IWSG POST 19: Honest Marketing Platform Tips I Need Now

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[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome hosts are, Christopher D. Votey, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey.

Thank you so much! And thank you founder Alex J. Cavanaugh!

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This month’s IWSG Post is all about time and promoting. As a busy mom of two kiddos most days, and also managing them alone quite often, I fight time on a minute-by-minute basis. Especially lately where I’ve tried to jump back into the marketing world hardcore, only to find myself struggling to dog paddle above water.

So in a spin-off on the IWSG post question this month: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?” I choose to think about social media and time. I am insecure about it all, and how to make marketing easier. Is that possible, by the way? 🙂

Blogging every day is not a doable feat. What is doable is a quick post on tips I’m currently studying on writer platform. I haven’t started these tips yet, but by golly, I intend to.

So here goes ALL, MY QUICK AND HONEST writing tips for marketing from two sources: The Book, Create your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino, and a fantastic website I stumbled across The Write Life. WOW.

According to the book, Create your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino, every writer should start with a website, a blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts. I, however, am currently testing the waters of Instagram and Tumblr. Recently, I stumbled onto Quora for some reason. LOL. I have no idea how I signed up for that one, but I keep getting subscribers. 😉

  1. Sambuchino, says, start by defining who you are, your strengths and market to those strengths. Review your top trafficked blog posts for ideas to see how others connect with you.
  2. Sambuchino suggests writing short posts with pointed headlines of about 5 words. Consider catchy statements, and spinning your posts in a way to entice the reader like a cat and mouse game.
  3. Twitter and Facebook are two of his tops marketing vehicles along with Google+. Posts should gear to 10% promoting, and the rest should be filled with personality.
  4. Use links, hashtags, and always keep an interaction going by answering comments or starting conversations, and also share posts.
  5. One tip I liked from The Write Life mentioned scheduling tweets in addition to general social interaction. They suggest 3 scheduled posts a day via HootSuite, Buffer or MeetEdgar. I have yet to check these links out.
  6. Pick two platforms to focus your efforts. Post once a day and the suggestions were also Facebook and Twitter.
  7. Lastly, another tip from the website came from “Live Periscope broadcasts” of writing and brainstorming topics. I haven’t ventured into podcasts or live streaming, but maybe in the month of May, I’ll tempt something to promote Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, by visiting my dad’s farm country in the middle of Kansas. I haven’t decided if I can make the trip happen yet.

Question: What’s your favorite social media vehicle? How many posts do you make a day or week? Do you find success with scheduling posts?

Thank you.

 

About Erika Beebe

Author, dreamer, and a momma to a couple of wonderful kids, I try to live life everyday in hope and inspire others along my way.

Posted on April 5, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Those are great tips.
    I think marketing takes time and patience…it’s not an overnight-success type of activity and what works well for one may not be as effective for the next person.
    It’s trial and error too.
    Happy IWSG Day!
    Writer In Transit

  2. Right now, Twitter is my best friend. I use TweetDeck to schedule my tweets (free, easy to use and as far as I can tell, there’s no limit on how many tweets you can schedule for the week…). Using the right hashtags, sharing others’ posts (remember to @mention them) and answering tweets drive a lot of traffic to my blog (which is the point, right?).

    And it’s great for networking.

    As for frequency: I usually schedule tweets for every hour starting at 8am and ending 8pm (in my time zone, at least). During AtoZ I’m doing it every half an hour so I can tweet the awesome posts I’m reading 🙂 Remember to use the 80-20 rule (lots of stuff from other people interspersed with a bit of your own stuff).

    I know others prefer a scheduling platform that somehow decides what to tweet for them, but I like the control TweetDeck offers.

    Oh, making sure all of my blogposts are on Google+ and on Pinterest also drives a lot of traffic to my blog (thank you, SEO spiders…).

    Good luck with your marketing efforts 🙂

    • Thank you so much! Your thoughts are so helpful! I wondered about the frequency. I need to start Pinterest again and look at my Google+ account. Years ago I freaked out with it since it backed up my pictures and I didn’t want my kids photos to somehow get out there. Sounds like I need to sit down this weekend and work on Twitter and automatic options as well as fine tuning a few things I have it there. 🙂

  3. One thing I’ve read recently is that some social media sites don’t favour scheduled posts as much as non-scheduled posts/tweets. Marketing experts I respect do use them, because how can you not when you’re a huge force in social media managing a bazillion different platforms, but just be wary of that fact. Also, the social media sites don’t make it easy to use the scheduling vehicles. You won’t be able to interact with them the way you do with the actual social media sites. For instance, google what you can’t do with Hootsuite, and you’ll find articles about limited functionality. I can’t remember exactly, and things are always changing, but something about the way the pictures display differently. P.S. I have started a blog hop for authors on my site: http://www.raimeygallant.com and it’s all about resources for authors, which I think marketing tips would be a great fit for. It’s a monthly hop like this one.

  4. Short posts with five word headlines. Well, I’ve blown that one for years.
    Blogging is still my favorite. Not on Facebook but I’m doing much better with Twitter.

  5. Honestly, I think it’s wherever your audience is, and where you feel most comfortable. I love Twitter but can’t get there as much as I’d like. Facebook has algorithmed most posts out of the system, and Instagram recently went that way too…which was super depressing to me. But hey, I wasn’t that big into posting selfies anyway! 😉

  6. Great post and I love the tips. Building a platform/author brand is something I’m tackling this year. Social media isn’t easy and it takes time. I’ve been focusing on Twitter and my blog mostly. Instragram I don’t really understand so it’s on the back burner for the most part.

  7. 2-3 social sites max. When I first began many years ago, I was on about 25. I soon pared it down to a manageable level.

  8. I’m a WordPress gal, Erika, and post 3 times a week – writing posts, reciprocating with other bloggers, and handling comments takes me about 30 hours a week. I’d like to do more with FB, but would need to carve out some time from WP to do it. Clearly I am out of control and struggling for balance. Ha ha. So don’t listen to anything I say.

  9. Thanks for the tips. I just can’t seem to get excited about using Twitter. I do use FB and try to put something up every day, but I must admit I usually make a few posts all on Fridays! No scientific basis, but I figure people going into the weekend will probably be browsing through there. I should look into Hootsuite. I know many folks who use it. Never heard of Quora. Good luck with your marketing especially with little ones around. Your time is not your own.
    JQ Rose

  10. That marketing thing–it can suck the life out of your schedule. I’ve spent countless wasted hours to get nothing. One of my better investments was signing up for Amazon Kindle’s exclusive on my book and putting it in their lending library. I get a ton of reviews and make about 75% more than just book sales. Who would have thunk?

  11. Oh, gosh, I’m dismal at marketing. Every time I read a great post like yours, I make a resolution to do better, to follow the good advice, but in the end, I never do. My favorite of all the public sites at the moment is wattpad. That’s where I get the most interaction. But it could change.

    • Hi Olga. Thank you for stopping in. The research in marketing is kind of a time squeeze in itself. I have tried to wing it up until now but I can’t anymore. Time keeps slipping away and I put too much efforts into marketing and then not enough into my writing. Sigh.

  12. Fantastic tips! I love my blog the most and the connections I make through it. Twitter comes in second for me. It’s quick and concise, and I find it easy to manage next to the chaos of Facebook. Marketing always stresses me out. I have not found my magic formula yet, but I keep on trying.

    • Thank you Christine for stopping in today. Facebook is really stressing me out lately. I had a huge following about three years ago and I have been at it again for quite a few months with very little growth this time around. It seems like wasted energy. I am starting to like blogging. Just a little though. It feels like it eats time too but The reach is so much better 🙂

  13. Great tips! I think that organization of blog posts is a key ingredient. For a long while, I thought I had to keep them short, but now I think that if they are longer, they just need to have key points or areas highlighted so readers can pick and choose their focus area. I agree with the title tip and the pre-loaded tweets (and facebook posts for an author only page). I like hootsuite’s easy to use free version. Instagram is fun and that’s how I use it for the most part. I don’t really do much, if any, marketing there – partly because at least half of my followers on there are friends from the non-writing world or friends of my daughters (and their parents). On facebook, I’m caught in the dilemma of having started it as a social-only-with family and friends platform and then messily expanding it to include writers and more “business” type contacts. I try to direct readers to my author page and not my personal page – although most of my readers (I don’t have a huge readership) are friends, acquaintances, and family. If I could go back and do that part over again, I would probably have created separate personal and writing facebook profiles – not to be rude, but because it is just slightly messy as it is. I am still considering using a pseudonym. If I do start using one, I will definitely have a different approach to facebook and instagram with it.

    • Thank you so much for all your thoughts! I am in the same boat on Facebook as you are. I have separate author And personal pages but then sometimes writer’s become more personally acquainted it’s hard to know the line. A pseudonym? I have a question about that
      Too and name changes. I plan to make on a post on that down the road as well. 🙂

  14. I don’t know how you do it with young kids. When mine were little, I was impressed with myself if I got a shower in that day.

    Love the tips. They sound simple enough…

    • It’s definitely tough sometimes. I won’t lie. But it’s the best thing I’ve ever done too. Thank you for stopping in today Elizabeth. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  15. Unfortunately, a LOT of marketing seems to involve leaving the house and facing some fears I have of public speaking and book events no one attends! I do the blogging/social media thing fairly easily. But I hate in-person events. I wonder if they’ll ever get any easier?!

  16. Hehe, I totally suck at anything social media that isn’t just a blog setting. I just can’t keep up or stay afloat.

    I hope you rock the marketing and it works out well!

  17. Hi Erika!
    With regards to the question you left on my blog: How will books be selected for discussion in the IWSG Goodreads group? With the fiction books, we will create polls and let members vote. 😃

  18. Great post Erika! Excellent tips! For me, I am always behind with my blogging, but try to get around to everyone, that comments on my blog, because I am so grateful! It’s really hard to juggle everything! Somedays, I just want to paint! LOL!

  19. Focusing on two social media platforms is the best advice. I tell others that all the time. For me, I include my blog in that. Then Facebook. But I also love Instagram. Whether it helps me sell is not really known, and I’m not bothered by it because I love it!

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