reader magnets

Reader Magnets: How to Substantially Increase Your Audience

Ann O'Brien

Ann O'Brien

June 22, 2023

Should you consider reader magnets? If you’re a writer, you may have sometimes wished you had a special superpower that could draw readers in like a magnet. Reader magnets are not a superpower, but they are a way to use the internet to pull readers in, grab their interest, and get them on your email list. Once they’re on the list, you can use email and other methods to generate interest and sell more books.

It may not be a superpower, but if you think it might be useful, read on to learn more about reader magnets.

What Are Reader Magnets?

A reader magnet is also known as a lead generator or lead magnet.

It’s something you offer for free in exchange for a reader’s contact information. To get the free item, the reader must go to your author website, offer you a working email address, and then wait to receive the item as a free download. It’s a fair exchange because you both get something you want. The reader gets a useful book (or other tool), and you get their email address.

You’ve heard the cliché that knowledge is power. In this case, every reader’s contact information is an opportunity to build your email list and expand your influence.

Become Irresistible to Readers

Reader magnets get their name because they draw readers in like magnets. Readers offer their email address in hopes of getting an exclusive goodie.

Why would a reader do this? Aren’t we all getting enough emails?

The only reason is that your offer is irresistible. Your free book or other content must be so valuable that any reader would be a fool not to want it—especially since it’s free.

Why You Need Reader Magnets

As its name implies, reader magnets draw people to your author website or other social media sites. Like a magnet, it works constantly, even when you’re not around to control it or work on it. It’s a form of passive marketing, which means it’s working around the clock to build your audience.

Creating a lead generator takes some initial work. It’s not a “quicky solution.” However, once it’s done, you don’t have to do much besides occasionally updating the material. You should continue posting on your blog or website to keep it current, but you don’t have to spend hours of your day on marketing. Once it’s in place, your reader magnet will continue working for years.

What Makes Successful Reader Magnets?

Are you ready to rush out and create your own reader magnets? Here’s what people look for in a lead they’re happy to sign up for.

It must be relevant to your reader. Even the best offer will get a “No, thanks,” if you’re offering it to people who aren’t interested. If you want to provide a free e-book on making your own skincare, don’t try selling it to a group of fishing enthusiasts. Find your audience, and make it relevant to them.

Offer Real Value with Your Reader Magnets

It should have real value that the reader can’t find elsewhere. Your reader may want in-depth knowledge that they can’t get from searching the internet. It should offer expert, insider knowledge of a subject. In your offer, explain briefly why you’re the best source of that knowledge.

This works best for nonfiction books, but it can also be tweaked to work with fiction. For instance, you could offer a free short story or a short e-book that focuses on one character in your novel.

When creating your reader magnets, ask yourself these questions about what you’re offering:

  • Will it give the reader expert knowledge?
  • Will it save them time and money?
  • Will it help them live a better life?
  • Can they only get this information from you?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, you’ve got a great reader magnet.

Which Type of Reader Magnets Should You Create?

There are two types of reader magnets that draw in readers and get them to happily sign up with their information.

The first is a single-item offer. This is usually an e-book that goes into greater detail on the subject you’re interested in. Do you dream of making your living as an astrologist who travels the world? If so, you might happily turn over your email for an e-book by someone who made six figures as a traveling astrologist. That inside information will help you live your dream, and an email is a small price to pay for that.

Other single-item reader magnets are webinars, guidebooks, and editable templates.

The second type of reader magnets is one that offers continuing contact. For instance, some reporters who cover a specific type of news offer email subscriptions to their newsletters. These weekly newsletters share the latest news and trends on topics of interest to their readers. They cover everything from political campaigns to royal family fashions. If someone’s interested in a topic, they can find a newsletter on it—and a writer who’s happy to share the latest tidbits with them.

Other reader magnets that require ongoing contact are e-mail courses, training courses, surveys, and polls.

Which type of reader magnets will work for you? Both require some investment of time and effort. If you already enjoy reading and writing about a topic, a newsletter is an enjoyable way to stay in touch with people who share your interest. If you’d rather do the hard work upfront, create an e-book or template.

When Should You Create Reader Magnets?

Plan to start your reader magnets when you’ve finished writing your book. Finishing a book is a thrilling experience, and you deserve a break after months or years of hard work.

At this point, the idea of doing even more work is the last thing on your mind. That’s understandable, but if you’re self-publishing, you’re also in charge of marketing your book. That means getting out there and doing the hard work of reaching potential readers and building a contact list.

If you already have a published book, but you haven’t done much to promote it, consider developing a reader magnet for it. It’s never too late, and you could find there’s a whole new audience for your book out there.

Where Should You Put Your Reader Magnets?

Your author website is the best place for your reader magnet. Most of the DIY website building tools come with a free tool that allows you to include a lead generator.

How do you get readers to see your lead magnet? To do this, you will have to generate interest through your website’s content or through advertising. Most successful websites use a combination of these.

When you write a website or blog post, touch on the subject of your magnet. Offer the magnet, and make sure your offer includes a link to the sign-up page.

Advertise Your Reader Magnets

You can also purchase banner advertising that will be directed at people who share your interest. If someone is looking for dinner ideas online, they may be interested in your free recipes e-book or your customizable dinner planning and shopping list templates.

Someone who’s looking for uplifting stories online might respond well to your ad for a free book of inspiring short stories about pets and people.

Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. If there’s something you can offer them of value, and you offer it free of charge, they will respond.

Get Ready to Be Magnetic

Marketing your book takes hard work, ingenuity, and persistence. Fortunately, developing a reader magnet is an investment of your time and effort that will pay off. Get started now, and watch your audience grow.

We hope you’ve found this guide to reader magnets helpful. If you need professional printing at affordable prices for your self-published book, contact the experts at Publishing Xpress.

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