If you publish and market books, you probably understand the importance of keeping up with industry trends. Sites like Publishers Weekly, Digital Book World, Jane Friedman’s blog, The Hot Sheet, and the BookBub Partners Blog can help you learn about new ways to reach more readers.
But to make your books truly stand out, you need to stay ahead of the curve. Looking outside the publishing universe can help you do that — you’ll see what marketing strategies other industries are buzzing about, and be able to apply the best relevant tactics to your own book marketing plans.
To help you get a broader perspective, we assembled a list of our favorite marketing and media blogs outside the publishing universe. Not all of these blogs will be relevant for everyone, so we’ve provided a few recommended reads from each publication so you can see if you find the content they offer helpful.
Also, reading these blogs doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Use a free app like Feedly to scan the latest posts from your favorite blogs all in one place while you sip your morning coffee.
Main topics: Content marketing and online copywriting tips
Copyblogger is a fantastic blog focused on executing content marketing campaigns and writing killer marketing copy. Their articles cover everything from writing headlines to crafting effective call-to-actions to A/B testing marketing copy. They also have a ton of free ebooks available if you create a free account — my favorite is How to Write Magnetic Headlines.
- What is Content Marketing? – Read Copyblogger’s ultimate guide to content marketing, including links to tons of resources — everything from brainstorming content ideas to generating traffic on your online platforms.
- 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work – If blogging or email marketing is part of your book marketing strategy, learn how to write more attention-grabbing headlines.
- 8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content – If your marketing content is easy to scan, more visitors will read and share it with their friends.
Main topics: Social media marketing
Social Media Examiner is a great resource for learning all things social media marketing. Their comprehensive and data-driven posts show how to use specific social media channels, how to best optimize content for each channel, and the latest tactics you might want to try.
- Getting Started with Social Media: A Resource Guide – This handy post links to Social Media Examiner’s top educational content across multiple topics, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, blogging, podcasts, and more.
- How to Design Social Media Images for Brand Recognition – Whether you’re focusing on promoting a particular book, an author’s platform, or a publishing house, learn how to boost brand recognition across your online content and marketing channels.
- Ultimate Guide to Social Media Image Sizes – Optimizing your images for each social media site can increase shares. See what size images to create for each channel.
Main topics: Advertising campaigns
Adweek is an excellent publication that covers news on advertising campaigns, media, marketing, and technology. They also publish thought leadership and analysis pieces from ad industry leaders. This can be a great source for inspiration, and a way to keep up with trending advertising tactics.
These examples all show how Adweek’s coverage can provide inspiration for book marketing campaigns. But even articles about non-book ad campaigns can spark ideas!
- Harlequin’s Latest Romance Novel Ads Pack Every Hunky Cliché Into Your Work Break
- Paulo Coelho Just Published the Entire Text of His Novel The Alchemist in a Single Ad
- James Patterson Tells Us Why He’s Selling a Self-Destructing Book for $294,038
4. The Moz Blog
Main topics: SEO and content marketing
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important topic for any publisher to keep tabs on — it’s how you can make your books and marketing content more findable on search engines like Google. Also, Google regularly updates its algorithm, so best practices are ever-changing. Moz covers both beginner and advanced SEO and content marketing topics, so add this to your list of blogs to peruse for relevant tips.
- The Beginner’s Guide to SEO – If you’re looking to optimize an author or publisher website, this is one of the most comprehensive resources available for learning SEO best practices.
- A Visual Guide to Keyword Targeting and On-Page SEO – Moz founder Rand Fishkin provides advice on the best practices for optimizing a page for search.
- How to Build and Operate a Content Marketing Machine – Learn how to set content marketing goals, build a team, generate ideas, produce a content calendar, define an audience, and more.
Main topics: Digital marketing inspiration
Seth Godin is a popular blogger who coined the phrase “permission marketing” — the concept of collecting email addresses and the right to market to them. While many of the blogs on this list produce in-depth content on their topic matters, Seth publishes short, easily digestible, thought-provoking pieces on digital marketing. This is a great source for inspiration.
- Fear of bad ideas – Seth makes the point that “you can’t have good ideas unless you’re willing to generate a lot of bad ones.”
- Question checklist for reviewing your new marketing materials – Read these quick tips on how to ensure that each of your book marketing campaigns sparks interest.
- Eight email failures (and questions for those that want to do better) – Seth offers excellent reminders for anyone doing email marketing.
Main topics: Digital media and platforms, publishing, advertising
Digiday is a digital media blog that covers the publishing, advertising, and digital platform industries. They publish news on digital marketing platforms, the latest marketing trends, and analysis on specific campaigns. It’s a great blog to follow for news, education, and inspiration.
- Latest in content marketing: brands make their own podcasts – This is a great example of the type of marketing news and trend analysis Digiday offers.
- How Bloomberg monetizes readers who arrive from social media – Get an inside look at tactics companies employ to optimize their conversions so you can get inspiration.
- Day in the life: What a publisher social media manager does – See how a marketing professional juggles her workload and what tasks she prioritizes.
Main topics: Inbound marketing, content marketing, social media, SEO
The HubSpot Marketing Blog is an inbound marketing blog covering everything from content marketing to SEO to social media marketing to email marketing and more. I’m a bit biased — I worked at HubSpot before joining BookBub, but I still read their marketing blog daily! While some of their posts focus on using their inbound marketing software, they offer a plethora of marketing tips and news that any marketer in publishing can find useful.
- The Complete Checklist for Creating Compelling Calls-to-Action – If you want your website visitors to take any sort of action, whether it’s buying a book or subscribing to your mailing list, see how to convince visitors to click through.
- Email Analytics: The 6 Email Marketing Metrics & KPIs You Should Be Tracking – Learn about how you might want to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns and find areas for improvement.
- The Anatomy of a Shareable, Linkable & Popular Post – This data-driven post shows what kind of content gets shared most often for HubSpot. Factors include post word count, title length, links within the post, keyword usage, and more.
Main topics: website traffic generation, lead conversion, analytics, testing
Kissmetrics has a data-driven approach to teaching how to generate more website traffic and turn more of those visitors into customers. If you’re selling books directly on your website, this is an excellent resource for learning how to increase conversions and sales. They also have a wide array of fascinating infographics and free educational guides available to download.
- It’s Time to Kill These 8 Deadly Online Marketing Myths – We love busting myths, and so does Kissmetrics. If you think a book doesn’t need marketing, or if you think email marketing is dead, this is a must-read.
- 10 Things Every Marketer Should Know About A/B Testing – A/B testing can help you choose a better cover design, improve your description copy, or optimize your website. See what you should keep in mind when running A/B tests.
- How to do Keyword Research the Smart Way: Targeting Interest and Intent – Learn how to build a list of keywords for a book’s marketing assets, including its retailer product pages.
Main topics: branding, traffic generation, and conversion rate optimization
Quicksprout is a marketing blog run by Neil Patel, a top influencer in online marketing and demand generation on the web. He is a content marketing expert and has insanely in-depth content on just about every topic of digital marketing. Also peruse the “Quick Sprout University” for video series on a wide array of online marketing topics.
- The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand – If you’re looking to build an author platform, this is an in-depth resource to use or share with your authors.
- What Are the Best Times to Post on Social Media? – See the optimal times to post content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+ based on data.
- 5 Ways to Make Your Content Mobile-Friendly for Increased Traffic and Engagement – Mobile internet usage has exceeded desktop uses, so it’s important to optimize your web and content assets accordingly. Read these five great mobile optimization tips.
Main topics: web analytics and optimization
The Online-Behavior blog offers online marketing tactics and strategies, tips on how to measure your online marketing, and insights from industry leaders. If you’re looking for how to make smarter online marketing decisions using data, this is an excellent blog to follow.
- Google Analytics Dashboards: A Step-By-Step Guide – If you’re using Google Analytics to measure your website traffic (you should be!), learn how to set up a useful dashboard to understand how your website or blog is performing at a glance.
- A Guide to Running Successful A/B Tests – Learn the methodology behind A/B testing and tips for running successful A/B tests.
- Demystifying Google Analytics Direct Traffic – It’s likely that a significant portion of your incoming website traffic is from “direct.” Learn what direct traffic means.
What other blogs would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!
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