Presenting: A Title that Sells, Part 2

What do potential book buyers look at first? Your title. A jewel of information thanks to research done at Thomas Nelson Publishers and shared by Michael Hyatt, former chairman and CEO. The research yielded a list, in order, of how a book is chosen. I can vouch for the list's authenticity. It's exactly how I choose books. See if you don't agree:
1. Title
2. Cover
3. Back cover
4. Flaps (hardcover books or trade books with "French flaps")
5. Table of Contents
6. First few paragraphs of book's contents
7. Price
Note: If the author is well-known, that might be the deciding factor. (Unknown authors are a "non-factor.) Price, last? Intriguing, but true. Hyatt says, "Readers don't buy price. As long as the book provides enough value for the price requested, it sells."

In the PINC
Hyatt, referring to non-fiction books and blog posts, went on to say: GREAT TITLES ARE PINC (pronounced "pink.") Great non-fiction titles follow at least one of the following strategies:

                                                                            Examples

P: Make a Promise       Sexy Forever: How to Fight Fat after Forty, by Suzanne Somers
I: Create Intrigue          The 7 Wonders that will Change your Life, by Glenn Beck & Keith Ablow
N: Identify a Need         How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One, by Stanley Fish
C: State the Content      Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1, by Mark Twain & Harriet E. Smith

Hyatt notes that some (many) titles cover more than one letter. And that fiction titles are in their own category--Intrigue--true for virtually all fiction books that sell.

Titles that Sell: Two Excellent Resources
1. Emma Walton Hamilton's post: "What's in a Title?". Hamilton, whose post focuses on fiction, suggests making your title:
  • Specific to your book, not general (Pat the Bunny, Blueberries for Sal)
  • Implies what the story is about (The Pokey Little Puppy, Goodnight Moon)
  • Catchy, such as a play with language, using alliterations, rhyme or rhythm, or having a sense of humor (Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)
  • The shorter the better (Little Toot, Freckle Juice)
  • Appropriate to the story (Make Way for Ducklings, Curious George)
  • Memorable (The Little Engine that Could, The Call of the Wild)
In short, come up with a title that encompasses all of the above and your title will not easily be forgotten. Summarized here are a few of Hamilton's suggestions on how to explore your title:
  • A memorable line from the story (A Wrinkle in Time, Little House)
  • Character names (Peter Rabbit, Corduroy)
  • A place (Little House on the Prairie, Misty of Chincoteague)
  • A hidden meaning (revealed in the story) (The Carrot Seed, Where the Wild Things Are)
  • Something ultra-simple (Holes, Where's Spot?)
  • Action words: Titles with strong verbs (Call it Courage, The Cat Ate my Gymsuit)
  • Quirky titles (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler)
  • One-word titles (Severed, Hatchet)
  • Inherent mystery/conflict (Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, Prisoners at the Kitchen Table)
Sources: For a more complete study of creating titles that sell, I recommend that you read the entire articles summarized in "Presenting: Titles that Sell, Part 1" and Part 2. An additional site to explore is the Book Title Name Generator. For help in creating your book title, Lulu.com offers Marketing Consultation with Lulu's publicity team. Clipart from: www.mycutegraphics.com.

Linda Wilson, a former elementary teacher and ICL graduate, has published over 100 articles for adults and children and six short stories for children. Recently she completed Joyce Sweeney's online fiction and picture book courses. She is currently working on several projects for children. Follow Linda on  Facebook.

Aromatherapy To Help You Write

The Northeast is gearing up for a spectacular show of rich, autumn colors. The morning chill, picking fresh apples, and the wonderful earthy smell of fallen leaves gives me the second wind I need to finish my writing goals for this year. Autumn energizes me!

©kathymoulton
Writers are observant and very in tune to their surroundings - positively and negatively. Sights, sounds, and smells spark creativity and find expression in the written word. But sometimes, we have to create an environment to spur us on.

One valuable tip that has worked for me is aromatherapy. Essential oils are extracted from the roots, seeds, leaves, or blossoms of plants. While I have not delved into all their uses, I have been pleased with using them for their aroma.

According to the article "9 Aromatherapy Health Cures" (Sarah Mahoney, Prevention Magazine, December 2012):
In a study at Wheeling Jesuit University, peppermint vapors gave college basketball players more motivation, energy, speed, and confidence.  
Additionally:
In an Austrian study, researchers wafted the smell of oranges before some participants and lavender before others. The two groups felt less anxious, more positive, and calmer, compared with participants who were exposed to no fragrance at all.

There is lots of information on the internet about aromatherapy and what scents produce. Here are a few I've used:
  • lavender - calming and relaxing
  • citrus (oranges, lemons, grapefruit) - energizes, promotes alertness and concentration
  • peppermint - invigorating, energy booster
  • eucalyptus - mental exhaustion, lethargy, stress 
  • tea tree - stimulates the brain and provides blood flow
  • rosemary - headaches, fatigue, tired eyes, focus, memory
  • basil - wakes up the mind
Are you feeling stressed with deadlines? Do you need some fresh energy or soothing tranquility? Try aromatherapy. A diffuser on your desk or in your living space may help give you the boost you need!

Re-blogged from September 27, 2013

~~~~~~~~~~
After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at 
When It Hurts http://kathleenmoulton.com



The Energy of Busy

clip art by Holohololand at www.freedigitalphotos.net
Nothing like doing more to cheer yourself up when you're feeling overwhelmed :-)

The writing blues hit us all at some time--usually after a spurt of great energy leaves us exhausted. Banish them by learning a new skill, trying something different.

Write non fiction if you find yourself stuck with a novel. Alternatively write fiction if you're finding it hard to get enthused over your usual content writing tasks.

Bite the bullet and start using the PLR (private label rights) articles you bought for a rainy day. It's never advisable to use them as is, but they act as a plan to follow and get you going again.

Treat yourself to a new piece of software.

Worn out trying to think up titles for your blog posts? Make life easier by using the Ideator .
You type in your desired keyword and the search produces a selection of titles using that word.
For this blog post, I typed in energy and in double quick time the Ideator produced  25 pages of suggested content titles. I'd never in a month of Sundays have thought up The Energy of Busy  myself but I think it's exactly right for what I want to say. Oh and I forgot to say--it's free.

And how about Keyword Kiwi? Again free, it finds long tail keywords based on what people are searching for on Google. You can set it for Google in any area, set it to produce questions or list titles.

Read and learn

My book of the month has to be Danny Iny's Teach and Grow Rich. It's short but packed with information about the state of marketing and publishing today. It is already at the top of the best sellers for business education on Amazon.com . But be sure to read the one star as well as the five star reviews to make up your own mind first before you buy. It resonated with me. He's not promising "rich" in the sense of making millions before Christmas but in the sense of making a comfortable living while having a happy and fulfilling career. That's good news for a start. 

Joanna Penn's How to Make a Living With Your Writing: Books, Blogging and More is a much longer read, packed full of useful links and information. It seems still to be free in the Kindle store and worth grabbing if you don't have it already.

   What have you found to boost your energy and re-inspire you this month? I'd love to know. Share your ideas, please, in the comments below.



Anne Duguid
Anne Duguid Knol


A local and national journalist in the U.K., Anne is now a fiction editor for award-winning American and Canadian publishers. As a new author, she shares writing tips and insights at Author Support : http://www.authorsupport.net

Her Halloween novella, ShriekWeek is published by The Wild Rose Press and comes out in print next month included in the Hauntings in the Garden anthology. (Volume Two)

Time she wrote something else...



How to Starve Your Inner Critic

For most writers, the inner critic is a challenge to be controlled. Here are some tips to getting the inner critic monkey off your back so you can get back to writing.

1. Don't feed your inner critic. Your inner critic is fed by self doubt. The first step to gaining control of your inner critic is gaining self confidence. How? Focus on that which you are doing well. Keep track of word count, or keep track of grammar lessons that are learned. Anything that shows you are improving your skills, can stop the inner critic.

2. Don't buy into what others have said: Do not let the fact that your third grade teacher didn't think you could write continue to be a factor that keeps you from writing your novel, poem or song lyric. No matter how well meaning family and friends are in keeping it 'real,' keep your focus on what you can and will accomplish.

3. Prove your inner critic wrong: Your inner critic says you can't write, so write 25 words and prove the critic wrong. To prove your inner critic is wrong, take small steps and gradually increase. This is a great way to keep the critic in check until you can completely do away with him.

4. Believe in yourself: Affirmations are a great way to keep focus on the positive.
          I am a talented writer.
          I have a right to be a writer.
          My writing is appreciated.
          My writing has the ability to bless others.
          I am capable.

If affirmations aren't your thing, then find a quote, object or thought that can be used to keep you moving forward.

5. Finally, don't give your inner critic power: You actually choose to listen to the words of your inner critic. So stop! Take back control and tell your inner critic to stop the talking.

Whatever tips or combination of tips work, keep writing. Eventually the critic will starve and no longer bother you at all.

___________________________________
D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Serieswas written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole, and Perception.The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook.



A Few Tips for Writing Nonfiction Articles

by Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer's Coach




Writing nonfiction articles can be a lot of fun and an excellent way to earn income as a freelance writer. But whether you’re writing a nonfiction article for a major magazine or an article that will become a blog post, follow these tips to create a well-written article.

Tip #1 Create a Clear Title for Your Article

A catchy title is good but be sure it accurately conveys what you article will be about. If it is misleading, your editor or your readers won’t be impressed.

Tip #2 Start with an Introductory Paragraph, Not a Subtopic Heading

Be sure you have an introductory paragraph before you have your first subtopic heading. You don’t want to start your article with a catchy title, then immediately have a subtopic heading. This doesn't really make sense.

Tip #3 Make Sure Your Title Reflects the Structure of Your Article

Be sure your title and the content of the article match up. For example, if your title is “Ten Ways to Take Charge of Your Life” and then within the article you tell readers to “follow these ten steps to take charge of your life” the title and content don’t match up. A "way" isn’t necessarily a “step.” Plus, steps generally need to be taken in order, but ways might not.

Tip #4 Use the Right Words

Be sure you’re using the right word. I see articles all the time that say “peek your Interest” or “peak your interest” but the right word in this case is “pique” your interest.

Tip #5 Count the Steps or Ways in Your Article

I edit articles for www.workingwritersclub.com and I often get submissions with titles like “5 Ways to Write an Article” but when I read the article, there are 6 ways listed or only 4 ways. Again, the title and content need to match up. It’s easy for your computer to mess up the numbering so check your article for this type of thing before you send it off to your editor or publish it on your blog.

Tip #6 Check for Parallel Structure in Your Bulleted or List Items

Look at this list and see which item isn’t parallel in structure to all the others:

Catching
Watching
Looking
Create

All the words, above, end in -ing, except for "create." This is an easy fix. Simply change "create" to "creating" and each of your items is parallel in structure.

Tip #7 Avoid Mixing Metaphors

Don’t switch metaphors from sentence to sentence. If you’re talking about how “writing is an ocean of possibilities” don’t then say, in the next sentence, “there are all sorts of ways to bring home the bacon if you’re a writer.“

These tips are pretty basic, but you might use them as a checklist when you're writing your next nonfiction article.

Try it!


Suzanne Lieurance is a fulltime freelance writer, writing coach, certified life coach, and the author of over 30 published books. For more tips, resources, and other helpful information about writing and the business of writing, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at www.morningnudge.com.

September Blogging Prompts

Whether or not you are in school or have kids in school, there is something about autumn that makes people want to regroup and get a fresh start on any and all projects. Much like the beginning of the calendar year, September feels like a clean slate. So offer tips to encourage productivity and help your readers re-approach their writing projects. 

Here are some other ideas of what to blog about in September.

Plus:

September Holidays: September is National Courtesy Month, Self Improvement Month and Classical Music Month. September 13 is Positive Thinking Day (challenge you readers to think positive all day long), September September 19 is International Talk Like A Pirate Day (you've probably seen goofy promotions on social media. Be creative and see if there's a way to tie it into your business), and September 28 is Ask a Stupid Question Day (no question is too stupid. Ask questions of your readers and encourage them to ask them of others).

September Food Holidays: September is National Breakfast Month, National Waffle Week is the second week of the month, and National Pancake Day is September 26. Plus, Drink Beer Day is September 28 and National Coffee Day is September 29. Love it! Writers can relate to all things food and drink, but there's something about coffee and alcohol (and the fact that they are a day apart) may inspire some creative posts..

Bonus: Fiction writers, send your characters to school. If they are the right age, send them to a new school and see how they interact with their classmates. If not, send a character to teach for the day (substitute!) or have a character take or teach a continuing education class or workshop. Another option is to send them back to school. Put a character in as much of a fish out of water scenario as you can concoct and see how they handle it. It may lead to creative scenes you can incorporate into current work or just be a character-building (pun intended) exercise to see how much your characters can handle.

***


Debra Eckerling is the author of Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. She's a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of Guided Goals and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. She is an editor at Social Media Examiner. Debra is also a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Case Study: Failed Star-Studded Book Promotion


A Case Study: Determining What Went Wrong to Get the Future Right
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is a case study from the last decade that still holds some lessons for writers today.

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter


Once upon a time, way back in the last decade, author and researcher Sylvia Ann Hewlett's publicity predicament illustrated to the world of books what we authors suspected all along: Huge amounts of publicity surrounding a release don't necessarily translate into massive sales figures.  In fact, the result of a major publicity coup could turn out to be the most bitter dose of rejection we ever encounter. That may be true even when the publicity is the stuff of which dreams are made-in Surround Sound and Technicolor.

It is reported (variably) that Hewlett’s Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children sold between 8,000 and 10,000 copies. Many authors would be ecstatic with sales figures that look like that but everything is relative. Talk Miramax paid a six-figure advance for this title and projected sales in the 30,000 range for hardcover alone. Considering expectations for the book, the figures do appear dismal.

Therefore, smart people in the publishing industry searched for reasons for its less than stellar performance, especially with the kind of publicity this book received and I mean biggies like Time magazine (the cover, no less),"New York" magazines, "60 Minutes," "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," and "NBC Nightly News" lined up behind this book, for heaven's sake. Even Oprah's magic book-sale-wand was not effective.

Hewlett’s book made great news! It warned young career women that they have been mislead by petri dish miracles reported in the press. She pointed out that women have come to believe that they can put conception after career and be reasonably sure they can have still have both. She attempts to exorcise that notion in Quest.

So, just what did go wrong?

The title is not scintillating, many said, nor is its cover. Those in the know wondered if that influenced book sales. But that’s a huge burden to put on bookcover or title choice under the circumstances.

My 37 year-old-daughter who had just returned to college to embark on a career in anthropology suggested that women don't want to hear the dreadful news. She says, "I just flat out don't want to hear this bad news in the middle of something rewarding, exciting and new! Why would I slap down the price of a book to get depressed?" Another unmarried friend who is also caring for an aging mother said, “I wouldn’t buy it. What am I supposed to do with that kind of information once I have it?”

All this searching for answers may reap results, may help publicists and publishers and authors determine cause and effect so that this syndrome can be avoided in the future-or not.

I figure that all this soul-searching and hullabaloo is misdirected. As an example, the media that chose to feature my novel may not have been as stellar, the publisher not as dazzling, the expectations not as astounding. But when I spend a half hour being interviewed by a host syndicated on more than 300 radio stations and do not see the figures on Amazon rise even an iota the next day, I get this inkling that it is not all that unusual for a book to languish in spite of the tumult that surrounds it.

When my novel won its third award or was honored by my publisher for sales and I still did not see evidence of my title on the LA Times bestseller list, I have to assume that sales are not necessarily affected by such news. The rejection feels every bit as tangible as a polite “Not Quite Right for Us” message.

Of course, my book is a novel and Hewlett's is nonfiction. That alone could account for a discrepancy between what results in sales and what doesn't.  This kind of convoluted reasoning allows me to sit back on my laurels and say, "That's the way the ball bounces." This kind of examination is no more fruitful that those exercised by Hewlett’s publisher and publicists.

Even Hewlett says, "I don't know what to make of this absence of huge sales." One can see her shaking her head in disbelief. If someone with her research skills can't figure it out, can anyone? It may be the economy, stupid. Or retailing. Or the book biz. It's surely something completely out of the author's control unless someone had thought to run the idea by a focus group of career women the age of the book’s expected audience.

But there are more lessons to be had. I think the most valuable lesson that can be learned with this kind of rejection—any kind, really—is that it is not personal, and that it does pay to search for the lesson. For me the lesson is that I must keep the faith. I must keep writing and keep publicizing, because if I don't, I’ll never know if I gave my book—or my career—the best possible chance at success. If I don't see direct or immediate results and my faith should slip just a tad, I don't have to feel too bad. Thanks to Sylvia Ann Hewlett.
-----

This Is the Place was published. It is my first novel and the one that taught me a whole lot about book marketing as opposed to general marketing. It is now out of print and only available using Amazon’s new and used feature. There are at least two more lessons in this latter day situation: 1. Because of the Internet and online bookstores, books can stay alive much longer than they once did. 2. Authors who are more interested in readership than selling books will find it easier to persist through the ups and downs of publishing and eventually build a writing career. Find my HowToDoItFrugally series of how-to books for writers at http://howtodoitfrugally.com.

Avoiding Common Punctuation Errors Part 5: Adjectives and Commas

Image by Peter Arkle

I'm back with more punctuation tips!

Commas between two adjectives

When you have two adjectives in a row, sometimes you put a comma between and sometimes you don't. The fancy grammar explanation has to do with whether the adjectives are coordinate or non-coordinate, and their underlying semantic categories, but you don't really need to know all that. All you need is the rule of thumb.

Rule of Thumb:

If you can REVERSE the two words or put AND between them, and it still sounds okay, you need the comma (to show that the adjectives are equal).

If you can't reverse or put AND, you shouldn't put a comma.

Example 1:
The slippery, slimy frog (good)
The slimy, slippery frog (good)
The slippery and slimy frog (good)
You need a comma between

Example 2;
The big foreign car (good)
The foreign big car (sounds weird and unnatural)
The big and foreign car (sounds a little weird)
Don't put a comma


NOTE: If you've done the tests and it's still not clear (maybe one test sounds a little awkward, but not totally wrong), it can probably go either way, depending on what you want to emphasize. Just make the call and then don't worry too much about it.

Practice

For each sentence, insert or delete commas between adjectives as necessary.

1) I hated the stupid iron bars on the windows.
2) She worked twelve hours a day in a cold wet cave.
3) He sang to his laughing, gurgling baby.
4) They ate delicious, ham sandwiches in a bright airy diner.
5) The sleek, silk dress must have cost a fortune.
6) The fluffy purring kitten softened his hard unyielding heart.
7) We suffered through the long boring meeting.
8) They all understood the complicated, geometry problem.
9) No one wanted the old, beat-up, lawn chair.
10) Samantha's wide, happy smile shone like the warm summer sun.


Practice ANSWERS (Highlight everything from here to "End Practice Answers" to reveal them.)
1) I hated the stupid iron bars on the windows. (Correct as is)
2) She worked twelve hours a day in a cold, wet cave.
3) He sang to his laughing, gurgling baby. (Correct as is)
4) They ate delicious ham sandwiches in a bright, airy diner.
5) The sleek silk dress must have cost a fortune. (This one's a little iffy, but probably you don't want a comma because "silk dress" is one unit.  If you think "dress" is independent, and "sleek" and "silk" modify it equally, you can put the comma.  If it were "silky," you'd surely put a comma)
6) The fluffy, purring kitten softened his hard, unyielding heart.
7) We suffered through the long, boring meeting.
8) They all understood the complicated geometry problem.
9) No one wanted the old, beat-up lawn chair. (the comma between "old" and "beat-up" is correct, but you can't reverse "beat-up" and "lawn" (The lawn, beat-up chair), so you don't need a comma there.
10) Samantha's wide, happy smile shone like the warm summer sun. (Correct as is)
End Practice Answers
Any you disagree with?  Let me know below.  Because we all know punctuation can be slippery.


For more:  
Avoiding Common Punctuation Errors Pt 1:  Commas Save Lives; the Vocative Comma
Avoiding Common Punctuation Errors Pt 2:  Commas and Periods in Dialogue
Avoiding Common Punctuation Errors Pt 3:  Commas with Participial Phrases
Avoiding Common Punctuation Errors Pt 4:  The Mysterious Case of the Missing Question Mark



Melinda Brasher currently teaches English as a second language in the beautiful Czech Republic.  She loves the sound of glaciers calving and the smell of old books.  Her travel articles and short fiction appear in Go NomadInternational LivingElectric SpecIntergalactic Medicine Show, and others.  For an e-book collection of some of her favorite published pieces, check out Leaving Home.  For something a little more medieval, read her YA fantasy novel, Far-KnowingVisit her online at http://www.melindabrasher.com.

What is Social Media Proof? Is it Important? How Do You Get It?

Before social media networking, social proof came in the form of reviews, testimonials, recommendations, referrals, word-of-mouth, and so on. This form of ‘proof’ came through word-of-mouth or written. It wasn’t called social proof at the time.

Now, it’s all about social proof.

But what exactly is this new strategy?

According to TechCrunch, “Put simply, it’s the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something. It’s also known as informational social influence.” (1)

Wikipedia describes social proof as “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.”

Pro-copywriter Colin Martin also weighs in on this subject. In a webinar I attended, he said, “The influence of your friends, family, and co-workers has greater effect on your buying decisions than the best advertising [. . .] People give more credence to ideas that are started by multiple sources.”

Why is It Important?

For one thing, social proof is recognition (acknowledgment) that other people and businesses value you, your business, and/or your services. It shows you have influence.

As an example of this phenomenon, marketing research shows that book reviews sell more books.

People perceive you and your brand as having authority based on what others are saying about you. This perception motivates consumer behavior. In other words, if Joe sees that Tom, Jessica, Amanda, and lots of others bought your program or software or product, he’ll be motivated to buy it himself.

It’s very similar to how search ranking works. The more people who visit your site and share your content, the more valuable the search engines will perceive you to be.

So, these numbers matter significantly. The higher your numbers the better your search engine ranking, traffic, authority, and conversion

It’s important to note that having social proof from influential people carries an even heavier weight.

In the realm of social media networking, this proof is more quantifiable than before. Now, we’re talking about hundreds and thousands weighing in on your influence through social networks.

Social Proof and Numbers

How many Twitter followers do you have? How many Tweets, Favorites, and Retweets do you average? Are you on any ‘social proof’ lists?

What about Google+ and Facebook? What about LinkedIn? What about YouTube?

How many blog post and social networks shares do you get? What about comments.

How many email subscribers do you have?

Again, these numbers matter. The higher the numbers the more influence you will be perceived as having.

How to Get Social Proof

There are a number of ways to garner the proof you need. Here are nine simple ways to get started:

  • Guest blogging on influential sites
  • Getting comments on your social media posts and your blog posts
  • Provide case studies on your website and social media
  • Provide case studies on how you helped clients move forward
  • Be active on social media and promote engagement (activity)
  • Show you're numbers (number of followers, number of shares, etc.)
  • Show the good stuff (show any 'good' comments you get on your social media channels, show any 'good' lists your included in)
  • Show off your LinkedIn recommendations
  • Show actual testimonials and recommendations

Keep in mind that video testimonials are more powerful than any other kind of testimonial from clients. The reason is the visitor to your site can actually see a person. She’ll know it’s not a fake. This absolutely matters.

You can also create banners for your website’s home page showing your numbers. Add it to your header or your sidebar.

Colin Martin recommends:

  • Use content share buttons that display the number of shares
  • Use the WordPress Rotating Testimonial Widget for your website sidebar
  • Use the WordPress Facebook Comments Plugin
  • Get some YouTube testimonials up

There are other tools and strategies to use to get your social proof out there, but these should get you going in the right direction.

Below are a Couple of Examples of Other Social Proof

This shows my Top Skill on LinkedIn:



Here are a few Lists I was recently added to on Twitter:



This is social proof.

You an also use the stats from a blog post that got lots of views or a screenshot of 'good' social media engagement numbers. You get the idea. 

Do you have other strategies you use to get and display social proof?

References:
(1) http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/27/social-proof-why-people-like-to-follow-the-crowd/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_proof 

MORE ON CONTENT MARKETING

SEO and Website Ranking – Inside Visit Lengths
26 Reasons a Writer Should Blog (Part 1)
Selling Your Book - 2 Steps Toward Success




This article was originally published at:
http://www.karencioffiwritingandmarketing.com/2015/03/what-is-social-media-proof-is-it.html


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