How to Get Readers on a $0 Budget

From Digital Pubbing:

If you’re an author, you need a solid marketing strategy to boost the visibility of your brand and grow traffic to your website.

Fortunately, in 2021 there are many advertising ideas you can use for free.

As a self-publisher, you can take advantage of one of many free advertising ideas to promote your business with no money.

If you wrote an ebook, Amazon Kindle Publishing is with no doubt the best place for free advertising.

Make sure you also take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin. The best one depends on your industry and audience.

93% of marketers say that video marketing is an important part of their strategy. That’s because it’s an engaging form of content, with billions of users watching one billion hours every day.

If you don’t want to try new content formats, make sure you create a blog. You can repurpose parts of your ebook content to grow an online audience that will be interested in reading more about a certain topic.

(Large infographic omitted, but it contains a good part of the information in the OP)

Link to the rest at Digital Pubbing

PG posted about this for two reasons:

  1. Not everybody thinking/looking at/considering self-publishing is in the same place with regard to how much they know about online and other self-created promotional ideas.
  2. The OP talks a great deal about “free” strategies and tools authors can use to promote their work.

PG notes that all “free” publicity/advertising/etc. takes time. If the author does it herself, it requires the author’s time and energy to pursue. Every author has some limits on the amount of time she can spend doing writing, promotion or anything else.

If time is money (or time spent doing one thing is time that isn’t available for doing something else), then time isn’t actually free in economic terms.

On a very simple basis, an author could use the time spent on self-promotion to do more writing instead.

The bottom line is whether a creator’s time is best spent on creating more or selling what has already been created.

Of course, in some cases, an author doesn’t really have a choice because there’s no one who will promote her books other than herself.

The alternative is, of course, to pay someone to do something the author could do. The person being paid might be better at promoting the author’s work than the author is due to a better talent for promotion, more experience doing promotion, etc., etc.

PG’s point is that, if an author has the means to hire someone else to do any of a variety of things, spending some money to hire help may be more effective than learning and spending the time necessary to do the job herself, particularly if the author doesn’t already know something about advertising, promotion, etc.

Just because releasing, promoting and selling the author’s first book involved no one but the author doesn’t mean that, if the first book is generating some money, repeating the same strategy over and over again makes the most economic use of the author’s limited time.

4 thoughts on “How to Get Readers on a $0 Budget”

  1. Excellent, PG, excellent.

    There are a plethora of sites that will tell you “Do this for success.” There are very, very few that will tell you “Do this – when you are at this point. Do that – when you are at this different point.”

    My plan is bootstrapping, with multiple decision points, as it will undoubtedly not be linear, and parts will undoubtedly become obsolete by the time the plan reaches that point.

    (Now, it is just kicking myself hard enough to implement the durned thing.)

    • Yes, but if you hire someone to do something, they are doing it when you can’t.

      My bias is to try and do everything myself — if nothing else, it forces me up a useful learning curve which helps give me the option of outsourcing it later and analyzing/judging the results comparatively.

      I ran into the limits of that not from comparative analyses of my own capabilities, but from unavoidable reality — I had a medical crisis last year (all fine now, thanks — in fact, much better than before) which had lingering effects for most of a year. While it lasted, I was all but dysfunctional for useful brain work beyond the most ordinary. I encountered many challenges I could normally soar past (e.g., dead computer) that stopped me in my tracks for a while with “I can’t cope with that right now” avoidance responses — not my usual mode.

      It’s one thing to have already automated my business and life requirements as much as possible (auto-billpayment, for example, though that never catches everything), but it was a whole ‘nother thing to try and do anything outside of that groove. So, for my writing life: (1) book writing: delayed (no big harm – writing book 3 of a series not yet released); (2) bookkeeping: delayed (will become a major headache at year-end); (3) advertising systems: not so much shut down as eroded — when the platforms changed rules, I couldn’t cope; (4) marketing plans, newsletters, strategic planning, etc.: stopped dead (major loss of momentum).

      My do-it-myself bias ran me into the one-man-business problem (now so much (deceptively) better-enabled by technology than it used to be), and I hadn’t planned for that. It will certainly be more expensive to involve someone else for some of this, but I’m ready to start exploring that possibility, partly to have two heads to bounce a problem off of, and partly as insurance against some of the effects of a similar situation down the road. (We are none of us getting any younger.)

  2. My dad was a solo entrepreneur a lot of his working life, and I’m familiar with the problems, and the start/stop nature of the beast.

    I’m incapable of doing the business side of our life and writing at the same time, so I let the husband do the work, and worry.

    I wasn’t talking about that – necessary – kind of help. I meant more such things as formatting, covers, advertising, promoting (all of which I’m not doing right now). It can easily be set up and be a constant money drain to outsource the writer’s tasks, and those things tend to get way out of hand if not supervised continuously. Or set up with very strict limits.

    The helpers tend to want to do things such as ‘post’ and ‘tweet’ and I haven’t yet found someone who can do ads and not cost a lot more than any value they bring to the advertising. Possibly having them would help long-term, but I’m not convinced, as I will never be prolific.

Comments are closed.