Why tracking results matters

The final step in The Writers Plan is to ‘evaluate your results’. But in many ways, it sits at #3 is the ranking of importance, after creating a vision and determining the steps to achieve that vision.

Let’s say your vision is to have a wildly successful books series. Forget trilogy; you’re thinking multiple trilogies. The first book has been published and you want to create a space where your readers can share their thoughts about the first book and learn about the second. You also plan to add some dynamic content, perhaps a video promo of your books or an audio clip of you doing a reading. You decide to create a Facebook or MySpace page to facilitate this.

This is a valid strategy for engaging and growing your audience. But how will you determine whether your efforts are worth it?

You can measure your success in a number of ways: friends or fans, number of messages, discussions, etc. on the page. Or, off the site, how many hits to your official website are driven from your MySpace page or whether there is an increase in actual book sales or pre-orders for your next book in the series.

For some, reaching 5,000 fans or friends within six months would be a massive success. For others, 500 would be the marker. Perhaps 50,000 views of your book trailer. Perhaps a 5% increase in online books sales.

Keep asking yourself, are your efforts helping you to achieve your vision? If yes, you know you are on the right track. If no… then it is time to rethink.

If your concentrated efforts over a month net you only a handful of new fans, it it worth the time and effort? If so, then keep at it. But if not, perhaps a different tactic is required.

We all face limits to our time. Evaluation tells you whether it has been time well spent.

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