It’s Monday, so here’s another Marketing post.
Whether your self-published or traditionally published, some marketing is going to be your responsibility.
There seem to be some strange ideas going around the writing community by those who are aiming to be published through a traditional publishing house, the main one being that they, the writer, will not have to do ANY marketing because the publisher will do it all.
Hate to break it to you, if you think this, but that’s not how it’s done now.
So, here are 9 things you need to know about Marketing.
Quantity is not enough
Too often new writers seem intent on churning out large quantities of content. Whether that is books, blog posts, social media content (often all three).
There’s a misconception that suggested saturating the market with your content will bring in the sales/traffic/interaction. That’s not exactly the case.
Content is important and you need to share things. However, as a marketing tip, just dumping out excessive amounts of content without making sure it’s what people want, offering value etc is not the best strategy.
Do we need a strategy?
Yes – Content creation should be part of your marketing plan and marketing should be strategised.
It’s important for writers to develop a strong, sound Marketing Plan so they can make carefully, thought out decisions that are more likely to hit their mark.
One location is not enough
This is especially important if you’re doing all the marketing yourself.
There are so many writers out there, so in order to truly compete, you need to get out into Internetland and show yourself!
(I appreciate the irony of me saying this as a Socially Anxious Introvert, but even I’m located on several places on the web).
If you want to get noticed you have to put yourself in front of people, in front of your readers. However, as a side note, while one location is not enough, being everywhere will spread you too thin and make maintaining those locations difficult.
The best way is to pick a few social media platforms you think will work and putting your energy into them.
More than the basics
Not everyone is a tech-head, but if you want to market yourself online you need to know the basics.
You need to understand about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation eg how you get found!), mobile-enabled, ping-backs, page speed, scheduling etc.
If you’re running your own blog, website, SM platforms then learn about them and take responsibility for making them optimal so they work for you and become an asset.
Refresh and revitalise
If you created a website in 2007 I hope it’s had a revamp since then. Now you don’t want to be revamping your sites every year, but you shouldn’t go 10 years without making a change.
Redesigning is not just about making a big change It’s about defining your brand, being more professional, making things clearer, learning from feedback, keeping updated on trends and what may now look ‘dated’.
Maybe your site is too cluttered? Maybe people haven’t been viewing it because the font is too small or it’s hard to read. Think about what you might need to do and why you may need to refresh and revitalise your website/blog etc.
The Family Grapevine is not the only marketing
Telling your friends/family that you have a book/blog/website should not be your only marketing strategy.
This is “word of mouth” technique were people you know talk about your book/blog/website etc.
It has its place but if you are only using that to market yourself, then you are falling short. I know as creatives it’s hard to market ourselves, but we have to do it!
Also, friends and family may be supportive but if they are not your target audience and/or don’t connect/interact with others who are your target audience, then it definitely isn’t enough.
Expertise is not necessary
I had a friend who constantly told me they couldn’t do marketing as they had never been trained in it.
News flash, most people haven’t been. We don’t all come from marketing backgrounds. For most of us, it’s trial and error. You have to go out there and learn things yourself.
There are thousands of blog posts and articles that give tips, tricks and ideas for marketing no matter what you are hoping to sell.
There are tons of free courses you can take, in places like Skillshare that offers online courses.
Or you can pay for courses as often these can be well worth the money, though always do your due diligence so you don’t end up sinking loads of capital for something with false promises.
You don’t have to be an expert, with years of experience, you just have to be willing to read up on the subject and try.
The odd tweet is not enough
Not everyone likes social media. I don’t. But I appreciate its power in the world and how it can get you in front of millions of people.
Social Media is a tool like any other and it only works for you, if you use it correctly. I find there are often two types of people who use social media badly:
These are the people who are on social media platforms all the time and post every few minutes, all day until everyone’s feed is overwhelmed in a matter of hours
The Just Passing Through
These are people who zip through social media every few weeks, drop the odd post and vanish. Often it’s just about buying their book.
Neither of these techniques is helpful. Learn to use these tools so you get the best out of them. Yes, it takes time, but it can really make a difference.
Observe the 80 / 20 rule
So maybe you know how to use social media and you’ve figured out the best times, hashtags etc
That does not mean you should just fill the feeds up with your book, promotions, blog posts and other things specific to your business.
The 80/20 rule suggests that 20% of your posts should be about your business/service/product.
The other 80% should be sharing other people’s content, engaging content where you’re not asking for anyone to buy or subscribe, just interact with you as a person, inspirational thoughts etc.
It is easy to “SPAM” social media feeds so think carefully about what you are uploading.
The Long Post Conundrum
This is a tricky one. On one side writing long blog posts/website pages can be off-putting since people have a short attention span and are not always likely to read all the way through.
However, sometimes long posts are necessary to convey detailed points and some people enjoy more detailed content.
Also, Google and other search engines are said to rank longer posts higher up the ranking page.
A good rule of thumb is to try to keep your posts at or just below 1000 words. Break your paragraphs into small chunks.
In the case of blogs, it doesn’t matter if officially there shouldn’t be a paragraph break, it’s all about making it easier to read.
What are some of your Marketing tips?