Knowledge is everything in business. I know that, but I’ve been regrettably slow in learning how to accumulate it. Several publications down the line, I’m finally figuring things out.
So tip #1: Learn this stuff early.
With this new campaign I’m running to promote my Coming Home giveaway, I’ve learned the wonders of bitly. Bitly is a tool that shortens your long honkin’ links into something short and manageable. So, staying with Coming Home, I went from:
Granted, that isn’t a big deal when all you have to do is copy and paste the long honker. But making it shorter isn’t the entire benefit. Bitly keeps stats, like which links were clicked and from where (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Now I can tell how effective some of my memes are on my Facebook author page without relying of FB stats to tell me (I don’t trust them).
With bitly, you can customize each shortened link. See the last two letters on my shortened link? I put those there. Not really necessary, since bitly has each link named and I can tell at a glance which one I need. But ad a “GIO” at the end of it, and I’ll know how often the Coming Home link is being clicked through my gleam.io campaign (Gleam is like Rafflekopter. More on that at a later date). Gleam gives me its own stats, but this way I can find them all in one spot.
I can customize all my books to the locations where I’ve linked them. CHLWY–my website, CHLW–my blog, CHCWL–my newsletter, or codes for my three email addresses. Even though most of these places have stats, with bitly I can get them all in one place and compare the effectiveness of each site.
I can name the memes and determine which works best. This one:
or this one:
Bitly would tell me whether folks clicked more often on Facebook than Twitter, but customizing the link would tell me which meme grabbed the most attention.
Customizing the link would also let me know which Twitter service works best. Most email services use their own links, but with things like askDavid(.com) and Fivrr’s MelRock, which promote for you on Twitter, you can tell which of the two is most effective. Currently, askDavid has 57K followers and MelRock has around 63K. Which service tweets to the folks most likely to buy my books?
Or customize your links to your hashtag. Same principle. You can see which gets you the most attention. And attention, measurable through clicks, is the most important thing you can get when you have a product to sell.
Now that I’ve figured this out, I’m going to go back and change all my links to bitly links. I’m certain I’ve only scratched the surface of how effective this tool could be.
I had no idea bitly did more than shorten your link. Thanks for the information. I’l have to put it on my check this out list.
I didn’t know either until recently. I’m going to revamp all my links.
I love bitly. I’ve started customizing all my links (especially for Twitter and Instagram) to make it easy for people to remember and spell if they have to type it in manually.
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I didn’t even think of that. Great idea!!!
Interesting. I’ve used bitly for years but never looked beyond the shortened links. All the other links you’ve mentioned make my head spin. I’ve done none of it and probably should be doing at least some of it. Arrgh. Yes, indeed, when do authors have time to sleep? Tools like this one certainly help! Thanks for sharing all of your hard work, Linda. We appreciate you!
It sounds industrious to create that many links, but for ad campaigns like I’m running now, it should give me some reliable data. We’ll see.
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