Saturday, January 9, 2010
Streamline to Save Time in 2010
Streamline to Save Time in 2010
By Angela Wilson
It is incredibly easy to get lost in the labyrinth of online promotions.
There is so much to do and say and share on the Internet, a writer can easily lose an entire afternoon just "liking" posts on Facebook, or conversing on Twitter.
The best way to tackle online marketing so it doesn't take over your life is by streamlining. Keep it simple, fit it into your current lifestyle and find ways to do more using less.
Here are some top ways to streamline your time in 2010:
Get a timer. When marketing online - or even just emailing friends - you can easily lose an afternoon clicking links, dealing with crashes or submitting posts. Keep a kitchen timer handy to monitor your time. Figure out how much time you can truly spend online - and stick to it!
Eliminate unnecessary social networks. Choose only those with broad appeal to readers in your genre. Remember, writing networks have fellow writers who don't necessarily buy your books, even if they do provide solid feedback or encouragement.
Streamline blogging. Instead of logging in to several different accounts, you can easily manage blogs via one-stop sites like Ping.fm. It allows posts to microblogs like Twitter and FriendFeed, as well as posts Wordpress, Blogger and Typepad. Also, many blog platforms - including Ning.com - give you an e-mail address where you can send posts.
Streamline social network submissions. You can use third-party clients like Tweetdeck, Seesmic or Twhirl to submit updates to Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook - all from one platform. The Streamy.com site allows you easy access to your RSS feeds, as well as email and instant messaging clients.
Update your Web site. Every author needs a Web site. Every author Web site needs a media center that includes a short and long biography, author photographs, book cover photos, book lists and more. If you want to be interviewed, you must have some information to give bloggers and traditional media. If you don't have a Web site, get one - even if it is on a free service like http://www.Moonfruit.com. If you already have a site, review all the information there to be sure it is current. Sending reporters and bloggers one link with all the information they need will save you a lot of time - and they will love you for it.
Use editorial calendars. Blogging is a necessity for many authors. Set up an editorial calendar to make it easier to know what to post when. Know the number of posts you can create each week. Be sure to remember that each post must not only be written, but edited, formatted and illustrated with photos whenever possible. Calendars also help you stay organized if you invite guest bloggers to your site. Also, try to stay ahead of the game by posting a week or two in advance. You can use a paper calendar to a program like Google calendar, which will also allow you to share your updates via social networks.
Stay focused. Marketing takes more perseverance than talent. You have to be consistent in your message - and deliver it on a regular basis. Don't just quit after two months because you don't see immediate results. Sometimes, it takes a year before your efforts are rewarded with more hits or more sales.
Be adaptable. If you aren't seeing results, then adjust your marketing plan. Drop items that aren't working and build up venues that are. Add new social networks or traditional marketing tactics that are promising when you can.
Work smart, not hard. Don't try to do everything at once. Sit down and map out your current family and writing obligations, then work marketing in around them. When your book is in print, then you will need to put marketing before writing to promote it. Promotional times vary by author and genre. It could be anywhere from four weeks to three months.
Streamlining your marketing life can make a huge difference in your stress level. Keep it as simple as possible, and have it fit your lifestyle, not the other way around.
Angela Wilson is an author, social media consultant, and online marketing strategist. Visit her blog, http://www.MarketMyNovel.com, to learn more about cost-effective marketing strategies for fiction and nonfiction authors.