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I’m just Samuel, bony faced, laidback, absentminded Samuel. I don’t like to say much, I try to stay out of trouble. Some might say otherwise but don’t believe their lying hating asses. *clears throat* Point is we don’t care, let’s just be chill and have fun. So come by whenever and ask me whatever.  It’s our party now and it don’t start until your arrival.

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The Online Marketing Rookie

©Samuel Mogbolu

When I first published my first eBook Novel on Amazon, I truly thought the sky was the limit. You’ve got to give it up for Amazon, they’re good at overselling. Oh, they’ll make your head spin with the possibility of making your work available to millions of ‘purchasing’ customers. And guess what, you get to do this free of charge.

Reality only hits when you’re faced with the phrase you overlooked during the whole Indie publishing process. I’m talking about ‘self-marketing’ or ‘self-promotion’. If you’re like me (and there are millions like me) then all you truly cared about was publishing that book. You truly believed that those millions of customers would overlook the millions of other books; that they would be so enamoured by your genius, the sales would start pouring in. In fact all they had to do was see that sizzling cover and book description.

But like me, you quickly realise that reality stinks (it’s why most of us write fantasy). When you see your sales rank gradually dwindling, adrenaline kicks in. You’ve spent so much time on this work so you’ve got to promote it. Now another image comes up in your head. You ever heard that phrase ‘started from the bottom, now we up’?

That’s what drives you. You hit up one of the social media sites (either Facebook or twitter) and you start frantically posting tweets with links to your book. You get a few retweets from good Samaritans which make you feel good at first. Until you look at their pages and realise that these good Samaritans are in the habit of retweeting the tweets of desperate authors or publishers such as yourself. So in other words, your tweet just gets drowned in the ocean of similar tweets. Goodbye sweet publicity.

Apart from that, you start to get a couple of regular follows. This also feels great for a while until you notice that all your followers are fellow authors. And these peeps really don’t care about your book; they’ve got books to promote just like you. And even if in the face of all this, you continue like a sad junkie….reality’s still going to break you because she’s relentless.

Are you already getting the sense that self- promotion is a blatantly evil scam?? But we can’t stop, not really. Maybe for a couple of months. Eventually, you’ll return to posting your links in FB groups and flooding twitter with your ever ingenious tweets. You’ll blame yourself for giving up too easily. Perhaps if you had persevered, everything would be different.

Or the months of frustration would open your eyes and teach you new skills. Skills like starting a blog. I can almost see you frown and shake your head. You’re like, is that his final nugget of wisdom? The question is how well have you promoted your blog? There are free ways to do this. Have you ever heard of creating backlinks? When another site provides a link to your site or blog, that’s a backlink.

In order to be discoverable, you need a business outfit e.g a Facebook page (very important), a website like this, or a blog. And your outfit needs to be discoverable by search engines, e.g Google, Bing, Ask.com and the likes. Because being discoverable by search engines mean ‘hello curious customers’. And I’m sure you probably know by now that a higher page rank equals higher discoverability. Backlinks can go a long way in doing this for you.

Now how do you create backlinks? Very simple. Do you know that by commenting on another blog, you create a backlink? All you have to do is put a link to your blog or website in the box for website links (most blogs especially word press blogs, have a place for this). Once you post your comment, you’ve successfully created a backlink. It usually takes about a month for Google to index it but your job is done.

So yes, comment on blogs. Do it with the same insane determination you use in flooding twitter. Another way to create backlinks is to submit your blog or website to online directories. You can search for free online directories on Google. Submit your blog or website’s url to them. Most of these directories would add your site to their database and would submit your site to several search engines. This effectively puts you on the highway to discoverability. Notice how it really rhymes with publicity?

Make sure you have a Facebook page. If you doubt its importance, search for Kid from Gemville and go through the search results. I now have over five hundred likes and I never spent a dime. Now that’s quite a distance from being a rookie.

Below is a short list of some directories you can submit your blog or site to. There are so many others. Try to submit your blog to at least fifty directories. Its gritty work but it’s worth it.

 

Dmoz
Directorymylink
Cipinet
Directory Fire
Amray

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