Don’t get all Mr Angry Pants on me, but most people who visit your blog are wasting their time.

I am not saying your blog is a pile of rotting fish guts, but the chances are that you are doing a pretty crappy job at selling your self-published book on your blog.

Here let me explain…

I am betting that at least 80% of the people that visit your blog are paying so little attention that they are leaving within five seconds.

Think I am lying?

Well, below is the screenshot from Google Analytics of last Monday’s traffic on the BubbleCow blog.

If you look at the figures on the left hand side you will see one called Bounce Rate. This is the number of visitors that leave the site within 5 seconds. You will see that nearly 85% of the people going to our blog legged it almost immediately.

Now, before I move on, I am going to spoil your day even more… There’s one other little gem that will come like a kick in the privates. Take a look at the pie chart on the right — only about 15% of visits are from returning people, the rest (a huge 80 odd percent) are coming to the site for the first (and probably last) time.

So what’s this all got to do with selling books?

Well, you need to get your head around the idea that the typical visitor to your site is a one time Charley and will flit pretty quick.

This means that you must build your site to capture the precious visitor who is actually paying you some attention. You are like a Ninja with a magic net of entanglement and must kidnap visitors before they have chance to escape.

The way you do this is staring you in the face. Look closely at this blog post and see how many email capture forms you can see.

… go on count them!

One at the top right, one at the bottom of the post and, if you are a first time visitor, which you probably are, one at the very top of the blog post (this is done using this WordPress plugin).

You see, even though BubbleCow makes money providing copy editing to writers, I want visitors to this blog to do just one thing — give me their email address. That’s it.

You see, no one will buy your book just because they have read one blog post. To convince someone to part with their hard earned cash takes time and effort. You need to build trust and you are not going to do that with one blog post.

The answer, is email.

Email is a very very very powerful tool. The problem with blog posts is that I am relying on you taking the time to turn up and read my post. It’s all on your terms. That’s a bit crappy for me. You see I want to speak to you when I am ready. The best way to do this is via email.

So to put all this in perspective. The goal of your blog is to sell your self published book. To do this you need to build trust and the best way to prove you are the real deal is via email.

How To Set Up Email Capture

OK — I am hoping I have convinced you that you need email capture. Only once you have an email mailing list will you be able to effectively promote and sell your book. Of course, if you intend to collect emails and send out crappy brain pickling spam crap then this approach is a HUGE waste of time. However, if you intend to send out well crafted emails that will make readers do a virtual high five whenever your email drops into their inbox, then you will win and become the ruler of self publishing land.

To set up an email capture:

Go over to Mail Chimp and set up a free account.

What you need to do is two things. One is to create a LIST and the second is to create a SIGN UP FORM. Let me say this now, it is fairly easy but does require a bit of work to get the whole thing up and running. But it is worth it.

Anyway, to help you out, here’s a video that will give you step-by-step instructions:

Now if you have got this far and found this blog helpful AND would like more super interesting tips to help with your writing and publishing, then stick your email in one of those sign up boxes.

By Gary Smailes - Co-founder at BubbleCow, helping writers to write, get published and sell more books. Google+ Twitter

4 Comments » for How To Use Your Blog To Sell Your Self Published Book
  1. Carradee says:

    No offense intended, but that’s a bad bounce rate and returning visitor rate for a blog that’s being updated regularly.  Even my web novel blog—which hasn’t been substantially updated in months, because the story’s done—does better.  My only blog that roughly shares your ratios is a song review blog that 1. hasn’t been updated in months, and 2. needs an overhaul.

    Granted, you get a lot more traffic (#s) than I do, but those %s make me wonder about how pertinent that traffic actually is.

  2. It is too easy to be sucked into the idea of good and bad stats. I actually picked a day without a new blog post so the hits were down from the site average.

    What the stats don’t show is that the amount of traffic that comes from Stumble Upon, which has a famously high bounce rate. It also fails to take into account that many GB visitors are redirected to our site.

    If we look at search traffic that has come from Organic Search and Stumble the bounce rate is 80% plus.
    However, if we look at direct traffic the bounce rate drops to about 70%.
    And… if you look at traffic that comes from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn the bounce rate is around 60%.
    If we look at Facebook alone it drops to less than 60%.

    I would also say that I want new visitors over returning visitors. The blog is just one resource and we are already engaging with BubbleCow fans via facebook, twitter, email, google plus, skype, telephone and other avenues. The blog is just the front end of the funnel.

    So, no offense taken. However, any blog attracting a lot of search traffic will always have a higher bounce rate.

    This all said, the point of the post is that you are not looking for eyeballs, you are looking for fans. This means that your site needs to be designed in such a way that makes it as easy as possible for these people to stick.

  3. Carradee says:

    Yes, fans are what’s being sought—which is why I was concerned about the bounce and returning visitor rates. :)   I wasn’t catching all those details (about the various methods for keeping fans), so I wasn’t making the connection.  I understand your post a bit better now.

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