Why it’s important to have a marketing timeline

Welcome back, people!Β  It’s Monday and for those of you who follow this blog regularly, you know that means it’s Monday Marketing time!Β 

Today I want to discuss the importance of taking the time to create a marketing timeline for yourself.

A quick reminder that all my marketing posts can be found in my Tutorial List so easy access πŸ™‚

Why it's important to have a marketing timeline. Image: Calendar book open

What is a Marketing Timeline?

Let’s start with the basics, what the heck is a Marketing Timeline?!

Well, remember that Marketing Plan you created?Β  (You have created one, right??)Β  This is where you use that to create a chronological calendar for your marketing strategy.Β  πŸ˜€

A timeline gives you a reference to show you when you need to have completed certain tasks.

Look at it this way, if you are close to finishing your novel but haven’t yet “created an Author Website“, that should be right near the front of your timeline, waaay before the “publish novel” task.

Why would you need a Marketing Timeline?

A timeline gives you a clear roadmap complete with mile markers to keep you organised.Β  It also helps to catch any issues that might arise before, during or even after the launch of your book.

“But Ari, I’m nowhere near ready to publish.Β  I don’t need to think about marketing!”

Oooh, I gotta disagree with you there.Β  Don’t wait until you have finished your novel, don’t wait until you are ready to launch.Β  Your marketing strategy should be in place or at least being worked on while you are writing the book.

Marketing is a pain in the ass, so don’t leave it until the last minute.Β  It’s a long, slow burn kind of work that needs your attention now.Β  Like, right now!

This is why I’ve been featuring marketing posts every Monday.

I personally am nowhere near ready to publish – heck, I’ve not even gone through the beta readers stage but my marketing plan and strategy are organised.

My timeline is set up, though just without actual dates (because I’m not yet at that stage but once I am, I can just slot it into my calendar).

How to create a Marketing Timeline?

The simple answer, with a calendar!Β  You know I love me some calendars for organising things.

Firstly, get your Marketing Plan.Β  If you don’t have one, then it’s time to start creating one.Β  It doesn’t have to be carved in stone, but get your marketing ideas down into some form of plan.Β  Pronto!

Secondly, take the pieces of your Marketing Plan and consider carefully how long they will take.

For example, do you plan to find 10 guest post opportunities 3 weeks before your book is launched?Β  How long do you think it will take to:

a) find those opportunities

b) discuss details with the blog hosts

c) write your guest posts

Give yourself lots of leeway for things like this.Β  Yes, you could write posts early, but then the blogger might not like your topic.

You could do an interview, in which case you won’t need as much time but you need to make sure you still give yourself time to answer the questions, supply the relevant graphics etc for plugging your book.

Not to mention, some bloggers fill up their guest post slots well in advance.Β  Case and point, I host guest posters and my 2019 slots are filling up fast.Β  You need to be aware of things like this.

Do you need to create swag?Β  Are you planning on making a book trailer?Β  Want to redesign your website?

Figure out all the methods of marketing you want to do, and then work out when you’ll want to release them.Β  Decide how long you think they will take to complete ready for release, and build your timeline.

After all, you won’t want to create a book trailer, and several new graphics and sample chapters and release them all on the same day.

The idea is to spread out your marketing so it’s a constant flow rather than a massive bombardment.

What to do if you don’t have confirmed dates

As mentioned, I don’t have any actual dates for my marketing timeline yet.Β  I’ll have a better idea of when my book release will be once it’s been through the final beta stages.

However, that does not stop me knowing what I want to do to market my book up to that point and beyond.

So I have my marketing ideas connected to blocks of time.Β  How long will it take to find betas? (estimate) how long will I give them to read it? (estimate) When will I redesign my website?Β  When will I find ARC reviewers?

Each of these (and many more) marketing points have timeframes connected to them.Β  This means, when I’m ready with a release date, I can literally work backwards from that date and popular my Marketing Calendar.

So I know when I need to start my build up when I need to start reaching out to reviewers or betas.

It’s all about taking out the guesswork (mostly), and creating a solid workable plan so you know what you’re doing and (eventually) when.

What part of marketing do you struggle with?Β  Let me know in the comments below πŸ™‚

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I really hope you are enjoying my Marketing articles.Β  I know a lot of writers say Marketing is one of their least favourite parts and so often avoid it as long as possible.

These articles are here to help give you ideas of what to do to overcome your marketing fear.

If you liked this article, please share it on Pinterest or social media so it can help someone else.

As always, if you have any thoughts, drop them in the comments, I love reading your messages.

Happy writing

Signature & logo of Ari Meghlen

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17 thoughts on “Why it’s important to have a marketing timeline

    • I’ve only used it for my online shop, not for my author page as I don’t have a book to sell yet. I personally found while I did get the odd sale, it wasn’t worth the money. So I stopped running them.

      I honestly find Facebook the worst of the social media. It doesn’t seem to have the interaction of others.

      • thanks again Ari. i appreciate your opinion on these things. you seem very experienced in social media. yes, i find FB disappointing too. an author page is hardly seen by anyone unless you constantly boost it. i post every day on my author page out of habit but does seem a waste of time and i’ve spent money on paid ads. i post every day on Instagram and use the same post for my author page, so not wasting too much time composing posts πŸ™‚ thanks so much for answering my questions.

      • I am glad to hear I sound experienced, I don’t feel it, I just have a habit of over-analysing everything I do πŸ˜€

        I feel a lot of writers feel that Facebook is a waste unless you pay for ads, but again even that can only work if you spend more and more.

        Of all the platforms, it seems to be the least friendly these days.

        I am always happy to answer any questions (where I can). Apologies for the delay in replying to your comment.

      • I agree. Facebook feels like a platform where people are shouting to look at them. So many posts go ignored because people are to busy talking about themselves.

      • Yes, Facebook feels like the ultimate “look at me” pedestal platform. I used to think Twitter was like that but the more I’m on it I realise it’s not but it’s really made me notice how bad Facebook is.

        If it wasn’t for the fact I still get traffic to this blog from it, I might have left already.

  1. A couple of months ago, I talked to this lady who had just published a book, and she didn’t even have a Twitter account.

    I’m probably two or three years away from publishing anything substantial, and I already know that I need to redo the web site where my author web site is going to be (I’ve owned the domain for nearly 20 years). Why go through all the work to write a book and not promote it?

    • Hi Brooke, thanks for reading. I know a few writers who have done the same, they rush yo put out books without any marketing, some don’t even have a website. I know marketing is the least enjoyable part but it’s definitely necessary.

      It sounds like you are very organised 😊

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