Like there are countless ways to write a poem, there are countless ways to approach your marketing strategy.
What I love about writing and marketing is that things are always changing. There’s always more to learn, and there are millions of people out there who have more knowledge and experience than I could ever dream of.
For a long time I put my main focus on writing my books, with my blog as my secondary focus. My tertiary focus was social media management. I scheduled posts into Buffer so that even when I was busy my content would still be shared.
I love Buffer, both as a company and a software. Their product is easy-to-use, and I adore how they operate as a company.
However, recent events have got me thinking.
You don’t have to be so reactive
Common digital marketing advice suggests that you should respond to comments on social media within an hour. This was the trigger point for my unhealthy obsession. I’m a writer, not a company. I am a one-woman band doing two full-time jobs. Is it not better to wait a while and send someone a genuine response when I have time, instead writing a half-ass one because I don’t?
Despite using Buffer to schedule posts, I still had to check my phone as soon as I had a notification. Most of the notifications were nothing of interest or importance, but I couldn’t stop myself. It became an unhealthy addiction.
When we went on holiday a few weeks ago, I spent very little time on my phone. I couldn’t quite bring myself to leave it in the room, but I checked it a handful of times a day at the most. I spent most of the holiday sunbathing and reading. And I didn’t miss social media one bit.
I’d deleted the Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ apps from my phone to try and stop the barrage of annoying notifications. I didn’t delete Twitter because I manage so many accounts. Instead, I turned many of the notifications off.
When we got back from Ibiza, I didn’t reinstall any of the apps. I didn’t miss them in the slightest.
Then last week, I took part in #womenboycotttwitter. At first cutting out Twitter was hard, but when I returned to it over 24 hours later, I hadn’t missed a thing.
Just 4% of traffic to The Writer’s Cookbook came from social media in September 2017. 87% came from SEO. It makes sense to me to focus my time on the more successful channels. If I can get my writing published on more channels with more links back to this site and The Writer’s Cookbook, it will increase their domain authorities and their SERPs, too.
A change of direction
That’s why I’m changing tact.
From now on, I want to spend more time producing great content and less time on social media.
I know that distributing your content is more than half the battle, but this includes SEO. It includes building relationships in social media groups. The more time I spend adding content to my Buffer queue, the less time I have to do these things. The most successful social media posts are the ones I share in groups or communities; for every post I schedule into my Buffer queue, that’s one less that I can share in these groups.
Janet Murray has said that posting things in real-time and not automating them has made a huge difference to her engagement, both on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Not only that, but Benjamin P. Hardy got a six-figure book deal from publishing posts on Medium every day. He focused on producing great content. The places that published his writing dealt with the marketing for him. And it’s paid off.
What happens next?
I’ll still schedule some posts using Buffer and Facebook’s scheduler, but I’m going to cancel my Buffer Awesome plan. This will save me $10 a month, which, if nothing else, pays for Netflix.
I plan to spend less time on social media, but ensure that when I do post, it’s more organic. I’ll still repurpose the odd post on Twitter, but I’ll switch to Recurpost, which is free and creates a never-ending queue of posts, meaning I can populate the queue then leave it to do its thing. I also use Zapier to ensure that new posts to The Writer’s Cookbook are published on my Twitter straight away, and added to my Buffer queues for Facebook and Google+.
At the start of the year I wanted to post more in groups and communities, and I have to an extent, but not as much as I’d planned. I’m therefore going to go back to this original goal and be more of a part of writing communities on Facebook and Google+ (let me know in the comments if you know of any great writing communities!).
My focus in October is Return to New York, the next adventure in the What Happens in… series.
In November, I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo and will use this time to work on my romance/crime novel. It’s a project I’ve had on the back burner for a while, but I now feel ready to work on a first draft of it.
I attempted NaNoWriMo twice in the past but got stuck halfway through. I’m looking forwards to seeing if my new approach to writing makes a difference.
Outside of my books, I’m going to write more content and share it with more people. Last weekend alone I wrote seven blog post drafts (this one included).
I want to increase the amount of publications that I write for to get my words in front of as many people as possible. I’ve so far been published in The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and The Writing Cooperative. Over the coming months, I hope to increase this. (If you have any suggestions of places to write for, please do let me know in the comments!)
It usually takes me half an hour to an hour to draft a blog post. Research, graphics, formatting, and editing all take another half an hour to an hour. If I dedicate just one evening or day a week to doing this, that’s a whole lot of extra content that I can share with you.
What about you?
How do you approach your marketing strategy? Do you spend a lot of time on social media? I’d love to hear more about your approach in the comments!