This is Part II of a three-part series, where we will highlight another top five blogs out of fifteen [Part I can be found here.] Today, we bring you 6-10.
I have included an Alexa Ranking and a Google PageRank for each blog site, as both of these metrics serve as a barometer for determining online traffic to a website. This does not mean that one site is better than another, only that for a variety of reasons, some sites attract more followers than others.
Alexa Rankings tracks the history of practically every website online. Each site has a ranking number: the lower the number, the higher the rank–meaning more traffic to that site than to those with higher numbers. PageRank, on the other hand provides a means to determine the value of a website based on incoming links. Differing from Alexa, the higher the number [out of 10] the more popular the site. Neither of these analytical tools are the ‘be-all’ metric for determining blog traffic, as there are a number of other analytical tools also available. I have included Alexa and PageRank here strictly to show self-publishing writers that there are a number of ways to vet a blogging site.
Also, I have mentioned one complimentary ‘Actionable Take-away’ from each site. These offerings serve as a value-added incentive to help you decide whether to consider bookmarking these blogs for your regular daily and/or weekly use.
IndiesUnlimited, launched four years ago, has been described by its founder and independent author Stephen Hise [aka ‘the Evil Mastermind’] as a “nuclear-powered deathstar of a blog.” Today, K.S. Brooks [aka Kat] is the operation’s administrator who runs the website “mostly solo.” On it’s anniversary date October 6, she was pleased to announce they had tallied over 1.5 million page views and were named by Publishers Weekly “as one of the six great blogs for indie authors, in addition to being ranked as one of the top writing-related sites by Alexa.”In talking with Kat, she sees her blog directly immersed in the self-publishing space, where “we consider ourselves a part of the indie community. We want to provide a platform of support and a safe place for authors, no matter where they are in their writing careers, to ask their questions and find the information they need in order to thrive.
When looking back she finds some marked growth. “Five years ago, the indie market was really in its infancy. A lot of things have changed since then, including the inception of an entire industry catering to indie authors.”
However, today Kat’s advice to self-publishing authors remains the same. “Don't publish until you have a polished product. Hire professionals to provide editing. Authors are now capable of doing their own cover design and formatting, and IU provides a lot of the resources to assist them with those. But, if authors don’t want to tackle those on their own, there are now plenty of companies out there which offer those services. That’s a big advantage indie authors have now that wasn’t there five years ago.”
Actionable Take-Away: Every Thursday at 5 a.m. PT, authors can sign up for a free listing with the site’s ‘Thrifty Thursday,’ where they can list their free or 99¢ eBook.
Alexa Global Rank: 150,419 | Alexa U.S. Rank: 71,172 | Daily Pageviews per Visitor: 1.80 | PageRank: 4/10
7- Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
As noted, in Part I, Penny Sansevieri is also a contributing writer for BookWorks.com [our No.#3 top blog]. But her ‘day job’ for the last 13 years has been heading up Author Marketing Experts, Inc., where she is founder and CEO. There her focus assists authors succeed by helping them to develop dynamic online marketing techniques, which have been field-tested.
Guy Kawasaki, best-selling author of “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur,” and social media guru, lauded her as the woman who showed him how to promote his book. “Penny, you are the woman, thanks for showing me the way with APE. I appreciate your help and guidance promoting it!” noted Kawasaki.
When asked what distinguishes her blog site from others, she says: “we focus on the stuff that's really important to writers - and we try to stay current because things change all the time. Also, I post a lot about Amazon because I spend a lot of time researching it.”
Sansevieri thinks much has changed in the self-publishing arena over the last five years. “The world has little tolerance for unedited, non-vetted, poorly written books - not that we ever did, but now it's just impossible to gain any attention if you haven't done your homework.”
Today it’s wise to keep the content funnel full. “You don't want to publish one book and wait and see what happens. Keep churning out content and, to the point where short is the new long – shorter books (as long as the content is solid) are going extremely well now.” adds Sansevieri.
Actionable Take-Away: Sign up today for a free subscription to AME’s book marketing alerts and a special welcome gift of their time-tested tips, “52 Ways to Sell More Books!”
Alexa Global Rank: n/a PageRank: 2/10
As the celebrated author of ‘How To Make A Living With Your Writing,’ Joanna Penn and her blog site ‘The Creative Penn’ is a well-recognized resource for indie authors. Her London-based operation provides easy-to-follow assistance for both newbies and veterans alike, with marketing and self-publishing tools and updates delivered by videos, tutorials, podcasts and blogs. Many authors are finding new methods for building a career, and Penn is cognizant of the various paths available to today’s writers, including self-publishing, traditional publishing or a hybrid combination of both.
Noting what a difference five years makes: “In 2010,” says Penn, “self-published authors were just emerging in the digital publishing space, but the focus was on Amazon and the US market only. In 2015, indie authors have a great many more possibilities, in terms of format with the expansion of audiobooks and print as well as eBooks, plus global sales options on multiple stores, with the ability to reach readers in 190 countries.
Being an indie author back in 2010 was still considered a hobby for most, but now many more authors are making a living with their writing. So look at your books as intellectual property assets and use them to reach customers on multiple platforms, in multiple formats and in multiple countries,” concludes Penn.
Actionable Take-Away: Click here for a free copy of Joanna Penn’s “author2.0,” an eBook that shares valuable insights from the author pertaining to writing, publishing, marketing and making a living self-publishing.
Alexa Global Rank: 48,261 | Alexa U.S. Rank: 28,667 | Daily Pageviews per Visitor: 2.92 | PageRank: 5/10
With a background in law, intellectual property litigation and tech, one might wonder how the Passive Guy [aka David P. Vandagriff] could create a blog site that aggregates hundreds of articles about self-publishing? But such is the case with ‘The Passive Voice’ that according to Vandagriff attracts “on a daily basis, TPV has 3,000-4,000 unique visitors on weekdays and 2,500-3500 unique visitors on weekends. . . (which) translates to about 2.5 million pageviews per year.
As far as traditional publishing versus self-publishing, Vandagriff also feels a lot has changed in the last five years. “Absent a really big advance (healthy seven figures or more), I don't see any advantage for talented fiction authors in going traditional. It's a rare traditionally-published author who doesn't sometimes wish he/she had more control over the books their publisher releases.”
The Passive Voice releases six posts per day on weekdays and five posts per day on weekends when news is slower. He never uses bloggers, but when someone proposes a guest blog, he suggests they post on their own website, so he can excerpt it and provide a link to their website.
Fun fact about the site when asked why he chose its name, Vandagriff replied, “as far as “The Passive Voice” is concerned, it's a classic case where the URL was available. I checked the availability of theactivevoice.com and several variations, but they were all taken, so I decided The Passive Voice might be an ironic title.”
Actionable Take-Away: Sign up here to receive daily blog updates from ThePassiveVoice.com via email.
Alexa Global Rank: 99,816 | Alexa U.S. Rank: 28,365 | Daily Pageviews per Visitor: 2.30 | PageRank: 4/10
Focused exclusively on the various genres of fiction, co-founders Bridget and Brendan McNulty based in South Africa head up a team committed to aiding aspiring novelists with the online writing process.
The ‘Now Novel’ blogs offer direction, motivation and how-to’s. Topics covered delve into ‘how to distribute a self-published book,’ ‘how to find book ideas,’ ‘writing rough drafts,’ ‘choosing sub-genres,’ writing for all ages,’ novice mistakes,’ ‘how to make money from your eBook’ and a host of others.
As a published author and journalist, Bridget McNulty felt a need to establish a blog site to address the constant flood of emails she would receive regularly all asking the same question: "How do you write a novel?"
Her answers hinge on a couple of factors. “The first is to do market research before you start writing your novel if possible. Knowing whether or not there is likely to be an eager readership in waiting for your unique story will make your task much easier when it comes to marketing your indie novels - you'll already have an idea of who to approach (in terms of guest blogging) and what type of sharing you can do on social media that appeals most broadly to your intended readership,” says McNulty.
As far as the self-publishing industry’s evolution, she feels the landscape has changed over the last five years particularly in the area of social media. “If you're an indie author, you simply can't afford to not be active on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and (depending on the age of your target audience) Tumblr and Instagram.”
Actionable Take-Away: The site offers a free guide to creating believable characters and a free online course to kick-start the process. Creative writing courses are available at universities or you could sign up for the Now Novel program, which distills much of that knowledge into a step-by-step process.
Alexa Global Rank: 269,796 | Alexa U.S. Rank: 84,600 | Daily Pageviews per Visitor: 2.50 | PageRank: 4/10
Stayed tuned for five additional top blog sites for indie writers in Part III of this series entitled: Top 15 Blogs for Indie Authors, which can be found on my BookWorks.com blog site here: October 23 [Part I can be found here.]
Readers & Writers: I look forward to your feedback, comments and critiques, and please use BookWorks.com as your resource to learn more about preparing, publishing and promoting self-published books. My blogs appear bi-weekly on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month.
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