Friday, September 9, 2011

Using Twitter to Market Books & Blogs Part I

Here are some tips on how to use Twitter to market your books and blogs and build your audience. For those who are new to Twitter, it's a social media site where you set up a profile and post short messages about what you're doing. These messages are called "tweets." People from all around the world can "follow" you and read every message that you post. Just about every celebrity imaginable now uses Twitter to give their fans a personal connection. Twitter is also great for authors connecting with their readers. This is a goldmine for marketing books and blogs.

Once your profile is set up, search for hundreds to thousands of people who match your reading audience, click on the person's name and follow them by clicking the "follow" button beneath their name. Their descriptions and what they tweet about will tip you off to what they love. Whatever subject or genre you write about, type in key words in the "search space" next to the Twitter logo, then hit return. It will pull up a list of recent tweets from people talking about your topic. Go down the list and follow each profile that you like.

For instance, I write horror fiction. I also blog about writing, publishing, and the adventures of being a professional author. On Twitter, all I have to do is search "horror" or "horror novels" or use the ashtag #horror, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of horror fans out there who say so in their descriptions.

"I'm an avid reader of horror.

"I love skiing, my dog, watching movies, and reading horror."

"Reading novels is the air I breathe. I love mystery, romance, and horror."

When you follow the people who fit your reading audience, they often follow you back. Now they know who you are, and since you blog about a topic they enjoy or you write the types of books they love to read, they will most likely visit your website at least once, and if your blog or book is engaging enough, they become fans.

In one sitting I might follow 20-30 people who are my target market. Often within minutes, I get emails from Twitter showing me who's following me back. I've made a lot of new friends this way. And several times new followers have written to tell me that they just bought my book on Amazon. Thanks to the world of Twitter, it has never been easier to find your fans.

Brian Moreland is the author of the horror novels Dead of Winter and Shadows in the Mist. He also writes for two blogs.

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