Guest Post

WORDS FOR WRITERS: How to Get People to Read Your Work Online (Guest Post)

WORDS FOR WRITERS: How to Get People to Read Your Work Online (Guest Post)

With the advent of the internet, there are now more ways than ever to reach potential readers. However, the World Wide Web is a vast space, with more than a billion websites competing for attention. For instance, Facebook alone has at least 2 billion users, while platforms like YouTube and Instagram all clock in at more than a billion users each. It can be overwhelming for an author to market a book with little to no budget. That being said, here are a few ways to get more people to read your work online:

Tap influencers in the relevant industry

Social media influencers tend to get a bad rap for being superficial, but there’s no denying the impact they have on brand recognition and consumer purchases. And with an abundance of influencers in all sorts of niches, it could be a good opportunity to work with them to promote your books. You don’t need to partner with a celebrity with a million followers either. According to a blog post on myths about working with influencers by Later, nano influencers — those with less than 10,000 followers — actually have higher engagement rates on sponsored posts than influencers with more followers. This makes them a good choice if what you want is meaningful online marketing that also sparks discussion and conversation.

Build your network

In a previous ‘Words for Writers’ post, we highlighted the importance of networking and community when it comes to marketing your book. Friendship with both readers and authors will go a long way towards creating word-of-mouth buzz. Fortunately, there are many online avenues through which you can cultivate these connections. Online forums such as Reddit or Goodreads are good places to start. Alternatively, social media makes it easier to befriend fellow authors with a single message. A good rule of thumb is to reciprocate: if an author promotes you, buy copies of their books and leave sincere comments as well. In line with tapping influencers, you can also reach out to book bloggers and send them copies of your book to review. Remember to approach them respectfully and professionally, however, as they likely have other reviews to work on already. Minding these details will ensure you have a solid professional network as you progress through your career.

Consider mounting ads

If you have the resources for it, mounting online ads can give your book a lot of mileage. For example, platforms like Amazon make it easy to advertise if your book has a listing there. You have the option to control the amount you spend, and only need to pay once your ad is clicked. This makes it a good option for authors on a tight budget. Similarly, Facebook ads can boost your visibility by a lot, thanks to the robust analytics that aid in targeting and reaching potential buyers.

Maximize your social media presence

Writing for the internet is much different from writing a novel. Social Media Today’s online writing tips explain that readers’ attention spans are shorter when browsing. As such, you must craft compelling copy to make sure they don’t just scroll past you on their feeds. To that end, make sure your content is high quality. For instance, create polls about to stimulate discussion, or post quotes from your book that might resonate with your readers. Don’t just post for the sake of posting, but try to provide value to your audience as much as possible instead.



Have a question about the craft or business of writing that I haven’t answered? Ask it here!

Read more Words for Writers articles here.


JM FreyWORDS FOR WRITERS: How to Get People to Read Your Work Online (Guest Post)
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WORDS FOR WRITERS: How Do I Turn My Travel Bucket List into a Book Worthy of Reading?

WORDS FOR WRITERS: How Do I Turn My Travel Bucket List into a Book Worthy of Reading?

Hello, my lovely readers! Welcome to a special guest WORDS FOR WRITERS post from Beverly Johnson! Want to know all about travel writing? Read on! –J

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How Do I Turn My Travel Bucket List into a Book Worthy of Reading?
by Beverly Johnson

The thing about travel writing that George Stone articulated perfectly is this: Everyone is a travel writer, but not everyone knows it. People tweet, take photographs, and scribble notes whenever they travel, and each activity is a unique take on your experience in a new place. The Editor in Chief of National Geographic Travel argues that the only difference between a normal traveler and a travel writer is a deadline.

While that last part is true for magazine writers, it’s not the case if you’re looking to write a book on your own spare time. Still, the demands are the same: You must sweep the reader off their feet to be present in your journey with you; you must take them on a spatial, outward journey, but also inward and across time; and you must, most importantly, do it well. But how exactly do you turn your travel bucket list into a book worthy of a reader’s time, money, and effort?

Getting started

For starters, make sure your bucket list is as detailed as possible. Lottoland explains that this can take the form of one long list of things you want to do or a shorter one exclusively related to travel goals. The latter is better suited for the purposes of your writing. Avoid general entries like hiking, spending a day in a village, etc. Modify your list so it revolves around a specific place (Things to do in Bangkok), or activities under a common theme encompassing several destinations (Studying the Nuances of Southeast Asian Cuisine).

Making your list is the first step you can take to shape the book you are about to write. Your trip shouldn’t just be the story itself but rather, a series of events from which you can draw your narrative. There are plenty of books and websites out there following the Bucket List format (The Top Places to See in the World and so on), so it’s best to write from your own point of view. Instead of simply recommending places to visit, challenge yourself to weave a story in connection to your travel bucket list and your own experiences and thoughts. As Carl Rogers succinctly puts it, what is most personal is most universal, and this remains true in psychology and in writing. In truth, some of the best travel books not only offer marvelous views into the world out there; they also take a journey through a writer’s life and psyche, which can altogether be more fascinating.

The nitty gritty

With this in mind, remember that there is no need to tell your entire trip chronologically. Skip the touristy areas, ask a lot of questions, make friends, take notes of what people say and how, and snap a lot of photographs. Sometimes, a taking strolls along the streets can tell you more about a place and its culture than any number of museums you visit. Try shopping at a local wet market or eat alongside residents in simple restaurants. Save the best pieces, anecdotes, and descriptions you absorb during the trip to tell the story. Make it truly your story by interweaving facts, descriptions, and observations in your narrative.

The great thing about travel writing is that there’s absolutely no shortage of inspiration anywhere you go. However, if at any point you’re feeling stuck, check out the guide to getting over a block previously shared here on the J.M. Frey blog.

The hard part

Of course, your project doesn’t end with all that nitty gritty work! As any writer with publishing experience will tell you, the hardest part is the homestretch. For instance, editing isn’t just about getting perfect grammar, it’s about making sure your story works; it’s relatable; and that it draws out the best from your travel experience. Travel writers of The Guardian emphasize the importance of triple-checking your facts and being economical about your work. Be ruthless about editing out words and anecdotes that no longer add to your book’s purpose and do your best to avoid clichés. Have a trusted friend or beta reader to go through your work, if you wish.

After all of this, it’s finally time to reach out to publishers about your book. Granted, going through an agent isn’t for everyone, but as explained in another Words for Writers blog post, there are still many advantages related to having one.

Have any more questions? Be sure to check out more WORDS FOR WRITERS articles or CONTACT J.M. HERE.

JM FreyWORDS FOR WRITERS: How Do I Turn My Travel Bucket List into a Book Worthy of Reading?
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