-Mark Your Progress
-Ask a Question
Hello, are you ready for this? Up until this point in the course, we’ve been scrambling to just get everything set up. Now we’re going into heavy duty promotion mode.
A word of caution: promotion is not a mode you step into permanently. I’m going to make recommendations and teach you how to boost your promotion, but it can be addictive. Some bloggers get sucked in and end up doing all promotion – at the expense of writing great content. (Maybe most bloggers, in fact). Promotion is seasonal. Push hard, but don’t let it become your normal mode of operations. You’re still a writer. In the long term, you will have more success by focusing on content. But this isn’t a course about content, it’s about getting a ton of subscribers, right this hot second, so let’s do this.
Getting Your Current Readers to Opt-In:
First, you’re going to announce it. You want to use that sales pitch you wrote earlier and make sure you set a DATE. Two weeks out is great. But anything from 1-4 weeks works well. It really depends on how far you want to space out your promotional posts.
1. The announce post (the sales pitch you wrote in week 3)
2. A story about your growth/process surrounding the topic of this event (with a call-to-action at the bottom – where they can sign-up).
3. The future promise. This is a post about something amazing / funny / interesting happened to you in relation to where you are now.
In my fictional book writing challenge, I’m going to do a “30 Day Book Writing Challenge”.
“(Question) Imagine if writing your book was fast and easy?
(Story) When I wrote my first book, in 2012, I did it all wrong. I spent six months writing the first draft, sweating over every detail, then my editor sent me back notes that required me to re-work the entire thing. There was no structure! No plan! No way I was going to be able to just “edit” these changes in. I had to re-write the entire book.
(Another way) When I did it a second time, I approach it completely differently. I made an outline. I planned themes. I created lists of research and studies I wanted to incorporate. The entire writing process changed for me. Instead of slugging it out everyday trying to wring out a new chapter, sitting down to write was a breeze. I had a set of goals for each chapter and writing around them felt incredible. I had my writing confidence back again!
(Desires) Do you want to write a book? Tell your story? Find out if you’d love being a writer as much as you think you will?
(Link) Join us for a 30 day book writing challenge here: link
(What is it?) It’s 30 days of prompts and guidance to get you started on your writing path the RIGHT way. You’ll join other writers as we outline our books, plan our themes and collect our research. Oh and it’s completely free to join.
(Link) Just sign up here and we’ll start on May 15th: link
(Image) Image with Pinterest style text over it (30 day writing challenge!)
(Form) Sign up form”
Then I want to tell a story what I’ve learned.
“How I wrote 2,000 a words a day, while traveling alone with my two kids across Turkey!”
They tell writers, “all writing is editing,” but what I really wish someone told me was, “all storytelling is structure.” I was always a slow writer and I couldn’t figure out why… I wanted to figure out every plot twist and turn and map out the whole book just to write a single sentence. The common wisdom is to just write – just do it, everyone says. I tried that. I did a Nanowrimo and wrote 60,000 words in a month, but it was so terrible I dropped the project.
The book I wrote made no sense and worse, it shook my faith that I could even be a writer. I felt defeated and frankly, ashamed, at my lame plot points, terrible dialogue and pointless scene-setting. I kept going, of course, because here I am now, but I decided speed writing wasn’t for me. If slow and plodding was the only way to do it, then so be it.
It wasn’t until I was deep into re-writes of my memoir – and facing changes that were impossible to edit in without basically starting over – that I got fed up and changed my writing style. I would outline first. Work out plot points. Map out my themes. Think about each element – from the locations, to characters, to the research – as threads in my story, that I would weave together in the outline.
It took about a month, but that outline let me sit down with instructions for each chapter and simply focus on writing to that specification.
During this time, my husband was traveling across the US for a film tour, so I took off to Turkey to backpack with my son and daughter from Istanbul to Fethiye. I had no childcare, I was dragging two suitcases and a backpack between hotels and I had a 2 and 5 year old to entertain. I had almost no time to write – except about four hours a day that I snagged in the early morning, during occasional naps or in the evenings. In that brief time, I wrote 60,000 words – and edited them. Most of that work made it’s way into the final manuscript with only minor edits.
What a difference from Nanowrimo.
Since then I’ve been a convert. Nanowrimo is great for motivating writers, but for my work, and for creating powerful stories quickly, the outline has changed my life.
On May 15th, I’m offering a 30-day writing challenge that will walk you through the same outlining process I use in my own work. It’s free to join, and self-paced.
Then you want to do a much shorter post that’s just like, YEAH BABY!
“Full circle: When people recommend your book to your friends”
I just want to share this because sometimes when you’re writing your book, it feels like the process will just never… end…
But there is the other side. And eventually we do get there.
My book came out almost a year ago. A friend just posted this on my way the other day:
It’s this kind of thing that makes it all worth it. This was a complete stranger — someone who found my book, loved it and thought to tell her friend about it. That small little impact your writing can have in someone’s life. That’s why we write. To be read.
Are you ready to write your book? Join my 30 day challenge, starting May 15th. It’s free to join and it’s going to rock your world. You have a book in you. It’s time you let the world read it.”
That’s it. You should get 70-100 new sign-ups every week. If you are falling short, you need MORE READERS!
Short-term traffic ramp-up
Traffic is meaningless unless they take action. But right now you have two offers – a freebie for your newsletter PLUS a community event. Right now you want to PUSH HARD for traffic and really get everyone you can onto your website. It’s just a numbers game. If you’re getting 1 / 100 to subscribe, you need 1,000 people per day.
Do you write more posts? NO! Post writing is a long-term content strategy. It is super important overall, but for short-term gains we need to look at something more immediate.
I’m recommending Pinterest + Stumbleupon.
You can minimize your workload by doing them TOGETHER.
1. One you get your announce post up, start working Pinterest and Stumbleupon.
2. Install the Pinterest app for your browser.
3. Install the Stumbleupon app for your browser.
4. Whenever you read an article of interest, pin it and stumble it. You should be able to do about 10 of these per day if you’re like me, otherwise, you might have to sit down and dedicate 30-60 minutes a day to this task.
5. If you’re on your phone more, install the Pinterest and Stumbleupon apps on your phone. When you share in your phone’s browser it should give you options to use those apps directly. This is the iphone:
6. Got all that? Great, now add ONE post per day of your blog’s content to both Pinterest and Stumbleupon. You do not have to make custom graphics but if you have the time it does improve your click-rate. You should keep your share ratio 1-10 (one of yours, 10 from others).
7. Are you getting 20+ subscribers a day? Great! If not, do more. You have two weeks (or whenever your challenge starts) so CLEAR YOUR CALENDAR. This is important. You won’t get this time or opportunity back – I’ve set you up to have the perfect environment for getting new subscribers and the time limit will help convert people. But it’s not enough to sit back. You have to work it!
1 Add your last week’s NEW subscribers (not total) to the spreadsheet
Each week we’re going to record our progress. This will not only give you a way to track your week-to-week changes, it’ll also give you an idea of how the rest of the class is doing.
The spreadsheet is here.
2 Publish your announce post
You’ll need to set your date – but you should be ready to put this out there!
3 Install Pinterest and Stumbleupon apps
You can do this on your computer or phone – wherever you’re more likely to surf.
4 Pin and stumble 10 articles from other people per day
It’s probably better if you keep it in your niche, but it’s more important to just keep feeding new content.
5 Add one post – any post – from your blog to Pinterest and Stumbleupon per day
You want to drive people back to your site but do it too much and you get penalized. 1 post in 10 seems to be safe.
6 Write the “Story” post
You don’t have to post it this week, it depends on your lead time before the start of the challenge (try to spread out your promotional posts.)
7 Are you getting 20+ new subscribers? Pin and stumble more
Watch your numbers and push, push, push. We have been training for this. Everything is set up. This is your time to move that BOULDER UP OVER THE MOUNTAIN. GO. GO. GO.
8 Prepare your “Future Promise” post
You don’t have to post this yet either, but you’ll want to have it ready.
9 Watch your subscribers each day. Did they drop off? POST your story post.
When do you write normal blog posts and when do you promote? During this period you’ll see a big influx of subscribers when you first post your announcement, but then it might die off. If that happens, it’s time to push again. The normal blogging and social media schedule is out the window right now, the most important thing is to keep those levels high. If everything is going okay, then do a normal post. Play it cool. This is a big piece of blogging… knowing when to hype and when to pull back.
Mark Your Progress
|1||Add your last week’s NEW subscribers (not total) to the spreadsheet|
|2||Publish your announce post|
|3||Install Pinterest and Stumbleupon apps|
|4||Pin and stumble 10 articles from other people per day|
|5||Add one post – any post – from your blog to Pinterest and Stumbleupon per day|
|6||Write the “Story” post|
|7||Are you getting 20+ new subscribers? Pin and stumble more|
|8||Prepare your “Future Promise” post|
|9||Watch your subscribers each day. Did they drop off? POST your story post.|