Declare that new signups for your newsletter are eligible for a monthly drawing. The winner gets a coupon code for choice of free audiobook or free ebook. Until the free audiobook codes run out, that is. Then ebook only.
This strategy works, people say. But of course you’d have to actually put out a newsletter of some kind every month. You can just talk about very interesting things that your family is doing, and then a hint of what you’re working on next. Add a photo. Some inside info that’s not on the blog would be very cool.
This newsletter is your primary tool for shepherding your fan base, not the blog. The purpose of the website/blog is to get people to sign up for the newsletter. Then you have to keep the newsletter up. Once a month will do fine.
Ask your friends and publisher to promote the monthly drawing. You’d put it on your Amazon author page, your website, everywhere you can think of, a permanent feature of your marketing. Keep your goal in mind: becoming well known. This will help you greatly. A thousand loyal fans will get you where you want to go, so gather them and nurture them!
Here’s how you do the drawing: assign all eligible people a number. The first person is 1, the next 2, and so on. Then find a random number generator online to pick one. Or do it with slips of paper and have somebody take your photo as you draw it out of a hat. Put that in the newsletter too. Announce the name of the winner on your blog, if just by first name or initials. Don’t use the full name without permission.
The people already on the list need a chance too. So divide them up into groups of ten and draw for those too. But NEVER do this without a drum roll, announcement and promotion, photo of drawing from a hat, or whatever.
Sign up for some author newsletters and see what their newsletters are like. I’m thinking Susan May Warren has a newsletter like this addressed to fans. Also James Scott Bell. They are busy and are not spending a lot of time blogging. Just giving their closest fans those tidbits of personal information that make them smile.