From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Breaking Through a Marketing Plateau

You know when you start a new diet, and the first 5 or 10 pounds come off in a snap, and then a few more pounds come, and then, without you changing anything, it just stops? You've hit a wall or a plateau, where one pound feels like a life or death struggle.

Well, I think the same thing happens with marketing. You start a blog, write often, comment on others, use Twitter to bring in readers, everything you know you're supposed to do. And it really does work, you can get some pretty good growth that way. But then after a while it almost starts feeling like your little market is saturated. You're doing the same things as before, but numbers start flat-lining. Not nearly as many new followers, not as many comments. When this trend happens too often or too severely in something like book sales, it can be deadly.

So what can you do? I'll give you some suggestions of what I think might work, but mostly I want to hear your ideas. Those of you who have been in this game for a while, how do you keep things growing, keep the life blood flowing?

First of all, keep going. It's definitely not going to go anywhere if you stop moving. Keep writing, commenting, tweeting, touring, networking, everything. Sometimes, fingers crossed, all you need is time before your next spurt.

Find new places. If your main tributary starts drying, look for new ones. Find websites that you're not already using and give them a try. No need to stress about it either, just add one at a time and see if they give results. Maybe get business cards, or look for local opportunities doing readings, signings, panels, lectures, that kind of thing. Go to conferences and network. Of course those things are more time and money intensive, but they may be worth it.

Change something up. Add something to your blog design or change the time of your posts. Try writing about something a little out of the norm. Try tweeting more often or You might catch the attention of people you wouldn't have otherwise.

Then of course there is always the publicity stunt type stuff. Plan a book drive, organize an event at your kids school, do a blog contest, something like that, and get the news to come if possible. Again, intensive, with potentially little pay-off, but who knows.

So what are your guys' ideas? Even just using your online presence, how do you revitalize it when it seems like the normal methods are slowing down? How do you keep finding new people, and keep them coming back?

Sarah Allen


  1. Yeah!!

    I know what you are speaking about. The only way out of plateau is consistency and persistence.

    Stick to your guns, find new targets!!

    with warm regards
    Another Author

  2. I think some of what it comes down to is time vs reward as well as luck. You can tweet, blog, post all day every day, but after a while you should know what avenues bring in the numbers and what ones don't.

    Trim out the blogs that are not helping, or cut back to only visiting them once every other week or once a month instead. But don't devote the same amount of time to them as you do channels that produce. Use this new time to find new blogs, or new avenues of marketing. Try things like YouTube and make a teaser video for a book or v-blog.

    Break outside of the author/publisher world. Find some blog groups that are about your hobbies. Weight loss groups, travel groups, collage student unions and even sports and gaming groups are great ways to branch out. You can even comment on news articles that cnn and fox post. You never know where that next bump in sales will come from.

  3. I've had the weird experience that every time I decide to cut back on platform-building activity, I see a surge in traffic, followers, and participation. Curiouser and curiouser.

  4. Hello, I've left you an award here:

  5. Keep going, that certainly is the best advice. It's so true - you won't move forward if you stop moving completely. Great advice. :D

  6. Nice blog, Sarah! Thanks for visiting mine! Never give up is my motto! : )


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