Sunday, 16 April 2017

What I Learned Today: Losing Focus in Marketing

I swear, if I ever hear another person tell me that writing isn't a real career, or that it is easy, or that writers have it easy, I'll blow up. Or blow them up.

Or make them do all my work related to promotional strategies and marketing tactics.

What I learned today is that, in search of making your blog become more visible, it can be really easy to lose focus when you keep trying one thing after another.

For example, today I started working on my blog. I first started with changing a few of the pages around, and re-writing the "About" page, as well as working on my author media kit. It took me two hours to just get a stupid picture aligned in Word! I was so frustrated, I could have kicked something!

Instead, I controlled myself, made some food and calmed down. (Food is life, food is best friend!)

Once I had managed to align that picture to my liking, I decided to go ahead with my next task, which involved making my blog become more visible.

My usual way to promote my blog is to post links on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and then let people know about new posts through Instagram, by asking then to click the link in my bio. I've also linked my Goodreads author account with my blog, so that new posts show up there as well.

All of this has helped me to generate a small but steady amount of traffic coming into my blog. These are baby steps, no doubt, but as a published author gradually going through my everyday journey, I believe that every little bit helps.

Today however, I decided to take an extra step, be a techie, and use Google Search Console to ensure that my blog gets more velocity in its visibility. I had signed myself up with the Search Console a while back and at first, things seemed easy. I got some red flags because the mobile version of my blog page wasn't working properly, and people weren't using it as a result of that. So I fixed the problem (I use Blogger for my blogging needs, and they are pretty easy to navigate) and voila! It was working properly.

Does Google Search Console help? Yes, yes it does.

The problem started for me when I decided to dig deeper. I went through the dashboard and checked the "Search Traffic" page to look over the search analytics for my blog page. I'll honestly admit here that I have yet to understand the analytics and details of this page, and I am still confused as to what I should be looking over. I should have noticed my confusion as the first red flag, and left this difficult and confusing task for another day, but I decided to march forward.

For some reason, I clicked on the "Rich Card" link and was brought to its page where Google Search Console enthusiastically let me know that my blog has no structured data for rich cards on my website.

Nabila Fairuz Blog, My Own Little Corner, Marketing, New Author Series

My initial reaction was, "What?"

My next reaction was, "Hmm... Lett's try to figure this out."

So I tried to understand what a rich card is, and how it will help my blog's visibility. Next thing I know, I am looking at lines of HTML or Java codes.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is when I realized I have gone too far.

My takeout from this lesson: Baby steps. Baby steps. Baby steps.

While it is easy to want to charge ahead and do all the fun, technologically advanced things and make your blog become the number one thing people see when they search up a related matter on Google, it is also necessary to take several steps back and try to understand the nitty gritty of it.

I am not a big fan of coding, and I certainly didn't understand a lot of the stuff Google Search Console was throwing at me. Rather than researching and studying what they were all about, I had marched right into a confusing mess, which caused me to waste quite a bit of time that I could have spent otherwise, in more important matters.

So, new authors, it is okay to not go directly into the analytical stuff just yet. If you are big on technological stuff, by all means go ahead (And then leave us less technologically advanced mortals some good and easy guide to follow)!!

But if looking at lines of codes gives you headache, then feel free to give yourself time and learn the basics. I know that's what I will be doing!

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