Creating Your Social Media Plan

This month we spent a lot of time going through different aspects of posting about your book and your brand on social media.  Now that you know how to get started, make authentic connections, and discover topics, it is time for the most important part.  We are going to talk about creating your social media plan.

Structure Your Social Media Plan

None of the things you have learned so far will matter without a clear strategy and mapped out calendar.  For people who like to fly by the seat of their pants and hate linear structure, this is going to be annoying.   You may need a plan more than most, because without one you will not keep it up.

The great news is that you can automate some of the tasks.  However, you will need to sit down and make a calendar for each month in advance.  Ideally, you have several months of planned content laid out so you can produce it, schedule it and forget about everything but engaging and having fun with your new followers.  Here is how you put a plan together.

Your Social Media Outline

1.  Find a monthly calendar template that you think will serve you best.  Hubspot has one, and if you click on the link you will go to a page with a free download.  We use a customized version of it that has worked well.

2. Think about the forms of your content.  For example, we like to post a blog every week and our social posts include a feed post on Instagram followed by stories throughout the week based on the blog.  We try to create themed months and weeks, which makes it easier to organize content.  It also provides different formats for people who like to consume content in different ways.

3. Go back to your topics and themes.  If one of your topics is world building because you write fantasy, then think about creating content about your process, articles you find online, different resources you use, people whose work you admire, etc.

4. Now it’s time to get specfic.  Let’s plan a week of content on Instagram that includes a blog post about how you got interested in world building.  You can choose to promote that blog on your website via a feed post on Monday, followed by two stories on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.  Mark those in your calendar.

You could also add a reel with a visual like a map and a caption that includes a mistake to avoid as you get started with your world.  Maybe you post your reel on Wednesday.  Mark that in your calendar.  Now you have a full week planned for that topic.

Getting Content Ideas Using AI

Many of us have ambivalent feelings about AI.  As writers and creators we worry that AI will take over our specializations and make us obselete.  Although some of this may be true or false, in the meantime we all need to be familiar with how generative AI works.  So, I am recommending that you try ChatGPT, prompting it with your world building idea to see what article headlines it generates.

You could also go to Google.  Type in “world building” and see what drops down from the search bar.  Scroll to see what topics are listed further down the search results pages where it says “People also searched for”.

You Can’t Break Your Social Media

If you are relatively new to social media with a modest following or zero followers, you don’t need to worry too much about how your plan is executed.  You can’t break your social media at this level.  What is most important is that you jump in and try out a system.  If you are stuck or want a bit of guidance, we do offer a free 30 minute social media overview.  You can also search our blogs or look through our Instagram feed for other posts and tips.

Attention Newsletter Subscribers:  In the February newsletter you will find a brief how to video for the ChatGPT process I mentioned above.  To subscribe to our newsletter visit the home page



Planning Your Social Media for a New Year

Are you ready to plan your social media for a new year?  It’s going to be a wild one, so hang on tight.  Here are some things to think about as you set up your content calendar for 2024.

Elections and Algorithms

You may think the election, way off in November, is not going to affect you.  Why should it?  You are just one person, marketing yourself and your work.  The amount of global activity that will affect Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok, for example, will create an uproar.  In 2020 we were banned from promoting a film that dealt with post-partum depression because it contained “social issues” and Meta’s algorithm was filtering for topics under that umbrella.  Getting around these filters will require creative messaging and still you might have some challenges.  Also, pay attention to any changes in algorithms that are made public.  Follow Reddit channels and check out websites like HubSpot (link to article from 2023 about TikTok) regularly for any news.

Generative AI

Welcome to the first full year of hype dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, which for our purposes is Generative AI.  Generative means that content is “generated” by AI.  You just prompt ChatGpt or Bard and the rest is easy.  Not so.  From time to time I will include some of my results from AI prompts.  So far I’ve found the content very basic and it needs a lot of editing.  However, many people use it to get ideas for blogs, articles and other longer form writing.  Keep an eye on TechCrunch, which is covering AI closely.

Know Your Audience on Social Media

According to, “There are 4.95 billion social media users globally.  This means 60.49 of the global population uses Social media.” The good news is there are tons of readers and customers out there to find.  The bad news is that you must know your audience.  In fact, you should have an image of the person you are promoting your book or business to from the very start.  Imagine you are having a conversation over a beverage (coffee is my choice).  Figure out what your audience really, really wants and needs and create your content to fill those desires.  Then nurture your group with a combination of experience based ideas and information.

Be Consistent and Check Your Metrics

Set up your calendar and follow it.  Today my calendar says I need to write my Happy New Year blog.  I’ve been taking notes on what I want to say for a couple of weeks.  My team has to write three more blogs this month, create reels, a how-to video for our newsletter subscribers, a newsletter, and regular posts.  We check each item to see how it is doing and we make adjustments so that we reach the right people with the information they need and want.  Sound familiar?  If you haven’t set up a schedule for the month with your topics and content types, do it now.

No, really, I mean right now.

Check out this link to blogs on AI from 2023 and subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive how-to videos and news about upcoming courses, webinars, and more.

AI Writing: Parasite or Partner

Artificial Intelligence (AI) writing is not new.  Tech platforms have been using it to finish our sentences in Google Docs; to recommend headlines for ads; and to pull relevant keywords from an infinite number of potential combinations.  However, in a way the AI we know today is “new”, especially since Microsoft invested $1 billion in Open AI and then bought exclusive rights to the technology behind Chat GPT 3 in 2020.   Fast forward past a marketing and public relations campaign and we strongly feel the conflict that makes us excited and appalled at what AI can do.

When AI Writing Doesn’t Work

I believe that AI writing for book, articles and other long form writing will create a homogenous and boring world. Yes, there are definitely uses for AI, especially in the business world.  Who wouldn’t want a technology that could write form letters, contracts, privacy policies, and corporate boiler plates.  However, when it comes to writing there is so much that can be missed.  Here are four pitfalls of AI that I say should comfort writers.

  1. Just the facts.  How can you rely on an expert’s knowledge and advice if you suspect that AI is doling out the facts?  AI does not fact check itself.  It’s up to a human to do that.
  2. Misinformation.  Similar to not having the fact, AI can pull from thousands of opinions and false content to come up with something.  A user could be embarassed by something they publish that is more myth than reality.
  3. Innovative storytelling.  To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, 1984, Catch 22, The Color Purple, and Beloved are all stories that broke barriers.  That’s something that writers and creatives do.  They ask us to see the world in a different way thereby provoking thought, ideas, and discussion.   Does AI have an imagination?
  4. Personal stories.  Many writers start with what they know for their first books.  They write memoirs.  I suppose AI could write a book based on a person’s life, but that person would have to write it first.

Positive Uses of AI that Save Time

Now that I’ve pointed out why writers need not break their pencils and throw their laptops out the window just yet, I should also mention some areas where AI is likely to help and/or replace some of the things people do for the better.

  1. Content creation for social media.  There is a rule I read in a book on content marketing that says you should be able to create at least ten pieces of content based on one thing. That’s a lot.  For marketers writing multiple posts to support press releases or articles, an AI partner could be a time saver.
  2. Internal marketing departments in big companies.  Eventually, you may not need writers to develop annual reports and other marketing collateral that is generated in house.  You could feed data into an AI program and have it write the language that is common to these types of documents.
  3. Writing back ad for book jackets, catalog copy, and other items that summarize a book’s content.  You could upload a manuscript into an AI program and ask it to write a summary. The question is, do you trust an open source software to observe copyright laws and protect your story?
  4. Prompts and ideas.  Generative AI may be able to help with writers block.   Give ChatGPT a prompt and see what it writes.

A Writing Prompt Result

In this example I asked ChatGPT to give me the first paragraph for a “mystery novel based in Scotland”.  I rejected the first try.  This is the second.

“The rolling fog blanketed the rugged Scottish Highlands, shrouding the ancient hills and eerie lochs in an ethereal mist. In the heart of this mystic land, a solitary figure moved silently through the gloom, his footsteps echoing on the cobblestone streets of a forgotten village. The wind howled, carrying with it the secrets of centuries past, as if the very whispers of ghosts were woven into the fabric of the night.

Detective Elinor MacGregor had returned to the land of her birth, a place steeped in history and legends. She had come in search of answers, drawn by a cryptic message from her estranged father, a man she hadn’t seen in twenty years. The message was simple but enigmatic: “Return to the Highlands, and you shall find the truth.” Now, as she ventured deeper into the heart of the misty wilderness, she couldn’t help but wonder what truths awaited her in the shadows of her ancestral homeland, and whether she was prepared to face them.”

What do you think?  Is it a keeper, or should we ask it to go back to the drawing board?

Writers Lead, AI Follows

From what I’m reading about AI writing, and other disciplines, people are still going to need to drive the bus.  So don’t ignore or fear what is happening.  (I do recommend paying attention to developments around copyright protections for your work). Learn how to play with it or use it in a business setting so you can take the lead.  You are the creative mastermind behind your material You know how to make it as impactful as it can be.

Some articles of interest include our blog on AI and Art, and this one from 2015 about Google’s win in a court case that allowed them to digitize all books.

AI Art and How it Affects Design

With the rise of AI such as ChatGPT and Dall-E, people are forgoing hiring artists and designers to instead use AI to create art for them. However, AI art has many flaws that make it pale in comparison to hiring human artists, greatly affecting the world of art and design.


One of AI art’s biggest flaws is the moral and legal conundrum that comes with training it. AI art has to be trained on human art, which is usually used without permission or credit. Artists may not even be aware their art is being used by a learning model, which can make legal claims even more difficult. This also means the AI models that are intended to replace human artists are using those artist’s creations to learn.


Nowadays, artists have the ability to opt-out of their work being used to train AI on most platforms. This is especially prevalent on DeviantArt, a site created specifically for artists to showcase their work, which has its own AI art software. As more and more artists opt out of including their work in AI data sets or use specific watermarks that are not AI-friendly, the amount of original works to learn from are hopefully dwindling. Without human art to train AI, it could eventually be forced to learn from other AI art. This would theoretically cause a negative feedback loop where the AI art gets worse and worse due to only learning from itself.


Since AI is limited to only training from pre-existing art, the result is typically unoriginal and uninspiring. AI can’t come up with unique concepts. This creates the risk of anything using AI art ending up with a repetitive style and design. This can be very bad in a field where you want your work to stand out and catch people’s eye.


Another flaw of AI art is that it is incredibly difficult to explain what you want it to do. If it gives you something you like, but have some issues with, you can’t ask it to make edits. You either have to accept what it gives you or have it completely redone. This is unlike an actual, sentient artist who can make adjustments to the piece as it’s being made. You can also request far more specific details from a human artist, such as color palette, character design, and specific font. An AI art generator that will accept any of those parameters is currently unheard of.


None of this is mentioning the controversy surrounding AI art. Not only is it not popular with human artists, there have been lawsuits due to its derivative nature. In January of this year, artists sued Midjourney, a well known AI art generator, for using their art to train the program. Midjourney was able to mimic the specific art style of these artists, which helped prove how derivative it truly was and provide evidence against them for the lawsuit.


While using AI art may seem appealing because of its time and cost effectiveness, the final product and how AI affects design might not be worth it. Hiring a human artist to create the art and design for your product or brand is overall the better choice.


AI Threatens What Makes You Unique

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is like a new shiny penny in a world where we expect technology will make our lives easier. I would say that some things are definitely better with the speed of tech. However, when it comes to implementing AI in content planning, I am concerned. I think it is a good idea for businesses to be wary of AI, because AI could threaten their ability to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Business Goals

To explain my rationale, I’m going to start with some of the steps we take to create a content plan. First we start with business goals and marketing objectives. Usually business goals are to 1) earn revenue, 2) profit, and 3) grow. Marketing objectives are determined by your goals and they usually revolve around customers and converting them into sales. It is a lot easier to set a revenue goal than to achieve it. The huge number of businesses competing on the Internet of Things creates many challenges.

What Makes Your Product or Service Special?

Every marketing class or book will tell you to figure out what makes your service or product unique. Doing that will make it easier to stand out on the internet. In marketing we call what makes you special, your differentiator. Your differentiator is composed of what you provide, why and how you do it and the customers in your target market. You may think that you have the coolest and best product or service in the world. However, if your customers don’t see it or need it, then nothing else matters. You need to know who your customers are and that process digs deep. It involves research, understanding what their pain points are, and what you can do to solve their problems. Once you know what makes your business the best one for them, you start your digital marketing plan. Everything that happens next is reliant on how well your content communicates your value to your audience, and how successfully it reaches them.

Enter AI for Content Marketing

Content marketing is a primary part of any digital marketing campaign. Newsletters, emails, websites, landing pages, blogs, posts, videos, podcasts, books, whitepapers, and ebooks are all content. Any of these components can be sliced, diced, and formatted for the appropriate online platforms. The issue that most business owners (especially small businesses) have is a lack of staff and time to do what needs to be done. Enter AI for creating content and your time and budget constraints are solved, right? A Fortune article on February 17th, 2023, explains that Elon Musk, the founder of OpenAI (the parent company of ChatGPT), publicly walked away from his creation. Musk indicated that “(OpenAI) no longer resembled anything like what he had once co-founded in December 2015. According to Musk, it was designed to be an open-source nonprofit, which was the very reason why it was dubbed OpenAI.” The article states that Musk’s concerns arose out of the launch of ChatGPT. He says it has turned the concept he intended into a blockbuster moneymaking endeavor for Microsoft. I’m sure everyone knows about ChatGPT by now. The software has been in the news and online thanks to the marketing muscle behind Microsoft. However, the claims it makes of creating original content, based on your prompts, reside in a gray area.

The Origins of AI Content

ZDNet provides a simplified explanation of what ChatGPT is. They say that, “ChatGPT runs on a language model architecture created by OpenAI called the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT), specifically GPT-3. Generative AI models of this type are trained on vast amounts of information from the internet including websites, books, news articles and more.” The content your are getting “customized” for you, is an aggregate, pulled from a variety of existing sources. These sources are available to everyone including your competitors. They also are a part of the language of the internet. See how AI could reduce your effectiveness?

AI Could Threaten Your Unique Differentiator

So we know that using AI to create your content means accessing the same keywords, phrases, and overall language that anyone else using the software is also doing. How long will your content maintain any orginality? Furthermore, does AI understand your customers and their pain points? Can it relate to human emotions? Here is an example of my experience with AI that stems from the inability of Google to answer my questions. Have you tried searching for something on Google lately? The SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) that come up have tons of ads that are more and more unrelated to my question. The organic results are often not really what I am looking for either. I tend to abandon at least 75% of my search attempts as a result. Guess what? Google runs on an algorithm that is based on language. If we create generic language or encourage it, how does that affect our differentiators? Can you be unique in a world where technology delivers sameness? We are at the beginning of the AI marketing story. Like any new toy, everyone wants to play with it. Here’s a thought: If a metaphor for the internet of things is a haystack and an entity selling something is a needle that needs to amplify its differences to get attention. What happens when the haystack becomes a needlestack?