Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book Promotion Tips: Guest Post by Karen Cioffi

Book Promotion: Creating an Informational Funnel
By Karen Cioffi

When thinking of book marketing, there are a number of rungs on the marketing ladder. The first involves creating a quality product, in this case a book. You want a book that you’ll be proud to offer for sale, and a book that customers will want to buy.

Once you have a finished product/book, you need to move onto the promotion basics. This rung on the ladder involves establishing a presence - you’ll need to create visibility and a platform. To do this, the first step is to get a website or blog. Next, you will need to join writing groups in your genre, groups in your target market, and other social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.

After you’ve established a presence, the next step is to create an informational funnel leading back to your website. The purpose of this funnel is to bring traffic and inbound links, to your site.

The more traffic to your site the greater your visibility in the search engines. More traffic also means a greater chance of visitors purchasing what you’re offering.

When it comes to an informational funnel, content rules. Here are three strategies to increase traffic to your site.

1. Add Content to Your Blog

Make your presence known by offering information in the form of content on your blog. Content is what will make you an expert in your niche, genre, or area. But, just posting the content to your site will not create the traffic you need. Each time you publish content to your site, you need to let your social networks know about it.

Tweet it and post about it to Facebook and your other social networks. Be sure to always include a clickable url link that goes directly to the article. This is a part of inbound marketing – it leads visitors back to your site through an information funnel.

In addition, using effective keywords in your posts and the post titles, related to your site’s platform, will help the search engines index your content.

2. Article Marketing

Once you feel comfortable with adding content to your blog, you can now venture out into the article marketing arena to capture a larger audience. While most article directories have guidelines, they are fairly lenient. Follow the guidelines and post an article to one, ten, or a hundred different directories. Most of them don’t require original articles, so you can use articles you’ve posted on your blog.

Usually you will be allowed to include a brief bio in the form of a resource box. Make it short and sweet. Be sure it links back to your website or blog, whichever you want the traffic to go to (if you have more than one site).

Those who click on the link will be creating inbound links to your site which is a feature Google and the other search engines like. In fact, quality inbound links are an important aspect of search engine optimization (SEO).

3. Offer to be a Guest on Other Quality Sites

Another avenue of inbound marketing is offering your articles to other quality blogs or sites; you become a featured writer on the site by providing a guest article. It might be viewed as visiting another neighborhood. The particular site you are featured on has its own set of visitors, thereby broadening your visibility.

Do your research though, before you approach bloggers. Make sure the fit is right by checking prior posts on the site. In addition, when you approach the blog owner to ask about a guest post, let him know that you are familiar with his site.

And, be sure to always make it a win-win situation. Let the blog owner know that you will promote your feature post, and you might mention that you’ll include his site in your newsletter.

Finally, self-edit all your articles before you post them or send them off.

Tip: Using content to draw visitors back to your site is inbound or organic marketing. It is free, and it works by creating an informational funnel leading back to your site. In order for inbound marketing to work effectively, you need to provide valuable content on a regular basis.


Karen Cioffi is an author, ghostwriter, and freelance writer. For writing and marketing information visit ( and sign up for her FREE newsletter, A Writer’s World. You’ll get TWO free e-books on writing and marketing in the process, and two more free e-books just for stopping by.


Stop by my friend Maggie Ball's website tomorrow, March 13, for a wonderful post featuring acclaimed writer Nancy Famolari!


Virginia S Grenier said...

Karen and Dallas, another great post. I'm adding this to my Top Ten blog posts. Glad I stopped by before I finished my newsletter so I could this link.

Have a great weekend.

Donna M. McDine said...


Wonderful and informative article and to the point. Thanks for the advice.

Best wishes,

Karen Cioffi said...

Thanks Virginia and Donna for stopping by. I'm so glad you found the post useful.

anthony stemke said...

A very interesting article; thank you for the wise advice.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I'm glad that my notifcation system kicked in so I could see this post. Karen, providing articles for other blogs and Web sites is one of my favorite ways to promote. In fact, I devote a whole section to it in The Frugal Book Promoter ( As you know, there are lots of little secrets to making a program like this sucessful.

Thanks Dallas, for bringing us this delightful (and smart!) writer!


Nancy Famolari said...

Excellent suggestions, Karen. Great post, Karen and Dallas!

Dallas said...

Karen thank you so much for this wonderful post -- you are a treasure trove of book promotion tips! So delighted to have you on my blog today!

kathy stemke said...

Great info for aspiring authors and old-timers as well. Karen, you're one of the MOST talented and generous people I know! 4 FREE E-books for just visiting your site. Now that's a deal!!

Dallas, I count you in the same category too. Best wishes to both of you wonderful ladies!

Magdalena Ball said...

Excellent advice Karen. I love the visual metaphor of an Informational Funnel - it really helps clarify the way that promotion works. Some good ideas there too.

Jennifer Gladen said...

Great tips - thanks Karen!

Heidiwriter said...

"Informational funnel"--great term and description. Thanks for the tips.

madcapmaggie said...

Karen, great tips. I'm saving this information.

Karen Cioffi said...

To all, thanks so much for stopping by. Sorry this is late, I took yesterday off!

And, Dallas, thank you so much for featuring me!

In regard to the "informational funnel," I didn't coin the phrase - forgot where I originally read it though.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to look into the article marketing. I need to expand my horizons and look for new ways to reach new people. Thanks!

Martha said...

As always Karen you have great advice. Thanks