Writerly FAQs: 5 Common Questions Writers Ask

This post is for all you new writers out there – or for anyone who feels like they’re not an expert yet. That probably covers most everyone.

Since I’ve been blogging for a few years and I have a few books published on Amazon, I’ve had a number of people ask me questions about writing. Apparently, they view as an expert. Which I’m certainly not – but anyone who is a few steps further down the road can offer advice to those who are coming along behind, and so that is what this blog post is about.

So here are five questions that I’ve people ask me about writing and becoming a writer:

Should I write a book?

Do you want to a write a book? “Should I write a book?” is not a question that anyone can answer except you. If you feel that you have a story to tell, a message to communicate, or a part of your life that you want to share, then yes, you should write a book. Continue reading

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So You Want to Be a Social Media Expert?

I originally wrote this post for the blog at Helps2, the social media company that I work with. 

Social media manager. Content creator. Platform consultant. Growth hacker. Yes, this is a thing now.

Ten to twelve years ago, social media as we know it today didn’t exist at all. So is there such a thing as an “expert” in a field that is not only brand new, but is changing on a daily basis? And if you’re not Mark Zuckerberg or a Google employee, can you actually become one of these people?

Yes, you can. While I may not be considered an “expert,” as compared to the real pros, I have learned a thing or two about the social media world and how to stand above the crowd. I’m still learning, growing, practicing, and adjusting, but I will share a few tips that can help you move out of the “newbie” realm and on towards “expert.” Continue reading

Twitter Hashtags for Writers

I love Twitter, and I’ve used it for years. I believe that Twitter is one of the best social media sites for writers, because it’s so easy to engage with people. You can follow, be followed by, and actually chat directly with everyone from readers and fans to editors, agents, and publishing companies.

Another powerful aspect of Twitter is the hashtag. The # symbol (yes, it can also be called a pound sign, number sign, or sharp sign) is called a hashtag when used on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

The hashtag is a powerful search tool. When you click on a hashtag, it brings up every tweet that contains that hashtagged word or phrase. This can be a great way to reach readers, commune with other writers, find other professionals in the book industry, even find new story ideas or writing prompts.

Here are some powerful hashtags that writers of every genre and level of experience can use on a regular basis: Continue reading

How to be Annoying on Social Media in Five Easy Steps

In the ever-changing sea of social media, techniques can change on a weekly basis, it seems. That sure-fire tactic that worked last month is now totally useless. But some things don’t change. I originally wrote this post almost three years ago, and even as I’ve learned more about using social media as an author (and worked professionally in social media), these points are still valid.

So in no particular order, here are five sure-fire ways to annoy your followers and alienate your readership. If you’re tired of the decent or even excellent success you’ve been having with your social media, then try these tips to make everything worse.

Write in ALL CAPS

All capital text is the type-written form of shouting, and shouting for no good reason drives people away by the hundreds. Why save all caps for only URGENT STUFF when you can confuse and irritate your fans by making EVERYTHING SEEM URGENT? Continue reading

Authors and Social Media: the Great Automation Question

When it comes to authors and their social media, you may have heard two different schools of thought. One side of the argument promotes social media automation tools to save you the time and mental energy of having to post every day. The other side says that automation removes the “social” aspect of social media and turns your online presence into nothing more than an impersonal robot.

Both points have merit. So let’s look at the pros and cons.

Social Media Automation Saves Time

The main benefit of scheduling out social media posts in advance is to save time. With a tool like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Facebook scheduler, you can sit down for an hour once a week and prepare all of your posts. Now you can have an active social media presence without having to be online all the time, every single day. Continue reading

Mastering Social Media: Have Fun!

While I don’t claim to be a social media expert or “guru,” I’ve been around the social media scene for a few years (since the days of MySpace, actually.) I work for a social media company, and I coach writers about how to manage their social media and build a brand for themselves online. I keep on top of the social media industry, and I’m constantly reading blogs and articles by people far more expert than me.

But there’s one thing I’ve noticed that man of the real social media experts and gurus neglect in their blogs, articles, and branding courses: social media should be fun.

You can have all the best branding techniques in the world, all the most streamlined scheduling tools, all the sharpest graphics – and all of those are great. But for the novice first getting their feet wet with trying to grow a following on Twitter or Facebook, this can be overwhelming.

If you’re just getting started with social media – or even if you’ve mastered the basics and you’re trying to grow to the next level – then my advice is first and foremost to have funContinue reading