How to Analyze Your Blog – What’s Working and What Isn’t?

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In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

Student authors need to blog about their books – well before publication. As independent authors, they need to build their readership through their own marketing. Blogs are a free and relatively easy way to do this. My students have been blogging for a few weeks. Here is a sample of what they have been saying:

John photoJohn Diorio contrasts a required high school curriculum with one that is more open and inspiring in The Curriculum.

Sarah photoSarah Patafio discusses the creative effect of writing in The Indefinite Existence.

Jen photoJen Schwartz provides hope for cancer patients by previewing her book in A Cure for Cancer Is Not My Goal? (Book Preview).

Siqiao photoSiqiao Mu explains how she named her blog that examines the dichotomy of art and science in Why India Yellow?

Alexandra photoAlexandra DiGiacomo shows how sharks are threatened in Shark Threats Special.

 

Wordpress Stats show blog traffic and its sources

WordPress Stats show blog traffic and its sources

As a blogger, I want to know some things about my blog’s readers. How many people are reading my blog? How are they finding out about it? Of the things I am doing, what’s working, and what’s not? The answers to these questions provide data that I can analyze to see if my blogging is effective or not. The way to get this information is from an analytical tool provided by your web service or by Google Analytics. I use WordPress’ “Stats” that are on my “Dashboard” options. These stats are in bar chart format, and by clicking on the bars, I can get more details about each day’s blog readers, including how they found my blog. For example, if I shared my blog post on Twitter, I can see how many people clicked on the link in Twitter and visited my blog. This type of information helps me see how effective sharing my posts is.

Next week, my post will discuss how to coach students to provide high quality content on their blogs.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with weekly tips you can use in your classroom as I describe how I am mentoring six high school science students to become published authors by April 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.

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How to Promote and Market Your Book – Learn from Success and Failure

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Tip#9In this blog, I am sharing how I am mentoring a group of high school science students to write and publish a book about their science research experiences by April 2015 with the goal of selling 500 copies by the end of the school year.

It’s natural for a new author to be wrapped up in just writing the book and not to worry about marketing until after publication, but that is a big mistake. Promoting and marketing a book require a strategy the author must devise from the start, months before publication and release. I have already given a tip about blogging to promote a book while writing it. Blogs are a free way any author can promote his or her book, and blogging can help improve the writing process.

Blogging is just one part of a marketing strategy. One helpful source of information for other things an author can do is Book Marketing Tools at http://bookmarketingtools.com. This is a company that sells some online author services, but also provides many free resources and video podcast interviews of various writing and publishing experts. Their free Ultimate Author Marketing Checklist is a great overview of what an author should do from well before publication release, through release, and after. I have used it with my students. I have also used some of the interviews I have seen on their video podcasts.

Another valuable experience for new authors, especially students, is to attend a writers conference. Look online for a conference near you, then try to attend. If you are a teacher, contact the conference organizer and explain how you are mentoring student authors—people love to help, and they may let your students meet some writing and publishing professionals that otherwise might be inaccessible. The contacts made at a writers conference can also be helpful as you market your book. Other authors can help get the word out, and the speakers and faculty at the conference often travel to many other conferences, so they can spread the word about your book or project with students.

As an author, plan on both successes and failures as you market your book. Your marketing should be geared to your target audience. Talk about your book in the forums where they are, not where you are most comfortable. Some things you try may not yield any results, or may even be complete flops. Other things may be surprisingly successful. Learn from both. For more information, click to download my Marketing Checklist for Authors and use it to promote and market your book.

Next week, my post will have a tip on how to make a project like this into a valuable learning experience for students.

Subscribe to this blog at https://bryanholmesstem.wordpress.com to get email updates of my posts with weekly tips you can use in your classroom as I describe how I am mentoring six high school science students to become published authors by April 2015. Also, please give me your feedback, and please share blog posts with other teachers or anyone who may benefit.