When thinking of starting a career as a writer or author, most people think the important steps are to write stories, network with other authors, and build a portfolio. And, while those are all definitely beneficial, there is something perhaps more critical: building an email list. But, why is email marketing crucial for aspiring writers?
I know that creating a mailing list, at first glance, doesn’t seem all too important or even totally relevant to writers. But, as with many self-supporting careers, you become your own brand—the face of your business. You are in charge of (at least in the beginning) selling your writing.
Think of it this way: someone sees your posts on social media, likes your writing, follows you, and has purchased one of your books. You have a new release coming out, and on the surface, this person seems like a potential customer.
But, when your book is released, nobody buys it. Why? You may get discouraged and think people aren’t interested, but what’s more likely is that no one is aware you released a book. Maybe your followers weren’t on social media recently. Or, maybe they follow so many people that your posts got lost. In any case, you’ve lost out on a sale.
This problem is eliminated with a mailing list. Your email list is a direct line to your supporters, potential customers, and readers. So, whether or not they are keeping up with your social media posts, you can inform them about everything you’re up to—right to their inbox.
Starting to make more sense, right?
Why Mailing Lists are Important for Writers
Two main benefits are gained because email marketing connects you directly to your supporters: you gain potential customers and can connect more deeply with your subscribers.
Connect with Your Supporters
Besides gaining potential customers, growing a mailing list will allow you to get to know your supporters better. Through your emails and newsletters, you can ask your followers questions, create polls, and receive direct feedback.
You can offer exclusive deals and behind-the-scenes information to those who are interested enough to subscribe.
Gain Potential Customers
As I previously stated, as a writer, you are in charge of selling your writing. Unfortunately, it’s not likely many people will organically find your work, be interested, and make a sale. You must put your writing in front of people who are interested.
If you think of your career in terms of who purchases your writing vs. who’s just casual views your social media and websites, it would look something like this:
The browsers are the largest group, with people who stumble upon your posts and like them. If they like them enough, they may become a follower.
The followers include those who enjoy your social media posts enough to follow you. They like what they see and are interested in viewing more.
Your email subscribers are those who enjoy your work so much they want to know right away when you release a book or something similar.
Customers have purchased your writing. This could be the end, where they enjoy your work and then forget about you, but if they’ve subscribed to your mailing list, they could become a repeat buyer.
What Do I Share With My Email Subscribers?
I hope you can see the importance of email marketing for aspiring writers. However, some people have a hard time figuring out what to share with their followers. After all, it’s not like you’ll have a new book release to share every week or even every month.
That being said, here are a few ideas of what you can share with your email subscribers:
- your process (share behind-the-scenes info about your life, your writing, and your writing career)
- sneak peeks of upcoming projects (keep interested readers excited by sharing sneak peeks of upcoming projects and books)
- your favorites (share your favorite books, blogs, and tools with your readers)
- releases of your books (obviously, you’ll want to share the big releases and books with your followers)
- get to know me (develop a genuine connection with your readers by including fun facts and get-to-know-me information)
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