Marketing books is largely about visibility. You want to reach as many potential readers as you can and encourage them to buy your books or sign up to your newsletter.
There are many ways to build visibility for your books. These include paid methods like promotional sites (Bookbub, ENT, Freebooksy etc.) and advertising (Facebook, Amazon, Bookbub ads). They also include free methods like your website, your newsletter and your social media accounts.
If you’re just starting out, or you’ve got a tight budget (or both), it’s tempting to spend a lot of time on social media in the hope that it’ll win you an audience and help you sell books.
But the sad fact is that for most authors, social media has very little impact on sales. And every minute you spend updating Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is a minute you aren’t spending writing.
And the very best investment in your author career is to write more books.
This doesn’t mean that social media is useless. It’s a good way to keep in touch with your existing fans. If you write nonfiction, it can increase your visibility.
All of which means that it’s a good idea to keep your social media feeds updated but not to spend too much time on it.
Automatically sharing your website blog posts via social media will help with this. It’ll alert those people who are following you that you have new content, it’ll help you drive traffic to your blog, and it’ll save you having to update social media manually on a regular basis.
In this post, I’m going to show you how to link your WordPress website and your social media accounts, so that new blog posts will automatically be shared on social media.
What You’ll Need
To follow along, you’ll need a few things. It’ll depend if your website is on WordPress.com or WordPress.org (i.e. self hosted).
If you’re on WordPress.com, you’ll need:
- Your WordPress.com site
- One or more social media accounts
If your site is self-hosted, you’ll need:
- A self-hosted WordPress website
- The Jetpack plugin installed
- An account at WordPress.com
- One or more social media accounts
But hang on, I hear you thinking. If I’ve got a self-hosted WordPress site, why the heck do I need a WordPress.com account?
The reason is that the Jetpack plugin gives your self-hosted WordPress site all the features of a WordPress.com site. It was created by the same company that runs WordPress.com and links directly to it. This means you have the best of both worlds. And to link Jetpack to your social media accounts, you’ll need a WordPress.com account.
So–I’m going to assume that you have a WordPress.com account, and that if your site is self-hosted, you’ve installed the plugin and activated it. I’ll wait while you go away and do that, if you’d like.
Linking Your Website and Your Social Media
All done? Right, let’s get started.
The screens you see will be slightly different depending on which of the two flavors of WordPress you’re running, so I’m going to show you both (I’m helpful like that).
If you’re on self-hosted WordPress, start by going to the Jetpack menu in the admin screens. It’s over on the left hand side. Click the Settings link. Once you’re in the Settings screen, click the Sharing link at the top to access sharing settings:
Make sure the Automatically share your posts to social networks option is toggled to on.
Once that’s done, click the Connect your social media accounts link. You’ll be taken to the social media settings in the WordPress.com interface, via a login screen if you aren’t already logged in.
If you’re using WordPress.com, you’ll access the social media settings screen in a different way. In the admin menu on the left of your screen, scroll down to the Configure section and click Sharing. Easy!
Now you’ll be shown the sharing settings screen. This will be the same regardless of whether you’ve come here via your self-hosted WordPress site or via WordPress.com.
You have the option to link your blog to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr. In each case the process is the same, so I’ll just show you Facebook.
Important: You can only connect to a Facebook page, not a Facebook personal feed. I strongly recommend creating an author page in Facebook anyway. Not only does this give you a public space on Facebook to connect with your readers, but you’ll also need a page in order to be able to run Facebook ads.
Click on the Connect button next to your chosen social media channel (in this case, Facebook).
Facebook will ask if you want to continue as you. Click Continue.
It will then ask which Facebook page you want to connect with. If you’re like me and you’ve got a bunch of pages, there could be quite a list!
Scroll down to find the one you want and select the checkbox next to it. Click Next and in the next screen, click Done.
You’ll be taken back to Jetpack and will be shown one final screen (I know! There are so many). Click Connect.
That’s it! Now repeat the above for Twitter and LinkedIn, if you’re using them. LinkedIn isn’t relevant to most fiction authors but can be useful if you write nonfiction.
Publicizing Your Posts
Now when you’re editing a post, you’ll be able to click on the Jetpack icon at the top right of the screen.
This reveals the Jetpack block with sharing settings:
You can edit the text that’ll be posted with a link to your post, and you can also turn one or more social media channels off for an individual post if you want.
Once you publish the post, it’ll be shared to your connected social media accounts. If you schedule the post, it’ll be shared when the post is published. So if you create a post on Sunday and schedule it to be published at 3pm on Tuesday, it’ll be shared to your social media feeds at 3pm on Tuesday.
Now Relax and Let Jetpack Do the Work
Once you’ve got this set up, you’ll never have to manually share a blog post to your social media channels again. And the automatic posts will keep your social media feeds active. All without you lifting a finger.
Now all you need to do is write some blog posts!
I’m planning a post on planning content for your author blog which I’ll be publishing soon–if you want to be notified when I publish it, follow me on Facebook or sign up to my VIP club and you’ll also get a free copy of the ebook Author Website Blueprint.