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Christoper D. Burns a Two Time Bestselling Author!


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Oh yeah please give me feedback on the page.  I'm going to roll out hosting an authors website using the template shown.  I'm encountering too many authors who simply don't have a website. It will be much better than using a Facebook page as one main web presence.  I also believe I can also improve upon what Amazon is doing with their author's pages.  

I've stripped out the right hand side ads for these users, but it does not seem like the best use of space on the page.  I guess I'm so used to pages bombarded with ads when you see a web page missing them, it almost does not look right.

I just have to figure out why your icon image is not displaying in the browser tab when I use your domain name, but it is showing up with the AALBC.com URL: http://aalbc.com/authors/home.php?author_name=Christopher+D.+Burns

I've also added the Twitter feeds for some authors.  I also need to find a good calendar widget so that authors can maintain their events calendar on the pages as well.

Ultimately, I may grant authors the ability to make their own updates, but than brings in a whole 'nother level of complexity.

Again, if you can think of anything to improve things let me know

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The F Speeches book is missing, but Google may call that inappropriate. The page looks good. As far as ads, I would put them on the page at the header and footer because it's still ad revenue. I think it's a dope service and I'm willing to pay for the promotion of the page if you come up with a package price of some kind. You know I agree with the Facebook thing and authors...I just hope authors realize how valuable this service is if they don't have their own site. You can remove CCB center court basketball as it is long gone now. I stopped running the site in 2011.

My last update would be to use my copy of the video from ignite so I can get the views and not Ignite. Those are my only suggestions. Your work is definitely appreciated. 

 

 

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Hey man I just made your requested changes.  That is definitely a much better video to use.  I also added it to the book's page as well.  

I would however change the default preview image on the YouTube video to one in which we can see you presenting.  If you don't like the three images that YouTube provide I would consider creating your own, you can do a screen grab from a clip of the video or even use an image not actually in the image.

Google better not have a problem with that book :angry: They are already giving me enough grief with Kola Boof and Karrin Stephans' books :o

On a side note, my traffic from Facebook is much higher so far this year.  This is despite Facebook reducing my organic reach on there website and my only using the platform for posting links.  My year to date Facebook referral traffic is higher than all of 2015 and 2014 combined--dramatically reversing a two year slide.  If the trend continues I well get more Facebook referral traffic this years than all previous years combined (I began measuring Facebook referral traffic in 2006).

I will write this up in a day as part of an article on 10 years of social media.

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Thanks for the update. I've found that sharing your looks to social is simply a better strategy. However I would chalk up your growth because of the content you are sharing. You've been posting some golden stuff lately. It's been timely and the lists and updates from the redesign of the site keeps unearthing more and more info. So the social growth is due to the amount of content you are reintroducing. On the picture/screenshot I had a pic of me presenting as the thumbnail, but it wasn't getting any traffic. The video actually got more views from changing the name of it and using the Shut off the world placard. YouTube is funny that way. You never know what's going to click and drive people to click.

I've been playing with my thumbnails in other videos to test what works better. It's a good experiment. I'm serious about paying for the promotion of that page or something like it. If you have a plan let me know so we can make that happen.

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Interesting, I was looking at the thumbnail pic from the perspective of how it appears on the page.  If  you changed both the title and the thumbnail at the same time it would be tough to determine which one had the greatest impact on views. But I see you are already experimenting and evaluating (I must have forgotten who I was talking to ;)).

As far as a plan for promotion drop me an email with your budget (monthly spend and duration), that will give me an idea of what I have to work with.  I can even potentially do some off site promotion as well. 

Yes I agree the website upgrade has had a lot to do with improved engagement from Facebook. Visitors from Facebook also tended t be more engaged with the website that even visitors arrive via organic search.   What is even more interesting, and I'll write about this in the article, is that while visitors from other social platforms has also increased, the relative increase from Facebook completely eclipses the other social platforms and is 88% of all social traffic.

Now imagine if my strategy was to post the actual content directly on Facebook?  Think of the value that I would have provided Facebook--without remuneration. 

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@CDBurns I figured out what to do with that extra space :-)  Check out the revised page: http://www.christopherdburns.com/ and let me know what you think.

For authors taking advantage of this service I've swapped out all the advertisements and replaced them with widgets.  Take a look at my profile page for an example: 

  1. A calendar widget (I'm using Google's calendar, but any embeddable version is supported)
  2. RSS Feed Widget (I'm pulling in my Blog)
  3. Facebook Widget 
  4. Twitter Widget
  5. Related Content from AALBC.com

Chris on your page you have everything by the calendar, if you want me to add a calendar let me know.  My thinking it is that authors who do a bunch of events or who are on tour can benefit most from this.  

For authors who are active on social media, this is a way for them to capture some of the benefit their activity on their own platform.

I can even create an ad unit such that the authors can monetize their pages if they liked.

I plan to update the links for the book pages, so that they have the widgets instead of the advertisements.

The real benefit to the author, and AALBC.com is that their website will get more traffic than if it was unaffiliated wiht AALBC.com and if the author does any promotion of their own site AALBC.com can benefit too. Win-Win!

I'm almost ready to roll service out, so I'm still open to ideas and suggestions.  

 

 

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Man that page looks incredible! If most authors are like me and didn't buy their own names, this service is fantastic!!!!! Especially since the widgets link back to the content on all of my sites. I think a pay to promote the page feature ala Facebook would be something I'm willing to do. Something like a subscription feature or maybe a one time payment for a tweet out of the page in some way? Whatever you decide I'm sure it will be great. Thanks for the coverage Troy!

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Cool I will quote you :-) @CDBurns

I'll update your individual book pages with the same widgets when I get a chance.  Once that is done, I'll probably roll out the service.

Well if you are talking about Facebook or Twitter promotion you can do that on your own as if it was your own website.  The benefit however is that I can help you measure relative effectiveness of those promotions.

 

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No I'm not talking about a Facebook campaign, I'm talking about you having an option for paying for the promotion of the page. The one page is more effective than my own sites because this one page is concise. My sites have so much going on people go there and get distracted. This page is about the books and only about the books. That's a bonus.

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OK got you @CDBurns. Again that type of service makes sense.  I just need to think about pricing for promotion of these internal websites.

I made a few more changes/enhancements;

  1. I updated all of your individual book pages to include your side bar widgets: Here is an example book page: http://aalbc.com/books/home.php?isbn13=9781502461759
  2. I added the favicon (the image of you that appears in the browser tab to all of your pages.
  3. I removed the masking with your domain name.  In other words; when someone browses to http://christopherdburns.com, they are actually sent to: http://aalbc.com/authors/home.php?author_name=Christopher+D.+Burns.  Previously I maintained http://christopherdburns.com in the browser's address bar. Doing this might seem advantageous initially, but it has a few downsides; it prevented me from using the favicon; and the URL in the browser window never changed, which prevented visitors from hyper linking directly to any of your pages. So I removed masking.
    Here is an author where I still have the masking in place: http://elizabethnunez.com/ let me know what you think (note: there is no image on the browser tab).
  4. I added one house ad near the bottom of the side bar.
  5. I also plan to give authors the ability to add their own ads with tracking (using my ad server).

I think I'm ready to roll out the service.  I've already bounced the idea off a couple of authors who don't have websites and their is define interest

 

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I like the favicon and it is an additional selling point for those willing to pay for a "Boost Page" type post. You're talking about self contained marketing tool!!!! You have every right to add ads. You have to pay for the hosting, but honestly I wouldn't pay for the domains. I would simply build the pages individually under your server and save the money. Overall, if you can develop a tweet/facebook/boost page type program for those author pages I think it would be great.

I like the favicon and it is an additional selling point for those willing to pay for a "Boost Page" type post. You're talking about self contained marketing tool!!!! You have every right to add ads. You have to pay for the hosting, but honestly I wouldn't pay for the domains. I would simply build the pages individually under your server and save the money. Overall, if you can develop a tweet/facebook/boost page type program for those author pages I think it would be great.

On a different note, I changed the thumbnail on the video to a picture of me and the traffic on the current ad I'm running for the video decreased to 22% from 365 the previous day. I changed the ad back and the interaction increased back to 36%. I haven't added any subscriptions while running the ad, and the people watching the video are only watching it for 2:30 seconds. Which means I'm not getting any engagement on this video under 3 minutes. My overall watch time on the channel is 3:14 which means paying for this video is losing me watch time. Anyway, I thought you would find this interesting.

Eligible
$0.04
In-stream 714 260 36.41% $0.03 $8.56
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@CDBurns, you can't argue with results, even if they appear counterintuitive.

I'm still tweaking the web pages, but I have decided to call them "Enhanced Author Profiles." I'm still working on the pricing and features.  

Dr. Elizabeth Nunez is an author who uses her AALBC.com page as her primary web prescence: http://aalbc.com/authors/home.php?author_name=Elizabeth+Nunez  I added an events calendar to your page.  For authors with a bunch of events this is a cool feature.  They can also manage their own calendars.  I also added her press kit.  I will probably add a slide-show of photos as well as a high resolution image for event organizers

I think securing the domain is still a good idea because the underlying URL is a mouthful.  It is just easier to say "elizabethnunez.com," but I will get rid of the masking so that the icon shows in the browser window

I'm still thinking about the "tweet/facebook/boost." This is important because authors need help in effectively advertising their books.  AALBC.com could be a part of a broader mix that might include, ad words, social media, Amazon, and other indie related sites with high traffic.  

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The weekend is a bad time for advertisement. People typically browse and watch videos during work or on weekdays. My interaction dropped to 23% over the weekend and watch time went down from 3:00+ to 2:17 average. Interestingly enough the more views that happen the more the ad becomes monetized. I thought originally that views based on ads were not monetized. I saw that somewhere during the process of running the ad, but now the ad has generated 5cents. Which I guess happened because someone clicked because my initial understanding was that promoted ads didn't generate revenue. I'm going to look into this a bit more.

What I have found out is that larger stations have a budget and are constantly running ads to build up views on their channels. This increase in views ranks the videos higher in search and discovery. It's pay to play, but the difference in FB and YT is that pay to play could literally generate ad revenue and interaction as I've had an increase in traffic to CBP from Social and the majority is from YT. It's interesting watching how it plays out. Keep me posted and you know I'm ready when you have the final plan of attack.

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I'll share with you my YouTube revenue in another post.  You can use it for comparison purposes.

Speaking about Facebook, check this out: On Saturday and Sunday I got a combined total of over 8,200 visitors from Facebook.  The visitors looked at over 19,000 pages.  In case you are wondering, that is a lot more than normal.  My initial reaction was that this is bogus, but after looking at the data, it looks like the traffic is legit.  The crazy thing is that I did not even use Facebook on Saturday and did not post a link until late Sunday.

Plus July is historically the worst month of the year for traffic and Saturday is usually the worst day of the week. But this may be my best July ever for traffic.

Something changed at Facebook.  Saturdays surge in referral traffic from Facebook, and the increase in referral traffic over the first 1/2 of the year, took place despite me dramatically reducing my activity on the platform.  I wonder if Facebook is showing popular content in an effort to boost internal engagement?

I dunno, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts...

@CDBurns, I meant to ask do you like the scrolling that I added to your Blog feed or do you prefer it to be static?

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Weren't you at an event this weekend? Your increase in traffic is a direct relation to your interaction with people I'm sure. I've noticed that my best days are.

1. When I have a guest writer on the blog (He's a cop).

2. When I've spoken somewhere or visited a place and people realize that I'm the shoe guy.

Maybe a few people spread the word that AALBC was at the event and you know like I know people will search for you on Facebook before looking for your site.

The scrolling feature is excellent! Do you know in the last 48 hours I've had zero traffic from social media on CBP?

26% Direct Traffic  23 Visits
 
12% Referring Websites 11 Visits
 
62% Search Engine Referrals 

 

Now you should get a kick out of this though; on my ARCH page your site sends more traffic to there than my book stuff!!!!!! 

21% Direct Traffic  13 Visits
 
21% Referring Websites 13 Visits
  6.56% 4 Visits
  3.28% 2 Visits
  1.64% 1 Visit
  1.64% 1 Visit
  1.64% 1 Visit
  1.64% 1 Visit
  1.64% 1 Visit
More in Came From
 
11% Social Networks 7 Visits
 
46% Search Engine Referrals 28 Visits

 

I get a referral of like 1% from AALBC to my CBP site. What do you think about that?

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Well you knew I would get a kick out of the Chris :)

Of course this does not come as a surprise to me.  You see, I used to get a lot of traffic from other indie sites before they all, effectively, dried up.  I get traffic from your site as well. This is why I'm always telling folks to link to each other--because it works. You recall the post about the traffic I send to the Harlem Book Fair's site.  Large and small sites benefit from this strategy; it is free to do it; and it scales.

The problem is getting authors to simply take advantage of our collective strength.  This is even harder than getting authors to use an Amazon affiliate code--seriously.

 

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I think what you are doing has to catch on in some way eventually as everyone realizes that the reach is diminished on Facebook. You are right though. In the last week or so there has been an increase in visits to my ARCH page on FB. I'm not quite buying the interaction since I know it will lead to me generating more content on FB and I'm not sure it will develop into anything.

I guess you keep pushing and whatever I can do when the time comes that my book sales pick up and I'm an AALBC success and in my first interview I can say, "Troy Johnson, of AALBC, helped generate my success as a writer through his efforts in promoting African American literature."

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just added another enhancement  to the your Enhanced Author Profile @CDBurns, I made all of your pages secure.  This is are of an overall effort to be part of the https everywhere effort.  Eventually the entire AALBC.com website will be secure and use encryption but the Enchanced Author Pages are using this today.  This will also help in SEO as well.

I'm close to having some promotion ideas related to the Enhanced pages as well--thanks again for your help.

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