Every writer needs to know how to get attention.
You spend days, weeks, or months writing articles, blog posts, or books.
However, attracting readers to take just a few minutes to read your work is challenging.
In today’s busy online world, capturing people’s attention is always work in progress for a writer.
How to attract people’s attention
There are many ways to get attention, and social media often seems like the easiest way for a lot of writers.
Yes, it’s a free and simple form of communication to promote your work. However, the attention span of Facebook and Twitter users is often extremely short.
On average, desktop users tend to spend 2.5 seconds on any piece of content on the platform, compared to mobile users who spend about 1.7 seconds. Source.
In under three seconds, you might get people to like or share your social media posts. But how many users click through to your article and then take the time to read it in full?
Generally, Facebook and Twitter users start losing interest after reading only a few lines. If you are an author, social networks can certainly help you draw attention to your books.
Yet, experienced authors know that getting social users to buy books and ebooks is tough work.
The problem with social media is that you always ask the same people to pay attention to your posts.
You can only promote your books to your limited number of followers and friends. On top of that, your posts have a very short active life and disappear from view within a few hours.
A better way is to try to get many more readers to discover your work. You can do this when you understand the contrast between active and passive promotion.
Active promotion is asking people to read your writing. Passive promotion is creating ways for more people to discover your writing.
How to get attention without asking for it
Curiosity and answering a need or question are two of the best ways to attract attention.
To help you capture the attention of these readers, you need to work on creating long-term assets. These will work passively for you, day in and day out.
When someone finds your article or book when searching or browsing, they are more likely to be interested because it meets a need.
Here are some ideas for you to try to help you build long-lasting promotion of your writing.
Improve your SEO for articles
You have probably written a lot of articles or blog posts. But how many of them are ranking on search engines?
If you are indexed and ranking on page ten of a Google search, you will not attract many readers.
However, if some of your articles are ranking on page one, you will get a lot of readers.
You don’t need to write new articles. All you need to do is improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on existing articles and help them to rank better.
The easiest way is to use an SEO writing program to help you. While most of these tools are expensive premium options, you can now use a new free program.
The INK writing assistant is free software you can download. Then you can immediately get to work on improving your articles.
You can copy and paste or import your existing articles from a URL and follow the recommendations to improve your SEO.
Another idea is to check Google Search Console and look for keywords Google has assigned to your articles.
If you find a keyword that is not in the text of your article or post, add it naturally to your text. Your article will then rank a little higher for that keyword.
You can also look for keyword variations. If you do a Google search, you can find these at the bottom of the first page.
Let’s say you have an article about relationship advice. You might want to include love and relationship tips, relationship advice for new couples, relationship help, and relationship tips.
Another improvement you can make is to change your headline or SEO meta description to attract more attention.
Choose better keywords for books
Why do people buy certain books and not others?
For authors, when you can answer the question, you are heading in the right direction.
In the graph below from Statista, the top reason for buying a book is an interest in the subject.
You can’t control if a reader likes you as an author. But you can help your sales by appealing to some of the other reasons people buy books.
Yes, you definitely need an attention-grabbing book cover and a book description that can help you hook readers.
But the best way to attract readers is by carefully selecting your Amazon keywords and categories.
Get this right, and you have a chance of attracting readers searching for a new book to read on the Amazon book store.
You can select keywords to match some of the reasons above. These include interest in a subject, the description of the book, catching attention or information needed by a reader.
Amazon search ranking is similar to SEO. However, high-ranking results depend on the buyer’s search term and your choice of keywords to match the query.
Many new authors make the mistake of selecting only single-word keywords for their books. It is a huge mistake.
You need to select keyword phrases and pay attention to the character count of each keyword phrase.
You can use up to 50 characters for each of your seven keywords. Using longer phrases gives you a much better chance of a reader finding your book.
There are a lot of free ways you can select your Amazon keywords.
When you find the right search phrases for your book, they will be working for you day and night. They can only help you sell more books and ebooks.
There is no doubt that social media can be helpful to some degree.
But unlike SEO and Amazon keywords, which have a long-lasting positive and passive effect, social posts are active and very short-lived.
You can use many different tools to schedule your social media posts to promote your articles, blog posts, and books.
Once you have your posting automated, you can concentrate on the more productive aspects.
You can reply to comments, engage with your contacts, and build your following.
Don’t forget offline attention
An often forgotten means of attracting attention are business cards and flyers.
You only have to ask. You will find many opportunities to leave your promotional material on shop counters, cafés, and even in medical or dental waiting rooms.
It’s easy to design business cards, flyers, and pamphlets with a free Canva account.
You won’t need a lot of copies, so you can print them at home.
Then you only need to ask anywhere in your area if you can leave some copies on a counter or waiting room table.
You will be pleasantly surprised by how many businesses will agree.
There are hundreds of new books published every day and millions of new articles and blog posts.
Getting your share of attention for your writing means doing some hard yards and continually working on being a marketer and promoting your work.
It doesn’t mean paying for expensive advertising or wasting time with relationship-building on social media.
The best chance of succeeding is always to think in the long term. Put passive strategies in place that will work for you all day, every day.
Sure, you might feel good if you get ten likes for a Facebook post. But it is a fleeting success.
Improving your SEO and Amazon keywords are the two best techniques to attract more attention to your writing.