Chapter 61 – Online Presence and Marketing

I’m currently participating in a social media marketing class, and I thought I’d share some thoughts about it with you.

Picture by Official GDC

The course isn’t all that extensive and it relies completely on my own activity instead of the teacher lecturing in front of the class. For this kind of subject, I find this a good approach. Social media evolves all the time and it’s something I don’t think can be taught. You can read all about Twitter or Facebook but unless you use them, you can’t understand how it works.

The assignments on the class involve looking at social media campaigns that have been successful in the past, pondering my own relationship with social media, and planning some sort of campaign of my own. There are links and a book for references, but mostly I venture into the depths of the internet and find new articles and opinions on the subject.

I think the biggest area I see marketed on a daily basis is books. Self-published and traditionally published, the most ads I see are for one book or another. I’m always on the lookout for a new, great book to read so I don’t mind the ads, but there certainly are things that work better than others to get me buying.

I’ve heard time and again that as a self-published author, you’re really marketing yourself. The product – the book – is important, but if no one has heard your name before, there’s a bigger chance they won’t buy a thing from you. Blogging and engaging with other writers and readers is a good way to find people who might be interested in your book. And, well, that’s pretty much the only marketing I did for Awoken Dragon.

I could’ve done more. Perhaps should’ve done. But even these tiny steps helped me get a good number of sales. Without a blog, I don’t think I would’ve sold half as much. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe people found it on their own accord, but I still think it’s important to build an online presence.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to market my next book. I’ll probably kick it up a notch, but I’m not sure how, yet. Fortunately I have a few months to figure it out!

SEOPlanter
Picture by SEOPlanter

Then my big con: I don’t have Facebook. I doubt I ever will. I’m getting by with WordPress and Twitter, and hopefully those will be enough. Sometimes it’s hard to try to build a readership but I like visiting other people’s blogs. Comments and likes always make my day so I know they make the day of others as well. Those kind of connections are extremely important, and I usually notice an increase in the traffic on my blog after I go around other blogs. You’ll find incredible people with interesting ideas, and might just discover a new friend or two in the progress.

Have you ever created a marketing campaign for your own product? How did you come up with the idea? If you read books, do you prefer reading books from authors you know something about (perhaps seen an ad) or from authors you’ve never heard of, or does it matter?

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