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Articles - Business

Content Marketing for YA Authors

Sonal Panse,

Content Marketing for YA Authors

Content marketing is an excellent way to bring your YA novel to the attention of a new audience. If you are a YA author, you should give it a try.

As someone who writes YA books – if you haven't read my serial novel 'The Sunshine Time' yet, go and read it! - and who wants these books to find readers, marketing is a topic that I find endlessly fascinating. I have a high-key imagination and marketing is just the thing to egg me on.

I've gone from nightmare visions of standing on a street corner outside a big name book shop that won't stock my book because I'm self-published, screaming,“Buy my book! Buy my book! Oi, why are you going in there? Come back HERE and BUY my book!” to nightmare visions of fans and The Daily Mail creatives standing on the pavement outside my house, screaming, “Come out, come out! And let us help you hawk your book with the latest scandal in your personal life!”

Anything that gets you attention comes under the marketing umbrella – selling is a different game – but, I'm happy to say, it doesn't have to be the sort of attention that comes from making a complete and utter fool of yourself. It is quite possible to be subtle and classy. In fact, in a competitive industry, where everyone is scrambling to get into the limelight, it might even be smarter to step away from the stampede and take the path of less cacophony.

Which brings us to content marketing. It's not new, it's been around for a while. Long enough to be a staple of many self-proclaimed and peer-anointed gurus, who claim that their way (for which you only need to pay them a mere so much per seminar, plus extra for their marketing masterpiece, and, hey, that's a bargain!) is the one that will get the real results. Despite their assurances, there isn't, of course, any completely surefire method of marketing. It's the old 'Try it and see' adage, and content marketing is one method that could be viable in the long run.

Content Marketing and SEO

Content marketing, when you hack through all the hype and jargon and come right down to it, is nothing more uncomplicated than creating content that is targeted towards your particular audience. The idea behind content marketing is that instead of boring your prospective customer with a jaded, unwavering sales pitch, you provide them with a variety of interesting, informative, and useful content that might make them consider buying whatever it is that you are selling.

The difficult part, of course, is actually creating such content, but we'll get to that shortly.

It is not enough though to create the content, you then want people to find it. Yes, this may seem obvious, but it can be tricky. Unless you are in a very niche space, garnering an appropriate audience can be a rather difficult proposition. There are millions of other works out there competing for everybody's attention, and attention spans, as we keep hearing, are not what they used to be. So you must not only create content, you must create content that is attention-grabbing and unique, and you must use search engine optimization (SEO) to get it before readers.

That is, your content must contain keywords and phrases that your prospective readers are likely to use when they search online for the information they want. What are these keywords and phrases? Well, you will have to carry out some in depth research on that. Consider who your potential audience is and what is likely to interest them. Go to social media sites and find out what these people are talking about. Join the conversation. Ask questions.

The inclusion of keywords and phrases – SEO optimization, as it is called - boosts your content's visibility in search engine results and so people are more likely to find it and thereby you.

Once they have found you, they need a reason to linger and to return to check on the next new thing you come up with.

Here is your opportunity to display your original personality and talents.

And just how are you going to do that?