Auto-responders, email lists and campaign sequences, oh my!

by eliwinfield in Musings, Updates

Hello, Dear Reader!

How is your summer going?

Mine has moved from the minor hell of helping hubbie’s family clean out auntie’s apartment into the Purgatory of ‘marketing’ and website design.  I’m ‘fixing’ the website, trying to build my audience and my email list.  I’m also editing the book that just came back, setting up a launch/pre-launch and finishing the next book.  And I’m attempting to figure out auto-responder campaigns.

Marketing is my personal purgatory.  Nothing ever works right out of the box, at least not for me.  I can find ways to break things no one ever believed possible.  I am wading through creating a ‘platform’ or ‘presence’ in the world (or breaking the one I currently have whichever you wish to think) so that I can get a story into your hands when you sign up for my newsletter. As an independent business person, I have total control. Of everything.   Even if I wanted to be a traditionally published author, I know that publishers expect authors to do much of the work creating a presence in the world. Editors want to buy from authors who already have a presence.  Long gone are the days of blindly listening to experts who guide the author’s presence based on hard earned experience.  And, this is the digital age.  There are no white washes or take backs with the world of the ‘Way Back Machine.’ Saying less is probably the best course, but if I did that, well, who would you be reading?  I might as well be my messy self, good and bad.

My whole Life is messy right now.  On top of the normal end of school chaos, we have both pre-wedding chaos (my goddaughter is getting married in two months) and  the end of life chaos filling our home. We shall not speak of the garage, the dining room table, or the cantina where all the boxes from hubbie’s aunt’s apartment have been stuffed.  We shall not speak of my goddaughter’s wedding dress that is in pieces and pattern-making or of the glitter that one of the layers of tulle is shedding all over my house.  Fairy dust.  It is fairy dust of joy sticking to your shoes.  And we definitely shall not talk about the dryer that is currently in pieces in the back hall. Life is running true to course.

Right, back to Marketing…

In an effort to make at least one thing in my life straight forward, I decided to take the Instant Bestseller Course from Tim Grahl.  In some ways, Tim is repeating what other people have said to do: building your own email list is the key to success.  But Tim talks about the business of writing and book launches in plain words advice that makes sense to me. I can see how it is supposed to work. I can do what he is telling me to do.  I’ve been trying to do this for two years. I haven’t yet managed to get the freebie to work.  If I can get this to work it will be worth every hard earned penny.

Unfortunately his website course, the Ultimate Author Platform, is following true to the rest of my life. If I didn’t already have a website with content and readers like you, the course would be super easy.  I’m trying to integrate his suggestions into my current platform and make them work. We all know I can find creative ways to break things that no one ever dreamed possible.  In the last two days I have broken and fixed my website at least three times.  I have not yet lost anything into the bowels of nothingness that can be the internet (knock wood) but when I (temporarily) lost the navigation tabs and the blog content, it was a little stressful.   Now things on the website mostly work like they are supposed to work.

Sumome…

I was ticking right along then I got to Sumome, the suggested plugin to run popups and analytics.

Sumome was a big fail.  It was not the instructions or the course (which are very straight forward).  It was the fact that Sumome only works with WordPress.org, not WordPress.com sites. After two days of hitting my head against a brick wall, I discovered I have to go back to the drawing board.  That means I am back in the land of finding something that will work.  Or several somethings.  Par for the course of my life, Dear Reader.

But I will figure it out because making it work will mean I can put a story into your hands moments after you sign up for my newsletter.  And that will make it worth everything.


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