There are hundreds of promotion services and ways to promote a book for indie authors.
You can use free and paid book promotion sites, write a blog post every week and offer free ebooks.
Marketing your book to find potential readers is a non-stop effort if you want people to buy your book.
If you have published more than one title, you will know how much hard work is involved in keeping the buzz going for your books and Kindle books.
Encouraging people to take an interest is not easy and is sometimes counterproductive.
Direct approaches using social media or even your email list often achieve very low click-through rates, and poor conversions to book sales.
But when people accidentally stumble upon you or your book cover without you coercing them, the results can be surprising. In SEO speak, it is called organic traffic.
The key element in obtaining this type of traffic is a shared interest.
In other words, they find you because you have expressed an idea or opinion that is interesting to them too.
Organic traffic is gold
Of course, you can achieve this by writing articles for your blog. If you can get a good ranking on Google, you will get organic, or search traffic.
But it is a lot of hard work, and it takes time to write articles and wait and hope they rank.
Some authors and publishers use guest posting as a means of free promotion. It can work well if you can find high ranking blogs to accept your article and publish it on their site for free.
You can expect to get a quality backlink to your website, or even to your Amazon Author page.
There are also sites that accept articles but as sponsored content. This means that you pay to have your article published.
Normally it is not overly expensive, and again, if the site is high ranking, you will get a solid backlink.
Press releases are easy and there are many sites that offer them for free. However, very few people read them, but you do get a link.
Another way to get search traffic is to pay for Google Ads, but it is very expensive. It is rarely worth the investment for books, as the price for one click is nearly as much as you would expect to gain in book royalties.
But all of these book marketing tips to help sell more books are either time consuming or expensive.
Is there an easier way to get free book promotion? Yes, there is.
Commenting on blogs and articles is free, quick, easy and fun. Best of all, you will very often get a link back to your site.
Links from comments are not the same though as an external link embedded in an article, so it needs a little explanation.
There are two types of links. One type is marked as dofollow and the other, nofollow.
A dofollow link tells search engines that the site would like to pass on authority to the site in the link. Naturally, nofollow is the opposite. It tells search engines, not to count the site.
Comment links are generally nofollow.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter, because you want your comment link to produce traffic, not improve your site’s ranking.
But before you rush off madly commenting, there are a few checks you need to do.
Firstly, not all blogs give you a link. Because of the huge amount of comment spam, many have removed the function.
You can check by clicking on a comment author’s name. If nothing happens, there is no link available.
However, there are many popular sites and platforms that offer links.
You should check your profile on some of the most popular platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, Disqus, Gravatar or newspapers or magazines where you have commented previously.
Make sure your profile details are up to date, and that you have listed the correct link to your author website or blog where your books are listed.
Now you are ready.
Commenting gets traffic if you do it right
This is the wrong way:
Love your blog.
Short comments of only a few words are only slightly better than spam. Very often they are deleted by discussion moderators.
Blog comments that get read, attract attention, thumbs up or likes, are well written and add value to the article or the discussion.
Make sure you read the article before you add your comment.
Never comment after only reading the headline or title!
It could lead you to post an irrelevant or worse, embarrassingly silly comment that has nothing to do with the article’s main topic or argument. Read the article first.
You can start a fresh comment, or reply to one. Both work well, but a reply is an instant connection, so consider its value.
Similar to a well-written article, a great comment is well crafted, to the point and of a length that can offer value to the discussion.
It should be at least 4-5 sentences long and be error-free and grammatically perfect. You should also avoid including links in your comment. This is a trick spammers use, so your comment may not get posted.
Remember, express your idea or opinion, politely, and in an interesting way to attract people who share your interest.
But do not use your comment to ask people to read your book.
Where can you get the most attention?
I have found that comments on newspapers are a great source of referral traffic.
I have accounts on The Guardian, The Independent, Huffington Post just to name a few. You should check your local newspapers because they can really boost your presence.
The huge advantage of commenting on newspaper articles is that they are syndicated and shared so widely. Your one comment could be seen by thousands of people on hundreds of different platforms around the world.
I don’t know how many times I have had people send me messages, emails or contacted me via my website saying they saw my comment on Facebook, Twitter or wherever.
But I hadn’t commented on these platforms. These contacts came from my newspaper comment on an article that was shared on social media.
Here’s a tip. If you see a newspaper article on Facebook, don’t comment there. Go to the original article, and get a link!
WordPress and Blogger are also top blogging platforms for links because of the enormous number of people who are active on them.
If you haven’t got an account on Disqus, you should register and create one. It is a commenting platform that is integrated into many blogs and even smaller newspapers.
On most of the sites I have mentioned above, there is a simple tick box that is going to really help you gain attention.
Have you seen it?
Notify me of new posts via email.
People almost always tick this box, which means that they will get to see your comment in daily emails delivered by the origin website.
Is that an author and free book promotion winner, or what?
1. Check and update all your commenting profiles on every platform or site you use.
2. Make a bookmark list of your favourite sites that might publish a guest article from you and give you a link.
3. Write comments that add value to the conversation.
4. Replying to replies can be of high value.
5. Comment regularly and widely.