Paid traffic (I had Google Ads running nearly the entire time), Organic traffic (so people typing my URL into a search bar, usually resulting from conventions), and the two main drivers – Facebook and Twitter.
This only represents about 64% of my total traffic, since Google Analytics puts a limit on the number of sessions displayed.
Obviously, new users were a big drive on the paid traffic, but what I’m seeing is that most of my traffic was driven by people who had been to my site before, but with a healthy dose of folks who hadn’t been to my site before.
For those who don’t know, a “bounce rate” is the number of people who come to your site and then leave without clicking on anything else. What it doesn’t take into account is whether they spent an hour reading through the one page or what, so it can be a little misleading. Generally, a lower bounce rate is preferred.
Finally, compared to the end of Fall for the Indie Book, the results were mostly positive or even – which is a good sign.
Overall, from a blog content perspective, I’m pretty happy with the results of Alliances. I saw positive growth in all of the right places, and things mostly happened as I expected them to.
For the next quarter, I’m shifting my focus away from Facebook and Twitter and more onto Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’ve begun to notice the way others are using these tools, including creating new graphics for every blog post with the title in them.
Anywho – if you’re still reading, good on ya! Hope it was helpful for helping you figure out your own content for your blog!
And, of course, if you ever need any help with promotion, marketing, or the business of indie marketing, feel free to contact Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing and we’d (I’d) be more than happy to help you out!