3 Twitter Tips for Authors

Twitter is a great platform for writers. I’ve been on Twitter for almost five years now, and I love using it for sharing, conversing, and learning. In case you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a social media lover in general – and I work in social media as part of my day job. Social media may be still a relatively new industry, but it’s a powerful one; and it’s not going anywhere. Twitter is one of the powerhouse players in this realm of social media. 

At the end of this month, I’m going to be teaching a seminar on how writers can use Twitter. If you’re near the central Virginia area the last weekend in January, you should totally check out the Agile Writer Conference. There will be plenty to learn besides just social media – everything from drafting characters to self-publishing on Amazon and even tips for NaNoWriMo.

Anyway, I’m going to share with you a little taste of what I’ll be talking about at my seminar. Even if you can’t make it to the Agile Writers Conference, I hope these tips can help you to feel more confident on Twitter. So let’s dive in:

Use a Picture of You as your Avatar

If you’re running a company or a business, it makes sense to use the logo as the avatar (also known as profile picture). But if you’re a writer trying to build your brand and reach new readers, then it’s best to use a picture of yourself. Please don’t use the cover of your book as your avatar. People want to connect with people, not objects. People want to follow you as a writer, not just your latest book. Continue reading

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The Best Social Media Sites for Writers

 

“Writers need to be on social media!” everyone says. I agree. You don’t have to be a social media expert, or spend 24/7 connected to your Facebook and Twitter apps, but you should have an online presence. A website is a good start, but if you want

to develop a fan base, the best way to do that is to be accessible. And social media provides the perfect venue for you to connect directly with your fans.

Here are some of my favorite social media sites that I believe are the best-suited to authors:

Facebook

Yep, Facebook is the big dog of social media. And despite its constantly-changing algorithms, and young millennials flocking away from it because their parents just signed up, Continue reading

Why do I Blog?

Last week I didn’t publish a blog post. I know I have a lot of subscribers, but I really have no idea if anyone pays attention to my publishing schedule or waits in breathless anticipation for a new post every Wednesday. (If you do, then I thank you for your attentiveness and interest, and I apologize for leaving you hanging for a week).

I’m sure I was far more upset than anyone else at missing a week for the first time in nearly three years of blogging. The sad part is, I have no good excuse – I simply forgot. So that got me thinking: why did I start this blog? And why have I been so committed to keeping it up for so long?

After a bit of self-analysis, here are some things I came up with. In no particular order, the reasons I blog are:

I like writing. Blogging gives me a chance to write a little bit every week. It took some nerve, at first, to put my words out there for the whole world to read, but the positive feedback and comments I get are definitely encouraging.

Blogging has helped me with discipline. Writing of any kind takes discipline. Even if you’re writing just for yourself and just for fun, it takes a degree of disciplined action to write regularly and to finish anything. The discipline of committing to a weekly post – even if I’m the only one who notices or cares about the regular schedule – has helped me to start learning the art of writing even if I don’t feel like it or feel inspired. (Except for last week, obviously, but let’s not talk about that anymore).

Blogging helps with SEO. Now we get to the technical side of things. I’ve known for years that an author needs a strong social media presence if they expect to ever be noticed or read by anyone. And there are so many tips out there about getting a web presence launched before your first book is published, so that you already have a following when you’re ready to start promoting a book. Since I love social media and I love writing, starting a blog seemed like an easy and logical thing to do.

My blog is my home base on the internet. Blogging regularly helps keep the following that I have, and increases my chances of gaining new followers. My blog also serves as my main author website. Since I have no books for sale yet, I don’t need a fancy website with multiple pages or a calendar with my book signing schedule. (Yet. Here’s hoping I’ll need all of that soon). Anyway, my blog is where you can find me online. I have it linked to all of my social media profiles, so if you want to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest (or all three), my blog is the easy one-stop-shop to find everything.

So there are my main reasons for continuing this blog for so long. I hope that you are enjoying it, even if you don’t read every post or care what day of the week I publish. I love blogging, and I intend to keep it up for many more years to come!

How to be Annoying on Social Media in Five Easy Steps

I read a lot of blog posts and articles about how to properly utilize social media to share and promote your content. Since I’m a big user of social media myself (this fabulous blog, my Facebook, my Twitter, etc.), I thought I’d make a contribution to the how-to’s of social media etiquette – with a little twist.

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.

  1. 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?
  2. Post at least once a minute. Posting every fifteen seconds is even more obnoxious, so try that. If your tweets are constantly in your followers’ newsfeed, or your emails filling up their inboxes, they’ll never forget your name – even if they now hate you.
  3. Send direct messages only. Direct or private messages on social media, especially to people you don’t personally know, is what all the best spammers do. No communication gets ignored faster than a DM (direct message) from a stranger on Twitter or YouTube.
  4. Never respond to comments or tweets. This lets all your fans know that you’re much too busy doing important stuff or other sorts of marketing to bother chatting with them in an informal manner.
  5. Never share other people’s content. You’re on social media to promote your product or service, right? Sharing posts from other profiles or websites lets your followers know that you value others’ content and enjoy learning from everybody. Make sure you let everyone know what a self-centered egotist you are by making all your social media posts all about you.

So there you have it – five simple ways to become that person that nobody likes on Facebook or Twitter.

Just remember that if you actually want to gain fans and make positive connections, do the opposite of these and you’ll be soaring high with your social media!