Expert Recommends Writers Use Video, Not Writing, to Promote their Work

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Paul Wolfe, guitar teacher/writer, shares the power of video with writers to increase their income by promoting their books with technology.

Paul Wolfe, Video Expert/Guitar Teacher

Maybe 80% of the people who find your clip won’t do anything else, but it’s the 20% that do that are important.

Paul Wolfe, who built a six-figure income teaching bass guitar on the Internet, loves to write. But as a guest on episode #22 of the “Self Publishing Podcast,” he shares the surprising advice that video can be a much more effective medium for authors to publicize their work.

Wolfe describes his experience trying to promote his service. “When I started out,” he says, “I was following a model that had me write thirty high-quality, keyword-optimized articles promoting my business. In six months, I’d built a mailing list of only twenty people.”

Later deciding to get out of his comfort zone, Wolfe made a video by pairing an outdated Macbook’s built-in camera with a cheap microphone he didn’t know how to use. “The production values were terrible,” he said, “but the content was solid. Two days after posting it on YouTube, I checked the video and I had a thousand views.”

Wolfe continued to create more videos. In three years his humble mailing list grew from twenty to 12,000 subscribers and his income from online bass instruction rose from nil to six figures.

He attributes his success to two main factors.

First, he recommends investing in a quality production, including good equipment. He emphasizs the importance of sound quality. “If your audio is terrible and people can’t hear it, you’ll turn off 50-60% of your audience in the first ten seconds. Whatever your budget is, spend half on the microphone and half on the camera.”

Wolfe’s second piece of advice is perhaps even less intuitive. “Most people who talk about YouTube try to build their community and get people to subscribe to their channel. I don’t want YouTube subscribers. My focus is getting them off of YouTube and onto my email list.”

To achieve this, he proposes creating teasers. For instance, each hour-long episode of the “Self Publishing Podcast” is also recorded on video. To help promote this podcast and its creators, Wolfe suggests extracting a five-minute clip that focuses on a specific topic of interest, such as a popular book or film. By giving that clip a keyword-rich title, people searching on that topic will find the clip. If they enjoy it and it contains a link to your website, you may have a new lead.

“Maybe 80% of the people who find your clip won’t do anything else, but it’s the 20% that do that are important. If you can lead them down the line to watch the full video on your site and then answer your call to action by subscribing or buying, you’ve suceeded.”

By following this practice, “Self Publishing Podcast” hosts and self-published authors Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright will be well-positioned to gain attention on YouTube and add to the already impressive of their fiction work.

Check out the Self Publishing Podcast's powerful content for self-published writers every Thursday on iTunes.

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Sean Platt
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