Advertising Ideas I Had

6 years ago | t4nky (Member)

So, as I am at the point where I am still having zero-view days, and they are getting more and more common. As such, I have been entertaining several advertisement ideas.

First off, I was wondering if anyone had ever heard of these guys: Even if you say 'oh, they're the best ever,' I probably won't do them until I get more money because they are *expensive.* If you say they suck, well, I'll have saved several hundred dollars.

Next off, I just started on Reddit. I've joined /r/writing and submitted NIU to their weekly critique thread, but I would like to know how to get the most out of Reddit.

Third is Fiverr. There are a bunch of people on Fiverr who will boost your traffic for $5, but I just want to know how much that would help.

Those are my three ideas. I would love to hear feedback on them or any other suggestions.

"An uneducated man may rob a rail car. An educated man can steal the railway."

Read responses...


  1. Tartra (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    I'm going to tell you flat out, as one of the most avid Redditors you'll find, not to waste your time with /r/writing. For one thing, self-promotion is reviled there. Second, you'll be ignored. Not 'your link was buried', but 'Screw this asshole, who does he think he is, why does he think he can just advertise all over this place?' I can go into more detail, but in short, no go on /r/writing.

    If your serial suits it, however, /r/fantasy or /r/fantasywriters, or /r/yawriters, or plain ol' /r/selfpublish might work. I can't attest to any of their advertising effects because I haven't tried, but they're considerably more promo-friendly, /r/selfpublish in particular.

    As for Fiverr, I think it depends on who you're going with. It's great if a sports podcaster spreads your name, but do you write sports?

    What the April Fools Day idea is doing sounds like the best so far: serial writers sharing their readers. I love that! We're not in competition with each other and we've already found the audiences who like reading serials. Something that brings us up together could be a big boost for you and a lot of other writers.

    The Other Kind of Roommate — Like Fight Club meets X-Men meets The Matrix meets Superbad.
  2. Madiha N. Santana (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Don't spend money on traffic services from Fiverr or stuff in that wheelhouse. Sure, they'll "guarantee" 1800 real google search visitors or whatever, so you'll get at least 1800 hits on your page for $5. That kind of thing is mostly used in the SEO snake oil business to drive up metrics. For actual engagement it's pointless. A lot of the people selling those services even say they can't guarantee sales or ad impressions. All they can guarantee is x number on your metrics. It's pretty useless. Even if it's just five bucks, I'm positive it does basically nothing. I've been around that stuff before.

    I don't know anything about publishingpush. They could be legit; but I would definitely not pay anybody hundreds of dollars to get people to look at stuff unless I was certain I could make those hundreds of dollars back, even if slowly and over time.

    But that's me!

    I had tons of zero view days when I started out. Now a year later I have like, over 100 posts on my blog (since my chapters are divided into smaller chunks for easier reading). That gives google more stuff that can show up on the search engine, and is a big driver of traffic. Does it bring new readers? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But it helps. You gotta focus on writing more stuff.

    I'm also a pretty avid user of social media, so I have a lot of crosspost links and people checking out my stuff and that also builds over time. This week I had some links blow up on tumblr and I've had a ton of new readers messaging me and talking about my serial. Now, I always add this caveat: if you're not on social media because you find it curious or fun, don't get on it just to advertise. I've been on twitter for like eight years and tumblr for like five. I'm not super huge on either still: combined I've got like 1500 followers across various services. That is microscopic in this arena. But I've met enough folks and am in enough circles to get eyeballs on things, and I have made a lot of great friends and supporters. But this happened because I find social media fun and engaging, not because I showed up on it out of the blue trying to harvest metrics out of it.

    The overarching point is: it takes time to get results.

    And "results" are really up to individual interpretation and satisfaction.

    You gotta stick to it, and you have to beat that anxiety about traffic. You'll get puny traffic, for a long time. But it'll build if you stick with it. I still don't get comments on my blog. Most of my readers comment on tumblr and twitter and via email because that's where they come from. By traditional metrics for blog success I'm a complete failure. Find your own metrics that you find rewarding and that work for you. And stick to it.

    Traffic doesn't mean anything. Keep writing, talk to people, join communities, try to participate, just for the hell of it. Hopefully, as a side-effect of you being a cool, dedicated and unique person, you'll get people interested. That's what I try to do, anyway.

  3. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    As soon as your listing on WFG goes through, I can pretty much guarantee that the zero view days will be over. This place, right here, is the best serial advertising I can think of.

    The rest is word of mouth / being included in people's best webfiction lists across the net, and there's nothing you can do to boost it. It just happens.

    Strangely enough, ebook advertising is easier (more options) than serial advertising.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  4. t4nky (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Ok, all of this is a pretty big help. Mostly because I just realized that I got my posting approved today.

    Also, while I think you're right about /r/writing being useless for advertising, I think I might still stick around to get into discussions about the craft. I also know that reddit has a way of creating subreddits and AMAs and whatever TotalBiscuit has there. How do you do something like that?

    For the April Fool's day thing, I tried entering in that, but I think I got in too late. I will try again next year because that sounds like a lot of fun. Other than that, thanks for the feedback so far.

    "An uneducated man may rob a rail car. An educated man can steal the railway."
  5. Taulsn (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    /r/writing has some interesting stuff on occasion (and they might be about to clean up a little bit). In my year, I've had 1,144 referrals from TWF, 943 from ties, another 798 from WFG, 605 from batoto, and Reddit coming in at 5th with 368. Most of my others are from comments on other serials and links on other serials. Since you're now listed that's where you'll be getting a lot of referrals from. Don't worry too much, readership especially at the beginning starts out slow. It does pick up some speed.

  6. t4nky (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    What's TWF and batoto? I recognize WFG (seeing as I'm on it right now) but the other ones are completely unfamiliar.

    "An uneducated man may rob a rail car. An educated man can steal the railway."
  7. Taulsn (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    TWF is the ranking portion of WFG. Ties is short for Tieshaunn writes Brennus. Batoto is a manga scan hosting site, but on the forum there is a guy who maintains a list of links to light novels available online, back in December he expanded that to web serials and a number of us got added to the list. Basically of my top 5 two of them are from this site.

  8. Tartra (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    TWF is TopWebFiction. Taulsn, is that you're talking about? Do they actually do serials?

    @t4nky - The other thing you - and I - have to keep in mind is that because we're new, we don't have the trust from readers that established serial writers do. We're liable to disappear at any minute, so when we start saying, "Here's my story!", we can't have the luxury of adding, "Stick around for more!" Nobody believes that yet. We can only promise what we plainly have.

    Work on your archive. It shows the reader that you're committed. That's more valuable than any marketing campaign.

    The Other Kind of Roommate — Like Fight Club meets X-Men meets The Matrix meets Superbad.
  9. Taulsn (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    They don't do serials, but they have this ( list on the forum. I also agree with Tartra 100% if you have a proven track record of not disappearing readers are willing to put up with a lot.

    Also t4kny if you feel like chatting in real time, I spend a lot of time in an IRC channel with some friends. The topic isn't always web serials, but most of us are more than happy to discuss them since a number of us have our own. Link here: (this isn't just open to t4kny anyone who wants to chill out and chat is welcome to join us)

  10. Unillustrated (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    You've got seven posts. I promise you, any advertising that you're thinking about is effort that would be better spent writing. I'd say wait until you've got about 50k words or so before you put real effort into anything else and even then I'd prioritize site design until I was sure it was smooth.

    Getting people to show up is all well in good but if all they do is read what you currently have then never come back it does nothing for you. The metric I've found myself most invested in is the number of visitors who show up without following a link because those are the returning fans.

  11. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    Just for the record - I’ve been WFG listed for six weeks or so and still have days with zero views. (I haven’t flagged myself anywhere though. I really need to investigate this system better.) It’s funny, I bet could tell you exactly when my April Fools person looked at my serial - a day with more than 5 web visits REALLY stands out.

    Here's the thing: for me, that’s par for the course. Six months into my first serial, I was lucky to have 5 hits on a posting day. After three YEARS, I managed to get about 40-50 views per week, at which point I ended that run and shifted to something new. (Thus, why I’m back down to 5 hits.) As Dennis said, volume helps (my old serial no longer has zero view days, even though the story’s over), as does perseverance.

    As does asking questions and getting advice, so you’re on the right track. It won’t happen overnight, maybe not even over a year, but keep active. (Having a better sense of platforms than I do is probably in your favour too.)

    Writing a Time Travel serial:
    Writer of the personification of math serial:
  12. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 6 years ago

    if you missed the april fools, we're doing another in july!

    Best way to gain views is to whore yourself out. QUIETLY. Post comments on other serial novels, REAL comments, on ones you read, asking real questions, engaging in real discussions with other readers. Leave your link in your posts, pretty much ALL of the commenting systems we use let you set a link in your comments. You WILL get hits from those. as long as you're genuine. (and if you ARENT reading enough other serial novels to comment on, well... you should be. )

    also, make it EASY for people to not forget you. Follow buttons large and center for people to like your facebook page and twitter where you post whenever there is an update (what do you mean, you dont have one. GET ONE!) and RSS. LOTS of people still use rss feeds, myself included, and the number one reason i forget about a serial is they didnt have an rss for me to add to my reader, and i forgot about checking them out again later.

    Here on WFG, be a good community member. read other stories and leave reviews of them. HONEST reviews, no one likes a kiss ass. but getting your name attached to reviews WILL get you readers. There are a few stories here that I only gave a shot because I liked the way the author thought on reviews they left.


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