Saturday, March 3, 2012

Social Media Marketing: Your Online Path to a Best Seller

Dave Eaton is a business owner with more than 30 years experience and has been instrumental in building several multi-million dollar companies. Dave is a Local Marketing Consultant for small business and his recent ventures include Online Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

Dave spoke at American Night Writers Association 20th Annual Writers Conference held at the Hilton Mesa Hotel on February 23-25, 2012.  His class focused on how to create a bestseller before a single page is in print using blogging, facebook, twitter and other online platforms to zero in on target audiences. Here are some of the many fascinating points he made:

Traditionally, in order to have a best seller, authors had to first write a novel then follow these steps: hire a publicist, write query letters to agents and publishers, attend writing conferences to meet agents and publishers, get their manuscript out to everybody, often settle with small publishing houses, go on the road to market their books, sell thousands of books then eventually stop selling and repeat the entire process with a new book. 

Eaton stresses that in today’s new social media frenzy, the traditional way is obsolete. You do NOT have to hire a publicist. You do NOT have to write query letters to agents and publishers. You do NOT have to attend writing conferences to meet agents and publishers. You do NOT have to get your manuscript out to everybody. You do NOT have to settle with small publishing houses. You do NOT have to go on the road to market your books, or even worry about the traditional book life ending after a period of time, especially with the exciting advent of eBooks.

Eaton says the first thing you have to do is brand yourself as an author using your name or pen name. You might also brand your book title too. He explains that SEO (search engine optimization) is how you will be “found” among the 50 billion pages that make up the World Wide Web. He says that Google has about 50 billion web pages – and everyone googles. If you type in a phrase like, “bestselling author” the results are ranked in order of your keyword(s). There are certain factors on how the sites are ranked for optimizing, but while today google might use 200 factors, chances are tomorrow they will be different as google changes their ranking algorithm 500 times a year.

There are two ranking factor categories:

1.     Online optimization, which receives 20% of ranking
2.     Off page optimization, which receives 80% of ranking. Eaton explains that back-links which come from an offsite source, link back to the site—the same way to get to your site from somewhere else and that back-links are like votes for a webpage.

Eaton states that understanding how the internet works is as important as writing your novel. It’s important to know how to find readers, find fans, find partners, promote your brand, have your voice heard by millions, and to know who your completion is. He gives us some Action Plans:

I.                   Action Step #1: Buy your own domain and host it
If you don’t, all of your credits or hits are supporting whoever owns your internet pages—you’re catching yourself in someone else’s plan. Your own domain should reflect your “brand” which is your name or pen name, so it should be wwwDOTyournameDOTcom, if not .com then it’s best to use .org, or .net. If none of those are available then add “im” or “iam” in front of your name or “”. Eaton says that domains cost about $10.00 a year and hosting costs are about $50.00 a year.

II.                 Action Step #2: Install Wordpress on your Domain
You can google “wordpress installation videos” for help with that. He says that is NOT for your domain and you must use as you will then own all of your files, etc. Eaton says to then link any of your former internet pages (which still hold a lot of value—so keep them!) like blogspot, facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc. to your new domain.

III.              Action Step #3: Setup Social Media Accounts
If you haven’t already, setup a facebook fanpage (which requires a facebook profile initially), setup twitter, google+, and linkedin as well and any blogger accounts you now maintain then link all of your accounts back to your blog under your new domain. All these links give your website authority and get it noticed.  Eaton says that the posts you create give you availability to give updated posts or CONTENT on your blog.

IV.              Action Step #4: Demographics
Eaton says you need to describe your reader in detail. How else will you be able to provide them meaningful content worthy of their time to revisit your site? He says that it’s important to have an understanding of your competition—what other authors are reaching your readers? And how big is your audience—the only way to truly know that is to interact with them.

V.                Action Step #5: Find the Conversation
Where do your readers hangout? You can check out “” to search for blogs writing about interesting topics (content) and to look for writer’s forums google forum + google. He says to start blogging about something your readers can benefit from, make comments everywhere, write articles, tweet, retweet. Be sure to add value to the conversations, or your hard work will backfire on you—remember, you are a public figure now and you are building a reputation as part of your brand.

VI.              Action Step #6: Publish Something!
Just publish! He says self-publish in Kindle, get your name in article directories—just get your brand out there and watch it spread throughout the internet!


  1. Oooo . . . good stuff here Theresa. I'm going to copy this into a document for reference. Some of that stuff I need to do further research on. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thanks Donna! I'm determined to become a master at this!

  2. Love it. Could I copy and paste it in my blog to be publish in two weeks? I will have a link to your post too. Great stuff here. Thanks Theresa.
    Anna del C. Dye
    for tales of Elfs & Romance

  3. So timely for me. I think this is an oft looked over yet very important part of a writer's education.

    Betsy Schow

    1. Yes, Betsy, I agree - it is too important to overlook though. I think it makes the difference between a highly successful author and a "somewhat" or "not at all" successful author ...

  4. Wow! I took this class and I still got a lot out of your notes. They're very thorough. Thanks for this!

    1. Thanks Britney! I'll keep researching and posting what I find! We'll tackle this and become masters of it! :)

  5. Social Media has truly invaded the world of Internet marketing! This is most helpful for those who have blogs online and would want to promote it to online readers. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest have contributed a lot to online marketing. Moreover, this is also the cheapest form of marketing that we have today since all you need is a stable connection and some internet savvy.

    Joanne Marie Punzalan