Internet marketing – I need a plan that works

I’m the first to admit that when it comes to internet promotion/marketing, I suck cock.  I’m a good writer but I’m terrible at selling my stuff.  I wish I was better at it, and I’ve tried but got almost nowhere.  This has to change, it’s the only aspect of being an author that I not only hate, but I’m very bad at.

I’ve been listening to other authors on facebook, talking about this very subject.  I’ve come to realise that using social media for promotion is a skill; one has to learn how to do it artistically and creatively, rather than being a bull in a china shop.  The authors I’ve connected with, all seem to agree that the best social media for promotion, are twitter, facebook and pinterest, with stumbleupon coming up at the rear.  Now I know this, I have a starting point.

I’ve been fine tuning my use of twitter for a while now and it’s running quite well, to a point.  I use Feed 140 to drip feed tweets throughout the day, and I’ve compiled a playlist of almost 300 ‘content’ tweets that drip through to my twitter at 3 per hour.  I sort this playlist into groups of 5, like this –

1 – a quote

2 – a link to an interesting article

3 – a promo for one of my books

4 – another quote

5 – a link to one of my blogs

By doing it this way, my followers don’t get snowed under by my promos, and they get to know that I offer stuff that interests them away from writing.  By interesting them in other ways, they might then take a moment to check out my books or my blog.  They might not, but there’s a better chance than just throwing “buy my books” tweets at them incessantly.  I add to this playlist from time to time, so there’s fresh content coming through and I have found that since I’ve been using twitter in this way, I get a lot of followers, and a lot of my tweets are favourited and retweeted, although those are never my book promo tweets.  I don’t know if this is ever going to help me sell books, but at least I’m trying.

I’ve decided to try to use pinterest in a similar way.  Up until now, I’ve kept pinterest to my books and blogs and I’ve never had any traffic to my blog from there and comments from other authors have convinced me to try something similar to my twitter use.  I am in the process of building ‘content boards’ that have nothing to do with my books or blog.  Recipes, gardening, decorating, craft ideas etc will form the bulk of this content, and hopefully I will get more traffic there which may migrate to my blog and books.

I already have a facebook author page, separate from my personal page and I use that for my blog posts and all book related stuff.  I also make posts that are not just book related, so people can see I’m a person with ideas and imagination, a sense of humour and not just someone trying to sell their shit.  I post funny photos and humorous quotes as well as book stuff, and I get a few ‘likes’ to such posts from time to time.  The problem with facebook fan pages, is that facebook don’t let your posts be seen by everyone who subscribes, unless you pay, so you know that your post isn’t going to be seen by everyone.  I’m trying to engage people more, with my fan page, but it’s a slow and thankless task.  There are so many author pages, all vying for everyone’s attention, and this oversaturation makes readers eyes glass over.

I have this blog linked automatically to my facebook fan page, my twitter feed, my linkedIn page, my google+ page and my goodreads blog, so I am trying to keep up a presence in as many places as possible.  Beyond paying for promotion space, which is out of the question because I’m broke, I don’t know what else I can do.  I take every opportunity to be interviewed, and I accept guest posts on this blog from others.

I’d be interested to hear about any other ideas or opportunities, especially those that cost nothing.



  1. That’s an interesting idea for twitter. What is the website for Feed 140? I could use something like that; I have a hard time promoting on Twitter as I only have access to it later in the evening. It gets bowled over during the day. As for other promotions, I have a hard time promoting myself online as well. I’ve been figuring some things out through trial-and-error, but all my years of research and study into it didn’t transfer well over to the online platform.

    1. Hi there and welcome. Thanks so much for the follow. Feed 140 can be found at The free version allows you to have 1 playlist feeding at a time, so make that your content list. Any problems, just yell.

  2. I am with you 100% Merita! I guess thats why I’m doing what I’m doing. It was a bit expensive but I figured if I could try a lot of these little places to see if they really work or just take your money and do nothing for the author then I can let others know and maybe save them that money and heartache of putting hard earned money out there for it to do nothing. I am by no means rolling in it but I had to try something. I always see these “lists” that look intimidating and impressive of all these places you can place your book. I too suck ass at marketing and yes we chose YA to get into. You don’t know how tempting it has been to just throw a half naked woman on the cover and put sex scenes in it just to get the blasted book to sell. But thats not us and thats not what we write. Thank you for putting this up there and for writing your blog! I would love to interview you sometime! I hope you have a wonderful week~

    1. Hi Wendy, thanks for stopping by. I will be very interested to read your findings on your experiment and see what you found. I too have seen those lists and they are daunting aren’t they? So many people are getting into selling ad space, it’s a racket now and I don’t have any money for that. It’s soul destroying trying to promote and sometimes I’m tempted not to bother.

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