One of my New Year’s resolutions, besides travelling more, was to concentrate on marketing and producing more content. This was on top of finishing Book 2 in The Power of Four series, starting Book 3, working a full-time job and spending time with family and friends. Good God! I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Time to plan a vacation for sure!
Part of the promise to myself, had me posting faithfully to my blog at least once a week, posting daily to all social media channels, and producing content for the blog my writing group operates: www.muse-crew.com. So what did I find out about myself? A lot!
- I work well under pressure – I have always known this about myself, however it can (and has) come at cost. I have found that scheduling my tasks out in chunks of time in my Google calendar is invaluable for keeping me on track. Not only do I list appointments and events, but I also reserve blocks of time for writing, working on social media posts, and catching up on emails. While it is possible to not get to everything I have on my list for the day, I am way more likely to achieve it if I have my day plotted out in advance.
- Life gets in the way – So yeah, there is that, and it can’t be helped. I may have my entire day planned out in my calendar and then have something (or someone) throw a wrench in my entire day. First and foremost, I have had to learn to cut myself some slack. It isn’t always possible to get absolutely everything done and often times you have to let some stuff go. I have also learned to take advantage of days when I have a big chunk of time (Sundays) to plan and schedule out my writing. I have found that on a Sunday afternoon, I can block posts for the entire next month by following themes for the day such as “Monday Motivation” or “Sunday Funnys.”
- There is always something new to learn – This has been huge for me, and while learning new things has been stressful, it has also opened my eyes to a world of possibilities for a one-woman-show. I have my fingers in every aspect of the production and marketing of my product. What this means is that I need to learn how to use tools that can help me work smarter, not harder. My Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter feed brings me interesting articles, podcasts and advice that I have taken note of. One of the most recent items is a 30-day Marketing Challenge which I started May 1st and is already showing results. I will be sharing my experience in a later post, but my point is that you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things, since in the long run they can result in big payoffs.
- Tools are the way of the future – I agree that the tools available on the internet are endless and overwhelming, but they are also crucial to anyone trying to start or operate a business in today’s culture. I am still figuring out what works best for my particular platform, but I can tell you that I have had great success and a relatively easy learning curve with the following products:
- Facebook Pages – I have an author page as well as character page and can schedule posts right from Facebook without use of a scheduling program (even though I don’t very often).
- Twitter – I follow other writers, pod-casters, bloggers and readers, and am still learning the lingo. What I have found is that engaging in conversation is something that you can’t be afraid of and is fun once you try it.
- Google Plus – I follow other writers, bloggers and readers and have found that posting here helps with my overall visibility in the Google search engine. If you don’t use the Google products, I highly recommend checking them out.
- Pinterest – I have fun with this one and maintain “inspiration” boards which I share with readers during book launch. I also have boards that I pin research topics to, or that provide inspiration for my social media posts.
- Instagram – I post a lot of the same images as I do on Pinterest such as quote slides, motivational memes and event photos. Similar to Twitter, use of hashtags are key here to attract new followers.
- Word Press – This is my website provider, and the site allows me to schedule posts and create drafts. I have my blog linked to both my Amazon author’s page and my Goodreads page, neither of which should be ignored if you are an author. Make sure you have all of your fields filled out!
- Buffer – I honestly can’t say enough about this program, it has been an amazing company to work with! I started out last year with the free trial, which gave me the opportunity to learn how it worked and if it would suit my needs. Just this year I increased to the paid version, and I am in love! The program allows me to keep all of the above organized and schedule posts simultaneously for weeks or months in advance.
- Pablo by Buffer – This is an awesome new tool I came across that allows me to make beautiful slides for advertising, quotes, etc. with royalty free photos! What is great about this product is you can schedule your posts right to buffer from the Pablo page! You can also download the slides right to your computer for future use!
If you are interested in seeing any of my sites in action, check out my how about a follow page. Before I go, I would like to mention that the scheduling tools, and blog sites allow you to track your stats, giving you a picture of how your traffic is increasing, and what is working and what isn’t. This is valuable data that should not be ignored! You can find out a ton about your audience by tracking these figures, and it allows you to tailor promotions to your particular customers. At the very least, write your numbers down once a month in a journal, so you can easily see your growth. Tracking what is being responded to, and what isn’t, will allow you to know the types of posts to increase and the things you shouldn’t be wasting your time on.