Marketing Your Writing Online: The Art of Thinking Backwards

When authors ask me to help them with their online marketing, they usually open with, “My agent told me I need a Facebook fan page, so I had my son create one for me. But I haven’t posted anything to it. I don’t even know how to use it. Help!”

Most writers struggle to balance the demands of writing and marketing our writing. Unsure about how to woo readers, we use the ‘spray and pray’ marketing method: we create a blog and multiple social media accounts, spray out random updates and pray someone pays attention.

‘Spray and pray’ doesn’t work. I hereby grant you permission to ignore people who insist that you have to be on Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / LinkedIn / Google+ / YouTube / Instagram.

Instead, choose one network you feel most drawn to. Then “think backwards” by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What do I hope to get out of joining this network?
  2. Who is my ideal target reader, and does my reader hang out at this network?
  3. How will I help people who visit my page?
  4. How will my updates invite two-way conversation?
  5. How often will I publish fresh content?
  6. What is my “time budget” for building relationships on this network?

Rather than joining seven networks and using all of them haphazardly, use one network consistently and strategically. You’ll be happier, and you’ll reap a much better return on your time investment.

Laura Christianson helps everyone from pre-published writers to best-selling authors establish a vibrant online presence. She owns Blogging Bistro, a Seattle-area marketing company, and has authored three books and thousands of articles.

Laura is excited to be serving on the Board of Directors for West Coast Christian Writers (WCCW), which is affiliated with Inspire Christian Writers.