What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Take a walk? Scream? Throw up your hands? Drop back and punt? Hide in a closet? At one time or another, I’ve done all of those things. I can’t say it made the solution easier to find, but doing something, albeit unproductive, was at least doing something.
That’s the way I felt this morning when I sat down at my computer and wondered what in the world I would post on the blog. That thought actually coupled with where I was going to run this afternoon. Yesterday, I ran at The Aboretum, and while I loved the scenery, looping the park two or three time didn’t inspire me. It’s sort of like running on a treadmill. Run, run, run and you never get anywhere. I need to see progress and keep the forward momentum going. That’s where I am with both marketing and running, and I need fuel to maintain both.
Maintaining the energy and health to run requires eating carbohydrate-rich meals: whole grains, beans and legumes, fruits, starchy vegetables, yogurt, milk. The five best carbs for athletes are: sweet potatoes, oats, wild rice, bananas, and chickpeas. With a list like that, food shopping is pretty easy, and I love sweet potatoes!
To maintain the forward motion as an author, I need to market my work. There are lots of options, but it's up to me to find them and take action. Here are my 5 marketing projects or fuel to propel me forward.
1. Reviews: I’ve already talked about the importance of reviews, how to get them, and how to write them. I have on my schedule to do something every day to garner a review. My action may not generate one immediately, but if I can get on a reviewer’s calendar, then I’ve made progress.
2. Blogs: Set aside an hour each day to read blogs, make intelligent and relevant comments, and select one where I’d like to be featured, then send a polite and professional request.
3. Social media: Use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, but I have to be careful not to get lost in the Facebook abyss. I have to use my social media time productively, which might mean setting a timer. My goal is to post something relevant 4 or 5 times a day to keep everyone updated about the milestones I’ve reached. I want to generate action/conversations among my followers. Not just “likes.”
4. Visit advertising sites that are free and take some action: Here’s one I just found Dees Reading Room. The site is dedicated to helping authors get the word out to readers about their work.
5. Do interviews: When I see an interview on a blog, I read it, study the questions and think about how I’d answer a similar question. I’ve started a Word document: Answers to interview questions. This will save time when I’m preparing for interviews. I’ll be able to tweak answers instead of spending time originating new ones and save my creative juices for my work-in-progress.
I have my list of today’s projects and how much time I’ll devote to each one before getting back to Meredith and Elliott. They feel neglected when I’m gone too long.