Why the ‘Spray and Pray’ Marketing Method Doesn’t Work

By Laura Christianson

When authors ask me to help them with their online marketing, they usually open with:

“My agent told me I need a Facebook ‘fan’ page, so I had my son create one for me. But I haven’t posted anything to it. I don’t even know how to use it. Help!”

Most writers struggle to balance the demands of writing and marketing our writing. Unsure about how to woo readers, we use the ‘spray and pray’ marketing method: we create a blog and multiple social media accounts, spray out random updates and pray someone pays attention.

‘Spray and pray’ doesn’t work.

I hereby grant you permission to ignore people who insist that you “have to be on Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / LinkedIn / Google+ / YouTube .” Instead, choose one network you feel most drawn to.

Then ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do I hope to get out of joining this network?
  2. Who is my ideal target reader, and does my reader hang out at this network?
  3. What will be the focus of my message (How will I HELP people who visit my page)?
  4. How can I create updates that invite two-way conversation?
  5. How often will I publish fresh content?
  6. What is my “time budget” for building relationships on this network?

Rather than joining six networks and using all of them haphazardly, use one network consistently and strategically. You’ll be happier, and you’ll reap a much better return on your time investment.

Writing for the Soul BadgeWant to learn more?

We’ll thoroughly investigate this topic during the six workshops I’ll teach at the 2014 Writing for the Soul conference, held February 13-16, 2014 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO.

The Broadmoor is a historic Five-Star, Five-Diamond resort located on 3,000 lush acres under the shadow of Cheyenne Mountain.

Writing for the Soul is a high-level conference geared for people who are writing books. I’m looking forward to teaching the following workshops:

  • How to Market Your Writing Online Without Annoying Your Readers
    • Session 1: The Art of Thinking Backwards
    • Session 2: Planning Your Work and Working Your Plan
  • Conquering the Facebook Monster
    • Session 1: Tricks to Keep your Facebook Brand Page Interesting
    • Session 2: Making ‘Cents’ of Facebook Advertising
  • Capture and Convert: How to find fans online and turn them into avid brand evangelists (1-hour workshop on how to build your e-mail list)
  • How Pinteresting! Fun Ways to Promote Your Writing on Pinterest (1-hour workshop)

I’ll also facilitate three 15-minute sessions on “How to spot an unethical website designer.”

The teaching faculty includes:

  • James Scott Bell (fiction and keynoter)
  • Laura Christianson (promotion & marketing)
  • Brandilyn Collins (fiction)
  • Dennis E. Hensley (nonfiction, craft & career)
  • Bob Hostetler (nonfiction, craft & career)
  • Angela Hunt (fiction)
  • Julie-Allyson Ieron (nonfiction, craft & career, promotion & marketing)
  • Randy Ingermanson (fiction, promotion & marketing)
  • Julie Neils (promotion & marketing)
  • Karen O’Connor (nonfiction, craft & career)
  • Andy Scheer (craft & career)
  • Dave Sheets (promotion & marketing)
  • McNair Wilson (promotion & marketing

The conference includes four professional tracks: Fiction (19 classes); Non-fiction (12 classes); Craft & Career (18 classes); and Promotion/Marketing (23 classes). Consider joining us to supercharge your writing career!

Register online for Writing for the Soul (hosted by the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild) or call toll free at 866.495.5177.

  • Katherine Jones

    Hmmm…I may have to think about this conference, Laura. Thanks for highlighting it for us. And great info in this post, too. It’s hard not to feel pressure from the “experts” to do everything, and I very much appreciate permission from one expert (you) to say no thank you to all but one.

  • Katherine Jones

    Hmmm…I may have to think about this conference, Laura. Thanks for highlighting it for us. And great info in this post, too. It’s hard not to feel pressure from the “experts” to do everything, and I very much appreciate permission from one expert (you) to say no thank you to all but one.

  • Thanks, Katherine. You do your “one” thing exceptionally well. I’d rather choose one thing I feel passionate about and do it well than spreading myself too thin and doing a mediocre job on all of them.

  • Thanks, Katherine. You do your “one” thing exceptionally well. I’d rather choose one thing I feel passionate about and do it well than spreading myself too thin and doing a mediocre job on all of them.

  • Sounds good to me. This is true Laura. It’s good to concentrate on just one platform and optimize those contents. You really had a great point with ‘spray and pray’ thingy, we often see social media website as some kind of a tool for link building when it shouldn’t be that way. It’s going to be more effective if we engage, socialize and give our fullest effort to just one social media. At least you won’t have a hard time multitasking with so many profiles to update. Great point Laura. How I wish I could come. 🙂

  • Sounds good to me. This is true Laura. It’s good to concentrate on just one platform and optimize those contents. You really had a great point with ‘spray and pray’ thingy, we often see social media website as some kind of a tool for link building when it shouldn’t be that way. It’s going to be more effective if we engage, socialize and give our fullest effort to just one social media. At least you won’t have a hard time multitasking with so many profiles to update. Great point Laura. How I wish I could come. 🙂

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