Huffpost Books
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Penny C. Sansevieri Headshot

Creating Powerful Content That Will Help You Sell Books

Posted: Updated:
Print

These days, it's a must that every marketer create fresh, enticing content. While not everyone uses the term "content," it still comes down to creating words, Tweets, blog post and whatever content you create, it means extra work for you. How can you keep up with your marketing, social media and your content creation? More importantly, how can you create compelling content that readers will not only want to read, but that will also encourage them to buy your book?

For years, I've been creating all sorts of content. Whether it's blog posts, Tweets, Facebook updates, white papers or HuffPost posts, it's all about crafting helpful information people can use and messages that will drive users back to your website. The idea isn't just to push something out there, but to push it out consistently. The best way to generate content is to stay in close touch with your industry. Keep apprised of your marketplace, industry news and changes to your field, because all of this can help to spark ideas. If you're scratching your head wondering how to do this, here are some quick tips to help turn you into a content machine.

  1. Networking: You should be networking with other experts in your market. Getting to know other voices is very important, not just for networking, but also for idea generation. Ideas and inspiration come from everywhere; sometimes they come from Tweets you've seen, other times they might come from blog posts you subscribe to, or Facebook accounts you are a fan of.
  2. RSS feeds: Once you identify your network of experts, subscribe to their blogs. I find that staying immersed in your industry will help to percolate ideas.
  3. Tweets: As I mentioned above, following experts in your market will really help, not only for networking, but also as you're building your knowledge base.
  4. Newsletters: Many experts have newsletters. You should be subscribing to all of them. Newsletters are also a great way to gather fresh, new content ideas.
  5. Guest blog posts: Inviting other experts as guest bloggers on your website is a great way to generate content. Not only that, but it's a fantastic way to connect to new people in your industry. Guest blog posts also help to bring in fresh readers, especially when the guest blogger helps promote the blog to his or her community of readers.
  6. Your book: If you've written nonfiction (and even to some degree with fiction) you should be able to excerpt pieces or portions of it and syndicate it online. In some form or fashion, Red Hot Internet Publicity has been pushed online. Whether it's in blog form, a Tweet, syndicated article or a Facebook update, I have broken this book into a million little pieces, all being used as content.

Once you have a good content strategy, now it's time to plan for your content. I recommend that you take time once a week to do this. Sometimes I'll skip a week, but I always make it up. If you're new to this, treat your content strategy like your new workout routine. At first it won't be easy, but you have to keep up a regular pace until it becomes part of your marketing regime.

Keep your content organized by collecting this valuable content in a folder, either electronically or in a paper file. If you're gathering information electronically, I would suggest using something like Evernote (which I love!) or OneNote. Evernote has a great app for both iPhones and Android, so if you see something or get content inspiration while you're away from your computer, you can add it to Evernote and it will sync up to your main file. Tres cool... That way you can get to it quickly and easily. Once you have identified various ways to gather content and you've started building this content, you'll start to see your platform really growing. The more you push out there in the way of information, the more will come back to you in the way of readers and buyers.

How does content help you sell books? The more of an authority you are, the more eyes you will get to your message -- and the more eyes you get, generally the more buyers you get. Also, I believe that information builds trust and, these days, whether you're buying a book or something else, consumers want to buy from people they trust. Building trust is a big piece of what we do, and content creation is a part of this strategy.