Digital Marketing Ideas for Writers

I originally wrote this post for Emtiaz Zourob, but others may find it useful.

One of the things writers and other artists often need to do is promote their work, so learning some basic marketing skills can be helpful.

One of the simplest things an artist can do is to purchase the rights to a website address (or domain name).  After this is done, consider signing up for this username on a variety of social networking sites, even if you don’t plan on using the social media site immediately.

  1. Get your own domain name.
    • A domain name is a permanent internet address that you can own the rights to
    • Examples:
      1. openpolitics.com (my domain name)
      2. emtiazzourob.com,  or
      3. emtiazalnahhal.com
    • I found Emtiaz’s site on blogspot:
      1. emtiazalnahhal.blogspot.com
      2. Blogspot is good, but it would be better if the Emtiaz owned her own address, independent of blogspot.com.
    • Having your own domain name is sort of like owning your own home rather than renting.  The owner of a domain name can customize the site, add additional features, and switch to a different hosting provider without having to change the site’s address.
    • You can purchase your own domain name for about $10-15/year.
    • There are many different companies through which you can purchase  a domain.
      1. I use namecheap.com.
      2. I would recommend gandi.net if your site might be controversial because I think gandi will be more likely to stand up for you if others are trying to censor you.
  2. Optional: Switch Your Blog to Your Own Domain Name.
    • After you have purchase your own domain name, you no longer need to rely upon a company like blogspot or wordpress.com for hosting and you have the future flexibility to switch providers.  For example, you can switch from emtiazalnahhal.blogspot.com to emtiazalnahhal.com (or whatever name you choose).
    • I can help you with the hosting and transfer if you like.  Talk to me more if you’re interested in this.  This would likely also mean a switch in software from blogspot to the free version of wordpress.
  3. Register for Twitter.
    1. If you don’t already own your username on twitter (@timlangeman in my case), I would sign up, if for no other reason than to reserve your name.  (It’s free to sign up)
    2. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is public by default.  If you want to get a message out to the public, Twitter can be more effective than Facebook, but Facebook is good for restricting shared material to friends.
  4. Get Business Cards to hand out at readings.
    • On your business card, list the domain name that you purchased in step 1, your twitter username, your email address, and any other info you want, such as phone number
    • Your physical address may change if you move to a different apartment, but your gmail address and domain name can always stay the same.
    • There are many places to get business cards.  I don’t have experience ordering my own cards.
      1. I’ve heard advertisements for vistaprint.com and moo.com but I don’t know how good they are.
  5. Get your own Email Lists
    • You can collect email addresses from people at readings and put a signup form on your website.   As you collect email addresses you can categorize them based on language or interest.  You can send some emails to the whole group and others to a subgroup (like English speakers).
    • The advantage of email lists is that you can target different types of people when you have a book to sell, or an event to publicize, even if those people don’t necessarily follow you on Facebook or Twitter.
    • There are many sites that offer group email functionality.
      1. Constant Contact is a popular site for non-profits
      2. I recommend MailChip if you’re starting with a small list because MailChip is free for lists smaller than 2000 people.

Digital Marketing Ideas for Authors

  1. Get your own domain name.
    • A domain name is a permanent internet address that you own.  Examples:
      1. openpolitics.com (my domain name)
      2. emtiazzourob.com,  or
      3. emtiazalnahhal.com
    • I found your blogspot blog:
      1. emtiazalnahhal.blogspot.com
      2. Blogspot is good, but it would be better if your site’s address were independent of blogspot.com
    • Having your own domain name allows you to customize the site, and add additional features, or switch to a different hosting provider without having to change the site’s address.
    • You can purchase your own domain name for about $10-15/year.
    • There are many different companies through which you can purchase  a domain.
      1. I use namecheap.com
      2. I would recommend gandi.net if your site might be controversial because I think gandi will be more likely to stand up for you if others are trying to censor you.
  2. Optional: Switch Your Blog to Your Own Domain Name
    • Move from emtiazalnahhal.blogspot.com to emtiazalnahhal.com.
    • I can help you with the transfer if you like.  Talk to me more if you’re interested in this.  This would also mean a switch in software from blogspot to wordpress.
  3. Register for Twitter
    1. If you don’t already own your username on twitter, I would sign up, if for no other reason than to reserved your name.
    2. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is public.  If you want to get a message out to the public, Twitter can be more effective than Facebook.
  4. Get Business Cards to hand out at readings
    • List the domain name that you purchased in step 1, your twitter name, your email address, and any other info you want, such as phone number.
    • Your physical address may change if you move to a different apartment, but your gmail address and domain name can stay the same.
    • There are many places to get business cards.  I don’t have experience ordering my own cards.
      1. I’ve heard advertisements for www.vistaprint.com but I don’t know how good they are.
  5. Get your own Email Lists
    • You can collect email addresses from people at readings and put a signup form on your website.   As you collect them you can categorize them based on language or interest.  You can send some emails to the whole group and others to a subgroup (like English).
    • The big advantage to email lists is that you can reach out to people who don’t follow you on Facebook or Twitter when you have a book to sell, or an event to publicize.
    • There are many sites that offer group email functionality.
      1. Constant Contact is a popular site for non-profits
      2. I recommend MailChip to people starting up because they are free for lists smaller than 2000 people.

Eric Trump Says Presidency Is Bad for Family’s Business

Amid concerns over conflicts, real-estate company is forgoing some deals

 .. the steps Mr. Trump has taken to separate his presidency from his business interests—including turning over management to his children and transferring his ownership to trusts—have been inadequate, largely because he remains the beneficiaries of those trusts.
.. They also point out the potential conflicts in Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where he frequently hosts foreign dignitaries and where the membership fee was raised to $200,000 earlier this year.
.. “But the concern is he could do favors for people in office with the expectation that he would receive a benefit sometime in the future.”
.. An analysis by The Wall Street Journal last year of candidate Trump’s financial disclosures concluded his company had pretax profits of about $160 million a year.
.. Typically, in overseas deals, high-end hotels and golf courses are owned by local investors and licensed and managed by the Trump Organization.

I Thought I Understood the American Right. Trump Proved Me Wrong.

Buckley excommunicated the John Birch Society, anti-Semites and supporters of the hyperindividualist Ayn Rand, and his cohort fused the diverse schools of conservative thinking — traditionalist philosophers, militant anti-Communists, libertarian economists — into a coherent ideology, one that eventually came to dominate American politics.

.. Goldwater’s loss, far from dooming the American right, inspired a new generation of conservative activists to redouble their efforts, paving the way for the Reagan revolution.

.. If Donald Trump is the latest chapter of conservatism’s story, might historians have been telling that story wrong?

.. Hofstadter was the leader of the “consensus” school of historians; the “consensus” being Americans’ supposed agreement upon moderate liberalism as the nation’s natural governing philosophy. He didn’t take the self-identified conservatives of his own time at all seriously.

.. He named this attitude “the paranoid style in American politics” and, in an article published a month before Barry Goldwater’s presidential defeat, asked, “When, in all our history, has anyone with ideas so bizarre, so archaic, so self-confounding, so remote from the basic American consensus, ever gone so far?”

.. she wrote, in an effort to address political concerns .. “liberal permissiveness” about matters like rising crime rates and the teaching of sex education in public schools.

.. historians of conservatism, like historians in general, tend to be liberal, and are prone to liberalism’s traditions of politesse. It’s no surprise that we are attracted to polite subjects like “colorblind conservatism” or William F. Buckley.

.. have found themselves increasingly uncomfortable, and finally deeply distressed,” watching a “moral breakdown” that was destroying a once-great nation.

.. control of much of our industry and commerce taken over by strangers, who stacked the cards of success and prosperity against us

.. The only thing that would make America great again, as it were, was “a return of power into the hands of everyday, not highly cultured, not overly intellectualized, but entirely unspoiled and not de-Americanized average citizens of old stock.”

.. support for public education, to weaken Catholic parochial schools

.. By reaching back to the reactionary traditions of the 1920s, we might better understand the alliance between the “alt-right” figures that emerged as fervent Trump supporters during last year’s election and the ascendant far-right nativist political parties in Europe.

.. But the Klan remained relevant far beyond the South. In 1936 a group called the Black Legion, active in the industrial Midwest, burst into public consciousness after members assassinated a Works Progress Administration official in Detroit.

The group, which considered itself a Klan enforcement arm

.. Coughlin’s magazine, Social Justice, began reprinting “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion,” a forged tract about a global Jewish conspiracy

.. Its members were among the most enthusiastic participants in a 1939 pro-Hitler rally that packed Madison Square Garden, where the leader of the German-American Bund spoke in front of an enormous portrait of George Washington flanked by swastikas.

.. Young Irish-Catholic men inspired by the Christian Front desecrated nearly every synagogue in Washington Heights.

The New York Catholic hierarchy, the mayor of Boston and the governor of Massachusetts largely looked the other way.

.. no less mainstream an organization than the American Legion, whose “National Commander” Alvin Owsley proclaimed in 1922, “the Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is to the United States.”

.. In 1927, 1,000 hooded Klansmen fought police in Queens in what The Times reported as a “free for all.” One of those arrested at the scene was the president’s father, Fred Trump.

.. The family settled with the Justice Department in the face of evidence that black applicants were told units were not available even as whites were welcomed with open arms.

.. at Kent State University in Ohio, a Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Americans blamed the students for their own deaths. (“If they didn’t do what the Guards told them, they should have been mowed down,” one parent of Kent State students told an interviewer.)

.. 76 percent of Americans “said they did not support the First Amendment right to assemble and dissent from government policies.”

.. In 1973, the reporter Gail Sheehy joined a group of blue-collar workers watching the Watergate hearings in a bar in Astoria, Queens. “If I was Nixon,” one of them said, “I’d shoot every one of them.”

.. “hard-hat populism” — an attitude, Rosenthal hypothesizes, that Trump learned working alongside the tradesmen in his father’s real estate empire.

.. the case itself also resonates deeply with narratives dating back to the first Ku Klux Klan of white womanhood defiled by dark savages. Trump’s public call for the supposed perpetrators’ hides, no matter the proof of guilt or innocence, mimics the rituals of Southern lynchings.

.. At the beginning of the 20th century, millions of impoverished immigrants, mostly Catholic and Jewish, entered an overwhelmingly Protestant country.

.. It was only when that demographic transformation was suspended by the 1924 Immigration Act that majorities of Americans proved willing to vote for many liberal policies. In 1965, Congress once more allowed large-scale immigration to the United States — and it is no accident that this date coincides with the increasing conservative backlash against liberalism itself, now that its spoils would be more widely distributed among nonwhites.

.. Shortly before announcing his 1980 presidential run, Reagan even boasted of his wish “to create, literally, a common market situation here in the Americas with an open border between ourselves and Mexico.”

.. what are we to make of the fact that he placed so many bankers and billionaires in his cabinet, and has relentlessly pursued so many 1-percent-friendly policies? More to the point, what are we to the make of the fact that his supporters don’t seem to mind?

.. The history of bait-and-switch between conservative electioneering and conservative governance is another rich seam that calls out for fresh scholarly excavation

.. when Reagan was re-elected in 1984, only 35 percent of voters favored significant cuts in social programs to reduce the deficit

.. It was business leaders, not the general public, who moved to the right, and they became increasingly aggressive and skilled in manipulating the political process behind the scenes.

.. the ads created a sense of Reagan as a certain kind of character: the kindly paterfamilias, a trustworthy and nonthreatening guardian of the white middle-class suburban enclave. Years later, the producers of “The Apprentice” carefully crafted a Trump character who was the quintessence of steely resolve and all-knowing mastery.

.. Consider the parallels since the 1970s between conservative activism and the traditional techniques of con men. Direct-mail pioneers like Richard Viguerie created hair-on-fire campaign-fund-raising letters about civilization on the verge of collapse.

.. Recipients of these alarming missives sent checks to battle phony crises, and what they got in return was very real tax cuts for the rich.

.. the more recent connection between Republican politics and “multilevel marketing” operations like Amway (Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, is the wife of Amway’s former president and the daughter-in-law of its co-founder)

.. Mike Huckabee shilling for a “solution kit” to “reverse” diabetes

.. Trump himself taking on a short-lived nutritional-supplements multilevel marketing scheme in 2009

.. Future historians won’t find all that much of a foundation for Trumpism in the grim essays of William F. Buckley, the scrupulous constitutionalist principles of Barry Goldwater or the bright-eyed optimism of Ronald Reagan.

.. They’ll need instead to study conservative history’s political surrealists and intellectual embarrassments, its con artists and tribunes of white rage.