We all know that having an book will give you expert status. When you tell someone you are an author or hand them your book, they immediately see you as an authority on your topic.
However, in today’s world, experts are found most often on the internet. Someone looking for a consultant or coach will look online by doing a search on their favorite search engine. Journalists even look for experts sources for their articles, radio shows or television programs by doing Google searches. Conference planners find expert speakers this way as well. If you—meaning your blog, website or book—can be discovered on the first Google search engine results page (SERP), you are golden. You are in. You’re seen as an expert or authority in your subject or professional field. That means you’ll have increased income, more speaking gigs, more media exposure, more clients, and more book sales.
How do you make that happen? The easiest way is with a blog. However, you don’t do it with just any blog. You do it with a blog focused on the area of your expertise or business and on the subject of your book. Of course, your book must also be focused on your expertise and business.
Blogs Give You Expert Status
According to a recent survey done by Technorati.com, an aggregator of blogs, 56 percent of all bloggers say their blog has helped them establish a position as a thought leader within an industry. In addition, 58 percent say they are better known in their industry because of their blog.
Pamela Slim is a good example. Pamela’s blog, Escape from Cubicle Nation, is one of the top career and marketing blogs on the web. A former corporate manager and entrepreneur herself for more than a decade, she blogs about the questions and concerns faced by first-time entrepreneurs. Doing so landed her a traditional book deal and expert status. She helps frustrated employees in corporate jobs break out and start their own business. When you look at her website, you can see that Pamela Slim is an expert. Her blog makes it clear as well.
Or use me as an example. After just five months of blogging on the topic of how to blog a book my blog, How to Blog a Book, I achieved #1 Google status. This means you can find it first (after the advertisements) on the SERP page for the search terms “how to blog a book,” blog a book” or “blogging a book.” In the eyes of those who search for information on this topic, this made me the leading authority on blogging books. I garnered a traditional book deal, speaking engagements and developed a coaching business around the book and the blog.
Why Book Authors Want to Achieve Expert Status Online
Let’s apply these examples to books. The goal of getting on the first Google SERP is extremely important. Most people who do searches on the internet don’t look past that first page. You and your book need to show up on that first page if you want to become discoverable—if you want to be found by potential readers, customers and clients. Not only that, you want the links that show up on Google to be relevant to those people’s searches. The titles of the blog posts, articles, websites, etc., have to show that you are an expert. They have to be links to your book and to blog posts you’ve written on the subject of our book as well as to topics related to your book and your business.
Five out of the ten links on the Google SERP above (click to enlarge) point to my book, my blog or to guest posts I’ve written for other sites. For example, the fact that I’ve written a post for Mari Smith’s blog (see the second arrow) and Social Media Examiner (below—click to enlarge) also make me look like an authority on my topic, because these are highly trafficked sites and are run by experts. Smith is an author and Facebook expert.
If the links they find on Google’s first SERP are authoritative and relevant, searchers will click through to your blog. They will read your posts. They will discover more about you. They will begin to trust you and eventually explore what else you have to offer, such as your products and services. They will also purchase your book.
That’s the whole point, after all—to gain more sales. Writing an book does you no good if it doesn’t boost your book sales or the business you have built around your book. Nor does it do you much good if no one finds you or your book. When your book is easily found on the first Google SERP, you are likely to sell more copies. Why? Because those searchers who find it there and think it is relevant to their search will click through and purchase it—especially if they’ve looked at some of the other links that relate to you and your work and make them believe you are the expert they seek.
Eight Ways to Boost Your Expert Status—and Book Sales—With a Blog
Getting on that first SERP isn’t really as hard as you think. You don’t even have to know that much about search engine optimization (SEO) or blogging techniques. Here are my top six tips for achieving expert status online with your blog.
- Write focused content—Use your blog as your “main station” where you produce great, focused content that relates to your business and to your book. Do this consistently (2-7 times per week).
- Tie into social networks—“Transmit” this great content to your “satellites” stations—your social networks. Every time you write a blog post, share the link and some information about it in a status update on as many social networks as possible.
- Encourage reader engagement—Make sure your readers can easily comment on and share your posts. Have “shareware” on your blog so they can “like,” “tweet” and generally send your posts out to their following and talk about you and your work.
- Write great titles—Be as careful about your titles as you are about your content. Make them compelling, funny, engaging, shocking, intriguing, or newsy. Make sure they provide the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) factor for your readers, since they most often read posts that offer them high value for their lives. Do whatever it takes to get people to click on them.
- Use keywords—You don’t need to know a lot about keywords or SEO. Stick to your main topic (your business and the subject of your book). With each post, make sure you choose a primary word that describes the subject of the post; this should be a word you think people will search for often. Then use it in your title, in the first paragraph of your post, and several other times as you write (if you can do so naturally). If you simply stay focused on your topic, you will do the latter naturally.
- Guest blog—If you can connect with other bloggers in your area of expertise, it’s a great idea to provide them with free content. When you do this, you get introduced to their followers as an authority on your topic. Appearing on another experts blog increases your expert status. Some of that blogger’s followers will go to your blog to check you out, possibly become readers or customers. They will find your blog or website by following the links in the bio customarily included at the end of a guest post. Any links going into your blog or out of your blog help you rise up in the SERPs as well.
- Remind readers you are an author—Mention in your posts that you are the author of a book and link to it. The links are good for SEO and knowing you are an author will increase your credibility and trust in your reader’s eyes.
- Provide a call to action—If you want your readers to purchase your book or services, be sure to provide a call to action in your posts or at the end of your posts. Another great selling mechanism, however, is a soft sell. Simply mention something related to your book in the post and provide the hyperlink to Amazon, so they can easily purchase the book.
- Have a content plan—A content plan helps you stay focused and write and publish posts regularly that support your brand, business and book. It will be easier for you to blog on a regular basis if you don’t have to search for material but know what you need to write on any given day.
- Tie into the news—Let the world know that you have something to say about how your subject relates to what goes on in the world. This increases your expertise from a small area to a broad one. Plus, when you can tie your posts into the news, or your book into the news, you’ll garner more traffic—readers.
Of course, you can always blog another ebook while you’re at it. That will increase your expert status even more.
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