Friday, May 25, 2018


I've never talked to a single writer who enjoys marketing as much as or more than writing itself. Some writers are quite good at it, perhaps because of previous experience or that je n'est sais quoi that gives them a knack for it, but the truth is that writers (and most other creative types) just want to create. We'd be over the moon to be free to let our imaginations spit out entertaining content and let someone else convince the world to buy it. This does happen for a select few, of course, but for the rest of us, it's not enough to just bake pies. We also have to tell everyone how delicious they are and hope that people believe us.

Marketing shares many similarities with the creative arts, and there are also many differences. In marketing, as in the arts, you have to be imaginative, empathetic, sensitive to your audience, courageous, have thick skin, be willing to fail a lot, and always try to come up with a cool new idea. On the other hand, there are metrics and analytics and rubrics and percentages and industry jargon and a world that is moving at a breakneck speed and doesn't care how much time you need to bake your creative pie because it's already found something else that's more exciting. Simply put, one side of marketing is really fun and the other side is really boring.

Actually, that's not so different than writing...

No matter how I or other writers feel about it, marketing is essential to any writer's success, and unless you're a big name with a big publishing budget, you have to do it yourself. After searching the interwebs, I decided to sign up for Udacity's Digital Marketing Nanodegree. It's a three-month online course and so far, I'm enjoying it. I've still got a long way to go but I've already learned a lot about marketing basics and social media marketing, and I haven't even gotten into search engine optimization, Google analytics, email marketing, and many other marketing channels. I'm not expecting miraculous results but with so many free and inexpensive tools available to writers like me, I'd be foolish not to take advantage. I also don't want to waste my time spinning my wheels or shooting arrows into the dark and praying that I'll hit something. That's where the numbers come into play, and that's where I need to focus.

So here's hoping for a fun and productive journey into a world that can be a bit intimidating but one that needs to be conquered.

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