Book Marketing Blogs

by Penny Sansevieri
How to Analyze Your Website Traffic
May 22, 2013by: Paula
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For many of us, traffic and website analytics are very foreign ideas. But understanding traffic and reading website analytics reports doesn’t have to be a complicated endeavor. First up, let’s break down the terminology:

Page views: Each time someone lands on your site (when they load one of your pages) it generates a page view. Keep in mind that this tallies regardless of who visits or how many times they’ve been to the site. To some degree it is a bad measurement of traffic. We all love returning visitors, but most of us really care about those valuable first time folks.

Visits: This measure shares how many users have spent time on your website, regardless of the number of pages each user views.


Unique visitors: This is an important stat and as the name implies, this metric counts only the unique users who visit the site. If a particular visitor comes to the site every day, it still only counts as one visit.

Pages/visit: This metric shows you how many pages a visitor perused during each session. The higher this number, the better.

Average visit duration: How much time do users spend on the site during each visit? While you want someone to spend a long time on a site, the average time spent is generally 3-5 min and sometimes less. Obviously longer is better, but currently the only site that gets massive visit duration is Facebook, with an average of twenty minutes per visit.

Bounce rate: This number indicates people who “bounce” off of the page. So, someone visits and then decide they are either in the wrong place or you’ve sent them into “surf shock” and they leave. Generally the lower the number the better, but the average bounce rate is around 50-59%.

% new visits: This measure is the percentage of your traffic from first-time users who have never been to the site before. If you’re eager to get repeat people to your site (and this will often depend on the nature of your business) you’ll want this number lower than your repeating visitor number.

Understanding Google Analytics

These days, most websites use Google Analytics to measure traffic. It’s considered by most web designers to be the gold standard of measurement, and best of all, it’s free.

Getting Google Analytics is easy. You simply register on the site and it will give you a snippet of code that will go on each page of your website. Your web person can add this if it wasn’t installed when your site was built. Most hosting companies come with a C-panel backend that measures traffic. Even so, I highly recommend getting Google Analytics for accuracy and some other reasons you’ll see in a minute.

Once you set up Google Analytics, give it a few days to gather data. Once you do, you’ll start to see numbers appear on your dashboard. Google Analytics continues to update their system and recently launched a beta version of real time traffic, available. I tend to watch these real-time traffic numbers pretty closely. It’s a great tool if you’re on top of a promotion, letting you see what kind of traffic you’re driving to your website in real time.

Getting to Know Your Data

When you first start looking through the numbers, you’ll want to get a sense of the things we described above: Page Views, Bounce Rate, etc. If you’re worried that your bounce rate is too high, consult your web person to see if there’s anything you can do to lower it. One of the areas I spend a lot of time on is the Traffic from All Sources page, so I can gauge what hits are coming from where. Not only will this help me create referring traffic from various channels, but it also helps me know what’s working and what isn’t.

Measuring Social Media

One of the most exciting additions to Google Analytics has been their tracking of social media. This is a fantastic tool that lets you see how much of your traffic is coming from social media. So, what’s a good mix? I think half of your traffic should come from social media; the rest should come organically from Google.

Measuring AdWords

Google Analytics can also connect to your AdWords campaign, allowing you to measure how your online ads are performing. If you run ads on your site, click Content > AdSense > Overview to see which pages are earning the most revenue (and how much). You’ll need to link them together in the AdSense tool first.

How much traffic you get and how well it’s converting will depend on your reach and your website, but knowing these numbers is important. Remember that the significance of each category will depend largely on the industry you’re in. If you want lots of returning visitors, then the percent of new visits number will need to be lower. If you’re looking for lots of new traffic then unique visitors is what you need to pay attention to.

Getting to know your traffic is not only important, but mandatory if you’re going to know how effective your online marketing is. Also, knowing your Google Analytics numbers will show you if there’s a problem on your site, like low conversion, which could be because of a broken page or broken link.

RHIPExcerpt from Red Hot Internet Publicity: An Insider’s Guide to Marketing Online by Penny Sansevieri, available now on

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AME Blog Carnival: tips and tricks for writers and authors – May 20, 2013
May 20, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the May 20, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. We’ve got some great tips on writing and book marketing in this edition. Thank you to the contributors!

Book Marketing

Jo Linsdell presents PROMO DAY: The Benefits of Attending Promo Day posted at PROMO DAY, saying, “Promo Day is a free online event for people in the writing industry dedicated to promoting, networking, and learning. This year’s event takes place on Saturday 25th May at”

holiday beads


Chrys Fey presents Writing About: Holidays posted at Write With Fey, saying, “In our lives, we treat Thanksgiving (the day for giving thanks) and Christmas (a time for love and peace) with special importance. Then why can’t we give these holidays equal importance in the stories we write? We can!”

Bryan Chau presents Keeping Poetry In Motion – The Breakdown posted at Success Pen Pal, saying, “poetry, writing, success, breakdown analysis, etc.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of May 13, 2013
May 17, 2013by: Paula
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Get some marketing ideas with these top tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include using Pinterest analytics, supporting your favorite author, optimizing your website, and more. Happy marketing!


* Myth-busting: Self-Publishing to Pick up a Publisher. What You Should Know

Should you self-publish with the idea that you’ll be able to use that book as leverage for a traditional publishing contract? One author weighs in:

* Check Your Website: What’s Located in One of the Most Important Sections?

Your website might as well be a billboard people glance at while speeding down the interstate. You have only a snippet of time to prove your site is worthy of a visit:


think of your website as a billboard

* Readers: How You Can Help Your Favorite Authors

Here are a few things you can do to help support your favorite author – and for authors, don’t hesitate to post this list somewhere on your website. If you need help (and who doesn’t) you need to ask for it:

* Managing Your Personal Brand with Facebook Lists – A Great Tool!

Lists allow Facebook users the ability to either grant or deny profile access to Facebook friends depending on the relationship you have with them:

* How to Use Pinterest Analytics: 6 Metrics Worth Measuring

It’s important to know if your social media efforts are working:

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The Real Reasons to Write Your Book a talk with Guy Kawasaki
May 15, 2013by: Amy
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Why are you writing your book? Guy Kawasaki breaks down the real reasons you should write a book (hint: it’s not for the money). This is from a presentation Guy did at AuthorU in Denver!



AME Blog Carnival: tips and tricks for writers and authors – May 13, 2013
May 13, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the May 13, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. We’ve got some great tips on book marketing, self-publishing, and writing. Thank you to the contributors!

Nina Amir presents What’s A Market and Why Do You Need One? posted at Write Nonfiction NOW!, saying, “If you want to publish a successful book, you must have a market that produces enough book sales to reach your sales goals or those of a publisher. Many aspiring authors write their books without first evaluating markets to determine if enough interest exists to support sales of their books and, thereby, publication. Or they propose books to publishers without doing so only to be rejected because no market exists for their books. In this post you learn what a target market is for a book and why you need one.”

Book Marketing

Kimberley Grabas presents How to Market a Book and Strengthen Your Author Platform with Goodreads posted at Your Writer Platform, saying, “Imagine a magical place that gathers together 17 million of the most passionate readers who want to talk about, review and buy your book. A place that not only allows, but encourages, both new and established authors to promote their books. A place that provides FREE opportunities to – get your book in front of thousands of buyers, – conduct informal research (polls), – participate in a highly viral environment, – join or create groups with like-minded people on every literary topic imaginable, – create an author presence, connecting your book, your blog and your social media platforms. Now imagine if Amazon purchased this magical realm of high quality, book-buying, book-loving influencers in the spring of 2013, likely leading to big opportunities to align your Amazon marketing to this Utopia. If such a paradise existed, would you want to be a part of it?”

circle of chairs in library


Sarah Bolme presents Smart Books posted at Marketing Christian Books.

Social Media

John Schmoll presents Taking the Plunge: Marketing Your Small Business posted at Frugal Rules, saying, “Running a small business can be cost limiting on a number of levels. However, with a little creative thought you can often find very effective ways through social media to market your small business and gain more clients.”


Chrys Fey presents Writing About: A Kidnapping posted at Write With Fey, saying, “I wrote a kidnapping in my book and figured that other aspiring writers may need to, too. This post has tips on how to write about a kidnapping effectively.”

David Leonhardt presents You might be a writer posted at A Ghost Writers Blog, saying, “If you ask your child whether the new kid in school is the protagonist or the antagonist, you might be a writer … and dozens more clues that might implicate you in this writing conspiracy.”

UB Hawthorn presents ADVICE FOR WRITERS: Q&A with Story Circle Network’s Mary Jo Doig | The Mindful Word posted at The Mindful Word.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of May 1, 2013
May 10, 2013by: Paula
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Some great insights have appeared on Twitter, and we’re highlighting a few of the top tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include proof that social media drives sales, whether free eBooks hook readers, a Twitter guide for authors, and more. Best of luck with your marketing efforts!


* How to Keep Writing – Even When You Hit Roadblocks

Every writer dreams of writing a book, and every published author dreams of having a bestseller. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. One writer shares how she’s moving forward anyway, and it provides great inspiration:

* Using Twitter, a Guide for Authors New to Twitter

If you haven’t used Twitter yet, or would like some ideas, this post offers some great tips:

report or study













* 7 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Engagement

Are you hearing crickets on social media? Here’s how you can jump-start your engagement:

* Do Free eBooks Really Hook New Readers?

Has the glut of freebies worn down readers? An interesting discussion about the pros and cons of free eBook promotions:

* How to Optimize Your Amazon Book Page to Sell More Books

These six areas are key pieces to your Amazon page being a successful sales tool:

* Proof that Social Media Drives Sales! [Research]

Social media generates 14% of all leads and 13% of all customers, and customers translate to sales, according to Hubspot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing whitepaper:

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Red Hot Internet Publicity: Words on Your Website
May 8, 2013by: Paula
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Define Your Goals

Before you put pen to paper to write your sales copy for your website, be clear about your goals. We talked earlier about your goals for building a website—pull those out and look at them again. While you may be building the website to sell more cookies, as you start to look at the broader reach of your message, your goals might change. Perhaps you can put together gift baskets too.

Make sure the copy you are about to write targets those goals. And don’t forget to use all the keywords you just selected!

Sell the Benefits

Save the small talk for your next cocktail party. When it comes to filling websites with words, beginners tend to lean towards what I like to call the “cocktail party approach to website copy.” What do I mean by this? Well, let’s pretend you’re at a cocktail party, you’re huddled with a group of friends gabbing about everything under the sun, and around you hundreds of other conversations are mingling with your own, making the voices sound like a hum. That’s what it’s like to a website visitor when you cram a lot of cocktail party copy onto your home page. It’s confusing and it’s white noise. Chances are good that it will result in a “click” signaling the party’s end, your visitor long gone.


Instead, write copy that speaks to your readers and tells them the benefits of your product. Sell the sizzle not the steak.

Make it Scannable

Remember that Internet users scan websites and that relates to how you write good copy. When I spoke to Susan Gilbert, she told me about the elements of good copy. “The Internet has made ‘brochure-style’ writing obsolete. Studies have clearly shown that people do not read websites—they skim them. That means your copy must be written to be eye catching, visually compelling and keep the visitor on your site.”

How do you write scannable website copy? By incorporating lots of

  • white space
  • bullet points
  • highlighted and bolded words
  • images

In addition, your copy needs to use simple words, short sentences and include the keywords your site visitor probably used to find your site in a search engine.

Stay On Point

You should distill your web copy down to the most important points and eliminate everything else. You have less than a second to grab someone’s attention.

Don’t risk overwhelming your reader. Remember, it’s not about you, it’s about them.

Use Captivating Headlines

Be sure to make your message obvious. Use headlines, lists and bold text to convey your message. Spend some serious time really thinking about a catchy headline.

What Do I Get Out of the Deal?

When it comes to sales copy, the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) factor is more important than ever. I have already mentioned the importance of selling the benefits when writing good copy. Then I talked with Susan Gilbert and she emphasized this point: “People want to know what benefit they’ll receive from buying your product or service. Don’t be shy—tell them! Will they get free delivery? Will they make more money? Will they look better? Although visitors may want to know you, the person, sales copy is much more about telling them how their life will be better, safer, happier and richer once they’ve bought from you.” Hopefully between Susan and me we have hammered this point home.

Picking the Perfect Font

When it comes to a font for your website, it’s easy to get carried away. Temptation might dictate that you use a fancy scroll or a really bold font. Wrong.

The challenge with using unique fonts is that the person at the other end might not be able to read it. When you land on a site that’s full of that horrible Courier font (my apologies to all you Courier lovers out there, this usually indicates that the site is using a font your computer can’t read.

Sometimes, when people want to use special fonts, they’ll turn them into graphics instead. But that’s good and bad. First, search engines can’t spider graphics (we’ll discuss the spider factor later). And second, it increases the load time of your website. The trick really is to pick a font (preferably a sans serif) that’s both readable and friendly to the eye, meaning that it doesn’t tire the eye the way a serif font does. So, what’s the difference between the two? When a web designer talks about a serif typeface, he means fonts like Times or Century Schoolbook, where the characters (letters) have little accents or curves. The small downward curves that appear at each end of the cross on the top and the inverted curves at the foot of the letter are known as serifs. “Sans” is French and literally means “without.”

Don’t Get Font-Happy

Do not overwhelm your site with a bunch of different fonts. It simply takes too much work for the reader to process the different letters and fonts. Nothing will send your visitors away faster.

RHIPExcerpt from Red Hot Internet Publicity: An Insider’s Guide to Marketing Online by Penny Sansevieri, available now on

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AME Blog Carnival: tips and tricks for writers and authors – May 6, 2013
May 6, 2013by: Paula
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Welcome to the May 6, 2013 edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors. We’ve got tips on self-publishing, writing, and book marketing to offer inspiration and ideas. Thank you to all of this week’s contributors!

typing on keyboard

















Book Marketing

L.R.Knost presents Authors and Social Media: Book Promotion 101 posted at Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources.

Mihnea presents How to make a book-signing event successful posted at Voicu Mihnea Simandan, saying, “Here are 10 things to have in mind when you do a book signing. These apply mostly to self-published authors, but I see no reason why you wouldn’t acknowledge these even if your publisher is the organizer of the event.”

Joel Friedlander presents Author Blogging 101: Introduction to SEO, Part 1 posted at The Book Designer, saying “Confused about SEO? This article helps to explain how it works.”


Dana Lynn Smith presents The Biggest Mistakes Self-Published Authors Make – The Savvy Book Marketer posted at The Savvy Book Marketer, saying, “Some authors pour their soul (and sometimes considerable expense) into their books and are disappointed when sales don’t materialize as they expect. Learn about five of the most common mistakes that self-published authors make, along with tips on how to avoid them.”


Chrys Fey presents How To Write A Short Story posted at Write With Fey.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of tips and tricks for writers and authors using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Best of the Web Book Marketing Tips for the Week of April 29, 2013
May 3, 2013by: Paula
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Get some book promotion and social media insights from our roundup of some of the best tweets from the past week, courtesy of bloggers, marketers, authors and others. The topics include getting more traffic from Pinterest, creating an author press kit, approaching a literary agent, and more. Happy marketing!


press pack









* How to Approach a Literary Agent

Written by a real-life AP Watt Agent, this blog post will give you the scoop on what agents look for from authors:

* What I Learned From Creating a Viral Slideshare

Slideshare presentations can be an effective marketing tool. One user shares his experience and offers tips:

* Is your Business Right for Pinterest?

Discover how to participate on Pinterest, create awareness and sell products:

* Book Marketing: Creating Your Author Press Kit

A press kit is a great item to have on hand before you pitch your book. Learn how to create the perfect press kit:

* 5 Ways to Get More Traffic from Pinterest

Successful bloggers and brands using Pinterest offer their advice for using the site:

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Secrets to Turning Your Website Into a Selling Machine!
May 1, 2013by: Paula
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Finding Your Keywords

First, figure out what you want your keywords to be. What sort of searches do you want to come up for? This is important because pinning yourself to the wrong search term, could get you poor results. Getting someone too early or too late in the buying process may get you a lot of traffic, but it may not be the right kind. Figure out where their point of entry is. This isn’t something that you can search online using Google AdWords, Trends or Insight—it’s something you learn by researching your market. I learned about this when I did my own research. I plugged in a bunch of keywords I wanted to rank for to see what came up.

First, gather some search terms. Not all of these will be your keywords, they are just your starting point. They might end up being perfect or you might scrap the list and start over. Your research will point you in the right direction.

Let’s say you have a series of keywords you are considering but you aren’t sure what other variables folks might be searching on. Hop on over to When you land on this site, you’ll see a simple box to plug in your keyword. When you do, you’ll get back variations of searches that come up in sites like YouTube, Google, Yahoo! and Bing. It will also show these terms as used on, which can be helpful if you are selecting tags to go with your business. You’ll want to spend some time here, clicking the various links to find different ways that consumers search on these keywords. You also might find a better search term than what you currently use, or it might validate your research. Either way, it’s a fantastic site and one I use often.

Once you get your keywords nailed down, Google AdWords is a great place to research their popularity. You want to know that your keywords are getting enough searches to matter to your traffic. If you go to Google AdWords, punch in your keywords and then turn off the broad match so you narrow down your results a bit more. You can also play around with “exact” and “phrase,” but I usually stick with all three of those unchecked to see what kind of results I get.

Generally I look for Global Monthly Searches that are above 650; I’d rather it be higher, but if you are searching a niche term, that might be the best you can do.

How to Use Keywords

You now need to know how to use the keywords you spent so much time finding. First and foremost, incorporate them into the copy on your home page. I recommend keeping the verbiage on your home page to no more than 250 words, but make sure that this text is keyword rich. Address your visitors’ concerns, not yours. Remember that the first few lines of your website copy will show up in searches, so make sure it’s relevant to the audience.

The URL you’re using could make a difference. When we did our keywords, we established that we wanted to come up for the term “Book marketing,” so we started using it everywhere, in our Facebook Page ( , on our YouTube Channel ( and even in our URL. I bought

Now, we don’t use this URL per se, it just points to our main domain name which is Why did we do that? Because the use of your core search terms is key to driving traffic and getting higher in the search rank. Want proof? Before we did all of this, our website was generally at the bottom of page one on Google or on page two when you plugged in “book marketing” in the search bar. Three months after we made these changes (keywords on the home page and keywords in our Facebook branding, YouTube and URL), we came up #3 in search, sometimes #2 and on a stupendously good day, we’re #1. Now that’s a great traffic jam!

You also can and should use keywords in your blog posts. Not so much that your posts don’t make sense (this is called keyword stuffing), but sprinkle them throughout your content, like we did with this chapter (using words like marketing, book marketing, keywords, etc.).

You should also use the keywords in your YouTube videos and in Alt tags in pictures on your website. Keywords are fantastic, and once you go through the work of finding them, you can use them over and over again.

RHIPExcerpt from Red Hot Internet Publicity: An Insider’s Guide to Marketing Online by Penny Sansevieri, available now on

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