Let’s clear the air of one of the most common mistakes made by self-publishers: Build it, and they will come.
Growth doesn’t work like that. At least, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll succeed if you publish one book after another.
Here’s what many indie writers don’t realize. You need more than one marketing channel in order to build a proper platform.
A channel is simply a platform you’ll use to acquire (potential) readers. Examples include Google ads, email marketing, and blogging.
We created a breakdown of every major type of marketing channel, and how to best leverage them to your advantage.
By the end of this tutorial, you’ll know exactly how to pick your primary marketing channels—and how to use them to get traction.
Let's get started.
The 3 Types of Marketing Channels
All marketing channels fall into one of three main categories:
- Owned Channels— You own the platform, the subscribers, and you have access to their email addresses. You can easily export your subscribers or switch platforms.
- Rented Channels— You only “rent” the opportunity of reaching out to your subscribers. You don’t have access to their email addresses, and you cannot reach all of them in any direct manner. Your content is also at the mercy of algorithms you cannot control.
- Borrowed Channels— you are using someone else’s platform for a limited time, with the intention of attracting a percentage of their audience.
The channels you own are the ones you have the most control over, while borrowed channels are the ones you have virtually no control over, thus the golden rule of marketing is this: all traffic should ultimately point to the channels you own, and therefore you should prioritize growing the audience of those channels.
Borrowing someone else’s audience is pointless if you can’t even promote the channels you do own. At the same time, be aware not to place too much trust in rented platforms. After all, you’re one algorithm change away from having virtually no audience.
Of course, while the main insight is that, yes, distribution across as many channels as possible is a trend you should capitalize on, there’s more to leveraging a channel than simply sharing content.
Let’s break down each of these channels individually.