“What have you written today?” That’s the question I ask my personal coaching students until they’re sick of it — and sick of me, I daresay. However, nothing is more important for writing success. You must WRITE. So now I ask you that question: “What have you written today?”
In 2015, content marketing is huge. Every company and publication, whether large or tiny, is all about the content. Even TV shows are all about the content when it comes to promotion, and yet, content marketing seems to pass most writers by.
If they consider content for promotion at all, they look on it as something that companies do. They want to get hired to write content.
That’s fine. You SHOULD be looking for profitable, exciting and fun content gigs.
You should also be looking at content marketing as a nifty marketing tactic you can use to promote your writing.
And yet, when I suggested to a Kindle author that she write some short stories for promotion, she acted as if it were an imposition. She’s written her ebooks, and she promotes on social media, and that’s enough, isn’t it?
That depends on whether or not she wants to sell more ebooks faster.
She’s created a mailing list (kudos!), but says she doesn’t know what to say to her readers.
If you’d like to try content marketing, but aren’t sure how to go about it, read on.
1. Decide what you want to achieve
Start by deciding what you want. My Kindle author friend wants to sell more ebooks. I asked her to write that down. Knowing what you want is the first step in getting it.
2. Who’s your audience? (One sentence)
Next, write a sentence about your audience. Who are they? My pal writes mysteries and romantic suspense. Her sentence turned out to be: “My readers are primarily women, but also men, who are savvy, smart, and want to be entertained with great stories.”
You don’t have to write a long screed about your audience, although you can if you like. Your short description is for you. Now, while my author friend is writing, she can do a quick mental check. Will the long description of what her current heroine is wearing be intriguing to her audience? Will they turn the page (or flip the page, if they’re reading on an ereader) because they’re totally engrossed?
The clothing description may work. Maybe the author’s setting up something that happens later. Or it speaks to character. Whatever. My friend now knows she has to make that description count, because she remembers her readers.
3. Create a quick content plan
Your next step is to create a quick content plan. I keep my content plans in Evernote. You can scrawl your plan onto a sticky note.
My friend decided that she’ll write one short story a week. She’ll post it onto her blog, and will send the link to her readers.
After a week, she’ll delete the story, and will post another one.
Why delete? Because she’ll collect those stories together, and will sell them as a Kindle collection, once she’s written five or ten.
Your content plan can be anything you choose to write, and post somewhere, as a promotional strategy. If you’re writing for clients, you may decide that you’ll write one guest post a week on a popular blog, to promote your writing services.
4. Schedule your content (and social media)
Now you’ve planned what content you’ll create, add the tasks to your calendar. Schedule them, and treat them as seriously as you treat all your writing.
Remember social media. Once you’ve posted your content somewhere, promote it on social media.
5. ASK! (Ask everyone, ask anyone)
The final idea is the most important. ASK. Ask for what you want. Ask questions if you’re not sure how to do something. Ask people who are likely to know the answers.
My mystery writing friend has a mailing list. She can ask readers whether they’d like a weekly short story, or whether they’d prefer to read snippets from her work in progress.
Get into the habit of asking for what you want; it makes life much easier.
So, there we have it. Five ideas you can use today, for writing success. Imagine that I’m sitting beside you, and asking: “What have you written today?” And start writing.
Closeouts: check out the bargains to help you to write more, and sell more
To meet my goals for 2015, I’m closing out some of our bestselling programs, so that I can focus on coaching and publishing. This means that you get special offerings on some of our current programs. When they close, they’ll close for good. And yes, you receive coaching with them too. Enjoy.
How to profit from your writing: online store.