Sunday, 14 January 2018

What I Learned: Goals Gone Astray

First blog post of the year! Wohoo!

Ok, now onto business. I want to talk today about focusing on goals. I also want to highlight my own mistakes, so that other new writers may learn from this and don't have to waste a whole year to figure out the truth.

I was hoping that the first blog post of this year would at least start off on a good note, but unfortunately that is not going to be the case. So here is my bad news. Last year my book sales were very, very low. Almost non existent.

Towards the end of the year, I kept wondering why this was so. Where was I going wrong? Which of my efforts were being ineffective towards my sales?

As I mentioned, it took me a whole year to figure out the truth, and I sincerely hope no one else has to waste that much time to figure out this simple task: I was not channeling my energy into my book!

And by channeling energy, I do not mean going all Fullmetal Alchemist and drawing a transmutation circle and actually channeling your body's energy into a book. That, as Edward and Alphonse Elric can attest to, is a very bad idea. Do not try that ever at home. Or anywhere else.

What I meant is that I lost focus into what was important and actually mattered. Pure and simple.

Here's the scenario of what happened. With so many options online and offline, I fell of the track and lost focus of what my actual goal was. In hindsight, I now realize that I was putting more effort into being a blogger.

Now, don't undermine the power of blogging. It is a necessary method of long time marketing, as well as an important way to remain connected with your audience. However, I failed to differentiate between being a writer and a blogger. I focused too much on blogging and being a blogger. Although it is heavily recommended for a writer to have her own website or a blog, my focus shifted more towards being a blogger rather than being a writer.

I had to remind myself that my blog is not my main focus and that I am not trying to earn from blogging. Rather I was blogging as a means to connect with my audience, but my main goal was to write and try to earn from book sales.

I realized that in my spare time on Pinterest, most of my researches included title such as "monetizing your blog" and such, and not enough "writing website" or "how to proofread better". See the difference? I was so focused on making people come to blog and check out my blog, that I completely forgot what should have been my goal: focusing on using my writing as a point of marketing. Big mistake.

Instead of focusing on ways to promote my book and my writing, I was focused too much on promoting my blog. While blogging is important and cannot be ignored, as a writer that should not be my main focus.

This year, I am putting my blogging in second place and seeking out more book related events and methods to promote my book and my overall writing. What that means is that while I will be actively seeking to build my email list and carry on writing on my blog, I will focus more on my book. I will see at the end of the year if that pays off in more sales.

Already I have lined up a radio interview and a book signing event at Indigo. I like where this is going. It is hard though as I get distracted very easily, but everyday I am reminding myself by repeating a mantra. Books first, blogging next.

Furthermore, instead of going crazy on all kinds of social media promotion, I might stick to a chosen few and focus more on those, rather than try to use every last social media out there to promote my books. My favorite go to media for promotion is Instagram, and I also like using Facebook and Pinterest. We'll see how that goes.

All of this is kind of my hypothesis for this year. I'll be experimenting in 2018 to see if this new mentality of mine pays off or not. Wish me luck!

And don't forget to tune in for my radio interview! It will be on January 31st, 2018. More details to follow soon. Keep an eye out!

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