Promote Yourself—A Poor Writer’s Guide to Online Marketing

facebook_twitter-640x480There are a lot of bumps with being a self-published or an independently published author. The ones that I have worked with or known from blogs and friendships have always had to face some sort of difficulty, whether it be in terms of finance, time management, or becoming overwhelmed with the whole monstrous job of making a book happen.

Aside from those, a lot of authors face difficulty with promoting themselves. They’re all on a budget, a lot of them work full-time jobs and have families, and a lot of them aren’t sure where to start with marketing. There are tons of cheap, easy, and fairly quick ways to promote yourself, whether you are established or not. Publishers will even look at these things when considering your book and a potential marketing plan. It’s a bonus when sending in your manuscript to have an established fanbase because it means that the marketing team doesn’t have to start from scratch.

The first thing I recommend is a blog. That’s probably pretty obvious to most of you since you all have one already, but just having one isn’t enough. You need to post regularly, interact with other bloggers, and keep your audience interested by posting relevant content. Too much self-promotion and you will overload your followers by seeming too desperate. Too little and you will find that your audience strays from your project. Find a happy medium and tell your followers about the new, exciting, and big information. Blog tours are also a great idea once you are published.

Social media is also a big one. This includes Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, etc. By the time I am done writing this post, there will probably be 5 new platforms about to launch. Pick the ones that best suit you and your work. Post regularly, but try to make one or two posts from outside sources to match each one about your own news. You don’t want your fans or followers to be interested in your book alone, you want them to be interested in you as a writer.

Contests don’t get enough love. If you are looking to increase awareness, your Facebook page likes, the number of followers on your Twitter account, or even just traffic to your site, contests are the way to go. When I run contests for clients, I post them not only on social media, but on national contest websites such as Red Flag Deals. You can run contests for a low price or even free, depending on the platform you want to use, and you can add a feature that makes the entrant have to “like” or “follow” prior to filling out the entry form. Not only will you gain traffic and increase your numbers, there’s a good chance that you will also have at least a few people buy your book because they are interested in it.

The last one that I will recommend today is the good old fashioned newsletter. Whether you send it straight from your own gmail/hotmail account, it’s still a great way to keep your fans in the know. They’re free, easy, and get to the audience that hasn’t felt the need to create a social media account. They’re a nice way to keep in touch with your fans and create an easy way to post all of your news for the month at once. You should write a little about your life as well, because it will reinforce that you are an individual that can relate to your audience.

Which ones do you use for yourself? Are there any others that I haven’t included that you want to mention?



23 thoughts on “Promote Yourself—A Poor Writer’s Guide to Online Marketing

  1. I’ve done or am doing all of those at one time or another, and they can be very helpful. In fact, a good portion of the people who read my published work are through my blog or through social media. And I did make it to the second round of the ABNA contest, which for a first novel was a great achievement. I hope that with time I can do some more of all of these and reach more people with my work.

  2. I held off on social media for a long time, afraid it would take over my writing life. But with a little practice, I managed to find a healthy balance. It’s definitely helped me network.
    Good post.

  3. I started my blog to begin building an audience. I’ve also been working on a twitter account based on a character from the short story collection I’ve been working on. A contest might help get followers to that account…

  4. Fantastic post. I just started my blog for this exact purpose, hopefully tying it to a baby YouTube channel. Now I just have to figure out how to budget my time between blogging and my writing projects! I’m such a social media-phobe; contrary to other 20-somethings, I honestly have an easier time making friends with people face-to-face than online…

    Oh well, we all have to start somewhere, right? Baby steps!

    • It’s nice to get your name out there without only focusing on word of mouth. It allows you to reach a new audience. I hope it works for you, it’s great that you are getting involved even if you aren’t overly into it! 🙂

  5. I still learn like a child. Am still far when it comes to writing. But I derive joy your posts. Indeed I believe I will pick-up from here.

  6. I blog everyday sometimes three things. Yet the time to develop a bit audience has alluded me. It is probably me. I write for me and not others. An idea hits me and I go with it. I sometimes use current events, history and even jokes and visuals. I have three hundred and fifty followers but no stalkers. They say they like my stuff and I do not sell anything to them. Just like being read. Wrote a book and send it to those who enjoy serial killer type books. Just like the concept of being read.

    • Hey, whatever suits your fancy! I mostly blog for myself too, but because it’s linked to my business website I have to be a little geared towards my audience. It is a really interesting concept to have your writing read by others no matter how many there are or what you are writing about.

  7. thank you so much!! i’m still young but i like writing and i’m going to start this idea from now. i can do this until i finish school, college and get a job. then i can start publishing and all that while working as an english teacher :).. can you write a post about the perfect story, like what are the things that should be in a story to make it good? thanks again 🙂

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