C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

TOP 10 in The Art of Seduction (and getting read)

Helpful or informative blog posts shouldn’t be hampered by headlines that repel readers. Here are some how-to suggestions for better headlines and variables that hurt the spread of your word:

1. Relentlessly negative headlines. Occasionally going negative with headlines can increase the number of people checking out what you have to say. If condemnation is all you’ve got, I’d rather watch puppies and kittens wrestle on YouTube.

2. Sex sells, but not too much. You’ll get fewer retweets among the squares. Many of the people who aren’t square won’t retweet, either. It’s not that they’re prudes, but Mom’s on Twitter, too. Stay classy…like “The Art of Seduction” instead of the sexier headline I’m really thinking of. 

3. Insular headlines don’t help. “Cover reveal”, for instance. Please give us more of a reason to click that link. It’s not that cover reveals are necessarily bad. It’s that it’s only for the people who already know you. We all want to expand our audiences beyond our inner circles, so be more welcoming to the uninitiated.

4. Vague headlines. “Author interview” seems a tad lacklustre, especially if you don’t at least name the author.

5. Pull quotes are better. You just did a hilarious interview with an author. Quote them in the headline or add the joke to your tweet. To get us to click the link, we want to know we’ll have fun when we get to your blog.

6. Provocative is fine. Don’t be misleading or a dick. In the case of today’s headline, I added the parenthetical “getting read” so those clicking quick would still have their clothes on by the time the page loaded. Please note that all my blog content is enjoyed best naked, however. That’s how I write it.

7. A headline is a promise of a sort. The headline should fit the content, but make both more fun. When I was in Journalism school we were told to only write headlines with verbs in them. I don’t believe in putting writers in straitjackets, but it’s not a terrible idea.

8. Brief is better but your tweet doesn’t have to be limited to your headline. Add appropriate hashtags. Add a pull quote. Offer more clues so we know what to expect. Can’t do it with one attention-grabby headline? Follow up with another tweet tomorrow that doesn’t use the headline but points out an angle of the content. Or write a better headline in the first place. 

9. Spend more time on writing headlines. What would get you to click? The words, “how to” and “review” get more clicks. Asking a question can get people to check out what you have to say. Using key words in your tags will help you find more readers, so think about what words you would search to find out about your topic. However, don’t overuse key words. Google spiders are smarter than they used to be about that and, worse, that kind of thinking lends itself to flat, repetitive articles.

10. Write your headline last. Some people write headlines first to maintain focus, but that can lead to plain and linear headlines (which aren’t necessarily bad if it’s something people need immediately and it’s something they’re searching for.) The first stab is not always best and it will be more clever if you give it some time to percolate as you write. People like Top 10 lists, perhaps for the brevity (and so they get less of me naked.)

BONUS

It’s okay to tweet old posts if the material is evergreen. Get more mileage out of your work. It’s still going to be new to a lot of people.

Robert Chazz Chute Bio Picture~ Have you seen that new gorgeous and bodacious you asked for? Check this out at ThisPlagueOfDays.com.

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Filed under: author platform, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Book sales on Twitter: One click doesn’t work

I’ve changed the way I use Twitter. I’m not about making rules for how people use social media. Twitter Narcs are

English: A pie chart created in Excel 2007 sho...

English: A pie chart created in Excel 2007 showing the content of tweets on Twitter, based on the data gathered by Pear Analytics in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

annoying. However, by the end of this post, I hope you’ll vary the way you try to sell your books. We’re drowning in the sameness of “Buy my books!” We have to sex up our tweeting.

Most book sales tweets have a crippling weakness that’s hurting sales. Twitter is so awesome everyone is using it to sell books in the same way. That makes it anti-awesome for your book sales. Using a one-click approach, sending me straight to Amazon without providing enough information or value, is not working. 

What doesn’t work well:

Title of book. Go buy it. Here’s the link.

What’s only microscopically better:

Title of book. Review: “Scintillating!” Here’s the link.

The problem:

Too many tweets are trying to make sales by just telling us to buy.

We’re so flooded with ugly tweets, it’s too easy to ignore them all.

What I’m suggesting:

Be more clever and change up the ask. Sure, promote however you want, but give me more to go on than generic messages like: “Great book!” “New post!” “Another new post!”

We need more showing, not telling, in those 140 characters. Give me a clue or hashtag the genre. I want to like you, but dress up a little and show me you care about me. It’s not about you. It’s about us.

Best:

Please pull me back to your blog and seduce me.

I’ll buy, but I need more to go on to make that first click toward falling in love with you.

On World Literary Cafe Tweet Teams this week, I didn’t try to send people straight to Amazon. I provided links to my blog posts, a cool graphic, and my podcast (where I’m giving Bigger Than Jesus away for free one chapter at a time). There’s added value to my audience that way.

Examples:

RT RChazzChute Hear the #thriller Bigger Than Jesus as a #podcast. http://bit.ly/TkBSGs #WLCAuthor (Or buy the book http://amzn.to/Nm6xj4)

RT @rchazzchute It’s a meme, baby! Self-help for Stoners #excerpt & #inspiration http://bit.ly/NNhBDI #suspense #fiction #WLCAuthor   

RT @rchazzchute Hear all the suspenseful #fiction & #comedy #podcasts http://bit.ly/OBRMeT #WLCAuthor #whatwaitsinlocker408

RT @rchazzchute #Thought for the Day: #Creation. http://bit.ly/TUTtVX and The Value of #Writing & #Reading http://bit.ly/Pd1JfN #WLCAuthor

RT @rchazzchute Just working on the next instalment in The Hit Man Series. (Excerpt of the hook to Chap.6) http://bit.ly/SPU7on #WLCAuthor

RT @rchazzchute Did Han shoot first? Catch 2 chapters of Bigger Than Jesus for the explanation. http://bit.ly/S8JgDm #suspense #WLCAuthor

RT @RChazzChute WIP Sneak peek! 1st there was Bigger Than Jesus. Next comes Higher Than Jesus. http://bit.ly/S5dHGT #crime #novel #WLCAuthor

RT @rchazzchute Quote Trailers http://bit.ly/OF1YPp & Quote Art http://bit.ly/NlwJM1 promote your books. #WLCAuthor 

More content and seduction is why Triberr works:

On Triberr, everyone on your tribe retweets your blog post summary (assuming they’ve read your post and have no objections.) Information spreads. Something in the summary captures the tweetosphere’s interest so they come to your blog. They find you helpful, funny, sexy or useful. Do that enough and maybe they’ll get smitten, click on a book link to the “Buy with one click” button.

True, if you don’t send me straight to Amazon, it’s more than one click to buy. However, too many tweets that look the same get ignored because it’s an overload of data without enough information or value. Will there be exceptions? Sure. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with announcements of book launches. I’m what you call, “pro-reading.”

But, please, join me in the campaign against Bland. Bland is so Beige and, as we all know, Beige is the Mitt Romney of the colour spectrum. It seems to be everywhere, but no one’s excited about it.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your No Apologies Tour: What’s your Twitter ratio?

Follow me on Twitter logo

Image via Wikipedia

Many people on Twitter make a big deal about unfollowing anyone who tries to sell them something.

That’s screwed up.

I wish I could remember where I saw it so I could give the glory to the Google+ person who came up with this powerful observation:

“I’m amazed at the number of people who don’t understand what spam is,” she said. “The definition seems to have expanded to include anything you don’t want to read.”

Some people have a problem with being asked for something (even when there’s no obligation to read, to buy or even to acknowledge the attempt to sell a product or service.) It’s not enough for some people to simply refuse to read the commercial link. They get self-righteous and announce they are unfollowing anyone who dares try to sell them something.

That attitude casts aspersions on my intent. The first salesperson who trained me told me two things I’ll never forget: He said “ZZ Top is right. Girls do go crazy for a sharp-dressed man,” and “I’m not here to sell anyone anything. I’m here to help them buy.”

Okay, let’s grant that I’m a pig if all I do is pester you to buy, buy, buy! Agreed. But what’s the corollary? What’s your responsibility? I propose that you’re an ungracious snot if you can’t tolerate anyone who gives you the opportunity to check out something you might like (or even love.) 

If you say you value reading but get pissed if an author tries to get you to look at their book, that’s unfair. Not interested? Just don’t read it. Why get angry that someone tried to share their work with you? No one’s polluting your timeline. Just choose what you pay attention to without the drama. I don’t care for Carrot Top’s comedy. That doesn’t mean I have to hate his guts and declare a fatwa. I just change the channel (quickly!)

Does that mean Twitter should only be commercials? No, that wouldn’t be effective. Eventually you’ll tire everyone out. Some misguided fools use trickery or even make the mistake of trying to extort attention through Twitter and alienate people who could have helped them (see Eden Baylee’s weird experience below.) But if we can find a reasonable Twitter ratio of fun/information/helping others/even shameless self-promotion, there will be no need to apologize. Unless you’re royalty or a lottery winner, everybody serves somebody and we’re all selling something.

If you’re such a delicate doily that you can’t handle the mention of a blog post, a book or a service, just unfollow…just about everybody. Use Twitter as quick email among your friends and leave it at that (or don’t use it at all.) Don’t feel you have to announce you’re going, just go. The rest of us will take part in the world and try to feed ourselves off the proceeds of our labors.

What’s your Twitter Ratio?

How often do you tweet your blog link before you let it go? How much of your feed is commercials versus fun and informational? How often are you tweeting about other people’s work to help them meet their dreams? We give  and we get. If you resent it when someone asks for your attention, maybe your expectations are screwy. 

Maybe those people you despise aren’t pigs. Maybe you’re just dealing with reality poorly.

Filed under: Rant, Rejection, self-publishing, Social Media, Twitter, , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

Write to live

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

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