Can I get some opinions on my vague marketing plan please?

10 replies
Hi everyone. First off, this is a monster thread so sorry in advance for that. Anyways, I've been AWOL for a wee bit thanks in large part to AnniePot, who gave me the KBboards link. I've been reading and researching on that site like crazy and still have only scratched the surface. But, thanks to the advice I've received here along with all the other research I've done, I have come up with a vague plan that definitely needs more work, like creating a timeline and everything. However, I'd like some feedback on the general idea I have at the moment.

So, I'm going to take 6 - 9 months to build up a bit of a following. I used to have one on Fanfiction but due to life, I wasn't able to dedicate time there anymore. This was a few years ago. But people are still subscribed and I get messages every now and again asking when I'm going to finish my stories. So, step one will be to finish those stories and once they're done, post them regularly. I won't post them all at once but a chapter at a time to keep the stories on the front page as much as I can to hopefully draw in more readers.

In the meantime, I'll be working on my fiction site, which will include free stories - again, longer, chapter-based ones that I'll post over time to give people a reason to sign up for my email list. I'll also be doing reviews of books in the genre I'm targeting to draw in more traffic from that direction too. I already read quite a bit in the genre, but I need to do more reading for research purposes - to figure out what works and what doesn't.

I'm thinking this approach will also help me with the SEO aspect because I'll have a larger pool of keywords I can draw from. Guest posting is going to be difficult in this arena, but I am considering doing some unusual stuff like maybe a few fun fic-graphics - infographic doesn't sound right for this lol. Something like converting a short story into a fic-graphic or something. I'll have to think about that. Also, get some trailers made for some of the freebie stories to get a little link juice from YouTube too.

With the site, I'm debating whether to stick with a simple, clean look or to go for something a little fancier, like this fantasy theme - not this specific one, but something in that vein.

I think if I could find something that's a little lighter - or get one custom built - maybe it would be a good idea because it would be just another way for me to stand out from the crowd.

I'll be creating a Facebook page, an associated Twitter account, a Tumblr account and an Instagram account. I think that'll be more than enough.

Around the 6-month mark, I'll start throwing some PPC and Facebook ads out to build up my email list even further.

I plan on writing at least 3 novels before I launch, so I can publish every 60 days to keep the momentum going. Of course, I'll get awesome covers made and get the books edited and proofed to high heaven, and formatted professionally before I even think of hitting publish.

On my site, I'll be using affiliate links in the book reviews I write so I can get an idea of who buys and who doesn't. It won't be completely accurate because there will be people using Kindle Unlimited and I have no idea how that even plays out for Amazon associates. My goal isn't to make money from this but to segment my mailing list as I want to use Chris Fox's approach of building up the sales curve slowly over the first few weeks so Amazon starts promoting the book. Otherwise, if I have a ton of sales the first day and then they drop off, Amazon will just see another flash in the pan and will ignore it.

I'll be using some of the fiction promotion services for my book but will probably hold back until I launch the second book so I can give the first book a little boost too and so I don't get the drop-off that will prolly make Amazon consign my book to the depths of hell never to be seen again.

I'll include links to my site in each book as well, and provide a free prequel for download to anyone who signs up for my list.

The plan is to launch the first novel about a year from now. The writing will take time but if I were doing this ass-backwards, I could write it in a month and get it up on Amazon in two months. However, I'm hoping that taking the time to build a list and a bit of a following first will pay off. At the very least, it should generate a few sales at the start and I won't have any problems finding peeps to review my book.

And this is pretty much as far as I've gotten with my plan. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and I'm also considering recording some videos throughout the whole process so that if it does work well, I can later start up a site helping fiction writers with their marketing. This way, I'll have proof it works. And I'll be able to document the whole thing and find ways to improve too. Thoughts on this?
#marketing #opinions #plan #vague
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    That's such a long post that I had to read it 3 times and am still unsure of what you actually need from us, as members. If you need help with editing and proofing the books you write, I can help you.
    If it's help with tech aspects of the website, I have a friend who does that.

    For other things, tell us and perhaps somebody must be able to assist you.

    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Website / Blog for more info.

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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    I have to agree with laurence, what are you asking?


    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?
    ~Jack Handey~

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  • Profile picture of the author Gambino
    I could be wrong, but I think she wants us to review her plan.

    So for that, I'll say that I'm not a big fan of this plan for two reasons.

    One, it seems like an awful long time to get something going before you even think about presenting an offer to your customers. What if you spend 9 months doing this, finally present your offer, have 3 books written and nobody buys?

    Two, I'm not a fan of the niche in general. I'm not an affiliate marketer, but I can't imagine how much volume you would have to do as an affiliate to generate any worthwhile amount when the products (ebooks) go for $1-5.

    I know you seem to be a writer, but I personally think that asset can be put to better use writing for a site in a different niche which is much more profitable.

    Shop here and help us rescue dogs:
    Join our affiliate program and earn 15% commissions here: Become an Affiliate

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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    It looks like your plan is to get a trickle of income, many months down the line, by offering ads to your visitors, right?

    What will the offers look like? Can you show us some current product which is being sold to your TARGET market? Are they mostly readers? They buy books?

    What do they spend their money on (or with) today, right now?

    Why will they wait for you for 9 months? What will you sell they can't already buy?

    To my old eyes, it looks like a "passion" project, and if you have time and love doing it, do it anyhow...but as a potential business, there is a lot of HOPE and unrealistic expectation.

    I advise you spend a couple of days and execute a short MARKETING document, by identifying existing markets and where those are at, and crunch some numbers. As long as income is not important for the next year, then do what you love.

    If you can write novels, you should be able to knock out small reports and hotsheets in a matter of hours, all of which could be paying for your passion.

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  • Profile picture of the author visimedia
    after skimming this gigantic post , I know something.. YOu just need to try it small, test it, see the result, change what's not working.

    I think you think A LOT on this... that's good, fail to prepare we prepare to fail.

    but you need to work on the planning, n make the planning work!


    I think you just now need somebody to kick you butt n say GOOOO!
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    You don't have a plan, you have some wishful thinking. It seems to involve a long wait and a lot of effort before you see money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B

    I have to agree with those that have said you don't have a marketing plan just yet. You've put some thoughts to your approach in writing, but they are not specific enough and they don't address the right things in order to be helpful.

    May I suggest a free resource that should help you to understand what a marketing plan really is? Not only that, it will guide you in creating a simple plan that you can accomplish in just a few minutes that will direct your future action.

    Here's the link: Jay Conrad Levinson's Startup Guide to Guerrilla Marketing: A Simple Battle Plan for First-Time Marketers


    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Originally Posted by BellaZee View Post

    Around the 6-month mark, I'll start throwing some PPC and Facebook ads out to build up my email list even further.
    No, start with pay per click now.

    Your results will be better and faster then with the slow version of trying to rank high.

    I like paid ads because it gets you NOW results. Just make sure that you test every source to see what works best for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author BellaZee
    Thanks everyone for your input

    Laurence and Al, as Gambino said, I wanted a few opinions – aka a review – of my idea.

    Gambino, I will be selling my own novels and not as an affiliate. In terms of wait time, you might be right that it’s too long. I was hoping to build up a nice size list before launching my own books but I have to reconsider now in light of that.

    Gordon, no, my plan is to sell novels. I want to use my site to build a following who will start the ball rolling by buying my book when I launch it on Amazon. Is my writing good enough to get people to buy my stuff? I don’t know but I do know it’s good enough to get people to read and to come back begging for more years after I’ve stopped writing. And it’s not as much a passion project as it is a feasible business idea as there are plenty of people making a decent living selling their novels on Amazon.

    Chris Fox did an experiment, writing a book and putting it up for sale on Amazon and with a few promotions and a list of about 1,500 people, he made a little over $8,000 in the first month. It was a two-month experiment but he already had that list. What I want to do is take his idea a little further. If you’re curious, here’s a link to the video series he did. The part about launching and promoting the book is only five videos at about 10 – 15 minutes each but they’ll probably get the idea across of what I want to do a little better . This is the link to the first video – results are in the fifth video --
    And I already have an income. I just want to build another income stream to add another egg basket to my collection.

    Thanks visimedia for the virtual kick in the butt . And yes, you’re right. I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

    DABK, I did say it was a vague plan. Maybe I should have called it a concept in its infancy. And yes, it might involve a lot of effort and a long wait, but I want to build something that will last rather than maybe be lucky and make a few hundred a month from selling a few books. I’d rather prepare and increase my odds of getting it to work.

    SteveB, thanks for the link. Maybe by calling it a plan I shot myself in the foot. I do know what a marketing plan is. I have a master’s degree in marketing and I worked for a market research company as a qualitative researcher as well as compiling numerous full business and marketing plans over the course of my career. It’s just that I take a more relaxed approach when I start off with an idea for myself. Plus, I have limited experience with marketing fiction books, which is why I was looking for some input . But I always love to read more so thanks again for the link

    Thanks talfighel, I’ll definitely consider starting with PPC earlier. In fact, as stated earlier, I have to reconsider my whole timeline. Maybe bring it down to six months instead of doing it over a year.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      My concern is the distance between start and money coming in. I'd suggest you shorten that a lot. You can start on getting people interested in you (follow you, sign up on a list of yours) long before the first novel is ready.

      Seems you're moving that way.

      Originally Posted by BellaZee View Post

      DABK, I did say it was a vague plan. Maybe I should have called it a concept in its infancy. And yes, it might involve a lot of effort and a long wait, but I want to build something that will last rather than maybe be lucky and make a few hundred a month from selling a few books. I'd rather prepare and increase my odds of getting it to work.
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