Market Your Writing Business: Content Pitfalls

Looking for ways to market your writing business? There are endless ways to do this.

For writers, content marketing is an easy and efficient way. Your default setting is writing, so content marketing is the perfect way to market your writing business, no matter what kind of writing you do.

Over the past few years, I’ve found that although many of my students appreciate the power of content, they’re creating their promotional content on sites like Facebook, Medium and LinkedIn.

They’re unaware of the dangers.

Avoid the pitfalls of digital sharecropping

When you create content for promotion, it’s best to do it on a site you control. When you use others’ sites, you’re digital sharecropping, and that can be dangerous.

Here’s Copyblogger on the pain digital sharecropping can create:

Literally overnight, their business model quit working. Revenues simply wouldn’t exceed costs. A decision made by another party, one they had no control over, took a wonderful business and destroyed it.

Over the past two decades and more, I’ve fallen into the digital sharecropping trap too. I’ve used sites like Posterous and got comfortable there only to find that the site suddenly vanished.

From The Verge:

In February of this year, Posterous announced it would be shutting down all blogs after ten weeks.

Many, many writers and authors experienced pain when Facebook changed to a pay for play model. Their marketing stopped working overnight.

Change is inevitable: know the risks

Using others’ websites is wonderful. Your content marketing is no-hassle and low-cost or free. Moreover, you can tap into your chosen website’s flowing traffic.

Everything’s rosy. Until it isn’t.

Worst case scenario: your content vanishes. (Always keep backups.) More likely, your chosen platform changes direction: it pulls a bait and switch. You’ve provided content to grow the platform and it’s now time for the platform to cash in.

Nothing you can do about it… Too bad, so sad.

Your digital sharecropping action plan

If you’ve set up to market your writing business and realize that you’re digital sharecropping, protect yourself:

  • Backup your content religiously, at least once a month;
  • Create a website you do control, as soon as you can. If things suddenly change, you’ve got an established home for your content;
  • Pay attention. Watch for changes to the platform which may indicate a worrying trend.

Once you know the dangers, you can use content to market your writing business with confidence.


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