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I know, I know, I changed my site again. Hear me out before you run for the hills screaming, “Just pick a design you like already!”
First, I loved, absolutely LOVED my site design before. Pretty Pastels, stitched borders and frilly fonts are all very “Sara Ella”. I was perfectly satisfied with the overall look and feel of it, thank you very much. Then it hit me. A site that fits my tastes is all fine and dandy if I’m the only one who’s going to see it. Except, I’m not….at least I hope I’m not.
Three things happened in the last week that made me realize I need to start targeting the demographic I write for. Is it any surprise that young adults (teens) probably won’t be too drawn to a site that looks like it’s made for grannies or five-year-olds in tutus?
Thing 1–Crossing Over (Targets)
First, the novel I’m writing is not a “Christian Novel” in the traditional sense. Now before you pack your bags and move on, let me explain. I write for an audience of One. It is for His glory I write and His alone. But I want to get outside the box. I want to reach beyond the Inspirational Fiction Section at Barnes & Noble. I want teens who have never had the chance to hear of the greatest love story ever told to pick up my book and see the core purpose of my story. I want them to know about sacrificial love and that beauty lies within.
Let’s be honest, non-Christian teens are unlikely to pick up a Christian novel (not unless their very well-meaning grandma gave it to them). This is the cold, hard truth. What did Messiah say? “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” That’s why I’m going to be a crossover author (or want to be, anyway). You won’t find sermons or church goin’ folk in my book. But you will find messages of hope, love, forgiveness, sacrifice and true beauty, to name a few. I think the secular market is in need of good, clean fiction (not cheesy, but not promiscuous either). My heart’s desire is to reach others for my King through my writing.
Thing 2–A Site for Grannies
I love my mentor Nancy Kimball because she tells it like it is. She reminded me this week who my target audience is (mainly teen girls ages 15-18). She then pointed out that my site was pretty, but was not a site targeted at teens. To paraphrase her words it was, “A site for grannies”. I love you grandma, but my book is not written for you or the Golden Girls. Even though I’m unpublished I still need to be thinking about marketing, which leads me to thing 3.
Thing 3–The Extroverted Writer (Weapons)
So I’ve been following literary agent Amanda Luedeke on Twitter for awhile. Not only is she a super awesome agent (so I’ve been told by those who have firsthand experience), but she’s also a marketing guru. Her book, The Extroverted Writer breaks it down for authors, with sections on Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and more.The Extroverted Writer is really motivating me to do some grunt work now so that when I got to the ACFW Conference in the fall I have a brand and platform behind me (it’ll still be small but it’ll be a start). So I’m pulling out the stops, readying my weapons (marketing weapons, that is) and preparing to kick some serious social media patootie.
My site is by no means ready. It’s pretty plain and lacking in design, but it’s a start in the right direction.
Oh, I almost forgot…do you like bad boys? I do! I’m blogging over at Lyric and Longhand today with my friend and fellow author Neysa Walker. I think it’s the best post I’ve ever written because I really enjoyed writing it. It was fun.
“Keep it casual. There’s a tendency to treat blogging as you would an essay–proper grammar, no contractions, complete sentences.” But that’s the very mindset that will kill your blog. Think of it more as a conversation with friends. Throw grammar rules to the wind and leave properly formatted sentences to your high school English teacher. Trust me, you’ll get a lot more readers this way.”
~ Amanda Luedeke, The Extroverted Writer
What do you think? Do you have any suggestions on how I can gear my blog/website more toward my target audience (teens)? Drop me a line below and I’ll put your name in the hat for a $5 Amazon gift card. Winner announced in my June newsletter (sign up on my homepage if you’re not already subscribed).
I love hearing from you. Until then, happy reading!