Friday, February 27, 2015

The Great Mysteries of the Viral Universe

Here I am awake and ready to blog. I check my stats every time I go online. My curiosity piques as I see that in one day I had 350 page views, which for this blog is way off the charts. Now I'm curious, "Why?" I ask myself. What appeared and where that drove up traffic?

Blogger allows you to see sources, but most of these sources came from Google, which is nonspecific. These systems rarely come with classes. When it comes to blogs or even social media, it's all "figure it out." Asking questions of others is always good, but the answers are varied and sometimes inaccurate. I think it's more trial-by-fire.

We had a writers' group meeting last night. The focus was on building your followers on social media. What I noticed that was missing from the discussion was traditional marketing and promotion. So much emphasis exists on using the free and seemingly easy resources with Blogger, Facebook, Twitter and the many other tools that charge nothing but your time (but time is a commodity and costs). During the discussion, the authors seemed to focus on their own abilities to use these resources, but to address the theme of this blog, it's not just the obvious that builds following.

National media campaigns and traditional public relations play an equal if not greater role. The reason my blog hits went so far up had nothing to do with my social media activities. Something in the mainstream media promoted it -- or someone. You can start with your own resources, but if you want your book to go bigger than the sum of your social media parts, it will require good old-fashioned marketing and public relations. You will not be able to get around a publicist (not if you're a serious author). Either you will promote your book far enough that it gets big enough that it requires assistance to expand or you won't promote your book enough to ever budget-wise be able to fund the assistance to make it go bigger. It's the marketing Catch-22.

While social media and blogging is great, it's limited. Serious-minded authors need to consider professional marketing and public relations. Even when I released my first book Second Bloom and 3L Publishing (www.3LPublishing.com) wasn't yet a thought, I hired a publicist. It's akin to not being your own editor, too, but that is a whole other blog.

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