Article Marketing For Stories

rp_story-2.jpgIf you’ve already read up on why you should use articles to market your book, then you’re probably looking for more details on exactly what you should be writing about.

Truthfully, it’s incredibly difficult to say, because this is when science meets art. What kinds of articles you should write and how depend entirely upon your individual narrative voice, and the book you’re trying to market, along with the individual interests of each segment of your target audience.

Find Your Book Marketing Edge By Utilizing Your Work’s Symbolism

When marketing any story, be it fictional or nonfictional (such as memoir, biography, or something historical), you should be aware of the possibly many issues that are apparent in the symbolism woven within your story, that you yourself may not even be aware of without a second pair of eyes to review your work.

For example, let’s say that The Lord of the Rings isn’t already an internationally successful powerhouse classic; let’s create a hypothetical vacuum, wherein The Lord of the Rings is an unknown book that no one’s either ever heard of before, or cares about. How would you market The Lord of the Rings using the Internet?

Refer to the symbolism in the story; always refer to the symbolism. It is through symbols and allegories of real-world ideas and concepts that multiple people can unite for a given purpose, even if only for discussion. Even though Tolkien had no affinity for allegories, let’s just invent some for the sake of breaking into the market. What could you extract from the story?

Nothing? Oh…now that’s not entirely true.

How about racism for a start (out of countless other possible themes you could write articles about to accrue an audience that would be interested in your book)? In The Lord of the Rings, there are clear tensions between Dwarf and Elf, for example. The Dwarves and Elves are two different races who have rivaled each other, befriended each other one day but then may hate and distrust each other the next, over a series of historical events within the universe of the story that can be compared to events of our actual world.

From this angle, you could write a whole series of articles about racism, removed from the actual story of The Lord of the Rings, but use examples from the book in the narrative of your articles to explain a moral or point that an audience unfamiliar with the story can relate to.

This can get people who liked your article interested in reading your story that the article references, because now, after having read your article, there’s something they know that they can psychologically connect to within it, and relate it to their own life experiences.

From yet another angle (remember, there are countless), you could write about what it means to accept responsibility, to grow up, to become an adult, and to care about the lives of others, what it means to be a leader, the differences between a good leader and a bad leader, etc.…all topics that you could write a myriad of neutral articles about, that people from all over the world from different walks of life could understand, because you would have utilized non-esoteric terms, and then refer to examples from the individual perspectives of, or about: Aragorn, Frodo, Sam, Boromir, etc. in order to prove the point or thesis of the article.

This gets people who knew nothing about your work suddenly interested in it, not because they care about you so much, or the book that they’ve never heard of or have yet read, but because they care about the underlying issues in the book that pertain to their interests and what they could vicariously experience about these topics from choosing to read your hitherto unexplored work.

In Fighting for Redemption, a niche memoir that I wrote, I sold lots of copies, rose much awareness about, and connected to my audience hence, by writing different articles and making a video about the psychological effects of child abuse, poverty, how I deal with depression as a veteran, etc.

Did my audience know me? Not up until that point, no. Did my audience care about me? Not up until that point, no. But what unified my audience and I, what broke the initial ice of the cold sale and brought us together for a warm discussion, the greatest common factor shared betwixt us all…

…was our mutual care about these dark issues.

A number of people using the social media channels upon which I shared this video (for example) came forward, despite their fears, and shared their own stories of struggle and depression. It was an amazing bonding experience with people I’ve never personally met, and likely may never, yet through the power my personal pain shared in a non-esoteric way that others could relate to and understand: they began to like and trust me…

…and rightfully so.

Now that’s a video (the original channel it was uploaded to was deleted, but I salvaged it for the sake of this article), but a video can also be a part of any article (like that one is a part of this one). I emphasize, in this particular post, the use of articles on your blog to break that ice with your target audience so that they trust and buy from you, but in actuality, you can use just about any and all forms of content (pictorial, videographic, textual, etc.), so long as it’s created the right way—based on symbolism, abstract concepts, topics, etc. that refer to your book as the source material for the discussion at hand.

In the video, I talk about how I wrote about all of my sadness in my memoir along with the wisdom that I’ve learned in my journey; thus, there was suddenly a small spike in sales, and my following. And what’s better is that once you make what’s called “evergreen” content, meaning content that will give just as much value to new readers/viewers who stumble upon your content in their search queries a year from now as it does today, that video still helps to build my following to this day, even though it was made a while ago, when my hair was much shorter.

In fact, it’s doing that very job right now as you read this.

If you already didn’t before, you do know now about my memoir and that this video exists. Some of you reading this article will take an interest in the video, watch it, follow me, and buy my book; some won’t, but that’s okay. The fact is, this very article is an example of evergreen content that refers to the book I’ve written, and this article will stay online forever, for as long as the Internet and the server hosting this article remains active, and people who visit this website and read this will now have mindshare about my work, even though it’s not my own personal work that I’m directly advertising with this post.

This post is not actually designed to advertise Fighting for Redemption; that’s just an indirect perk of the abstract concept that’s holding your interest. Because I myself am a writer (like you), and I’m giving you advice with this article about how to market your book with article marketing, what better way to show how my advice works than by demonstrating it myself right in front of you—right now?

See what I did there? Look at that paragraph again. I just linked to my book; some of you even clicked on that link and considered buying it just now.

…And writing like this is a skill that takes much time to master, so don’t feel bad if your own posts on your own blog aren’t up to professional copywriting par just yet. There are many different disciplines of writing; there are many different facets to consider when determining what makes a master writer. Literary writing is just one of them; writing for marketing is another.

Learning how to write a book and learning how to sell a book are two completely different disciplines that keep people under the ruse of the prestige effect.

The detached concept that I’m using to connect with you right now is your desire to learn how to market a book. You’re reading this post right now to learn how to market your book, and I’m showing you how—using my own work as a reference, which paradoxically markets my book. You see how I’ve linked to it, content regarding it, etc…

…without actually saying “HEY! YOU DON’T KNOW ME, BUT BUY MY BOOK TODAY! WHY? BECAUSE I’M GREAT! ”

…Yeah, no.

The Topic Of Your Article, Book, And The Audience’s Interest(s) Must Align

The only flaw in what I’m doing within this written demonstration, however, is in marketing a book that isn’t in line with the actual topic of this post, but relax— that flaw is deliberate.

You’re reading this because you want to learn how to market your work, but the book I’m referring to, in the example of this post: my life memoir—isn’t about marketing; it’s about my life struggles and how I overcame them.

Therefore, some of you may suddenly become interested after having read this, but the majority of you reading this article will naturally not be so interested in buying it (or watching the video), because you know you likely won’t learn more about what you truly care about as a higher priority in your mind by buying it.

If, instead, this had been a blog about depression…then you’d have come here looking to read about depression. This post would be about depression, and the scenario of you reading this article about depression would pique your interest in buying it…because depression is a heavy theme of the book that would pertain to your interests…being depression.

See how that works? I hope the Google bots don’t penalize me for using the word “depression” so many times in such a short span of sentences, but if that’s what it takes for you to get the point—that the topic of your article, book, and the target audience that you’re marketing to must align—then so be it.

Your Entire Book Doesn’t Have To Be Entirely About What Your Articles’ Topics Are To Have A Good Alignment

If you’re marketing a book that heavily features a romance in it, then you could write articles about romance that will attract a demographic group of people interested in reading about romance, who will be more likely to buy your book…featuring romance as one constituent of the story.

Even if it’s not necessarily a love story that you’re selling as the entire breadth of the book, the segmented audience of people looking for a good romance in some element of a story that they’d be willing to read, will take interest in your book because romance is a part of the story. This means that one could also write articles about love and duty when trying to market for the hypothetically unknown The Lord of the Rings books as well, because even though that series wasn’t entirely centered around romance, there are romances between characters (e.g. Aragorn and Arwen) that certain demographic groups of people interested in romance will be able to connect to and enjoy.

Meanwhile, you could also write articles about war and discipline using your hypothetically unknown LOTR series as a reference to build an audience of that kind, interested in that topic, who will also buy your book—but for a different reason than the other audiences interested in racism and romance, respectively. 

Every demographic group that you attract with each series of articles that you use to refer them to your book will want to buy it for their own personal reasons connected to why they read the article for the topic that pertained to them to begin with.

Do this enough with different elements of your story, and, eventually, you’ll have a massive audience with people who all appreciate something uniquely different about your one book.

Quod erat demonstrandum, what makes a groundbreaking worldwide bestselling classic is any book that hosts a wide array of different concepts with enough potency that multiple demographic groups with differing interests can relate to, and thus take something from.

When The Three Elements of Your Article Marketing Don’t Align

So, because you didn’t come here looking to read about depression, but to learn how to sell your work, then it would be smarter for me to plug a book that I here at StrataGem Internet Marketing have written instead, which actually is about marketing your book. I would have used this as an example initially, but I thought it critically important, of first priority, that you see an example demonstrating what not to do—what happens when the topics of all three elements (how the given topic of your book should align with the topic of the article, which should align with the topic that your target audience is interested in and searching the Internet to read about) don’t align.

Plugging my personal memoir that has nothing to do with book marketing on a post and blog about book marketing, would, under any other circumstance, be considered a form of spam. The only reason why I have opted to link to it in this article is because: it is in fact, a necessary demonstration that could help your learning.

But by this point, in this section of this article about book marketing, I’ll demonstrate what works better by plugging a book about book marketing, to an audience (you) actually interested in book marketing, called The Archer Theory: Internet Marketing Strategy for Writers.

According to my analytics, you’re statistically far more likely to now click on either of the two links that I just provided directly above this sentence (if you already haven’t), but now you know the deep psychological reason why.

When the elements of your article marketing Internet strategy don’t align, the people you’re trying to sell to will turn away in disinterest at some point. Remember, with content marketing, it’s never about what’s in it for you, before it’s about what’s in it for your audience first. You have to give to receive. What you’re reading this blog for is a lesson.

What you’re investing in me right now is your time and attention; what I’m giving to you in return is knowledge and wisdom.

If I’ve delivered a high enough return on your investment, you’re statistically much more likely to trust me and take the time to look into the material that I refer to in order to help you further on your path of mastering how to sell your book(s) online, because you know that if it’s anything like this article that you’ve come to like, then it would also be a good return on your investment.

A truly efficient Internet marketing plan isn’t easy to execute, especially for a single independent author; to do it properly takes time, discipline, diligence, and attention to detail, which is how I’m able to sell my services to authors as consultant to help them build their followings, because even though you and others may learn a lot from reading this blog—there’s still nothing quite like a veteran professional.

Therefore, if any one of the three elements doesn’t align in the execution of your Internet marketing strategy…if anything is off by even the slightest bit…your efforts will be in vain, or at least—the return on the investment of your hard work will be greatly impeded, regardless of however many articles you read from me and learn from that’ll help you master your skill after having followed me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Follow me to continue your journey.

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Michael Norton
Michael is the bestselling author of Fighting For Redemption, as well as an award-winning essayist, Internet marketing strategist, and mechanical engineer.

Visit his personal blog at NortonsMind.com.
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4 thoughts on “Article Marketing For Stories

  1. I call Lynette “The Memoir Blog Whisperer” as she always finds great posts to share on “Memoir Notes”! 🙂
    thanks for this excellent article!

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