Marketing for writers or how to make sweet marketing love for writers that don’t (love marketing)
Yes, it is sweet to imagine that you can just write and write non-stop. Sit under that tree and wax poetic. Ahhh, life is good.
No Twittering, Facebooking, Instagramming, Snap Chatting social media to update with your latest lunch epiphanies. No email list to build and build. No themes or new plug-ins to figure out and update. No writing of auto-response emails that suck the life-force out of every cell.
You get the idea. Marketing your writing is a real PITA.
You’re a writer, Gumby Damnit! Why should you care about marketing for writers?
And most of the time you have no idea if any of it is working. Or worse, you live in an echo-chamber of many loud crickets. HELLO!! hello, Anyone out there?!
But we all know it is necessary. In this huge world of shiny new objects every two seconds, you have to find a way to get your voice heard. You need to learn to love and embrace the creativity that it takes to get noticed.
Advertising is only evil when it advertises evil things. — David Ogilvy
Yes, marketing can be creative, and it can be fun. But where to start and what to do to know you are on the right track? I do have answers and I hope you will follow along with me as I present a series of marketing for writers “how-to” articles.
These articles will consist of some questions to answer and (at times) actionable steps. I will also recommend one marketing or closely related book that you should read.
I also suggest that you start a new dedicated marketing document “workbook” to keep all your answers. You will be amazed at what you come up with and all the ideas that begin to flow. Make sure you can keep it all together to so that you can refer back.
Sometimes I will include my (highly) personal answers as examples. Please ignore them if you wish, they are only there as a guide to jump start your thinking.
It is the ultimate luxury to combine passion and contribution. It’s also a very clear path to happiness. — Sheryl Sandberg
So, here is the first article / Q&A lesson for the Marketing for Writers series. Ready? Let’s get started!
Understanding Your Business (writing)
1. What made you start writing? What is your “why” or your writing story?
Example: Here is my simple answer for Daily Muse Books and my personal blog: I love to blog. I like to read about writing. I like to help writers. I love books. I enjoy marketing and have enjoyed helping writers and others with social media, blogging, and marketing.
2. What desire or need does your writing fulfill for others?
Example: My main service is to help writers with their craft and marketing so that they can do what they love full time. Many writers have a burning desire to do nothing but write, or at least to be able to write more.
3. What makes your writing unique?
Example: Other writers can leverage my mistakes. I have learned through many marketing mistakes. I have worked in many industries, and have owned several companies in which I did the marketing myself. As a writer myself, I am especially drawn to writers and have a heart to help them so they do not become overwhelmed with marketing and can in fact learn to enjoy it as a creative outlet.
4. What qualities do you offer as a writer that makes your reader better off for having read your work vs. not reading you at all?
Example: It is unique because I also have several advanced degrees including in psychology. This helps me work with the feeling aspect of being a writer and marketer. Writing involves our emotions to a high degree. Sometimes it is helpful to know why resistances, such as procrastination exists. I have also studied working with dreams. If we let our unconscious do some of the work at night, it is amazing what epiphanies can occur. Sleeping on a project before clicking “publish” usually aids insights and complexities that we miss in our rush to finish.
Your Reading Assignment
Note: Some of the books I recommend will focus on advertising. Think of learning advertising as a master class in making your writing more popular. Many books on my marketing reading list come from Jon Morrow, so rest assured these titles are powerful and important for writers too.
CA$HVERTISING: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone (affiliate links)
Drew Eric Whitman takes you on a wild, roller-coaster ride through the streets of New York’s famed Madison Avenue and teaches you the specific psychological techniques that today’s top copywriters and designers use to influence the masses… and how you can use them to rapidly increase your sales, no matter what you sell.
I have written more on Whitman’s book here:
Like any marketing effort, as a writer, you need to understand your readers.writingcooperative.com
And if you are a fast reading fool, you can view the full marketing reading list here:
Finally, I’d love to hear your answers to the four questions above in the comment/responses!