Want to start March with more focus and energy? Shaking off the winter doldrums?
Here are my latest favorite resources & tips.
And – just so you know – I’m so busy with other projects, I don’t follow many blogs or YouTube channels.
(Oh, I receive the email notification… I just don’t click very often. Unroll.me keeps my emails under control, and I can go for days – sometimes more than a week – without opening any of those collections.)
So, what I’m recommending here are the few articles, etc., that I consider worth your time, even if you’re super-busy.
Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – the Book Designer blog is usually useful. This article finally explained to me why some authors use Ingram Spark instead of (or in addition to) CreateSpace. In a way, it’s a clunky solution and has some clear drawbacks. But, as a solution to a specific problem – pre-sales of printed books – it may interest you.
Next topic… Pinterest.
For far too long, I’ve thought of Pinterest as just another time-sucking social media site. I haven’t used it.
Then, I did.
Yes, it does generate traffic and interest. If your audience is a match for Pinterest – 80% women, generally from the USA – consider making Pinterest part of your marketing strategy.
Note: I did not say “get on Pinterest and start pinning.” That may be a smart choice for you. Me…? At the moment, I’m too busy to add that to my to-do list.
Instead, I’m making sure all of my book-related blog posts are Pinterest friendly.
This means I’m including a 600 x 900 graphic – with text – that someone may decide to pin. And that can lead to more traffic.
(Like I said: So far, to my absolute amazement, it’s working. And not just in niches related to cooking, weddings, and party planning. In fact, Pinterest is driving traffic to my completely unlikely niches.)
Do you need a 600 (wide) x 900 (tall) template to work with? Click here for a GIF you can use. If you’re using Photoshop or other software that can read PSDs, click here for a layered template that may be useful. (Note: the fonts are Thirsty Rough, Museo, and Museo Slab… in case you’re interested.)
Here are my recommendations:
- Be sure your website is Pinterest friendly. For me, that means using a free WordPress plugin so it’s easy for visitors to pin my shiny new 600 x 900 graphics. I’m using Pinterest Pin It Button on Hover…
- Depending on your blog’s aesthetics, you may want to change how that 600 x 900 graphic appears on your website. (It’ll still show up, full sized, at Pinterest and in emails sent via Feedburner.) Here are some ideas (some are better than others, and – like everything else online – the rules can change in a blink): How to Create Super Stealthy Pinterest Images for Your Blog. Cruise her other articles and notice what she’s doing to help people share her posts, too.
- If you’re a graphics geek like me, invest in templates to make designing easier. Frankly, I’m using the 50 Instagram Stories Bundle, from Design Cuts. I bought it on a great sale, but even at $20 (price as I’m writing this), it can be such a time-saver, it’s worth it.
- Learn to combine fonts in interesting & attractive ways. I’m using cheatsheets I printed, online. You can search images for “font combinations,” “font combining,” or “font mixing” and see what looks good. Or, you can go to a Pinterest board like Font combining… and click through on anything that appeals to you. Among the 10 or so I printed, one from Imgur has been the most useful. (Also, I still rely on free font sites like FontSquirrel.com and Google Fonts.)
Speaking of fonts, my friend Milan told me about a great site for font addicts, and people willing to try beta-ish versions of new fonts: Future Fonts.
Other resources that have been helpful (in above-and-beyond ways) this month:
- Free planner pages from ProductiveFlourishing.com. They’ve easily tripled my productivity.
- YouTube videos by Chris Fox, the “Write to Market” guy.
- Dave Chesson’s advice. I keep going back to his website because he’s shared so much useful information, there’s always something I haven’t seen… or I have, and I need to re-read it.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few resources, but this should be enough to keep you busy for an hour or two. And, really, I carefully chose these links. My goal was to provide time-savers, not shiny object distractions. (In other words: don’t get sucked into Pinterest… okay?)
And now it’s time to get back to the books!