This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Monday, January 20, 2014

What Works?...and what doesn't

What's Happening?
        Anyone who has been following my blog for some time is probably aware of my keen interest in the topics of marketing and promotion and how the two can be used effectively in blogging.  I'm not going to delve too deeply into my own thoughts on marketing as you can do a search of my blog under the terms "marketing" or "promotion" and come up with plenty of posts on those and related topics.  

        In fact my A to Z theme in 2012 was marketing and promotion and those posts would be a good place to find out some of my thoughts on the subject as well as get an idea of what the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is about.   If you want to read the first installment of that series you'll find it here and then just continue on if you want more.

        The current blog event is about what you bloggers think and have to say about marketing, promotion, and related ideas.  There's no magic formula that I know of that makes for successful marketing.  Sometimes what works in one instance may fall flat in another.   Other times totally absurd ideas may work in a big way. Some ideas are fairly tried and true while others are just a shot in the dark.  Sometimes they work and and sometimes they don't.

       With What Works....and what doesn't we want to get some idea of what some of you may have actually tried or observed.   We hope to learn some of your philosophies, psychological insights, hard factual data, or your pipe dreams about marketing.   We want to try to figure out What Works...

Why What Works...?

     In November Yolanda Renée and I were having an email interchange about the guest post she did at my dream blog, A Faraway View.  We were examining stats and experimenting with different tactics to see what worked in drawing visitors to the site.  A Faraway View typically is a low activity blog, but our combined efforts brought considerably more viewers to her post than I usually get.   Though the numbers for that post are still low, through our combined marketing efforts the post garnered some of the highest views and most comments of any other post on that site.  Was it due to our marketing efforts?

          During the course of our exchange I came up with what I thought might be a good idea for a blog event.   The "blogfest" should have a wide range of interest among most of our followers since we all are promoting something whether we admit to it or not.   This would not be just a fun blogging exercise, but " a blogfest with information you can use."

        The premise would be for participants to tell about a marketing idea they've used that worked or one that didn't work.  Their post could describe a campaign that succeeded in a big or small way or one that failed drastically.  This wouldn't only be limited to authors but also apply to those who have gone into business,  observed in another business campaign, participated in an organizational event, helped their kids with a fundraiser, or anything where a bit of promotion was necessary.  In other words this is a blogfest anyone could participate in and everyone can learn from.  Posts can be informational, a personal experience account, or a funny marketing story.  Experience gained from a promotional effort in one area can have applications in other efforts.  

         The ultimate goal is to learn what others have done right that we all can use and what to avoid.  Hopefully we can get marketing stats like Yolanda and I were doing in our study and other hard data that might be compiled into specific or fairly decent conclusions.   We want to know What Works... and I'm sure many of you would find this type of information useful as well.

Also Brought to You By:

         Since I've had more than a few interchanges on the subject of marketing with my good friend Jeremy Hawkins, I contacted him to bring his knowledge to the table.  I know Jeremy is very interested in marketing since he has a number of ventures going.   His artistic expertise provided us with a super cool logo for the event.

        And of course no great blogging event would be complete without Alex J. Cavanaugh.   Alex has mastered the art of cross promotion, building his name, blog recognition, and brand by promoting others.  I owe a special thanks to Alex for being at the helm of this event while I was on vacation and during my subsequent illness.  That's why we call him "The Captain".

Be sure to check out all the blogs of the hosts.  And if for some reason the Linky List does not appear on my page you should be able to find it on theirs:

Jeremy Hawkins -

Now let's find out What Works...and what doesn't.  
Here's the list of participants!  

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Remember--if you don't see the Linky List here then check the other participating sites.  I've been having some computer problems.

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  1. Thanks to you and your team for hosting this event, Arlee. I know it will be helpful to all of us.

    I hope you're 100% better now.

  2. This is your captain and I think we just struck an iceberg...
    The efforts of two people marketing makes a difference. That's why guest posts and such bring more traffic. But you still have to know what topics and how to word them to bring in the numbers. Last year I discovered that mentioning the movie Thor in my blog post title brought in an extra four thousand visits.

  3. Thank you for organizing this event, Arlee. And Captain Alex!

  4. Thanks for hosting and creating a great Fest, Arlee. I am sure it will be a success. Thanks also to your co-hosts.

  5. I'm popping in to say thank you for hosting this online symposium.
    I haven't signed up for the fest, but I'm hoping to hop around at my leisure (with pen and paper, to jot down the nuggets that I know are waiting to be discovered) and learn from the participants...

  6. So that's the genesis of this blog hop! Here's to learning something of use this week!

  7. i am so excited about this! thanks so much for putting it together!

    and love your blogman badge! he's fabulous!!

  8. What a great idea! I signed up only I couldn't find out the days for posting. HOpefully you or Meanwhile I'll pop over to their blogs and do some research, see if I can figure it out.

  9. Hello, Lee! Thank you so much for dropping by at my blog. I just posted my contribution to this blogfest. Such an exciting event! Will be visiting the other blogs now. Thanks again!


  10. Sometimes it's hard to tell what works and what doesn't, but it's usually a combination of several marketing efforts.

  11. Thank you so much for hosting the marketing event. I'm excited to get around and learn about some marketing and promotion tips.

  12. Thanks Lee! Good info, as always.

  13. This is wonderful Lee, the responses are great! Thank you again for including me, and for being so open to figuring all this out!

  14. Wahoo! So many amazing posts, so much information. Thanks for putting this together. =)

  15. JL -- Not 100% yet, but much better than the past couple weeks.

    Alex -- A Team effort is good in more ways than one.

    Ellie -- Thank you for attending.

    Carolyn-- Hope it's a learning experience for some of us.

    Michelle -- There's still time left to sign up and add your ideas.

    Kim -- Sometimes recounting a process can generate new ideas for others.

    Tara -- The Blogman badge is from the creative mind of Jeremy Hawkins.


  16. Karen JG-- It's a one day event and today's the day. There's still time to add your name to the list if you want to whip together something real quick. I'll bet you have a lot to add to the knowledge pool.

    SittieCates-- Thanks for being a part of this.

    L.Diana -- You're right. It's the old eggs in one basket adage.

    Kimberly -- Hope you find some info you can use!

    Melanie-- Thanks for dropping by!

    Yolanda -- If you hadn't planted the seed this event wouldn't have come about.

    Crystal --Some of these posts will be worth bookmarking.


  17. I am too looking forward to see the response and the advice for this... I also think in the end we compile a ebook and sell it .99 cents... with permission from everyone who is involved. Thank you for the kind words, I am happy I can contribute anything.

    Jeremy H.

    There's no earthly way of knowing
    Which direction we are going!

  18. We all benefit when we are open to learn from others. When we work together, there's no telling just how good it can be. Nice post, Lee.

  19. This was a fantastic idea, Lee. If there's one thing I'm dying to know right now it's what works!

  20. I'm ready to take notes!
    Not certain how much imput I can provide, however.

  21. Thank you for creating this blog fest! I will be checking out your A to Z challenge. I also have a notebook and pen ready to take notes from all the participating blogs, too. :)

  22. This is going to be an excellent source of information for all of us who are going the self-publishing route.


  23. Jeremy -- E-book? Could be something to it. We'll see what the compilation of information produces.

    MJ -- Community has many benefits.

    Karen -- Don't jump off a cliff until you've promoted it properly and sold the film and TV rights.

    Cathy -- I'm always wondering what works.

    Jennifer -- You probably have a lot more good ideas than you realize. You don't really know until you start bouncing them off of others.

    Chrys --I'm sure there will be some good info to take away from this.

    Bish -- It might even generate some creative thinking for people in other types of business, but self-publishers can certainly use help like this.


  24. I'm loving this event though it's taking me more time for each visit. I have a list started of ideas that grows with each blog I visit.

  25. This has helped me focus on what I've done in the past re: marketing. Thanks for the nudge to do just that.

  26. This was such a great and useful idea. I say we do one every few months!

  27. I am slowly making my way through the participants in this event. Very interesting to see what has worked and what hasn't.

  28. I'll lurk about and see what I can learn. I've had a few marketing courses so I know the basics, but I hope to learn some new techniques.

    Thanks for putting on the show!

  29. Susan GK - Glad this is of some help to you. That's our goal.

    C.Lee-- I think creative types tend to forget the business end of things sometimes. It would be nice to have someone do this part for us so we could concentrate on the creativity, but the marketing has its own fun side.

    PK -- I think there's always a need to put out this type of info. There are many books and even entire blogs devoted to the subject. Maybe we can do a regular event.

    Robin -- Take your time with it. I know it will take me a while to make it through the entire list.

    DG -- Hope you'll apply your marketing expertise to those who have questions or to elaborate on the posts. Thanks for lurking.


  30. I believe what works in marketing is timing and being at the right place at the right time.

    Both are beyond our control. Say I write a post that a friend recommends to Neil Gaiman. He reads it and laughs his head off. He writes one sentence that it did. I get a 1000 visitors that day and 2000 the next. My books in the sidebar start selling more and more.

    Did I do anything but write an entertaining, amusing post. No.

    We have to get noticed by the right people -- but how do we do that?

    Facebook and Twitter are more crowded waters than a public swimming pool in Hell.

    Catch, funny titles are nice as are posts that are the same thing.

    But we are in the ghetto of the internet. We are singing to the choir. Our readers already know us.

    How do we get the attention of readers who are not authors?

    Beats me. Which is why I am on the cusp of leaving writing for good.

    Arlee, you've seen the titles for the mosts of most author blogs these days ... mostly they are informercials.

    I have offered autographs of Stephen King, Koontz, and Gaiman for honest reviews. Fizzle.

    I offered a picture signed by the entire cast of THE AVENGERS plus Stan Lee for 10 honest reviews of my audiobook for THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH -- I haven't gotten one. One of those ten would have won that $1000 photograph.

    Alex visited 100 blogs DAILY! He picked up a fan base there, plus with his inventive INSECURE WRITERS SUPPORT GROUP. I do not think many of us have the time for that.

    John Locke paid $3000 to get his beginning reviews which pumped up sales, too, as he bought a book for each of the reviewers. How many of us have that kind of money? Besides, that particular service has been shut down.

    Our work has to find its way in the crosshairs of the right person at the right time when our post or novel is just the thing a power-broker is looking for.

    That or we have to date Miley Cyrus. And there are some prices I am not willing to pay! :-)

    This was really a great idea. Thanks, Arlee.

  31. The blogfest is an excellent idea. I've found more people comment and share when you're giving them helpful tips. I'm always looking for ways to help me better market my work too. Thanks for hosting! :)

  32. Hey Lee! Hope you're feeling better. Thanks for inviting me to the Online Marketing Symposium. Learning a lot and having a blast visiting all these other great blogs I would have never known about. Thanks again! Buck

  33. This has been a FANTASTIC blogfest. Thanks to you and all the other organizers for putting this together.

    I took several pages worth of notes.

  34. Thanks for hosting this bloghop, Lee! I look forward to learning a lot more on the subject!


  35. Thanks for dreaming this up and hosting it, Arlee. I visited every participant, and have two solid pages of notes on things to consider and dow and research, plus a half-dozen bookmarked pages to return to!

  36. Roland --That was an epic comment with a ton of great info. You've mentioned a lot of things that work and that don't always. Timing is important and sometimes it's hard to second guess the right time and place. Hit or miss, but you gotta keep trying and keep learning what you can from your experiences and from those of others.

    Christine --People care more when they see you as caring for them.

    Buck-- Glad you joined in. I figured this could give your blog and shot and some energy boost for you. You do some great marketing stuff on your blog.

    Jay-- Glad you've been helped by the info. It's been good.

    Julie -- Thanks for dropping in.

    Rebecca -- We asked and we received some great info. Thanks for joining us.


  37. A timely and absolutely perfect idea too. Thanks for hosting this blogfest

  38. Thank you so much for hosting this very helpful blogfest. I had not written this in my datebook so had lost track of the time. Thank you for visiting my blog and mentioning it!

    Mary Montague Sikes

  39. I think this is a great idea!! Thank you!

  40. Thanks for hosting this event! It was fun to read all the tips.

  41. CDC -- Anytime is the right time to learn new and useful things.

    Mary -- It's easy to forget these things. I know. I've done it too.

    Cortney-- And thank you!

    Sherry -- A treasure trove of info.


  42. I am working my way through all of these posts. Thank you for all of the supportive things like this that you do

  43. This is a wonderful idea for a blogfest. Thank you!

  44. Hi Arlee,
    Great promotion
    and great thoughts on promotion,
    So sad I just missed the bus,
    of course not! I will be there to promote! In my opinion Blog promotion is the vital part of blogging, unless and until we promote our own blog who else will bother to promote ours LOL
    Have a wonderful time of blogging as well as promotion
    Best Regards

  45. Thanks Lee for stearing me to your post. I wish i would have known about this sooner, I would have jumped right in. I will scroll through some of the blogs and see what's posted by the others! This was a great idea by the way! You have always come up with great ones though! ;-)

  46. So glad you did this, so I'm checking the blogs out!


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