Secrets to Online Advertising of Ebooks

How to Advertise Your Ebook Like a Pro

Secrets to Online Advertising of Ebooks

A while ago, a company posted on a Kindle Publishing Facebook group that they had an incredibly popular eBook website and were offering paid advertisement spots for self-publishers. They even claimed that you would sell “thousands of copies” by advertising with them. However, using a little Kindlepreneur magic, I quickly found that there was no way they were worth your time or your money.

Sadly, the Internet is filled with these scams. There are too many professional looking websites out there claiming that for a little bit of money they will generate boat loads of sales for your book. But how can you verify that they are worth your time or more importantly, worth your money?

After all, every Kindlepreneur should hope to increase the amount of publicity their book gets, right? Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t advertise your ebook…quite the contrary. But before you invest anything into a particular website, here are a couple of things you can do to make sure you get the best bang for your buck!

In this article, you will learn about:

  • How to find out the amount of traffic any website gets
  • How to find out the demographics of those that visit a site
  • How to decipher whether or not a site is worth the advertising fee

Using this technique, you should save yourself a lot of time and money…which is nice.

The Right Kind of Book Marketing

In order to maximize your sales, you need traffic and the right kind of traffic. Here are two questions we need to answer before we can agree or disagree to invest in advertisement on a particular website:

Does the site get traffic?

Without traffic, also known as visitors, you will have no viewers. Without viewers, you will get no sales. Basically, you will be dumping money down the drain. Not exactly a successful marketing strategy.

Does the website attract YOUR kind of customers?

You can’t sell a military book in a World Peace book site…well, unless you are going for a ‘Shock and Aww” campaign 😉

But what good is 10,000 visitors if you are showing them what they don’t want?

Visitors do not necessarily equate to a sales. I would much rather have 100 genuine visitors that are interested in my product, then 10,000 random people.

So, now that you know what you should be looking for, let’s do a step-by-step walk through on how you can answer these two very critical questions and decide whether or not you should advertise on a particular site.

For the purposes of an example, I am going to use the site: Booksonline.directory

WARNING: Don’t go to that website though.  They will request to access your facebook account and if they do, they will start posting on your behalf.

A couple of months ago, they started hitting people’s Facebook Groups with advertisements that looked like this:

Marketing tips for Kindle Authors

If this happens to be your site, then feel free to comment and if you can prove that I am wrong, then I will be more then happy to change the information. However, I am sure you won’t be able to.

Can such a website sell that many of your books?

Let’s find out!

Does the Book Site Get Traffic?

For this, we are going to take a peak behind the curtain and see what the Wizard is up to.

First, go to SEMRush.com. This excellent resource is a SEO specialist’s dream and with a premium membership, you get HUNDREDs of awesome features. But for the purpose of our quest, you only need a free subscription.How to use SEMRush to find traffic for a book advertiser

Now that you are there, go ahead and type in the potential eBook marketing Website’s URL in the search field.Does a website have traffic? Find out here

Right smack dab in the middle should be a couple of panels that Don't trust websites that have no trafficshow the estimated traffic of the website.

In the example below, you can see that the traffic is SOOO small that it doesn’t even register it.

A paid subscription would provide the exact numbers, but for the purposes of a free subscription, if SEMRush.com says it’s negligible, then guess what? So are their sales.

Boo! In the great words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, “these are not the droids you are looking for.”

IMPORTANT: SEMRush isn’t perfect and their depiction of how much traffic a website gets is usually on the low side.  A rule of thumb is to multiply SEMRush’s number by 10-14 so as to get a more accurate number.  Remember, this just gives you a good representation and can help you to figure out comparatively who gets more traffic.

What Kind of Person Goes Here?

What if I were to tell you that through a couple of clicks you can find out exactly what type of people go to a particular website?

Thanks to people being logged into Google accounts when they search the internet or other data that follows them, Google is actually able to keep record of a person’s personal information. Big Brother G is Watching!Google tracks your movements

Luckily, there is a site that will tell you this data for free.

It can help you to figure out who is going to that particular website before you start trying to buy advertisement space. Sure the site looks good, but does it have MY market going to it?

So to figure out what kind of market goes to a particular site, go to: http://Quantcast.com

Here you will enter the site’s URL.

Because we proved that Booksonline.directory has no traffic, it wouldn’t be a good example for site demographics.

Therefore, we will check out a big time site like Goodreads.

How to find a book sites demographics and traffic stats

If you scroll down to the middle of the page, you will see the section called US Demographics.

Discover ways to learn abou the demographics of a site

Here, you can see that the majority of visitors to Goodreads are females between the ages of 18-34, that have a college and Graduate level of education and are predominately Caucasian.

Please don’t send hate mail over this statement…I am only reading the shown statistics and am not being racist or bigoted.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The above picture is of the mobile users. Make sure you check both. In this case, the only thing that is different between mobile visits and desktop visits is that there is a higher amount of Asians visiting through a desktop computer, then there were on mobile.

As you can see, using the free version of Quantcast, you can now find out who typically goes to a website. If you know your market’s demographics, then make sure the site you advertise on is a good fit.

Where to Go From Here

No longer do you need to blindly apply for advertisement.

Use the two above methods and figure out whether or not a site gets traffic and the right traffic.

However, you can also use the above information in other useful ways:

 Compare the data of two potential sites and use this information when negotiating the price. “Hey, your asking double what this site is asking, but you get about the same traffic.”

That oughta help your negotiating position.

Use the second step above and figure out where your target market is going. You don’t have to advertise there, you can just interact with them on that platform.

For more information on how to find your target marketing, I would recommend reading up on your advanced Google skills.  You’ll be surprised what else Google can do.

There are many other ways you can use the above steps, but the most important one is that you don’t spend money you don’t have to.

Furthermore, make sure that when you do, you get your ad showing to the people who matter…your target market.

Cheers,
Dave-Signature

 

  • It’s a very sound advice Dave. I use traffic estimators to determine which sites are worth my time in case of submitting free promos. And 95% of promo sites don’t deliver. Even BookBub.
    Have you heard of Buck Books? It’s my new secret weapon in launching my books.

    • Kindlepreneur

      Michal, I am a HUGE fan of buck books. I am actually writing an article about them and why they are worth a writer’s time. My main point will be though, book promotion sites that have strict criteria (don’t let just anyone and everyone in) and have a targeted market based on specific audience groups in their email list are BY FAR the best and worth a marketers time.

      • That sounds interesting. I cannot find your article about buck books. I’d like to learn more about book promotion sites with focus on targeted markets. Where can I read that, can you please point me to your article? Thanks!

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  • Richie Contartesi

    Dave, are you familiar with: http://thebookpromoter.com#our-packages . I received mail and replied with the question: How can confirm I am getting the hits to my Amazon Page? There is no way to track this? . They replied: we are also happy for you to create a Google or other short URL, which will mean you can see the hits we get for you. They claim their trafffic comes from : Twitter, Facebook and email mainly. Interested in your thoughts?

  • rickey ponting

    Well now a day the technology is on hype and E-book is one of the best and perfect examples of this statement. Moreover I was to finding the way to advertise e-book. Thank you so much for this very post.

    http://www.ebook-title.com/

  • stvwrd

    Good discussion on these book promo sites, but what about purchasing advertising space, like with adwords, or on popular niche websites? And, if you do try it, do you have the ad send people directly to the book’s Amazon page, or to the book’s website where you can collect their email address, put them on a “mini-course” of some sort for a few days, and then pitch the book? Curious about your thoughts.

  • Darren Ackers

    Good advice Dave. I have tried many so called ‘book promotion’ sites, and to be honest, all of them were useless. That said, I have had success with Facebook ads and target people who are interested in specific authors and niches. My main focus now is to write more books and grow my email list.

    • Awesome Darren, and you can’t go wrong with having your own asset (aka your email list) instead of trying to depend on someone else’s. Not sure where you are with the process, but here’s an article I wrote discussing the different email services: http://Kindlepreneur.com/aweber-vs-mailchimp-vs-getresponse-review/ If you need help with any of it let me know. Another tips that I love is that when I was trying to figure out my identity for my emails, I signed up for a WHOLE bunch of email lists. Then I picked and chose what I liked about each and put together, what I hope is, a strong and focused email path for my readers. Anyways, you’ve got good focus and I agree with both FB ads and Email. A good 1-2 punch.

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  • Great article Dave. There so many sites out there now that promise the world to promote your ebook when you sign up…but then fail to deliver…then you get hit hit with lots of spam. This takes the hard work out of finding the honest sites so the writer can get back to concentrating more on the writing side of the business.

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