Marketing is a lot of work. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t always come easily to me. But I’m trying my best to build my audience and show potential publishers that I’m willing to do the work to market myself. And if I decide to self-publish, then I really will be doing all the marketing for my book myself.
The bottom line is that it really is time-consuming. Whether it’s taking pictures, planning, posting to different social media accounts, keeping up with reading relevant books, more planning, and then, of course, editing my manuscript. All of my free time is spent working on my goals. It’s hard to balance everything. I love blogging! I really do. If I didn’t like it, then I’d be hard-pressed to continue work on it at all.
I mean it got a little easier after I get the initial ball rolling but jeez, it’s still a lot of work and a lot of hours. In January and February, I didn’t work for health reasons and I threw myself into my blog and writing (redesigning it and self-hosting). I’ve also finished writing the first two drafts of my book, so that has given me a sliver of more time to allocate to my blog.
To paint a picture for you, I started this blog in August of 2017. For the first year and a half, I published 29 total blog posts. As of January 2019 (for the past 4 months), I’ve published 44 blog posts. That’s an average of 11 posts per month! That’s a crazy amount of content that I’m creating each and every month. But that’s not even all of it.
I have Instagram to post to often, Pinterest to update, Goodreads to recognize, and a Twitter account that I created but rarely acknowledge. And each of these different social media platforms requires different content. To be successful on each, I have to tailor my material to fit the platform. And all of this is good marketing strategy! It’s what all the books and articles I’ve read told me to do: post consistently across all platforms.
I recently read the ebook Let’s Sell Your First Book (review here) and it gave me a wealth of information about marketing myself as a writer. Also, tons of advice for what to do after my book is published. And there is a ton to do. The book is great because she goes into so much detail and provides a plethora of useful and relevant links, but it feels quite overwhelming all the work required to get myself out there.
The good thing, is I’ve stopped worrying about the type of content I’m creating. I just post whatever I want to. I’m writing for an audience of one: me. I’m actually going to visit my best friend on Thursday! I’m beyond excited and she introduced me to the wonderful life and work of Carrie Fisher. One Carrie Fisher quote that’s really resonating with my life right now is this one:
This is the crux of it. I really want every aspect of my life to be my art, my writing. I’ve got a new job that pays the bills. It’s not something I want to do for the rest of my life but it’s currently there so I can support myself and my art. I wonder can I do it? Can I work my job, market myself, write, take care of myself, and remain sane all at the same time. Can I create real art, not just imitate art?
This post kind of feels like a rant and whining rolled into one. But I think it’s as much for me (as for you my reader) to realize that it’s okay if I can’t do it all. I will try my damned hardest anyway! This our call to action.
The bottom line is that that success comes from persistence and consistency. It really is. You have to put in the hard work to get the results. And for me, my priority is not my blog, it’s my book (and my mental health).
The month of April here on the blog was lacking compared to last month and my traffic has dipped because of it. I’m not networking as often or interacting with other bloggers. My social media has been lackluster. It’s just crazy to see the numbers affected because of it. But I’m still here and I refuse to apologize for not publishing. And you shouldn’t either! Never apologize for doing what you can. As long as we did our best, that’s all we can ever do.
So do you have any advice for an overwhelmed newbie marketing associate? Do you have any good tips? Have you had similar experience trying to promote yourself online?