They say the mechanic’s car is always the one that needs fixing. The plumber is the one whose pipes leak, and the condition of the electrician’s house is always shocking. The same is often true for writers. We are good at writing books, guest posts, and articles for other sites, but frankly much of the time our own sites suck.
They don’t have to. Here’s the thing. Google evaluates websites and gives them authority and ranking based on the content on the site, and who links to that content. With their latest update, they even look at who is writing the content. Websites need expert content writers, and not only can you promote your own brand by being that expert, but you can boost the authority of your own site as well.
You are the foremost expert on your books. And you are also probably an expert on something else. If you have a day job or have done extensive research on your stories, you have areas of expertise. You are also an expert on something else: writing.
So how do you leverage this expertise? How do you create and cultivate good content on your own site while at the same enticing others to link to your content as well? There are a few easy steps, at least to start with.
Create Content worth Linking To
Everyone tells you the same thing, and as a writer, you should be able to write something worthwhile on your website. But what do you write about? What content related to your books is interesting to readers?
- Setting: Is you book set in place that might be interesting to your readers? How did you research that setting? What is interesting about it? Did you travel there? Live there?
- Characters: Does your character have a unique profession? Did you work in that profession? Research it? Did you interview a person, or more than one person, who works in that field? Publish those interviews.
- Plot: What problem makes your book unique? What can you talk about, without giving anything away, that makes your story unique? Share those things with your readers.
There are endless other things you can write about related to your books. However, don’t limit yourself. Talk about what you have read, and what you like to read. Talk about shows and movies you watch that inspire you.
Don’t Always Focus on Writing
Should I write about writing? you ask. You can, but doing so exclusively has some issues. The first is, your readers are only so interested in your process. The people who are interested in your process are other writers. While other writers might buy and read your work, they are not your target audience. You want to write for your readers, and unless you are writing non-fiction advice for writers, that kind of content on your site will not help you sell books.
Welcome Guest Posts
Write what your readers want to read. Share with them things about your life too. You are your brand, and you readers want to know about you. Don’t just make your site all about you, though. Feature the work of writers and others you respect in the areas where you have expertise.
A word of caution here: do not accept the work of others without screening it. Make sure it is well written and edited, and let someone else proof your posts and those others send to you before you publish them.
Allow Links to Other Sites
Do allow outside links, and don’t No Follow them. If you don’t know what I am talking about, read this article and become familiar with the process. The No Follow feature was never intended to be applied to editorial links like it is now.
Don’t Allow Spam on your Site
At the same time, look where the author is linking to for his resources. Link neighborhood, or the quality of links on your posts that surround others, add authority, and poor links to Viagra sites, casinos, or porn can actually hurt the ranking of your site, and get it removed from Google’s index completely.
Guest Post on other Sites
Other authors are looking for great content to add to their site as well, and probably on a variety of topics. Share your expertise with them, while linking back to your articles and your site at the same time. Be sure to link to good, authoritative sources as well, and even link internally to the site you are guest posting on if that is possible.
Give Things Away
Give away free advice and information. Give away free stories or even copies of your books. Share freely with others what you have learned as you move forward as both an author and an expert in the areas you specialize in.
Want to build a career as a writer? Want to reach a broader fan base? You need to rank well on Amazon, Google, and everywhere else your books might be sold. You need to reach your readers where they live, work, and play. Especially you need to meet them and entice them where they search for and purchase good books.
Content creation is important for every website, from Forbes and Huffington Post to a simple author or mommy blog. This enables the site owner to create a good backlink profile (another subject for another post), which increases Google rankings and discoverability.
As expert writers, we should be the best at curating and creating good content our readers are interested in. It’s essential to your success as an author.