Why More Authors Are Choosing Content Marketing Over Paid Advertising

Authors are switching to content marketing

by | Apr 1, 2023

Last Updated:
Mar 23, 2023

As an author, promoting your book is crucial for success. Perhaps more than ever.

While paid advertising, like Facebook, Amazon and Bookbub ads, have been the go-to method for many authors to promote their work, it’s getting increasingly difficult to get your book in front of as many people as possible.

In recent years, the effectiveness of paid ads has declined.

Here are some reasons why:

  • Ad blindness: With the rise of digital advertising, consumers have become increasingly accustomed to seeing ads everywhere they go online. As a result, many people have developed “ad blindness,” where they automatically tune out ads and focus on content.
  • Ad blockers: Another reason for the decline in the effectiveness of paid advertising is the widespread use of ad blockers. Many internet users install ad blockers to prevent ads from appearing on websites they visit, which can significantly reduce the reach of paid ads.
  • Rising costs: As competition for ad space has increased, the cost of paid advertising has risen significantly. This means that smaller businesses and authors may not have the budget to compete with larger companies, limiting their ability to reach their target audience through paid ads.
  • Lack of trust: Consumers are becoming increasingly sceptical of traditional advertising. Many people feel that paid ads are not trustworthy and can be misleading, which can damage the credibility of the brand or author.
  • Limited targeting: Paid advertising can be targeted based on demographic, interest, and behavior. However, this targeting is limited and may not be as effective as content marketing in reaching a specific niche audience. Just consider Facebook ads after Apple’s iOS changes.

Times have changed.

A growing number of authors are choosing to stop paid advertising and instead use content marketing as a more effective way to connect with their audience. It’s a growing trend we’ve kept a keen eye on here at Am Writing Fantasy.

We too have seen the shift in the market.

With the constant decline in the effectiveness of paid ads, combined with the fact that ads are getting more and more expensive, we’ve decided to move to Content Marketing too.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to a specific audience with the goal of driving profitable customer action.

The content created can be in various forms, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, and more.

The key principle of content marketing is to provide value to the audience rather than pushing a sales pitch.

By creating content that is informative, entertaining, or educational, authors can build trust and credibility with their readers, which can lead to increased brand awareness, engagement, and ultimately, conversions.

One advantage of content marketing is that it allows authors to target specific audiences with relevant content.

By understanding their audience’s interests, authors can create content that resonates with readers and entertains them. This targeted approach can help to attract fans of the genre and build long-term relationships with readers.

In addition, content marketing can provide long-term benefits for authors.

Unlike paid advertising, which typically only lasts as long as the ad is running, content marketing can continue to drive traffic and conversions long after the content has been created. This is especially true for evergreen content, which is content that remains relevant and valuable to readers over time.

Overall, content marketing is a powerful strategy for authors looking to attract, engage, and convert their target audience. By creating valuable content that resonates with their audience, authors can build trust and credibility, increase brand awareness, and enjoy long-term benefits that paid advertising simply cannot provide.

As a marketing strategy, content marketing has gained significant traction in recent years across various industries, including the publishing industry.
Many authors have recognized the potential of content marketing to reach a wider audience, build their brand, and promote their work.

In this blog post, we will explore why more authors are choosing content marketing over paid advertising and the advantages that this approach can offer for book promotion.

However, before we get that far, we should also address the downsides.

Content marketing allows you to create valuable content

The Downsides of Content Marketing: Challenges and Considerations for Authors

While content marketing has numerous benefits, it is important to note that it is not without its downsides.

One of the major challenges of content marketing is the time and resources required to create high-quality content consistently.

Creating engaging and valuable content can truly be a time-consuming process.

Another potential downside of content marketing is that it can take time to see results. Unlike paid advertising, which can generate immediate results, content marketing is a long-term strategy that requires patience and persistence. It can take months or even years to build a loyal audience and see a significant return on investment.

Moreover, competition in the content marketing space is high, and it’s challenging to stand out from the crowd.

With millions of blog posts, videos, and social media posts published every day, getting noticed can be a significant challenge. As such, businesses and authors must invest in developing a content strategy that sets them apart from the competition.

Lastly, measuring the effectiveness of content marketing can be challenging. Unlike paid advertising, which typically has clear metrics, such as click-through rates and conversion rates, measuring the impact of content marketing can be more difficult.

Despite these challenges, many authors still prefer content marketing over paid advertising for promoting their work.

Why More Authors Are Choosing Content Marketing Over Paid Advertising: Benefits and Advantages

With the right strategy, content marketing can be an effective way to build a loyal audience, increase brand awareness, and drive long-term success.
Let’s look at some of the key benefits.


One of the primary reasons authors prefer content marketing over paid advertising is that it is often more cost-effective.

Paid advertising can be expensive—especially considering that we, as authors, are selling cheap $5 eBooks.

Furthermore, the results (or the return on investment) are not what they used to be.

Content Marketing, on the other hand, is a cost-effective alternative that allows authors to create and distribute valuable content to their audience without spending a lot of money on advertising.

This strategy does require effort, but at least you’re not paying with anything other than your time.

Audience engagement

Another reason content marketing is becoming more popular among authors is that it is a great way to engage with an audience.

By creating valuable content that speaks to the interests and needs of your audience, you’ll build trust and credibility with readers.

When creating valuable content that educates, entertains, or inspires readers, authors can also establish themselves as thought leaders in their niche.

This can help you attract and retain a loyal readership. It can lead to more book sales, as readers are more likely to trust and purchase from an author they perceive as an expert.

It’s simply a more effective way to engage with your audience compared to paid advertising, which can sometimes feel forced or inauthentic.

Long-term benefits

While paid advertising is the best approach to generate immediate results (a book is sold here and now), those benefits tend to be short-lived as they only last as long as the ad is running.

The advertising marketplace is crowded

Content marketing, on the other hand, can provide long-term benefits and continue to drive traffic and book sales long after the content has been published.

In other words, the content you create today can continue to attract and engage an audience for months or even years to come.


Content Marketing is, at its core, focused on providing valuable information that readers are genuinely interested in, creating a genuine connection with the audience.

This authenticity is much harder to achieve with paid advertising, where ads are pushed in front of the audience, even when they aren’t interested in ads.

With Content Marketing, your focus is to attract your audience when they are searching for the kind of content you produce.

You’re highly depend on SEO for the Content Marketing strategy to work well, but it can be more effective in the long run as every new piece of content you release will build on the ones that came before it.


With content marketing, authors have more control over the messaging and delivery of their content.

This can help you create a consistent brand voice and image, which can be important for building a strong and recognizable brand.

Increased Visibility

Content marketing also helps increase an author’s visibility in search engine results.

As mentioned, it’s still a competitive landscape, but by creating high-quality content that is optimized for search engines, authors can improve their search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic to their website or blog.

This can lead to more book sales and increased exposure for the author and their work.

Getting Started with Content Marketing for Authors: A Step-by-Step Guide

The decision to stop paid advertising, and use content marketing instead, can be a strategic one for authors – and probably should be.

By creating valuable content that is tailored to your audience, you can engage with them in a more authentic and cost-effective way, while also building a long-term readership that can help to support your success as an author.

With content marketing, you must know your audience

As the publishing landscape continues to evolve, more and more authors are embracing content marketing as a key tool in their promotional arsenal. But where do you start?

You might recognize how content marketing is becoming an increasingly popular choice among authors who want to promote their work and reach a wider audience, yet you feel lost.

Here are some steps to help you get started promoting your work through content marketing.

  • Define your target audience: Before creating any content, it’s important to clearly understand your target audience. Who are they? What are their interests, needs, and pain points? Understanding your audience can help you create content that resonates with them and is more likely to be shared and engaged with.
  • Develop a content strategy: A content strategy is a plan for creating and publishing content that aligns with your marketing goals and resonates with your target audience. This strategy should include the types of content you will create, the channels you will use to distribute your content, and how often you will publish.
  • Create valuable content: Once you have a content strategy in place, it’s time to start creating content. The content you create should be informative, engaging, and valuable to your target audience. This could include blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, and more.
  • Choose the right distribution channels: There are many channels you can use to distribute your content, including social media platforms, email marketing, guest blogging, and more. Choose the channels that align with your target audience and your content strategy.
  • Track your results: It’s important to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts. Track metrics such as unique page visits, number of inbound links, and how much the post is shared on social media, to see how your content is performing and make adjustments as needed.

Getting Help with Content Marketing: Why Working with Experts Can Take Your Author Brand to the Next Level

While content marketing can be an effective way to promote your work as an author, it can also be a time-consuming and complex process.

Creating quality content, developing a content strategy, and implementing it across multiple channels can take a lot of effort and resources.

This is why we’ve created the Skill Booster as many authors needs help with their content marketing efforts. And the best part… thanks to World Anvil being the sponsor, it’s completely free.

If you’ve tried book marketing…

  • And it never worked out. You never managed to complete the multitude of steps it takes to tweak and refine your ads to get to the point where the results earned more than you were spending.
  • Or maybe they just didn’t earn more than if you saved all that time and just wrote instead of marketing.

Or maybe you got those ads to work…

  • And then they suddenly stopped working because of “saturation”
  • Or they doubled in price
  • Or your keywords became too popular and too expensive

Then the Skill Booster is for you.

The reality is that paid ads require a lot of effort, even when they are working.

Even this post has piqued your interested in Content Marketing for Authors, why not sign up for the Skill Booster?

There are a lot of ways to reach readers and paid ads are only one of them

We’ve been there. We have run Facebook ads, Instagram ads, AMS ads, Bookbub ads… you name it. Some of them worked great. Some of them never seemed to kick in. Some fizzled and some just keep going and going.

No matter how much we try to reproduce great ads, they don’t always translate well across books or genres. Some are winners, some are duds. No matter what, though, they all take time. And a lot of money.

Worse, adding money to another business’ account and relying on their platform instead of your own platform.

Those aren’t your readers to contact and woo into becoming fans. Not unless they find your website and signup there to join your mailing list. Until that point, all you’ve done is spent a lot of time and a lot of money to get people to look at your book while building up the revenue of another mega-business.

Join our free online Skill Booster: Book Marketing WITHOUT Paid Ads

We’ll teach you the methods to reach readers without paid ads while using all the modern tools we can throw in.

Plus, you’ll walk out of these 5 days with the framework of your online platform in place, a content marketing funnel ready to go, and a nice dose of support from fellow authors.

Find all the details and sign up here: https://www.amwritingfantasy.com/skill-booster/

Jesper Schmidt

Jesper Schmidt is a Danish bestselling fantasy author who also dabbles in non-fiction. He is also focused on helping and inspiring others. It is his firm belief that this world of ours can never have too much fantasy fiction in it, but for that to happen we need authors to write it and readers to find it.

Get Subscriber Rewards…

Or donate to the podcast one-time with Paypal!

Great Deal!

Access all of our courses for one low price

Written by: Jesper Schmidt

Jesper Schmidt is a Danish bestselling fantasy author who also dabbles in non-fiction. He is also focused on helping and inspiring others. It is his firm belief that this world of ours can never have too much fantasy fiction in it, but for that to happen we need authors to write it and readers to find it.

You may also like …


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This