On forgetting everything you read about marketing
If you already put your nose into marketing, you probably heard about SEO, referencing, white hat and black hat marketing and this sort of vocabulary. You don’t actually need to know all this to understand the value of marketing and the importance of the type of content you market for it to get traction and be noticed by your audience.
You’ll keep hearing from people giving marketing tips, including me, that you should be careful to choose keywords that will be efficient in a web search, that your book’s title can do a lot for your marketing and even that the content you create around your book to promote it should always be thought out as a tool to gain visibility and users views.
Reading all this, you’ll start spending time on finding the most efficient keywords, you’ll stress over the Yoast SEO content analysis and race against the red and orange points (here I guess only some WordPress users will know what I mean) and pretty soon, you’ll be changing book titles to make them more efficient in a book search.
Forget everything you read and focus on the most important point of all: your creative content. You have to start with what you want to say, making sure you stay authentic and real: that’s what is going to make a difference.
I read recently about millennials, as they call the digital generation, that what works on them is authenticity and honesty (read Dakota Shane Nunley’s Medium article on marketing for Millenials). I wouldn’t say I’m a pure millennial myself (I’m slightly too old for this) but isn’t authenticity what we all want?
Marketing has to be a means to put your creative content forward, not an alternative to it. If you start creating content only to fit a marketing shell, it will lose some of its core value and your strategy will be all for nothing.
First step: create great content
Second step: market it properly
Don’t switch or merge these two steps at the risk of jeopardizing the quality of your writing.
Todd Brison got it right when he published the 7 questions aspiring writers ask that don’t even matter a little bit.
I should specify that I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take care of marketing as long as you aren’t all done with your writing. I’m saying it should be the second step in your strategy planning, not necessarily the second step in your calendar. It will be useful to start looking for marketing solutions before your book is finished. The only prescription I make here is: don’t let your marketing strategy influence your writing in an substantial way.
So get back to your writing and only keep marketing in a corner of your head.