7 Tips for Authors on Writing a Successful Query Letter

writing-query-letter
Query letters are a lot like resumes: People are always wanting to know how to write one that stands out from the pack. And most people don’t have a clue…

Based on everything that I’ve read and heard from other authors, here’s what I’ve learned about how to write a great query letter….

1. Start with the essentials. Don’t forget to include the most important information early on in the letter! That includes the tentative book title, word count, genre and target audience. An agent wants to know that these things are a good fit before he or she reads any further. Then…

2. Grab an agent’s attention. Forget the bland, “I am contacting you today seeking representation….” That’s boring, and it’s true of everyone. So, early on in your letter, include an outstanding quote from the book, a tantalizing question that the book raises, or an endorsement. Make sure the agent gest an immediate feel for your characters, your voice, and your story.

3. Show your professionalism. Make it clear in your letter that you’re not just a wanna-be writer. You’re a professional writer. Explain what you’ve already published, the writer’s conferences you’ve attended, and whatever other work makes it clear that you’re not just some Joe Schmoe who wrote a book.

4. Compare your book to others in your genre. This is yet another area in which you can really show how savvy you are. Explain which other books in your genre are similar to yours, and how and why yours is different. If there’s a way to also work in an explanation about why your book would be especially popular in the upcoming years (i.e. the Presidential election), make sure to do so.

5. Keep it brief. Like anyone else scouring through hundreds of letters, an agent is probably not going to read every word in your query letter. So limit the length to one page at most, and make sure the strongest elements stand out.

6. Tailor it to each individual agent. Again, think of it like a resume. Each job is different. So is each agent. Research what other authors he or she has represented before, discuss how you found him or her, and why you think you’d be a good fit for one another. If the agent has a blog, make sure to read it before drafting the letter, and reference it in the query.

7. Show off your marketing talents. In today’s world of book publishing, marketing a book is the responsibility of the author … until you’re a best-seller of course. With that in mind, you’ll get a huge leg up on the competition if you explicitly state in the query letter what you’ve already done — and what you plan to do — to market the book. That means including a link to your author website, mentioning the number of followers you’ve already built on Twitter, highlighting your blog and/or Facebook presence, etc….

Follow these seven guidelines and you’ll greatly increase your chances of getting a call from an agent. After all, writing a great book isn’t necessarily what makes an author a bestseller. Getting that book picked up by the right people is just as important.

Author Marketing: 5 Things to Do (and 5 Things NOT to Do)

author-marketingAuthor marketing is kind of an oxymoron. After all, if you’re a good writer, chances are that you’re not a professional marketer. And in today’s publishing world, authors have to do their own book promotion. That creates quite a challenge.

With that in mind, here are five things authors should be doing to promote their books (and five things they shouldn’t be doing). Many of these ideas are courtesy of authors like yourself who are sharing thoughts and ideas on LinkedIn.

Author Marketing DOs

  1. Create your own website. Yes, it’s important for you to have your own author website. Whether that’s one you build yourself, or a site built through a company like ours, it’s essential that you have a site that houses all of your writings, has a place for you to blog, and gets your message across in words and colors that fit your brand. Social networking presences are great, but you don’t own them or control them. Your site is like your press kit, and it’s the first place agents, publishers and readers are going to go to learn about you.
  2. Choose your social media presences wisely. Do you write for a young adult audience? Or one for middle-aged professionals? Find the social networking tool that your audience uses most frequently (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc…) and focus your social networking attention there. There’s no need for you to be everything for everybody.
  3. Find your target audience. Be as hyper-focused as you can. If you wrote a sci-fi novel, for example, consider targeting sci-fi conventions and Star Trek fan sites. If you wrote a non-fiction book about relationships, try to get your book in the hands of marriage counselors. Think about who your readers are and where they are, and then try to reach them as directly as possible.
  4. Go local. You’d be surprised how many possibilities there are for promotion in your local area. Just a few of the ideas getting thrown around on LinkedIn include trying a book signing at your local library, doing a radio interview with the local station, shooting out an eye-catching brochure to high schools and community organizations, and guest speaking at community centers, churches, book stores, coffee shops and art galleries in your area.
  5. Get your book into the hands of reviewers. It sounds relatively obvious, but it doesn’t happen often enough. Do whatever you can to get your book into the hands of book bloggers/reviewers. Send out advance reader copies to them so they can review the book on Amazon, Goodreads, or their own personal blog. It’s also helpful to be hyper-targeted in these efforts as well: make sure you’re targeting reviewers who regularly write about books in your specific genre.

Author Marketing DON’Ts

  1. Spend all your time promoting. Your time is so important. Use it wisely! make sure to find the right balance between writing and marketing, and only use your marketing time on smart choices. For example, don’t spend four hours a day on social networking if your book is targeted to senior citizens. Similarly, there’s no need to try to speak at your local community center if your book is about a small town in another state. Find the right balance between writing and promotion.
  2. Run paid campaigns. As one write on LinkedIn says: “I tried both Facebook ads and Google Adwords. While both showed a high number of clicks, the conversion rate was disappointing to say the least. Not only that, but both services require some careful monitoring when you end your campaign.” I personally have found the same to be true. While those campaigns may get you a lot of clicks, they don’t necessarily lead to a lot of sales. And even if they do, the numbers generally don’t add up. If you were selling $100 purses, maybe. But a $5 book? Not so much.
  3. Write outside your comfort zone. Yes, you’re a writer. But you may not be a copywriter. Or a writer of press releases. Each of those require their own skillsets. So write what you’re comfortable with, and outsource other things.
  4. Give up easily. Too many authors that I’ve worked with start doing something — like blogging — and then give up a month later when they don’t feel like they’re getting enough visitors. Remember: all of these efforts take time. And while I’m not a fan of beating a dead horse, you need to give any effort a few months before determining if it’s working or not.
  5. Sell your soul! Here’s another great quote from a LinkedIn conversation: “Spending all of your time marketing instead of writing is not in the disposition of a true writer whose passion is to write.” At the end of the day, you’re a writer at heart. Stay true to that part of yourself. Think of writing as your passion and marketing as your job. Never let your job take over your life.

Do you have specific marketing ideas — or marketing fails — that you want to share with other writers? Tell us in the comments box below!

Roundup: 4 Must-Reads on Author Websites and Author Marketing

author-website-desktopOver the last two weeks, I’ve come across four really wonderful pieces of content (on other sites) about author websites and author marketing.

Here’s a quick synopsis of each one, and links to read them in full. Authors won’t want to miss these!

1. 10 Ways Authors Can Help Each Other with Book Marketing
http://buildbookbuzz.com/

Here are some of the highlights of the 10 great tips listed in this piece on how authors can work together to cross-market:

  • Plan a “local authors night” at a bookstore
  • Guest blog for each other
  • Read and review each other’s books
  • Use their books as contest giveaway

2. Book Party:  Five Steps to Success
http://bookmarketingmaven.typepad.com

This post, written by Ellen Cassedy (who recently hosted a book party for my poet friend), includes tips for a successful book party. Examples include:

  • Choosing the right time
  • Not being afraid to take risks
  • Using social media to promote the event
  • Planning a program for the event

3. How to Create a Street Team for Your Book
http://buildbookbuzz.com/

Author Meagan Francis put together a full-blown “street team” to promote her book. Now, she shares her story on Build Book Buzz. Some of the questions she answers include:

  • Who should be on my launch team?
  • How should I approach potential launch team members?
  • What should I ask of my launch team members?
  • Should you do this too?

4. How to Sell Your Books With Your Own Website Quiz
http://bookcoaching.com

This piece is somewhat mistitled. It sounds like you need to create a website quiz to sell books. But that’s not what this is. Instead, it’s a quiz that YOU can take to determine how good a job you’re doing selling your book through your author website. And I think it’s pretty good. Questions asked include:

  • Have you hired a webmaster without writing your web copy first?
  • Do you make it easy for your potential buyer to buy?
  • Do you give your visitors what they want – free content?
  • Does your website increase client base and product sales enough?

Read these four pieces and you will have a head start on marketing and selling your book. Enjoy!

 

What Authors Are Saying About Book Promotion Musts

book-promotionI came across a conversation on LinkedIn this morning. One new author posed a very open-ended question, “What is a must have in your Book Promotion Plan?”

The answers, of course, varied a great deal — depending on their backgrounds, genres, etc… But here are some of the highlights.

——

 

Julia BohannaYou need to be connected everywhere: Twitter and Facebook in particular. Engage people with YOU – why you wrote the book, subjects that are close to your heart, small parts of your day. Link with many, talk to many but do not sell in bald pushy ways. It’s about being out in the world, making people engage with you but in a crafty way, you will be building up anticipation for your book.
Julia Bohanna


Raam AnandI’m not sure whether you have “webinars” in your marketing plan… but depending on your genre, I suggest doing webinars regularly, using Google+ Hangouts. I have had great success with webinars and when people are getting valuable content on the webinar, most of them usually don’t mind buying the book, right off the bat (at the end of the webinar). You can even give a bonus (chapter, video?) for buying your book right after the webinar.
Raam Anand

 

Karen Sanderson Creat[e] a tribe of friends and substantial, meaningful connections before you promote a book.  … Promote others you believe in — they are more likely to promote you if you have done it for them.
Karen Sanderson

Jim SnowdenThe three elements I’d throw in would be settling on measurable objectives, deciding on (and sticking to) a reasonable budget, and pooling resources with fellow authors.

A measurable objective could be something like raising page views on your blog by 5% per month, acquiring 20 Amazon reviews in the next 60 days, or arranging 5 local bookstore events. If you exceed or meet those objectives, great. If you fall short, you can reevaluate your methods.
Jim Snowden

 

I, of course, added another comment about the importance of an author website. If you have ideas you’d like added to this list, post them in the comments box below. Otherwise, I will continue to add to this list as interesting comments come in.

5 Summertime Goals for Your Author Website

beachMemorial Day has come and gone, and we know what that means … the unofficial start of summer. But while everyone else is thinking about sunscreen, beach towels and barbecues, I’m encouraging you to take this opportunity to set some summer goals for your author website.

Here are five ideas….

1. Set traffic goals. I’m starting with the hardest goal of all. That’s because website traffic notoriously goes down in the summertime. (People have better things to do in beautiful weather than sit in front of a computer all day). But what’s better than a challenge? So if you don’t have one already, set up a Google Analytics account (it’s free) and integrate it into your website. Then you can check your website traffic reports as often as you’d like to find out how many people have visited the site, which pages/posts they visit the most, how long they stayed, etc… Analyze those numbers and make changes to your site accordingly. Then set a traffic goal for yourself. If, for example, you got 100 site visitors in the month of April, aim for 150 per month this summer. It’s a high goal — especially during the summer — but set it, aim for it, and do what you can to get it. After all, more traffic = more book sales!

2. Blog more often. Yup. It’s true. The more you blog, the more traffic you’ll get to your site — not only now, but for months and months to come. That’s because more blog posts will improve your site’s search engine optimization placement and encourage more people to sign up for your RSS feed or email newsletter. Make a promise to yourself that you will blog more this summer — say twice a week instead of once — and then see how your numbers may have improved by the time the summer winds down.

3. Get creative. It’s very easy to fall into a pattern with your website. Maybe you log in once or twice a week to blog. Maybe you post news or links every once in a while. Consider this your opportunity to think outside the box a bit more and add some new life to your author website. For example, think about adding a weekly poll to the site. Or hosting a live chat. Or having a free book giveaway contest. It’s summer, so it’s time to shake things up a bit.

4. Make your book essential summer reading. People may spend less time in front of their computers over the summer, but there is one thing they do a lot more of: read! Take a look at your website right now. Is there anything you’re doing to promote your book as good summer reading material? If it’s beach reading, make sure that you sell it as a must-read for beachgoers. If it’s good school-related summer reading for parents/teachers/kids, note that as well. Figure out how you can make your book a can’t-miss this summer.

5. Promote to new faces. There are probably a lot of people you’re going to see this summer that you don’t see the rest of the year. Maybe they’re parents of other kids at your child’s summer camp. Maybe they’re friends from the beach club. This is your chance to get your book and your website in front of a fresh set of faces. So get those business cards printed. Make sure to mention your book to other parents at camp. See if you can get your book’s poster hung up in the swimming club.

If you need any help accomplishing these goals, you can always reach out to us for a free consultation. But execute these ideas, and you should notice a significant increase in your website’s traffic numbers (and sales numbers) by Labor Day. Happy Summer, everyone!

5 Ways to Repurpose Content on Your Author Website

repurpose-mannequinsAs an author, you’re pretty good at writing. What you’re often not as good at is finding the time to do all that writing. For many, that can include blogging, social media posts, press releases, requests to agents/publishers/reviewers and more. It’s often more than one person can handle.

Enter repurposing.

First, let’s define what repurposing actually means. According to the Oxford English dictionary, to repurpose means to adapt for use in a different purpose: (i.e. they’ve taken a product that was originally designed for a CD-ROM and repurposed it for the Microsoft Network)

I’ve been working in website content for a decade and a half. I’ve repurposed content in every which way. But it occurs to me that many authors may not be familiar with the concept or how to repurpose to save themselves time.

With that in mind, I am presenting … how authors can repurpose content on (or from) their author website.

1. Repurpose book excerpts/short stories as blog posts. Can’t think of anything to blog about? This is a common problem for fiction authors. Use your blog as a place to publicize your new short stories. Or cut and paste brief excerpts from your book as blog entries, and really use them to whet people’s appetites. Creative writing and a blog do not have to be oil and water!

2. Repurpose your blog posts for social media. Think you need to write an entire blog post and different status updates for Facebook, Twitter, etc…? Wrong! Put your time and energy into your blog posts, and then use social media as a vehicle for promoting them. Write brief teasers for each post, and put them (and links, of course) as status updates on all your social media presences to keep your accounts active.

3. Repurpose your website content as marketing material. Writing a bio for your website? Use it as part of your press kit? Creating a book discussion guide for your website (which I often recommend that authors do)? Include it as a free giveaway when you’re doing book signings. Writing promotional copy about the book for use on the website? Reprint it on a flyer that is distributed to local booksellers. You get the idea…

4. Repurpose your website videos. This is huge! Are you making any videos for your website? Are you creating a book trailer or doing a “welcome” video? These should be promoted everywhere. While their original intent may have been for your website, they should also be making the rounds on YouTube, Vimeo, etc… People love sharing videos, and these can become huge social sharers for you.

5. Repurpose any external press releases or articles. Did you (or your publicist) write any press releases about you or the book? How about articles or guest blog posts for other sites? Why should these only exist elsewhere (unless you signed a contract stipulating that, of course)? Use these as blurbs in the “news and events” or “media and press” segments of your website. Simply writing a brief update and linking to the full pieces makes your site look more current, and you more high-profile.

See what I mean? Tweaking, re-printing, sharing and more allow you to take one piece that you wrote and turn it into multiple pieces of content that serve different purposes for you; both on and off your author website.

Happy Repurposing!

Vlogging for Authors: Why a Video Presence is a Great Way to Connect (Part 2)

In my previous post, I discussed the ins and outs of video-blogging (or vlogging) for authors and why this can be a great way to keep your readers interested.

These days almost anyone can create a great video blog!

All you need is a decent internet connection, a laptop or desktop computer purchased in the last several years and a YouTube account and you can become a star.

Ok, it takes a bit more time and effort than just that, but it has never been easier to begin your vlogging career. Are you ready to make the plunge? If so, here is a guide on how to get started.

Step 1: Record your vlog(s)!

It is always good practice to begin with a few good bits of original content (rather than just one). There is a lot of information on the web and if you “launch” your career with more than one video, you probably have a greater chance of obtaining subscribers right off the bat. This shows that you intend to keep vlogging.

You can film yourself with a built-in webcam on your desktop or laptop computer. Here is a simple guide on how to record your first video blog!

Make sure that the subject matter is engaging and interesting to your audience. I know… easier said than done! If you aren’t sure just what to start talking about when you get in front of the camera, one good piece of advice is to think about some of your favorite video blogs. What makes these interesting? What type of content really grabs you?

Here are some good ideas for authors if you need a good starting place:

  • Upcoming book tours
  • The meaning behind certain events or characters in your books
  • Current events related to your genre
  • Ideas inspired by themes in your book
  • Other books you are reading and why you enjoy reading those authors
  • Potential future releases

Step 2: Start Your YouTube Career

Ok. Why YouTube?

There are endless reasons, but I explained one of the biggest in part 1 of this article. It just allows a huge degree of flexibility and makes it easy for you to track who is following your videos.

Once you have recorded your first videos, you can create a YouTube account and channel. This process is also very simple. You will be asked to link your YouTube account to you Google account, and then you will be asked to create a channel. Your channel name should be the name you go under as an author, even if it is a pen name. It needs to match what is on your book covers. This is because it makes you easy to find on YouTube via search. It would not be helpful if readers were looking for Michael Crichton’s YouTube channel and he has called himself Peyton Manning, for example. You get the idea.

YouTube’s video upload system is extremely simple, and from a technical perspective, it’s functionality is kind of amazing. You literally just need to drag your video file into the box that appears from your desktop and it will compress your video (pretty much any file type under the sun) into a viewer-friendly YouTube video which can be seen in multiple sizes across the web in many languages. Isn’t technology amazing?

The next screen (once your video has completed uploading) will encourage you to add keywords, a video title and a description for the video, all of which you should do.

It is important that your video can be discovered not only through your website, but through your YouTube channel as well. All the videos you upload are stored on your channel, and others can subscribe to your channel with ease.

The little red “subscribe” button is a key element to watch on your channel, as when others subscribe this number will continue to go up!

Step 3: Embed Your Videos on your site

The final step is to cross-post your vlogs onto your website. YouTube makes this EXTREMELY simple. This is all you need to do:

  1. Click on the main URL of your YouTube video you would like to embed on your WordPress author website, which will look something like this (just an example)
  2. Below the video click the “share” button (underlined in the image above)
  3. Click the “embed” button which appears beneath the row with the “share” button.
  4. If you want to size your video appropriately you can select a different video size from the dropdown menu beneath. This will determine how large the video will appear on your website after embedding
  5. You will see a few lines of code appear once selecting “embed”. Go ahead and copy this code, then go to your WordPress author website.
  6. Open your vlog post and click on the “Text” tab that appears above and to the right of the post editor (if it is not already selected), as you need to be in text move to embed videos
  7. Paste this code directly into your editor in the place you would like your video to appear.

That’s it! You are done!

You have just created a YouTube channel, added a video to YouTube’s system, and then cross-posted it to your website.

I hope this was a helpful guide in getting started adding videos to your repertoire of blogging. It really as a great way to reach your audience and is a very good way to jumpstart your traffic numbers in the early going.

4 Ways to Use Video for Online Book Promotion

video-cameraThere’s no doubt about it: people love watching videos. Just scour the web and you’ll see  … video is pretty darn popular nowadays.

But just how can an author use video to promote his or her book? Here are a few ways…

1. Book trailer. People often ask me what a book trailer is. Well, it’s just like a movie trailer, but for a book! Now that’s a bit simplified (after all, a movie trailer usually involves cuts from an actual movie). But the concept is the same; create a video that serves as a teaser for the book and tell the story in a way that really whets people’s appetites. There are a variety of ways to create a book trailer — from hiring a production firm and actors to doing your own voiceover and using photos — but my best advice is to make sure your book trailer is top-notch. After all, if your video looks amateurish, what will people expect your book to be like?

Example: http://www.lostinplainsight.net/

2. Vlogging. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of author blogs. So what are author vlogs? Well, they’re pretty much blogs in video format. In other words, instead of writing your blog entries, you’d turn on the camera and talk through them. Regardless of what your blog is about — from politics to animals to humor — if you have a strong personality, then you should consider vlogging in place of blogging.

If you’re interested in vlogging, here’s a good video to get you started:

3. A website welcome video. For many authors, I recommend a welcome message on the author homepage. This message would welcome visitors to the website and briefly explain what the author hopes people will get out of the book and the website. Usually, this is done in a brief paragraph. But there’s no reason why it can’t be done in a video. In fact, a video can be far more welcoming than a few written sentences. After all, a video gives you the chance to present yourself to your readers and let your personality shine through!

Example: http://themanopauseman.com/

4. Video interviews. A recent article on Publishers Weekly talks about how academic publishers are jumping on the video interview bandwagon. You should, too! After all, having someone ask you good questions about yourself and your book, and having it recorded on camera, can be a great way to get your message out there.

Gregory Kornbluh, Web Content Manager for Harvard University Press (HUP), has been leading their video effort. He tells Publishers Weekly that HUP author videos each attract about 1,500–2,500 views, though some authors, like mathematician Paul Lockhart, author of Measurement, a book that offers elegant solutions to complex math problems, has racked up more than 23,000 views.

Regardless of which format you decide to use video in, the one most important thing you can do with each and every video is to put it on YouTube! In fact, I highly recommend creating a YouTube channel to house all your videos.

The benefits of having your video on YouTube are plentiful, including:

  • It allows other websites/bloggers to embed your video on their site
  • It helps drive traffic from YouTube to your website or blog
  • People can find videos on YouTube that they probably wouldn’t find just on your blog

Think about the best way that you can incorporate video into your online book promotion efforts. Then upload your videos to your site and to YouTube and see where it takes you!

 

Tips for Writing and Marketing a Book That’s Sells

author_on_computerWriting a book is a huge undertaking. Marketing a book is an even harder one.

Think about it: There are thousands of books published by publishing houses each year. And how many books are self-published? It’s pretty much that number squared.

So how do you become one of the few authors whose books really sell? Even more importantly: How do you ensure that you will at least make enough money to offset the expenses of becoming a published author?

Well, to be honest, the odds of doing either are small. But thankfully, it’s not like playing the lottery. There are actual, concrete things you can do to increase the odds that your book will sell. Based on my experience, here are some suggestions…

Before you start writing…

Fiction authors: Have a niche audience in mind.
There are a million mystery writers out there. Ditto for children’s book writers, self-help writers, etc… So start by thinking about how your book is uniquely different from all the others in the industry. Is it about a specific place or time in history (which can bring in people who have a special interest in those subjects)? Does it combine two genres that often don’t go together (like spirituality and mystery, for example)? Figure out what makes your story different from the norm, and make sure you stick to it as your writing the book.

Nonfiction authors: Assess the market.
Make sure you’re writing about what people are looking for. If your specialty is career services, for example, you don’t want to write a book about changing careers in a time where unemployment is sky-high. In that type of market, you’d be much better off writing a book about how to write the perfect resume or what to say in a job interview. That’s what people are looking for, so the market is there waiting for you. Take the time to figure out what the needs/interests are before delving in.

While you’re writing…

It’s never too early to start thinking about marketing a book. While you’re writing it is as good a time as any. Start talking about your book to friends, family and colleagues. Start building an author website and a social media presence.

One of the best things you can do is start a blog. It may sound like a boatload of work to be blogging while you’re also writing your book, but it’s never too early to start building a following.

Most importantly, start collecting email addresses! Even if it’s just friends and family at the beginning, you want to have a ready-made list of people to announce your book to as soon as it’s available.

While you’re publishing/getting published…

Now’s the time to really start ramping up your marketing efforts. You want to be at the pique of your marketing and campaigning several months before your book becomes available. Those efforts should include:

  • Planning a book launch promotion strategy
  • Sending copies of it to reviewers and bloggers
  • Holding contests on your website
  • Actively promoting your book release date on your website and on social media
  • Blogging like crazy
  • Forming relationships with others who have written similar books and/or speak to your target audience
  • Creating author presences on GoodReads and Amazon
  • Connecting with book clubs that might be interested in your book

And most importantly .. reaching out to that niche audience I mentioned.

How do I do that?

Well, that depends on your audience. But here are a few examples.

If you wrote a book about real estate law, for example, you’d want to be targeting real estate attorneys, investors, etc… You’d want to advertise in publications that they read, get your book reviewed by or testimonials written from people in the field, and offer to blog for free on sites that industry insiders read regularly.

On the other hand, if you wrote a novel that takes place in Martha’s Vineyard, you’d want to focus a lot of your attention on that individual area. You should reach out personally to every bookstore owner in the area and make sure they’re carrying your book. You could offer to do speeches at the local community centers, or visit the local book clubs for discussion.

You get the idea … The more specific your nice audience is, the more likely you’ll be able to get your book to stand out from the rest.

Good luck!

 

Do you have other ideas about how to get your book to sell? Share them below!

Vlogging for Authors: Why a Video Presence is a Great Way to Connect (Part 1)

In this two-part guide, I will discuss the benefits of vlogging for authors and show you how to start your own video channel on YouTube to connect with your readers! Stay tuned. Part 2 will be posted a week from today.

Do you have an author blog, but are struggling to find new ways to connect with your visitors? Are you frustrated with the lack of comments and readers your blog receives?

Maybe it’s time to put things in motion!

Vlogging (otherwise known as video-blogging) is still a relatively new concept, and the vast majority of our authors do not make use of it’s potentially-vast power.

In fact, there are many ways in which vlogging can actually be superior to the old-fashioned medium of words on a computer screen.

Benefits of Vlogging over Blogging

1. It is more personal

This one is pretty obvious, but it can pay very large dividends quickly. It is often difficult to get a sense of an author’s personality when it’s just letters on a screen, even with very frequent blog posts. You an only connect with your readers so much if they can’t actually see you.

A video blog is another level of connection between you and your readers. It’s a great way to convey emotion, humor, and insight, and even use visual tricks to keep your followers much more engaged.

2. It can look professional

If you have a good web camera and video-editing software (which comes with almost all computers today) you can put together some nice-looking videos that can help you come off as engaged, professional and even “state of the art.”

Let’s say you’ve written some great books on leadership and innovation, like our client Soren Kaplan. If you give weekly or monthly business tips delivered on video and you put time, effort and thought into keeping the quality of those videos fresh and original, you can bet that they will eventually draw interest.

3. It offers another great way to track metrics and traffic: YouTube

Using YouTube for storage of your video blogs is optional, but we strongly recommend it. When your videos live on YouTube, you can easily embed them on your vlog.

You read that right… your videos can then be found BOTH on your website AND on YouTube. If someone searches “great business ideas” and happens to land on your video on YouTube, watches your video there, and sees that you have a website and a book, you may very well have a new follower (and reader). Imagine gaining a wealth of new followers and eventually vlogging weekly, with readers commenting on your YouTube channel and your blog. Wouldn’t that be nice? It’s very possible!

YouTube is just another way you can be discovered, and their great built-in analytics help you target your videos to specific audiences.

Closing Thoughts

Starting to feel lost? Fear not!

In Part 2 of this series we will be talking about how to get started vlogging from a technical perspective. I will walk you through a step-by-step process of setting up a YouTube account launching your vlogging career!