Since I write young adult fiction, for the last few months I’ve been trying to build up stable, long term traffic to a few of my websites. The advantage of having your own traffic is that you don’t need to chase down readers, spend money on advertising or promote your books on social media. You just build content and Google sends people to you.
The best keywords for my genre, I discovered, were “best books for teens” – so I started writing collections of recommended books for every genre. This is what I have so far.
- 32 thrilling young adult fantasy novels with MERMAIDS
- The Best YA/Teen Fiction Books With Zombies
- 28 Awesome Steampunk Books for YA Readers
- The Best Victorian YA Novels
- The Best YA Fairytale Retellings
- 28 Amazing Dark Fantasy/Supernatural Thriller YA books for fans of Fallen
- The Best YA Sci-fi Dystopian Books for Teens
- The Best Mythology-Based Books for Teens
- The Best YA/Teen Fiction Books With Ghosts
- The Best YA/Teen Fiction Books With Pirates
- The Best Dragon Books for Teens
Those are decent titles, but they aren’t enough yet. First, I need to get people to share them. So I contact all the authors I’ve featured and let them know about the post. They are likely to share it with their audience. I also need to get links, from more powerful sites, pointing to those posts – ideally other YA sites or sites that use the same keywords. (I’m putting these on Creativindie, because the “link-juice” of this site is strong, even though the content isn’t that relevant to young adult fiction.
What I should really do is find 10 targeted blogs for each specific genre and see if they’d be interested in trading links with my sites, to those articles of recommended books.
What could also do, is rework that content into some guest posts and ask if I can post them on other genre specific blogs.
Finally, in terms of book sales, you want to use keyword anchors to link straight to your book on Amazon, for example my YA mermaid fantasy book or my dark fantasy romance based on Greek mythology. That tells Google to rank my Amazon page for search queries using those keywords.
Does it work? Is it necessary? There are other things that probably work much better. The results will be subtle. However, if I can get 5 or 10 more people a day on my site or Amazon page, without paying for it, that’s a win. Also, these efforts will be cumulative. Results may be meager in the first year, but after five years these platforms should be able to drive quite a bit of traffic to my books.
I’m a philosophy dropout with a PhD in Literature. I covet a cabin full of cats, where I can write fantasy novels to pay for my cake addiction. Sometimes I live in castles.
Most of the time I only understand about half of what Derek says. I’ll re-read this in 3months & hopefully iit’ll be more intelligible. i.e. what’s a ‘keyword anchor’? (is it my keywords I enter for my ebook upload?); how would anyone get keywords at aYA site to point to his posts that use those keywords?
Correction: I understand maybe 25% of what he says. Ah well.