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About the Author: Kevin McNeese lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., and owns and operates KMWeb Designs. He has worked in professional web design and online marketing for over four years and currently manages sites for various authors, artists, and small businesses.

Ten Simple & Inexpensive Ways for Authors to Market Themselves Online
(Part 2)

by Kevin McNeese


A link is simply a connecting point from one site to another. Clicking on a link will take you to another site. Networking is the cornerstone of any successful business or author. You are in the business of selling books, and without connecting with established readers that are already online, you are missing huge opportunities.

But where do you begin? There are billions of websites online. The task does initially seem daunting, but the solution is simple. First, you have to figure out who your public is. Then, surf the net to find websites that reach your public. Find sites that cater to your target audience. Offer a place on your site to link to resources and offer to trade links with these sites. is a great search engine to use when doing this type of research. Your web designer should be able to help you identify key sites to be a part of.

More than likely, you have met a few authors along the way. Offer to trade links with them and present these authors on your site as ones you endorse to your readers.

Again, your publisher should be using every opportunity to help promote your site via advertisements, postcards, press releases, etc.

The fact is, the more sites that link to your site, the better chances you have of showing up higher in search engine results.


For the majority of your readers, your website will be the only place that they can follow your actions and learn more about you including future releases. Without varied content, it's very easy to loose interest and frustrate your readers. View your site as a way to get the person who has read and enjoyed your site more engaged with what you do. How will you make sure they will purchase your future works? You must present more information than what they have already read and enjoyed.

Online journals are a great way to connect to an audience. A short 3-4 paragraph update a month will do wonders in keeping your site active and looking fresh. Also look at adding an extended biography while listing your favorite books, movies and music. Ask your publisher for permission to post sample chapters from your works and republish articles that focus on your latest interest.

This additional content will help add some depth and personality to your site. Best of all, it will help establish your site as a destination point to get information about you. People will return again and again.


If you have yet to make a connection to an online retailer, I strongly suggest you find one that is willing to partner with you. While it may not be your job specifically, speak with your publicist about running a few promotions with retailers. Your two goals should be to drive awareness of your products, and your site.

There are many ways to partner with online retailers, but you need to make sure you remain open to suggestions. Be willing to write original content or even share what you already have. Offer contests that the retailer can run on their site or even offer to provide signed copies of your book for giveaway.

Whether you are a new author or an established author, online retailers will be looking for traffic in return, so offer them a prominent link on your home page pushing people to your site. In return, ask for a link to your site. You should be able to put together three to four 3-month promotions every year with various online retailers.


First of all, if you are not giving guests that come to your site an opportunity to purchase your own product, you are missing sales left and right. Secondly, if you are not making any money by pushing your guests to make their purchases at a specific online retailer, you are letting go of dollars that could be in your pocket.

It's safe to say that everyone who visits your site either has read one or more of your books or is thinking about doing so in the near future. You need to be giving everyone an opportunity to purchase your products. It's too expensive and time-intensive to set up your own store, so therefore, it makes sense to link to a well respected, established online retailer. Set up a buy link prominently on your home page. If you would like, link to multiple retailers or link to one exclusively for a short period of time and go for partnerships like I explained in tip #8.

When you choose an online retailer to link to, make sure they have what is commonly referred to as an "affiliate program." The concept of an affiliate program is simple. The online retailer will supply you with a traceable link and you will get a percentage of any sales made by guests who visit your site, click on one of these links and make any purchase. You will get a commission from whatever they buy, even if it's not your book! This is pure money in your pocket, simply by selling your own products! The percentage of sale varies from site to site, but find a program that best fits your needs, will give comfort to your target audience and if possible, work with a retailer that will help you expand your site.


I can't stress enough the importance of maintaining your website. It is vital to your relevance online. I would almost suggest that it would be a complete waste of your money if you are thinking about a website and planning to forget about it until your next project comes out. At the same time, a static site (meaning one that does not change) does have some value, but only to first time visitors. After that, you will lose touch with people as soon as they close your site.

The power of the Internet is amazing. The ability to interact with your readers on a monthly, weekly, daily basis is at your fingertips. To not utilize its full potential would be the same as not realizing your own potential.

I hope these ideas have sparked some excitement and curiosity to get moving on marketing yourself online. It is extremely elating to be able to call a website your own. If you have any questions about the information presented here, please do not hesitate to ask.
For more information on the services outlined in this article, contact:
Kevin D. McNeese
KMWeb Designs
Cell: 616.901.9107

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