4 Steps to Loving Marketing—And Your Readers

You may not know it, but if you’re a writer trying to build a readership, you’re building a brand—and every piece of work you put out there is marketing.

4 Steps to Loving Marketing—And Your Reader

Photo by Kate Ter Haar

I know marketing can make writers cringe, but don’t write me off quite yet. With the right mindset, you can learn to love—and give your reader some love at the same time. Consider these four marketing tips:

It’s a relationship, not a sale.

Would you rather start a relationship with 1,000 readers or make 1,000 sales pitches? Exactly. Those 1,000 readers would prefer a relationship, too.

So consider, if each story, blog post, tweet, etc. you put out there is about relationship-building, how does that change what you share?

Hopefully you’re sharing your genuine unique self and sharing the things that you and your readers get excited about—not just pushing your latest release. And if it’s about relationships…

Every release is a fresh opportunity to forge relationships and make new ones.

If hours of What Not to Wear have taught me anything, it’s that first impressions matter. This means everything you share with your readers needs to be the very best it can.

Which means taking the time to edit, get feedback, investing in a professional cover design. In short, show readers you care enough to give them quality, every single time.

And don’t forget to make it easy for readers to take your relationship to the next level—tell them how to follow you on Twitter, join your newsletter, and find more of your writing.

Frequency matters.

Relationships are built over a series of interactions. The more frequent, the more you stay top-of-mind. But this doesn’t mean you have to pop out a publishable story every week.

Use a variety of touch points like newsletters, blogging, and Facebook posts to keep in touch between completed works.

But never forget …

Quality is more important than quantity.

When a reader gives you their time and attention, they’re also giving you their trust. So it’s never worth it to rush something out the door for frequency if it means sacrificing quality. Do everything within your power to make sure that everything you put out gets your readers excited to check out even more of your work.

Writers often don’t like to think much about the business aspects of our work. But with the right approach, you can learn to love it—and give your readers some love at the same time. In fact, by applying these simple marketing best practices to your writing,

I’d bet good money that your readers will love you right back.

What do you do to build a long-term relationship with readers?


Take a second look at something you’ve been working on—is it ready for readers? When it is, what next step can you take to connect with new readers through it?

Share it in the comments!

About Emily Wenstrom

By day, Emily Wenstrom, is the editor of short story website wordhaus, author social media coach, and freelance content marketing specialist. By early-early morning, she is E. J. Wenstrom, a sci-fi and fantasy author whose first novel Mud will release in March 2016.

  • Mariama Wurie

    Great post! As a marketing specialist and a (newish) blogger trying to improve my writing skills and readership, I found this extremely useful! Thank you for sharing!

  • Marcy Mason McKay

    You’re so right, Emily. I like hearing “quality over quantify.” I post a new blog every week, and to make it the very best I can for my readers, rather than flooding their in-boxes daily. Good stuff here. Thanks!

    • Yes! Better to do something you can sustain than try to do too much. Thanks Marcy.

      • Marcy Mason McKay

        Exactly, Emily. To me, less is more. Thanks for responding.

  • Cole Rautenbach

    I’ve just spent the better part of 3 months working on a micro-horror (just over 7500 words), but I put it through the wringer (beta readers and multiple drafts and reviews) to make sure the quality was there. In the meantime, I’ve been forging those relationships with my audience, which has actually been a highly valuable interpersonal experience. When done properly, it’s about more than just marketing, which becomes very clear in writers’ audiences’ responses to their work.

    Thanks for the reminder that the marketing can be love-able 🙂 and fun.

    • Sounds like you’re off to a good start–good luck with your story.

      • Cole Rautenbach

        Thanks so much, Emily!

  • shirley

    i just wrote a longish thing and lost it. I don’t feel like doing a rewrite this minute

    • Oh no! I hate when that happens. Did you try CTRL+Z to undo? That’s the only trick I’ve got up my sleeve.

  • shirley

    Does anyone know where in H-E-double toothpicks posts disappear to? Somewhere in cyberspace?

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  • Janelle

    Thank you for a wonderful post! I am trying to build my “brand” through the various social media channels and I agree that being authentic is the only way to create memorable relationships. It is nice to hear others sharing the same message.
    Thanks, Janelle

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