You only have to spend a little time on social media or in a group chat with a few writers or bloggers before someone invariably says, “But I’m not a marketer! I’m just a writer/blogger!”
Normally this is the part where I’m supposed to say, “I know, I get it. It’s crazy.” Except, I was a marketer before I was a writer – which doesn’t mean that I have all the answers. I often suffer from information overload – when there are 100 schools of thought on how to do something, I hesitate when I’m not sure which one to pick.
Today I thought I’d share some of my go-to resources – the ones who taught me how to market in the online world. No, none of them are geared specifically towards sex, erotica, or publishing books. But they all have good information and in some cases, a unique perspective that, if you embrace what they’re telling you, will change how you view growing your audience, getting more attention in the online world, and even how you sell your books or products.
Would you believe that CopyBlogger started with one guy blogging about blogging and has turned into a huge media company? They offer courses, a web platform (not for us, though – they’re pretty explicit in their TOS that they don’t want anything explicit), podcasts, and a daily blog.
This is where I learned that the art of copywriting (that is, writing text to sell a product) is also the art of storytelling. Some of my blogger friends are thinking, “But I’m not trying to sell anything!” Maybe not, but the principles they talk about – connecting with your audience, sharing your personal story while still making it about your audience – those things matter whether you’re selling a book or simply selling yourself as someone who’s compelling enough to follow or subscribe to.
But it’s not just philosophical leanings about digital and content marketing. Some of the elements I’ve incorporated into my blog like my Start Here page, my newsletters, and even my erotic reviews come from the real-life advice they share in the blog.
Social Media Examiner
Social Media Examiner is for anyone who says you don’t know how to do anything with social media. They share in-depth how-to posts that are also easy to understand. Want to keep up with every stinking change that Facebook makes? They’ve got you covered. Curious about how to use Google Analytics? They can walk you through it all.
I follow them on Facebook instead of subscribing to their website – because a girl can only handle so many damn emails. They share enough on social media that I see their posts. When I don’t, but I need to know how to do something, they’re usually at the top of any Google search you do about social media. Remember, though, when they tell you how to do something new on social media to check the TOS. It might be a neat new online trick, but your brand of smut may not be welcome. Always read the fine print!
Anything by Seth Godin is bound to make you a better marketer and writer. I’d heard about him in the marketing world for years but never actually did anything to learn more. Then, on a whim, I followed his blog. He blogs every single day – using his original Typepad account. No images. No fluff. No crazy ads. Minimal sidebar.
He is living proof that if your content is compelling enough and finds enough of an audience, the rest doesn’t matter.
Since his blog, I’ve read a few of his books – I highly recommend Tribes. It will make you rethink spreading ideas, being a leader in the online world (if you start a blog and want to grow your audience, in a way, you’re already a leader), and maybe even the “why” of what you want to do.
His philosophy on marketing yourself or your business in an online space is transforming. Why? Because it’s not about the sale (even though we all want that). It’s about the connection. It’s about sharing good ideas. It’s about not resting on your laurels and always seeking to improve what you’re doing.
And yes, sometimes he’ll do a good explanatory post – like these two blog posts about promoting yourself as a non-fiction author. Some of those tips would work for fiction writers and bloggers.
I was fortunate enough to find a career in marketing that gave me the space to teach myself a lot of what I know. Since then, I haven’t stopped learning. I’m very particular about who I follow and who I trust. CopyBlogger and Seth Godin, especially, are two resources I credit with how I pursue my blogging and writing goals and how I view marketing. If you have any interest in gaining a greater understanding of how to build an audience through your own writing, ideas, and hard work, I encourage you to check them out. For the “Holy shit, how do I do this?!” moment, then you need Social Media Examiner.
Okay, over to you – do you have any resources, blogs, authors, or books you recommend to help the rest of us become better marketers? Share in the comments below!
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