- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 03/31/2009
- Writing for the Web
Writing book reviews for an online bookstore has helped me to attract clients and create considerable credibility on the Internet. To be honest, I discovered this money-making opportunity by accident. I began writing reviews of everything I read – just for fun. I even felt guilty taking time away from my “real” marketing. My order form asks buyers how they heard of me. To my surprise, some of these buyers were answering, “Online book reviews.” Then I started getting phone calls from prospective clients. They had seen my book reviews, too. Online book store visitors will read your reviews while they are in “buy” mode. I like to say, “They’re surfing with one hand on the computer mouse and the other on their credit cards.” Contrast this result with your article readers, who are reading your article in free ezines. Visitors who are reading book reviews are seeking solutions to problems. Sometimes the problem is more of a challenge, like, “How can I find a suspense novel so I can escape the boredom of a long flight?” Service business owners can target readers who face challenges like, “How can I stop my dog from chewing up all my socks?” or “How can I lose weight and keep it off after the last five diets didn’t work?”
Some of these visitors will turn to books for solutions, not the Internet. For instance, career changers and job hunters ofte
n don’t think of googling for a “career coach.” But they will search online for a book that will walk them through the process. And they’re ready to spend money to get a solution. Book reviews place your name in front of a very targeted niche. For example, let’s say you are a dog trainer. You can review books related to training one specific breed of dog. You can target owners of city dogs, country dogs, or adopted dogs. That’s because you review books on these topics. Owners of urban dogs are reading about “raising dogs in the city.” They’re not reading books to train dogs to herd sheep or stay away from neighboring farms. Or let’s say you are a weight loss coach. You can target readers who have specific interests in dieting, alternative medical approaches to weight loss, diabetics and hypertensives who need to lose weight. When you write book reviews, you get to show off your experience. You can include statements like, “My clients demonstrate a different pattern of binge eating.” Or you can say, “After training over 200 dogs that had been labeled ‘hard to train,’ I can say that the principles in this book will really work.”
Another good reason to write book reviews is that readers will pay attention to what you write more than they would when they see your articles elsewhere. Psychological research shows that people read more carefully when they anticipate using the information to make a decision in the near future…exactly what your book review readers are doing.