E-Book Promotion Strategies, Using Hashtags and Google Analytics #FridayFinds

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Are you looking for a marketing strategy for your E-Book? Did you see the viral video about overusing hashtags or would you like to learn more on how to effectively use them? Did you hear about the training that Google is offering on Google Analytics or get a chance to read Kristi Hines’ article on KissMetrics about referral paths (in Google Analytics)? Learn more about all of these in this week’s #FridayFinds series.

Is Amazon the Best Way to Promote your E-Book?

There are lots of articles written on how to promote E-books and I honestly was not looking for this post when I came across it but the title Why My E-Book Release Had Greater Success Without Amazon by Stephanie Chandler on OpenForum.com caught my eye. (Stephanie has authored nine books, has been featured on Entrepreneur, Business Week and Wired Magazine and is a blogger for Forbes.)

Stephanie talks about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program which, although free to enroll, “still comes with a cost”. That cost is exclusive distribution rights for at least 90-days. Rather than simply telling us what not to do, Stephanie goes on to share her marketing strategy with us. Her plan makes sense to me and I’ve bookmarked this one. (As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.)

Should You be Using Hashtags?

A couple of weeks ago in my #FridayFinds series, I shared a funny YouTube video about overusing hashtags. The video is entitled “#Hashtag” with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake and if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Meanwhile, overusing hashtags can be a real turnoff and in a study conducted by EdgeRankChecker.com, the results indicated that using hashtags on Facebook posts can actually decrease engagement. (The EdgeRankChecker study is worth linking to again.)

  • This week, I came across The Beginner’s Guide to the Hashtag by Rebecca Hiscott on Mashable.com. With about 12k shares already, this is sure to be a resource that anyone who uses social media will want to read. The bullet-points from this share include:
  • What characters are supported in hashtags?
  • Which of the major social media platforms allow hashtags?
  • What other uses are there for hashtags besides organizing tweets?
  • How do major brands (like Coca Cola) use hashtags to promote events and campaigns?
  • What are some “best-practices” when it comes to hashtags?

Interested in Free Analytics Training by Google?

Thanks to Ashley Faulkes of MadLemmings.com for this week’s SEO find, Google Analytics Academy – Become a Guru. This free online training course opened on October 8th and it ends on October 30th, 2013 at 11:59 PDT.  (After completing the final assessment of the course with a score of 80% or better, you will have access to a certificate of completion but you must save or print it before the course ends on the 30th.)

To get a brief overview of this course check out this video:

Want to Learn about Referral Paths in Google Analytics?

One of my favorite bloggers to follow is Kristi Hines (who tweets under the username @Kikolani). One of the things that I like the most about Kristi’s writing style is that she can make something complicated sound simpler. This week, Kristi published What You Can Learn from Referral Paths in Google Analytics on KissMetrics.com.

In her article, Kristi explains:

  • What referral paths are
  • Why to use referral paths rather than  UTM Parameters
  • Twitter referrals
  • Pinterest referrals
  • Google Images
  • Social Networking votes (like Digg and Reddit)
  • Other referral paths to investigate

Over to You:

Have you launched an eBook campaign on Kindle or using another strategy? Did you find the beginner’s hashtag guide helpful? Did you sign up for the Google Analytics course or find Kristi’s article on referral paths helpful? As always, please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.

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Published by Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

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  1. Hi stranger! 😉

    I just came across this, and felt that a comment to you has been long overdue.
    Given that I plan on publishing an ebook of my own one day (soon, I hope), I thought this was the perfect place to tell you that I like reading the comments others leave, especially when I can learn from them as well as you.

    I’m a few steps ahead of the game, since I know what a hashtag is and how to use them properly. I’ve been more active learning Twitter lately, and growing some followers, so I’m pleased to report this.

    However, I’m still in the process of editing my ebook, based on beta reader feedback. Phew. I didn’t realize this was going to be so much work!

    I’ll try to stay in touch, Sherryl; I know we are both super-busy! It was nice touching base with you again!

    Your informative, techie posts intimidate me. I’m not a techie, you know!

    1. Hi Lorraine,

      It’s so good to see you here! I feel like I’ve been treading water lately and I have not been making the rounds that I’d like to.

      That’s wonderful news that you’re in the process of editing your eBook. That’s something that I have wanted to do for a long time now. I have the idea of what I want to write about and I’ve been documenting (with screenshots) along the way but I’m in the early stages. (Be sure to let me know when you’ve launched your book. If you blog about it, I’ll share it for you.)

      Thanks for the feedback on my posts. I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to continue with this series because it’s time consuming to write. Then again, I’ve basically only been publishing this one post a week (with some guest posts sprinkled in). Some readers have suggested possibly covering fewer topics in my #FridayFinds. I’m still not sure what I’m going to do! 🙂

      1. It is getting harder for me to remember to visit everyone, too! (Especially since I have been more active on Twitter lately, with the Follow Friday feature, which ends up going on all week! LOL)

        About a month or so ago, I decided my blog will have a theme: True Tales Tuesdays and Featured Fridays. Now I’m somewhat regretting that decision; I’d like to post only once a week. I may have to announce a “vacation” soon – I’ve been blogging regularly since January, when I first started my blog. I also have another blog, Poetry Perfected that I created on a whim and now feel obligated to regularly post at. Sigh. What have I gotten myself into?

        I think that you should follow your heart regarding your posts. (LOL, who am I to give advice?)

        I appreciate the offer of helping promote my book when it comes out…if it ever does… Thank you!!!

        Ditto to you for when you release your book, whenever it may be. What’s your book about? Tell me more! (My curiosity is piqued, especially since you mentioned screenshots…)

        1. I feel guilty about only posting once a week. I think shorter more frequent posts are better to keep you on top of people’s minds. As you know, I find it difficult to write short posts. 🙂

          My eBook will be geared to people who allow (or have allowed) do-follow links in comments. It will be an overview of steps that bloggers can take to try to keep Google happy and avoid being penalized and how to clean up a site that already has links to spammy sites and bad neighborhoods.

          I’m not an expert in SEO and I won’t make any promises but I can explain (in simple to understand terms) some of the things that can get you in trouble and tools that you can use to clean up your blog. The screenshots would be part of the how-to.

          This all started out by my documenting how I cleaned up my site. (Partly so that I can easily repeat my steps.) Any input is welcome. Would this be something that people would be interested in buying and what would it be worth to them? I’m still in the early stages of this project.

          1. I think your idea is good, maybe even great, but I don’t know how many people would be willing to pay for that kind of a book. I am the wrong person to ask, since my blog is a free one – and I have no idea how to “clean up” a site!

            If you are looking to gain more subscribers, you could give it away as an ebook to them. 🙂

            Many bloggers use this strategy, you know!

            Does this help?

            1. Thanks for your feedback Lorraine. I’m thinking of this as being a product not a free giveaway. I spent hours researching this topic and if an inexpensive eBook containing this information had been available to me, I wouldn’t have hesitated buying it.

              1. Then I say “GO FOR IT” and sell it for whatever you think it’s worth – use your experience to help others!

                As I mentioned earlier, I have a free blog (for the time being) and so know NOTHING about this…

                I’d probably buy it if I needed this information and could not find it elsewhere for free.

                🙂

  2. Hi Sherryl,
    Everywhere i read, i see everyone explaining what Hashtags are? or they share a basic tutorial on how to use them, or what keywords are best to use with Hashtags,
    but no where i could find a real answer on Hashtags,
    if there’s a million people using the same keywords with Hashtags, what factors decides which posts shows up first!?
    I see allot of people promoting Hashtags, but none seems to understand how they really work! any ideas ?
    Many thanks and Best wishes!

    1. Mitch,

      In September, Google announced that they’ve added Google+ hashtag support to Google Search. Whether or not they’ll extend that to social sites like Twitter and Facebook is yet to be determined (from what I’ve read so far).

      Here’s an article on WebProNews that you may find interesting: http://bit.ly/1d6XiRz.

      Thanks for raising the question.

  3. For marketing purposes, I do believe using the right hashtag along with when you post goes hand in hand together. I find I get alot of feedback when I post early in the morning because people usually check their phone when they wake up!!

    Anh Tran Go Moment

  4. Sherryl, Jeff Bullas recently posted about his experience
    http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/10/08/should-you-sell-your-ebook-on-amazon-or-your-blog/
    He found he was better off selling his ebook direct rather than using Amazon.

    It still amazes me how many ebook writers I come across that just use networks like Amazon or Apple. Especially those entrepreneurs that write about online business topics and who have strong audiences. This is despite them not being able to build an email list of their ebook buyers using marketplaces like Amazon and it costing them 30%+ in royalties.

    1. Geoff,
      I agree that there are options beyond Amazon. (That’s why as soon as I read Stephanie’s article, I knew that I should include it here.) Thanks for the additional resource from Jeff Bullas. I appreciate it.

  5. Thanks for providing Stephanie’s article about how to get greater success with your e-books without Amazon. Have bookmarked it and will definitely follow in her footsteps.

    1. Hi Catarina,
      I’m glad you found Stephanie’s article helpful. I always appreciate it when someone shares a strategy that has proven successful to them. Stephanie mentioned using Twitter as part of her campaign. When I checked her account, I noticed that she has over 51k followers. (I’m a long way from that.) Growing my number of followers on Twitter is definitely something that I need to work on. Triberr is working well for me but I should definitely try to grow the number of followers that I have personally.

      Thanks for dropping by and contributing to the conversation.

  6. Sherryl — a post chock full of information, as usual. I viewed the first video and signed up for the Google Analytics course. I’m quite busy now so I hope I have the 4-6 hours it takes to finish it. I’m woefully uneducated about Analytics so I hope this course will be helpful. I won’t tell you my final score unless it’s 80+!

    1. Hi Jeannette,
      I have to make taking the course a priority too. Google Analytics is constantly evolving and there are new features that I know I’m not taking advantage of. I also want to start looking at the referral paths that Kristi blogged about.

      Thanks for dropping by and good luck with your new hosting vendor!

  7. Hi Sheryl !
    I do agree that using right hashtags for promotion can be beneficial .If it doesn’t works for some reason..we can make use of SEO strategies to make sure that our eBook gets exposure . The Google Analytics course can be beneficial to bloggers and webmasters and those who want to make their career in SEO . Thanks for sharing the information .

    -Pramod

  8. Hi Sherryl,

    1. I am not convinced that Amazon is the best way to promote your ebook. Amazon is big, I know. However, the competition is fierce and things are just more and more difficult.

    The fact that so many people talk about promoting your book on Amazon is a sure sign for me that I should not do it. At least not now. I have learned from Robert Kyiosaki that excellent principle: When everybody buys this is a sure sign you should sell and leave that market.
    Things were good, very good about 2-3 years ago. Now, I am not sure.

    If you really want to promote a book on Amazon, you need help from a community. I know there are such communities (paid membership) dedicated to help their members promoting their ebooks on Amazon. If you join such a special club, you will be asked to promote the members’ ebooks and will get help for yours. This way you can get 100 positive reviews or more in a short period of time and your book will sell well.

    Without help from a community and without help from professional, reputable reviewers, most authors have no chance. This is my opinion.

    2. For the moment I do not use hashtags and I still don’t know how to talk to people on Twitter. I know about Follow Fridays but I have no idea how to participate in such a thing.

    3. I know Google Analytics course. I joined it and now I am studying the materials. I wrote two posts about this course. The last one is a kind of behind the scenes. For the moment I can say only one thing: it is very interesting.

    Have a wonderful day

    1. Silviu,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about promoting your eBook through a community. I think communities are vital to every blogger. In the marketing strategy that Stephanie shared, she mentioned using Twitter. I was curious how many Twitter followers she has and it’s over 51k. Now, that’s a community!

      I think Follow Friday on Twitter has run it’s course. I know people still use it but it’s fallen out of favor with some of the bloggers who I respect when it comes to Twitter advice. (BTW – Someone who I respect for Twitter advice is @JohnAguiar. John has almost 130k followers and he practices what he preaches.)

      Thanks for the link to your post. I’ll check it out!

  9. Hi Sherryl

    I signed up for the Google Analytics course and really need to get around to starting it. Thanks for the reminder. It’s only available until the end of the month so I need to get my skates on!

    I have no idea what a referral path is, so I’m going to check out Kristi’s post today. It sounds like something I need to know.

    I completely forget to use hashtags so I’ve clipped the Mashable article to Everpost so I can read it later and keep it for future reference.

    Thanks for some great finds Sherryl! Have a great weekend.

    Tim

    1. I need to get my skates on too Tim. 🙂 As for referral paths, I had no idea about it either until I read Kristi’s post. Analytics has changed so much that I really need that course!

      Thanks for letting me know that you found my finds helpful. Sometimes, it’s tough to decide which ones to share.

    1. One of my favorite tools on Amazon is their Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). You can sign up for it for a year for free and after that, it’s very affordable. I have BackupBuddy configured to automatically deliver my backups there.

  10. Hey Sherryl,

    I am planning to write and sell eBooks in the future, so the eBook resource would be really helpful 😀

    Also thanks for sharing the post about Google Analytics academy. I had seen it at Ashley’s blog, but forgot to check it out. I am planning to experiment a lot with my blog, so knowing the ins and outs of Analytics will definitely help. Not having an active blog will definitely not help with the course. Fortunately, I do have the data from my old blog, so I can play around a little.

    Thank you for sharing these resources, Sherryl! Appreciate it 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend 😀

    1. Hi Jeevan,
      It sounds like Stephanie’s article is perfect timing for you. I’m glad you found it here and that my post also reminded you about Google’s academy. I have to get started on the course myself. They let you sign up with or without an analytics code. I’m sure you’ll be fine. At least you’re familiar with analytics already. That will make it easier.

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