In 2011, when IAG was formed, one of the biggest questions everyone had was marketing. All of the questions focused around how to make the most of writing and marketing at the same time, and from that, a project called ‘the ten hour marketing plan’ was designed, mostly based on the answers I’d given others with questions asked on the board.
Over the years (2014, 2016, 2018) we’ve updated it in minor ways, but with the release of other materials that grew from it imminent, I thought it was time to do a full explain and update.
The original primer was basically designed around taking three pillars of marketing, and how myself and other mods talked about using the content that we’d set up, and how long it took. It was originally a sort of ‘day in the life of marketing a book’ but as it turned out it was close to ten hours a week, we shared it as that instead.
The new update removes Klout, as it no longer exists as suggested, and talks about a few items that we have found more useful since. If you’ve got variations, or questions, we’d love to hear them!
A Ten Hour Marketing Primer – 2018
Author’s note – the ten hour marketing primer is not designed to be used without adjustment. You do not need to follow our plan exactly, but it is a tried and true method for limiting the time you spend marketing, while maximizing results.
How do I promote in 10 hours a week?
So…I keep giving people this mythical 10 hours a week number and saying ‘I do all of my promotion in 10 hours a week, more or less’.
And I do. So I thought I’d share my basics.
- Schedule your writing time – some people are more productive in the morning, those with day jobs or kids may need afternoon or evening. It’s absolutely critical you work out this step however, because you don’t want to be doing work
- Schedule your marketing time. I do this by:
- Facebook sweep – I spend 10 minutes sweeping FB for anything interesting to share to my page. If I find something neat I either post it, or queue it. I fill my content usually by Wednesday for one of my author pages. I’m just picking up doing the second one now. I do this four times a day (40 mins total)
- Blog posts – 30 mins. I write a blog post daily, but you should do a post at least once a week. (1hr 10 mins) Keep it somewhat short and as interesting as you can. (Examples, inspiration for books, prospective cover art, your writing process.)
- You can also guest blog – http://indieauthorgroup.com is one of many sites that accepts a guest blog. Read the guidelines, and be aware of the style, editorial expectations and other rules surrounding that – it’s easiest to manage that way, and means you’ll get more yesses than nos. Some guest blog positions pay – most don’t, and that’s ok. If they are making money from you in a meaningful way, or are a huge website, you can try to negotiate, but most guest blogging posts are designed to introduce you to the site’s readership, so you shouldn’t expect pay, that’s normally a bonus.
- Twitter – 10 minutes, three times a day. I retweet interesting stuff. (1 hr 40) MONDAYS – head on over to #mondayblogs, share other people’s posts and share one blog post of your own – make sure it’s not promotional.
- Triberr 25 mins/3x per week – more content, more community building. Instead of Triberr, I sometimes switch to Pinterest and Instagram, especially if I’m working on stuff that is more visual, like layouts for books, so if you’re a more visual person, you can switch out Triberr and even Twitter with Instagram and Pinterest.
- Work/write – I write a lot of posts and answer questions, and do content while I supporting others, so the majority of my day is taken up there. If it’s quiet, I get to write, if it’s busy, I’m doing a lot of ‘paying it forward’.
- Email – 10 mins twice a day for marketing information via newsletters etc.(2hrs)
- I then stop for lunch and write or do other work.
Repeat three days a week (except the stuff that’s daily).
Ok, so it’s not quite 10 hours, and sometimes I’m faster than I think with the stuff I’m doing.
My biggest marketing primer tip?
I do my email DEAD LAST. It’s important – really important – not to do your email first. If you do, you’re reacting for the rest of the day. So I promote in just under 10 hours a week. If I’m doing a blog or other promotional tour, it goes up (naturally), and some of that is sharing other people.