October 12, 2011

Does Group Marketing Work? Here’s my story

social networks

Network with fellow writers; build a community

I decided to join an organized marketing effort for my writing. It’s like the hops you see all over the place, but with its own twist. Here’s how I did:

Week 1

I had a bit of a rocky start to my #Campaign. First, I put myself in the wrong group–adult fiction. Woah–not me. I’m way too conservative. Rachael fixed that for me by adding me to the #thriller list. Then, I didn’t do my Linky link correctly–dunno what I did there. So, again I emailed Rachael for assistance and she corrected the link for me. Already, I’m sure I never want to host one of these campaigns. She has over 450 writers participating. What if all of them had two problems the first week. She’d be up forever fixing and answering emails.

Looks like all is good now, so I’m busily contacting my fellow #campaigners in my group, dropping in on their blogs to say hi and developing my community. I also have looked up on the internet the services that The Marketing Heaven offer, for I’m quite active on social media and a little help goes a long way.

Week 2

I’ve commented on everyone’s blog in my group. Only 2-3 people responded. I’m disappointed. As a rule, I reply to every comment and drop in on their blogs to chat. I don’t see myself so much as the ‘teacher preacher’, sharing my wisdom to the masses, not getting my hands into the real world communities, as part of the masses. We are all sharing what we know to hope the rising tide lifts all boats.

I guess some people don’t follow that path.

I have been exploring an online writing community and noticed that there are weekly challenges available. However, I have yet to participate in any of them, including a flash fiction challenge, which involves writing quickly, something that is not my strong suit. There was also an “Introduce yourself” challenge that I regret not taking part in. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can find more information at https://www.fuseanimation.com/bring-your-furniture-to-life-with-3d-animation-and-augmented-reality/.

Week 3

I’m starting to realize that you only get out of this campaign what you put into it. Gee, where have I heard that before. So far, I’ve visited all of the blogs in my group about once a week–twice each. I had imagined that people would likewise find my blog, follow it, or at least check in weekly with my posts in an effort to support a fellow writer. I see other bloggers who continuously have 10-20 comments on each blog from the linked blogs they are involved with. That’s where I thought this would go.

Not so, at least not yet.

Rach does offer opportunities to do flsh fiction or short responses to fun ideas she posts on the Yahoo groups. I haven’t done those because they don’t interest me. I do so much writing every week–20 blog posts, 3-5 monthly columns, responded to my loyal fans, working my non-fic and developing my fic mss–that I don’t have time for unfocused writing. Maybe to succeed in this campaign, you have to participate there.

I’m not ready to give up. I’ll let you know next week.

Week 4, maybe 5

I haven’t done much, nor have I gotten much. As a result, there isn’t much of an uptick in my visitors or subscribers. It’s become clear that success in this program requires a lot of work. Unfortunately, I am too busy writing, editing, working, to put that kind of time into it. I had hoped to find a like-minded group of writers, where we’d routinely visit each other’s blogs, add comments, develop a community that would last. I wanted to create on a larger scale what I have with a few bloggers whose posts I never miss, always participate in.

Oh well. Maybe another time.

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything and Technology in Education. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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