I was recently chatting to another author who is having problems marketing her books. She has a blog with some really good posts, but not many of them, and a small but engaged Twitter following.
Her main problem is that while she loves retweeting interesting posts from others, and was fine with occasionally putting out a tweet that said something like, "Just updated my blog: feel free to check it out", she really didn't feel comfortable with self-promotion on Twitter and wasn't sending out regular links to her own content.
Now this is not a bad thing. There is far too much self-promotion on Twitter. A good ratio is to send out one tweet to your own content for every ten tweets you send out that are not self-serving in any way. Non promotional tweets can be retweets of great content, or engagement focused tweets, that tend to ask a question, offer advice, or just amuse your followers.
My author friend, however, was surprised to learn that I spend some dedicated time each month writing Tweets based on my blog posts or relevant to other pages on my site. I add in links and relevant hashtags and save them to a word document. I'm then free to either schedule them via Hootsuite (I don't love automating Tweets but I have given it a try in order to be more efficient) or simply cut and paste whenever I feel a little self-promotion is warranted (ie when I can see there are around ten non-promotional tweets already in my Twitter stream).
As many of you know (especially if you follow me on Twitter) I'm all about helping and collaborating with other authors, so I decided to offer a new, and very affordable, service.
I'm currently offering a 'one dollar Tweets' package to other authors and bloggers, whereby I will write 20 engaging, shareable Tweets, linking to a range of pages on your blog, complete with relevant hashtags, all for the very low price of US$20.
Here's how it works:
Contact me with links to between 4 - 10 pages you'd like to tweet about regularly. These can be blog posts, pages on your site, or even book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads (I suggest you DON'T link direct to your sales page on Amazon on a regular basis. Save that for when your book is on sale or available for free). They should be pages of "evergreen" content. That is, content that will be interesting and relevant year-round and for a long time.
Include confirmation that you have a Paypal account and your Paypal email (you DON'T have to pay me yet). If you don't use Paypal yet, you can sign up here.
I'll read the pages you send me and write 20 fun, engaging Tweets related to your content (5 per page if you send me 4. 2 per page if you send be 10. You get the idea.) I may pull quotes from the content, or write a great headline style Tweet, or pose an intriguing question that your content answers. I'll shorten your link for you (if it's not already shortened) and add one or two relevant hashtags.
I'll send them back to you with an invoice for US$20 and my Paypal address so you can pay me via Paypal. As long as you're satisfied with the Tweets, you pay me and file the invoice to set against tax (it's a legitimate business expense. Consult your tax adviser about how to set business expenses against your taxes).
You either schedule those Tweets using Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, or another automation service, or save the word document they're on and copy and paste them into Twitter whenever you feel like it.
Here's the thing:
You can use those Tweets over and over again. They link to evergreen content. You can send out the same Tweets several times over the next year. You can experiment with sending them out at different times to reach different audiences. Over time you'll probably get retweets providing links to your content, boosting its rankings with the search engines, and giving surfers new pathways to find your content.
I won't be offering this service indefinitely. It really is a bargain and will probably take me down below an hourly rate that I'm comfortable with. I'm doing it to help fellow authors. I'm also taking a risk with not taking any payment up front, but I want you to know this isn't a scam or a con or an inferior service. It's something I'm going to do for a short time as a bit of a "loss leader" to help out the indie author community.
So what are you waiting for? Send me your links.
If you want to learn more about using Twitter to market your books or freelance writing business, grab a copy of my Kindle book Tweeting For A Reason: How (and why) to Use Twitter to Market Your Business.
You can also check out my article Twenty Twitter Tips for Writers on Ezinearticles.com, and even use it on your own blog if you like it!
Image above courtesy of SmashingMagazine.com.
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