Today's March Madness post is all about getting you out there. I believe this is one of the most valuable tools a writer can use. I have used it and I am still finding new nuggets LaShaunda has shared to implement into my marketing plan. It's a green plan that never grows old. What is it? It's all about relationship building.
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Building Online Relationships – One Reader At A Time. It's all about learning how to build your readership with step-by-step plans on different things to do to get in front of me readers.
Database/Email List – Mailing List
Creating a database/email list is the third most important thing you do as a writer. You probably started with your email services, saving the emails you received. This is a good way to start.
However, eventually you will have to create a spreadsheet or pay a database service to keep all your information. I suggest you do both. You always want to have all your readers’ information.
A few email management systems are free to use for the first five hundred contacts, but will charge a fee for one thousand or more. Do your research and find the one that fits your budget. Ask your writer friends which ones they use. Which one is user friendly?
To promote your email list, include a link or form to join your list on your website/blog. You want readers to opt-in instead of you adding them to the list. If you do add them, make sure they know you are adding them to your mailing list. You don’t want them to accuse you of spamming them. You want happy readers.
Your mailing list is your #3 promotion tool.
1. It can introduce you to new readers.
2. It can keep current readers informed.
3. You know who your readers are and how to reach them.
4. You own this list, which is very important.
A lot of writers rely on outside sites to gather their readers (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.). These are all necessary sites when it comes to promotion. However, if that site were to shut down tomorrow, how would you get in touch with all your followers?
This is why it is important to have your own mailing list. You want to be able to get in touch with your followers at all times.
How you create your mailing list is up to you. Back in the day, I had mine on my Yahoo! email. When my mailing list grew larger, Yahoo! kicked me out of my account because it thought I was spamming.
So I started investigating email management systems. I decided on Constant Contact. However, there are many more out there like (icontact, aweber, Mailchimp, or Mad Mimi).
This is where your friend, the search engine, comes in handy. Do your research and find the system that fits into your budget. Don’t be intimidated by the various rates. Some offer free services until you build your list. Remember, you’re not going to start with a list that has one thousand members on it. You begin low and work your way up. Hopefully by the time you have reached ten thousand, you’re making the kind of money to pay for the ten thousand, you services you need.
HOW TO USE YOUR MAILING LIST FOR PROMOTION
I use my mailing list to introduce readers to writers by sending out eblasts and newsletters. You can do the same thing.
1. You can create and send out an eblast to introduce your new book.
2. You can create a monthly newsletter.
3. You can create eblasts for monthly sales.
4. You can host contests.
5. You can host workshops.
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LaShaunda C. Hoffman took her love for books and turned it into an award winning online magazine, Shades of Romance Magazine. Her mission in life is to introduce as many books as she can to readers. She’s happily married mother of three who believes in dreams and working hard to achieve them. She published her first book, Building Online Relationships – One Reader At A Time. It is a part of her coaching program – Virtual Tea With LaShaunda were she teaches writers/businesses how to be consistent with their promotion by helping them create an actionable promotion plan to build online relationships.
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