#bookmarketing

Love's Brilliant Wreckage. www.cherylsterlingbooks.com cool links for June 9, 2018

Cool Links for June 9, 2018

Time flies when you’re on the road. I’m in Canada for six more days. Fortunately, Canada has internet, and I swear I’m on it as much as when I’m home. Anyway, no sightseeing today as it’s raining. The rain provides a good reason to tether myself to my laptop and give you access to the cool links for June 9, 2018 blog.

Dancers create an optical illusion

Simplemost.com highlights this crazy dance routine. Tell me you didn’t look at their legs the whole time.

Bee Mine

Since I’m soon releasing a love story (see below) and I’m editing two others and outlining a series, I thought I’d share this video of true love:

Continue reading Cool Links for June 9, 2018

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Pinterest is one of the most effective but overlooked social media tools for writers and other artists. Pinterest Marketing for books.www.cherylsterlingbooks.com

It’s #ThrowbackThursday

We’re in the wayback machine, traveling to April, 2017 to investigate the benefits of Pinterest marketing. Come join us.

Pinterest is one of the most effective but overlooked social media tools for writers and other artists.www.cherylsterlingbooks.comPinterest marketing is one of the most effective but overlooked social media tools for writers and other artists.  It’s not all pretty images for bored housewives and soon-to-be-brides.

I’ve used Pinterest for years, back when you had to email an application and wait for approval. I didn’t get serious about using it to market my books and brand until September, 2016, when I signed up for Summer Tannhauser’s Free Pinterest course. Pinterest is an easy, effective tool to add to your marketing arsenal.

The day I completed the five day course, I had 73 Pinterest followers. As I write this (Saturday, April 15th, because I like to be ahead in my blogging schedule), I have 1,241. Quite a leap, yes?

2018 update—I am now at 2573 followers with >61K monthly viewers

As I’m pinning my blog entries (you do that, right?), and I’m taking part in the #AtoZChallenge in April, I’m pinning daily content from my blog, increasing the number of people who visit my website.

Some of the things I’ve learned:

  • Obviously, set up a Pinterest account.

Make it a business account. Go here for instructions. If you have an existing account, you can convert it in a few simple steps.

      1. Why a business account? You’ll have access to analytics. Over time, Pinterest will show your profile’s growth, who your audience is, and what type of pins they click on. From this information, you can narrow down your audience and tailor future pins to it. You’ll also be able to run Pinterest Ads.
      2. When you set up a business account, you will be asked to confirm your website. This involves adding a string of code to your website’s header section. If you—like me—break out into a cold sweat at the thought of coding, WordPress has a plugin that will make it easier. Install it, add the code, then go back to Pinterest and click on Finish.
  • Set up or edit your Profile

      1. Use a business name relevant to your industry. Add keywords. If you’re Joe Smith and you sell guitars, Joe’s Rocking won’t show up on searches. Joe’s Fine Guitars or Joe’s Guitars for Sale will generate more traffic.
      2. Upload a photo of you, a candid shot with a white or solid color background. It should be one you use on all social media profiles. A face is relatable to your followers.
      3. Add your website URL and a description of who you are, who you serve and what you provide (in a conversational tone, of course). A surprising number of profiles I’ve visited are titled something like “Carol’s Page” and have no description. This is valuable real estate—take advantage of it. Check out my profile page here.
  • Pinterest boards

      1. Set up several boards related to your field.I recommend 10-15. Do a keyword search of your competition and learn what they are using. The tabs below the Pinterest search are rated most popular from left to right.
      2. Board names should include SEO and keywords
      3. The board names should be short and focused
      4. Board descriptions should be two or three sentences, well written and related to the board. Keywords should be near the beginning of the descriptions.
      5. Making a board secret will protect its contents from public view. If you are a business, keep your public boards business-like and hide unrelated pins on secret boards.
      6. Once you have several boards set up, they can be arranged within their rows with a simple drag and drop, moving the most important board into the top position. Followers want to see the most relevant boards at the top and will rarely scroll down.
  • Your pins

      1. Pins should be a mix of  relevant, useful content from others and original content from your blog. An 80/20 mix is recommended.
      2. When repinning from others, it’s okay to customize the description to something stronger. Don’t use hashtags except at the end. Pinterest’s Smart Feed gets confused with hashtags and will drop any description after them. I use them at the end as my pre-scheduled pins which also post on Twitter (more on this later).
      3. Add a CTA (Call to Action) in your descriptions, such as “Click through to check out XYZ” or “Win a Free XX by visiting.”
      4. Pin only what your audience will like. Until your analytics kick in, take ideas from your experience and your competitor’s boards.
  • Your Images

    1. Add video. Video is a growing trend and makes your audience feel connected. Search YouTube, DailyMotion and TED for videos related to your field, or start your own channel.
    2. Use bright colors with good resolution
    3. Use text in a clear, easy-to-read font on your images to tell your audience what they’ll find when they click through to your site.
    4. Pin vertical images rather than horizontal ones for maximum sharing. The ideal size is 735 X 1102:
    5. Use a vertical, longer image on Pinterest for maximum sharing and pinningShort, horizontal images do not get as much exposure on Pinterest as longer, vertical images

Which will get more shares and pins on Pinterest?

Any other tips?

Yes! By adding Twitter and Facebook to your social media settings, you can simultaneously post to them. How? Go to your Pinterest settings, click on or scroll down to Social Networks, and click Yes on Log In with Facebook, and Connect with Twitter. Say Yes to the usual approval questions. The next time you Pin something, two little boxes appear below your pin: Post to Facebook and Post to Twitter. By checking them, your pin will also appear there. If you use BoardBooster, the posts will appear when it schedules them. I find this a win-win. I don’t have to be on all three networks to appear as if I am!

(***BoardBooster ceased operations on 6-25-18***)

If you have a business account

Set up a Showcase. In Settings–>Profile, edit Showcase. Pick five of your most favorite boards and save. A rotating slideshow of those boards now sits at the top of your profile. It is the first thing visitors will see, and you control their first impression by your board choices.

When commenting in other social media, and an opportunity arises for you to mention Pinterest, use the word Pinterest as a hyperlink to your profile page.

Add a save to Pinterest rollover button on your blog’s images. Check out the instructions here. The same instructions are valid for adding a Pin It button to your website.

Add a Pin It button to your browser’s toolbar. When you visit a site you’d like to share, you can pin it on the fly.

Revisit your boards and delete under-performing pins. BoardBooster‘s Pin Doctor will look at your board pins (for a penny a pin) and tell you about broken, missing or suspicious links, slow websites, and duplicate pins based on the same image or same links.

What else?

Join Group boards. I’ll admit I’ve neglected to do this, but it’s on my list. You’ll gain a larger audience for each of your group pins. Check out pingroupie.com for suggestions on where to find a group board that fits your needs.

Pin often. Just like other social media platforms, Pinterest is a moving target. What’s pinned is not always seen. By using tools like BoardBooster and Tailwind and posting 20-30 times a day, you’ll be seen as the expert in your field.

Schedule your pins when your audience is most likely to view them. There are many reports available about when to post. I used to schedule by them until BoardBooster’s analysis of my audience told me my peak times were not East Coast 8-11 p.m., but local time 10-11 p.m. I’ve adjusted my pinning times, adding in the later period. I try to pin consistently throughout the day to catch as wide of an audience as possible while still catering to my core fans.

Not all pins need to be new content. When I’m pressed for time, I’ll search my existing boards for high-repin content and repin to the same board or its twin secret board. BoardBooster has a looping feature that will automatically do this for you, but I like to give my audience proven content.

Be sure to pin YOUR blog’s content. If you don’t advertise your product (whether it’s your services, a physical product, you, or a digital product like my books), who will?

Pinterest Marketing can help you spread word about your books

Pinterest is an awesome tool to target your ideal follower. I highly recommend taking Summer Tannhauser’s Free Pinterest course to learn more. I can attest to the rapid increase in my Pinterest followers.

Blessings,

Cheryl

If you’d like to continue reading mymy blog posts, please use the entry form to the right. Also sign up for my newsletter, and become a Sterling Reader. Receive free books, advance notice of new releases, exclusive excerpts, and much more!

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Starting to write a new book. Ah. It's almost equivalent to starting to read a new book. Fresh pages. The lure of excitement, of unknown adventures.

Starting to write a new book is easy for one reason

Starting to write a new book. Ah. It's almost equivalent to starting to read a new book. Fresh pages. The lure of excitement, of unknown adventures. Starting to write a new book. Ah. It’s equivalent to starting to read a new book. Fresh pages. The lure of excitement, of unknown adventures.

The courtship between you and the main characters (good or evil). The blush of starting new.

The number one reason to start a new book is the excitement. A writer can do anything. Take the story anywhere. Introduce amazing characters. Kill the bad guy. Break rules. A world of opportunity awaits.

Secondly, we get to finally write “that” book. You know the one. The idea hit us in the shower, or as we woke from a dream, or as we drove to work. The idea that grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go, that kept us up at night, ostracized our families and sent us leaping across the room for pen and paper to write down an amazing plot twist. New books are seductive and impatient. They are sparkly and threaten to leave unless captured.

Don’t believe any writer who drones on about his or her “muse”. There is no such creature. Everything that happens in a book comes solely from the writer’s imagination. Grumpy, fairy godmother-like muses do not sprinkle fairy dust on a laptop and produce a polished manuscript. They don’t cripple the writer’s hands, or stunt his brain. If a writer can’t write, it’s his fault, no one else’s.

Starting to write a new book is hard for one reason

I’ve recently started writing a new book, and it’s sent me into uncharted territory. Brilliant Wreckage lives up to its title. It is outside my usual genre. I write fantasy and paranormal stories. Elves. Fairy godmothers. Witches. Aliens.

Brilliant Wreckage centers around an ordinary woman in an extraordinary time—WWII. She’s caught in its web. Worries about the safety of her fiance fill her days and nights. On the home front, she fights many battles.
On top of everything else, Annie sees visions.
Can she keep her sanity while the world around her crumbles?

Yesterday, I wrote dreck.

Annie got up, had breakfast, went into the garden to plant potatoes. Boring, boring, boring. Where’s the car crashes, the fiery escape from death? I can only keep my faith in the theory that first drafts are shitty, and I’ll find better words when I start to edit.

1st drafts are *#%@. Have faith you'll find better words when you start to edit.Click To Tweet

What my main character is blessed with

Annie Faraday loves, and is loved in return by an amazing man who writes her poetry in his letters home from the Pacific Theater during World War II. He supports her and her dream of becoming a nurse and midwife. He listens to her doubts and fears. Jimmy is her guiding star.

What my main character fears the most

The battle of Iwo Jima plays a prominate part in my starting to write a new book this month.

Annie fears many things. The dissolution of her family as her father slides into alcoholism. The fear her younger brother will persuade their father to sign off on letting him join the Navy. Her future father-in-law, who looks down on her because she pursues a medical career. Oh, and she’s not good enough for his son. But the number one thing Annie fears is the war. Jimmy’s at Iwo Jima, and though he’s not one of the thankless men who stormed its shores, he faces death daily from kamikaze pilots, bombs and anything else that could go wrong.

Will he make it home to her? I know the answer, and it’s not an easy one. I walk a fine line in crafting this story. Annie’s doubts mirror my own. As I said, I’ve never written this type of story before. It’s tricky. I guess I’ll have to borrow some of her faith during the next few weeks.

New book launch announcement next Monday

Please return here next Monday for an important announcement regarding the release of Book #2 in the Enchanted series, Red Riding Hood and the Lone Wolf.
I’ll have an excerpt for you to read and a question you can help me answer.

(Purchase Book #1, Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf here)

Until then,

Blessings to you!

Cheryl

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