How Paying for a Big Promotion Made Me Act More Professional

This post is a little different from the usual fare here at Fix My Story. Today I’d like to share the story of how I restarted my blog—and how the reboot made me act like a professional.

The opportunity was just too good to pass up. It was expensive enough to hurt, but the potential payoff was enormous. Taking a deep breath, I sent the e-mail and launched myself into something much bigger than I thought it would be…

Back in July 2014, I was thinking of restarting Fix My Story, which had lain dormant for six months after I’d gotten a little bit distracted when I got married. But before that life-changing event even occurred, I had fallen off posting due to lack of personal interest, lack of drive, and lack of desire to spend my free time figuring out what to write about next.

But now things were settling down after the wedding and I was eyeing the blog again. It was a half-hearted eyeing—I was wary of getting burned out on blogging again, not wanting to start what I couldn’t finish.

In short, to get back to blogging, I needed a kick in the pants. Enter the month of August and NoiseTrade Books.

I’d signed up to receive a weekly e-mail from NoiseTrade with featured books, and that e-mail got my wheels churning. There must be a way to get my book into that e-mail, and if I did, I could count on a lot of exposure and probably a lot of sales in the future. So, feeling sort of enterprising and adventurous, I e-mailed NoiseTrade to find out if there were featured slots for sale.

I figured that if I got a reply, I’d look at the price, blink dazedly, and then forget about it. But when a reply arrived, the price turned out to be within range if I was willing to take a big leap. After talking with my wife about the opportunity, I decided to go for it.

What happened next is the really interesting part: I started to care.

See, when somebody downloads your book on NoiseTrade, they agree to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for a free book. And that’s what started to bother me: I had no active blog. I had nothing to e-mail these people to keep them interested until I had a new book for them to buy. And that meant that I would be building a mailing list for no good reason.

I’d be wasting the expensive-enough-to-hurt advertising fee I’d already paid.

That reality was the kick in the pants I needed. I took a serious step back from the blog and asked myself what I could do. Weekly blog posts? I’d burned out trying to do that. Monthly blog posts? That wasn’t frequent enough to build an audience, in my opinion. But could I post an article every couple of weeks? Yes.

At that point, I committed. Long story short, with the motivation of not wasting my advertising dollars looming large, I got busy and relaunched the blog much faster than I thought possible. All it took was me shelling out enough cash to make it hurt if I failed.

I can’t say if this works for everybody. Maybe spending money doesn’t hurt for you. Maybe there’s another pain point you can use to make yourself get a project done. All I know is that I never felt this motivated when I spent five or ten dollars here and there to promote myself and my book. But once I took a step that I knew would require my full participation to pay off, it made me take myself far more seriously. Treat your book sales with that kind of attitude and you might just find yourself doing the work of a professional author.

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