Not Sure How to Blog? Follow These 4 Steps

Not Sure How to Blog? Follow These 4 Steps
Blogging. It’s wise for all authors to do it. Are you wondering how to blog? Keep reading.


Authors, who write a lot either as a passion or for a living, often seem stymied when it comes to writing blog posts.

I commonly hear the following comments:

“I said everything in my book.”

“My life isn’t that interesting.”

“I don’t have time.”

Well, as someone once told me, it’s not that we don’t have time; it’s that we let other tasks take priority.

Blogging can be as painful and as rewarding as gardening. Yes, gardening is hard work. You have to dig with your fingers into the recalcitrant dirt, get dirty, take risks with those rose thorns, and suffer the pain of bee sting.

But you can also enjoy fresh tomatoes for your salads, flowers for your vases, and the deep sense of appreciation that you created this marvelous symphony of colors and edibles.

Now you might have heard that fiction authors don’t need to blog. I don’t adhere to that philosophy. I know that blogging signals to Google that you have a dynamic website and offers another opportunity to connect with your readers.

As a fiction author, there are so many options you can pursue. You can review other books regularly or whenever you have the inclination. You can share your marketing tips. You can tell your readers about characters who never made the final edit of your book or share back stories on your main characters.

You can talk about how you got the idea for your latest novel. You can even talk about the death of a pet, your plans to move, explain where you write, and discuss why you write.

And you can do a mix of all of those topics.

Fiction authors have a wide open field of topics to select from. With those many options, why wouldn’t you want to regularly blog?

4-Point How to Blog Blueprint for Authors

Here are my best tips for creating blog posts that will light up your website and generate new traffic.

how to blog

Step One:  Write Your Content

If you’re looking for ideas for your blog, be sure to read this post: 34 Blogging Topics Just for Writers. Here are some additional ideas:

  • When you’re really stuck, use HubSpot’s blog topic generator. Type in a few words and Hubspot will give you several ideas.
  • Read other blog posts. I’m not suggesting that you steal other blogger’s topics, however, I do suggest that you check out who’s writing what and how those posts fair in terms of social shares. Maybe you can take a contrary view or expand on that topic.
  • Use BuzzSumo to see what’s popular.
  • Have you read a post that you don’t agree with? Explain why. I did once and it was so popular that CreateSpace included my post in its newsletter for authors.
  • Check out the types of comments other writers leave in blog posts you read. What questions do they ask? Then write a blog post that answers those questions.
  • What questions or comments do your readers leave on your Facebook page? Answer those in a blog post.
  • What questions do your readers ask in your blog comments?
  • Subscribe to a lot of blogs and read them. Yes, this will help you to generate topics.
  • Conduct a survey. I’ve done this and then used the survey responses as my editorial calendar.
  • When all else fails, go for a walk. That tactic always helps me.

how to blog

Step Two: Create Your Visuals

Once you write and upload your new post to your website, your next job is to create your visuals.

Here’s what I do. Using Canva, I take a shortcut by sizing the image of the top of my post using Twitter’s dimensions because those dimensions also work for Facebook.

Then I create a larger visual for Pinterest.

There are many types of visuals you can insert into your blog posts:

  1. Photos
  2. Infographics
  3. Graphic illustrations
  4. Videos
  5. Screenshots

Visuals improve your SEO (search engine optimization) because they become another way to add your keyword to your post. It’s also a fact that color images improve the reading of your post and multiple images keep people reading.

Also, when you share your post on social media, your visual will automatically be picked up and shared along with your headline and link. Updates are social media attract more readers and shares increase when you include an image.

Face it: creating your visuals are as important as writing your blog post.

Step Three: Determine Your Best Headline

Headlines are critical. They have to deliver a punch, attract a reader’s attention, and pique curiosity in your social media followers.

You want a headline that rocks. But don’t start your new post by writing a headline. The best time to write a headline is after you’ve finished the entire post and figured out your keywords.

Write a blog headline that rocks via @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

It’s also important to test your headline using an analyzer. There are various free tools on the internet to use but the one I like best also measures the emotional impact of your headline. Here’s the link for Advanced Marketing Institute’s headline analyzer.

how to blog

Step Four: Promote Your New Posts with Social Media

I use a cool social share plugin called Social Warfare. On the text side of my blog, Social Warfare enables me to upload the images I want to use on social media, including Pinterest.

Here’s an example of what Social Warfare looks like when it’s in use on my website.

Social Warfare plugin example by Frances Caballo

As you can see above, I also have the options to write my Pinterest description, social media description and exact tweet. So whenever someone shares my post using my social share icons, the images and messages I’ve prepared appeared automatically.

In addition to using Social Warfare, I use the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. This plugin allows me to set up Twitter cards. A Twitter card is the image that accompanies the tweet.

So there you have it, my four steps to perfect author blogging.

Blogging Just For Writers by Frances Caballo

A terrific and practical book for writers who want and/or need to blog. Ms Caballo knows her stuff. Her suggestions are sensible, doable and down to earth. Loved it. ~~ Vicki Stiefel 

 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s has written for  TheBookDesigner.com, Jane Friedman, Joanna Penn, BookWorks, and other blogs. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Indie Author Weekly Update – July 13, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to the newest edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. Let me point out David Gaughran’s post; he always writes awesome blog posts but this one in particular is revealing. With Instagram’s meteoric rise in popularity, be sure to check out the post with 22 Instagram hacks by Later.

We are definitely into the hot days of summer. I can feel the perspiration traveling down my neck as I write this. Do what you can to stay cool!

A Simple Method to Market Your Book by Penny Sansevieri: “Have you ever wanted to engage with popular blogs and people in the book biz? Following publishing experts and influencers on social media is not enough—you need to be proactive by standing out. Book promotion and marketing utilizes many tools, but there is one simple and efficient thing you can do that will help you connect.”

22 Instagram Hacks You Wish You Knew Sooner by Later: “If you’ve ever needed some Instagram hacks but didn’t know where to look, well, you’ve come to the right place! Maybe you’re wondering how to add line breaks to your Instagram bio? Or how to zoom in and out while recording an Instagram story? Or even how to respond to Instagram comments faster? Whatever your need, in the following post, we reveal 22 Instagram hacks and tips to help you get more from your Instagram marketing.”

The Amazon Algorithm Myth by David Gaughran: “A problematic feature of the world in 2018 is that the social networks we have built seem to spread misinformation faster and wider than its more accurate counterpart, and this can lead authors to make decisions counter to their interests. One of the enduring myths surrounds ‘The Amazon Algorithm.'”

3 Amazon Secrets Every Author Needs to Know from Writers Digest: “Amazon has always been a secretive organization. For example, Jeff Bezos never divulges how many Kindle devices the company actually sells. Instead, he makes cryptic remarks such as, “It’s the bestselling product in our store.” Also, Amazon doesn’t reveal how much money they make selling books. Those financial numbers are rolled into their “Media” division that includes movies and other products. In addition, Amazon keeps a lot of book marketing secrets hidden from the world. If you write and sell books on Amazon, here are 3 secrets every author needs to know.”

How to Get Holiday Book Sales: Steps 1-3 from BookBaby: “Whatever your flavor of celebration, the holiday season is a great time to sell your published eBook or printed book. After all, it’s a $3 billion business for booksellers at the end of the year, and according to Dominique Raccah, CEO of Sourcebooks, 25 percent of trade books are bought as gifts. How do you get your share of these holiday sales? In the spirit of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” I have a dozen tried-and-true selling ideas for the holiday season.”

10 Tips for Authors on Using Social Media from a Literary Agent by Eric Smith: “As a literary agent, I’m lucky enough to go to a lot of writing workshops, where I usually dish advice about one of two things: query letters or social media. When it comes to social media and publishing, digital platforms have a special place in my heart.”

Quote of the Week

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – July 6, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Every post in this week’s Indie Author Update is worth reading and following up on the tips included. The BookBub article isn’t new but oh so worth reading again!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

13 Ways to Promote Before Publication from Writer Unboxed: “For a self-published author, a swell of preorders can trigger algorithms that wake retail sites like Amazon to your book’s presence. This makes it more likely that a book will appear in “hot new release” lists, which can increase not only preorders, but post-publication sales and even name recognition.”

How to Teach Yourself Copywriting (on a Shoestring Budget) by Henneke Duistermaat: “Have you tried to learn copywriting by reading blog posts? And does it seem hard to apply the tips? As if your knowledge is a little disjointed? Teaching yourself copywriting can feel like a difficult task. But it doesn’t need to be so hard, if you apply a solid system.”

Not new but worth reading again: 119 Book Marketing Ideas That Can Help Authors Increase Sales from BookBub: “Whether you’re an author, a marketer at a publishing house, a publicist, or anyone else looking to sell books, there’s a wide array of book marketing tactics you can use to amplify a book’s exposure and reach more readers. To spark inspiration and get those creative juices flowing, we put together 119 book marketing ideas.”

How to Use the Amazon Algorithm to Sell More Books from TheBookDesigner.com and by Alinka Rutkowska: “Before we get started it’s important to realize that Amazon is not a traditional bookstore, rather it’s a search engine, in many ways similar to Google.”

What’s an author platform? Part 2 by Sandra Beckwith: “The more you’ve done, the stronger your platform. A strong platform will make you more attractive to a publisher, but even if self-publishing is your best option, you still need that platform. You want an audience waiting for your book. No audience = no sales.”

Quote of the Week

“Imagination is the voice of daring.”

 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.


I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Not on Instagram? Use It to Build Your Brand, Find Success

Instagram

Yrsa Daley-Ward, a traditionally published poet, attracts quite a crowd to her poetry readings at bookstores.

How did she gain this popularity? One word. Instagram.

She’s one of a growing breed of poets who uses Instagram and has been referred to as Instapoets.

Most Instapoets are self-published, such as Lang Laev (1 million+ followers on Tumblr), Robert Drake (1.3 million Instagram followers as of three years ago), and Tyler Knott Gregson (335,000 followers on Instagram).

In the New York Times last weekend, journalist Lovia Gyarkye reported that Daley-Ward:

“is part of a new generation of writers using social media to share their work, build their brand and find an audience.”

Perhaps the New York Times reporter just realized it but writers have been doing this for several years now. (In fact, I wrote a blog post about this phenomenon among indie poets three years ago.)

According to the 2018 Pew Research Center report on social media data, Instgram is the second most popular online platform, after YouTube

And as of last week, Instagram now has 1 billion users.

The New York Times reported that Instagram poets vary the way they use the online network.

“They use the platform in multiple ways: adding images to their poems, taking photos of printed text or, in the case of Daley-Ward, filming their laptop screens as they write.”

Below are examples of some of Daley-Ward’s Instagram posts. In this post, she shares a poem from the printed page of her book.

Instagram

In this post, she encourages people to attend an event.

Instagram

This is a post from Tyler Knott Gregson:

Instagram

And here’s a post from Tumblr from Lang Leav:

Now Follow These Four Tips

If you’re a poet, and you’re wondering what you need to do to reach your audience, follow these steps:

  1. Join Instagram and learn how to use it. Post, at least, two text images with your poetry daily. Check out these posts to get start: Should Authors Be on Instagram? Absolutely! and Instagram Tips for Every Author
  2. Sign up for Tumblr. Add your blog posts, poetry and images. Remember to keep it simple, don’t be afraid to show your true personality, join conversations with readers and other poets, and above all, be visual. Post daily.
  3. Sign up for or step up your presence on Twitter. Send five tweets daily, tweet your poetry, engage with readers, and use the hashtags #poetry, #poem, and #haiku. Refer to your Instagram posts on Twitter with the hashtag #Instapoet. Check out these posts to learn more: Grow Your Twitter Tribe with These Tips10 Things Authors Should Never Do on Twitter, and Advanced Twitter Tips for Authors.
  4. Some poets, such as Gregson, find Facebook helpful as well. Add visually appealing text-based posts, like the ones shown above, at least twice a day. In addition, notify your following of upcoming readings and signings. Check out these posts to learn more: Learn How to Create Shareable Facebook Contentand Do Authors Really Need a Facebook Page?

What If You’re Not Strictly a Poet?

Are you wondering how the same fame that these poets have achieved could possibly apply to your career?

I’m sure you’ve written a couple of poems in your life; I know that I have. So why not put them on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook? Who knows what might happen?

Learn more about Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook in my new edition of Social Media Just for Writers!

 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.


I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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Indie Author Weekly Update – June 29, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

I really had to work hard at weeding down the posts for this week’s Indie Author update. There were so many great ones! The post on growing your email list from The Digital Reader is a must read. Don’t miss it!

3 Tools to Target Media Topics for Your Pitch by Chris Well: “If you want the world to take you seriously as an author, stop talking about your book and start showing that you know your stuff. When you focus on your expertise—instead of your book—people stop rolling their eyes and start paying attention.”

Grow Your Author Mailing List with These 7 Essential Tools from The Digital Reader: “You’ve heard over and over that the best way to promote your author career is a robust mailing list. This is true no matter the product, the business model, or the industry. A mailing list is important, but have you ever considered whether you are using all the available tools to grow your mailing list?”

62 ways to improve your press releases from Articulate Marketing: “There are many voices calling for the death of the press release (e.g. Die Press Release Die or Amy Gahran who wants to put them out of their misery). What is needed is not execution but reform. Here are my tips and suggestions for doing it.”

How to Sell More on Book Markets other than Amazon from Dave Chesson: “One subject that has come up a lot in this podcast is the advice of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Amazon may be at the top when it comes to the book market, but newer platforms for people to sell their books on are emerging and making your book available on those platforms can increase your sales.”

Book Marketing: 7 Avoidable Rookie Errors for Indie Authors from Alliance of Independent Authors: “Any indie author who has ever self-published a book has been there: regretting the wisdom of hindsight highlighting an error of judgment that has hampered the marketing potential of their new book.”

Ways to Reach Your Niche Audience from BookWorks: “Writing for a narrow niche audience can feel daunting, overwhelming, and discouraging. However, through both of my book launches, I have found it quite exciting, empowering, and satisfying. There are people out there who want to read your book. As I pound pavement, knock on doors, reach out, and fling my book out in to the world, I trust that I will connect with who I am supposed to connect with as long as I do my part. What’s that? Leave no stone unturned and have patience with the process. Relationship and adding value to others are, in my humble opinion, the key to lasting and worthwhile success.”

Quote of the Week

Natalie Goldberg quote

 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.


I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

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Want to Be More Creative? Take a Hike!

Want to Be More Creative? Take a Hike!How do you recharge?

Do you take walks with your dog, meet with friends, or visit the coast?

Lately, I’ve been hiking on Wednesdays. Ah. My body relaxes as I just think about the hikes.

I used to take short hikes on Saturdays. But recently I joined a new hiking group and walk about 6.5 miles with new and old friends.

creativity - hike

Here I am hiking in Sugarloaf in Kenwood.

I’m having trouble expressing what these mid-week hikes have done for me.

Sure, I need to work ahead on Mondays and Tuesdays to make it work. And I still work before and after the hikes. But the mad dash to make the time to hike on Wednesdays is so worth it.

I find myself refreshed. Wonderfully tired. And inspired by the wildflowers and ocean vistas.

And I can feel myself be more creative.

I also find myself recharged for work. Who minds working if you can spare some time to get out into the outdoors and experience a slice of nature?

Also, I feel more creative in my work. I can more easily think of topics for blog posts and strategies for my clients after taking some time away from the computer.

creativity - hike

I saw my first Diogenes Lantern in Sugarloaf in May.

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that spending time in nature decreases these obsessive ruminations and negative thoughts by a “significant margin.”

According to Collective Evolution:

“A study conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer found that creative problem solving can be drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. Participants in this study went backpacking through nature for about four days, during which time they were not allowed to use any technology whatsoever. They were asked to perform tasks requiring creative thinking and complex problem solving, and researchers found that performance on problem-solving tasks improved by 50% for those who took part in this tech-free hiking excursion.”

And according to Lindsay Holmes, writing for the Huffington Post,

“Not only is hiking a great way to notch some physical activity, it’s quite possibly one of the best forms of fitness when it comes to your mind. There’s just something about the combination of exercise and fresh air that transforms your outlook.”

creativity - hike

Hoping to boost your creativity? A 2012 study found that “participants who embarked on a hike before taking a creativity assessment scored better than peers who took the test without having been on a hike.”

So, if you want to boost your creativity while looking at wildflowers, redwood groves, cedar groves, and if you live near the coast, expanses of sea, take a hike. And take a break from social media.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.


I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

 

 

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Indie Author Weekly Update – June 22, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Learn about the new Instagram algorithm in this week’s Indie Author Update as well as how to launch a book. Don’t miss Dave Chesson’s post on SEO for the indie author either.

How the Instagram Algorithm Works in 2018: Everything You Need to Know  from Buffer: “How exactly does the Instagram feed work? That question has puzzled marketers ever since Instagram first introduced its algorithm in July 2016. The Instagram algorithm was introduced to help surface the best, most relevant content to each user every-time they check their feed. Until now, though, the inner-workings of the feed have been kept under wraps, but recently Instagram shared the six key ranking factors publicly for the first time.”

How to Take Your Readers From Strangers to Superfans from Chris Syme and David Gaughran: “In this episode, Chris interviews author David Gaughran about his new book, Strangers To Superfans. In the show Chris calls this “possibly the best book marketing book ever,” a must-read for authors at every level.”

Want Reviews, Guest Posts, Spotlights, Interviews? Treat Bloggers With Respect! by Anne R. Allen: “The contempt some business people have for bloggers never ceases to amaze me. Every day I get emails demanding I do free work for companies that are obviously solvent enough to hire employees—so why do they imagine it’s okay to demand that bloggers work for them…for nothing?”

SEO for Authors – Part 2 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Dave Chesson: “Writing a book is no easy task. This is particularly true for independent authors. In addition to the writing workload, self-publishers are saddled with the stress of marketing and promotion. One of the best ways to help ensure your efforts are rewarded is to ensure you’re not overlooking any SEO ideas that can be applied to your books.”

The Introvert’s Guide to Launching a Book from JaneFriedman & by  L.L. Barkat: “If you write a book, it’s natural to want to promote it, right? As an introverted writer—who for many years misdiagnosed herself as an extrovert because she was outgoing—I can say, without a doubt: no, it’s not natural. While it might be natural for the extroverted writer, it is anything but natural for the introverted writer when promotion means constant extension of that writer’s self into the world.”

This is The Reason Book Marketing is Exhausting You and How to Fix That by Rachel Thompson: “Many writers are exhausted by book marketing — even those who haven’t released their book yet. Sometimes, simply the thought of where to begin can be enough to stop a writer from ever starting at all. What to do? There are really three situations we find ourselves stuck in.”

IGTV: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram’s New Video Platform from Later: “IGTV, Instagram’s brand new video platform, is here! IGTV is a place for vertical, long form videos on Instagram, and it’s available in both the native Instagram app and the new standalone IGTV app. Here are 3 things you need to know about IGTV, plus we answer a ton of questions about how IGTV works, how to upload videos to IGTV, and what this brand new platform means for you.”

Quote of the Week

The simpler you say it, the more eloquent it is.

 

 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.


I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web (Part 1)

3-10-14

Don’t you get tired of broadcast media?

I unplugged my Comcast cable eight years ago, and I’ve never regretted it.

Television programming would interrupt my favorite shows with annoying and idiotic commercials and cancel the few programs I really liked.

The worst part is that I had to conform my personal schedule to my favorite program’s schedule.

In comparison, social media is perfect.

There are no interruptions, and I can visit the networks whenever I have time and the inclination.

And it allows me to interact with colleagues and friends across the country and around the world.

Most importantly, social media enables me to nurture relationships with readers and friends. Petty cool, huh?

Just as a reminder, setting aside time to be social is the fourth step in my four-step cure to social media suck. Here are the four steps:

  1. Be where your readers are.
  2. Curate information in your niche every morning.
  3. Select an application and schedule your tweets, posts and updates.
  4. Make time to be social every day.

Make Time to be Social

Social media is all about nurturing relationships.

Did someone retweet one of your messages? Find a tweet they wrote that you like and return the favor. While you’re at it, consider sending a note of thanks to everyone who retweeted you.

Do you have new followers? Spend some time getting acquainted with them by reviewing their profiles or visiting their websites. (It only takes a second or two.)

Is there an agent or editor on LinkedIn with whom you’d like to connect, but can’t because they are a third degree connection? Ask a friend to introduce you.

Did a colleague just publish a new book? Help her promote it by informing your friends and connections about it.

Socializing on social media involves these three steps: meet, connect, and repeat. You are constantly meeting new people, connecting with them, and then repeating the process with someone new.

Remember to be positive and open-minded and stick to neutral topics.

If you have an iPad, iPhone, laptop or Android, you can socialize online whenever you have some idle time. (If you don’t have idle time, then it’s important to schedule some in.)

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – June 8, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to this week’s Indie Author Update. Wow! There was a plethora of book marketing blog posts on the internet this past week. I’d like to point out David Gaughran’s post on how to sell books. As usual, he offers some real gems.

As always, I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Marketing Uncovered: How To Sell Books by David Gaughran: “Marketing is more complicated than ever, but the tools we have for reaching readers are fantastic these days, and the rewards for reaching the summit of Mount Discovery are simply immense. Even worth this long-ass intro I’m about to drop! Sometimes we forget. I hear people complaining that things are down across the board and Amazon is squeezing the margin out of everyone, or that the Golden Era is over.”

Hate Book Marketing? 4 Tips To Help You Change Your Mindset and Sell More Books  from Joanna Penn and Belinda Griffin: “It’s ridiculous, you’ve written an entire series of novels, you have a great flair for writing, but this tweet, this tiny message to the world… it’s impossible! You’re not alone. I’ve suffered from this myself and spoken to plenty of other writers who feel the same. You’re not crazy, or stupid, or anything else you may have called yourself. There is, in fact, a very reasonable explanation for your struggle.”

SEO for Authors – Part 1 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Dave Chesson: “Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is the art and science of convincing a search engine, like Google, to send people to your website, content, or product. As an author, why should you care?”

How to Network Better by Saying Less by Jane Friedman: “When I was growing up, my mother often repeated the adage “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” It’s rare that you hear that advice today (we live in very different times), but, for better or worse, I took it to heart and soon uncovered the strange power of silence. Far from preventing people from passing judgment on me, it did the opposite. By remaining quiet in a room full of people talking, and then offering a sharp observation, it increased my presence and influence. Sometimes people listen more carefully when you do finally speak, or they attribute meaning that isn’t there to acts of silence.”

Publishing on Medium…Can It Work for You? – BookWorks from BookWorks: “We wrote about publishing on Medium here in April 2016, when it was still finding its legs. Check out that post if you’re not familiar with Medium to understand its genesis. Since then it has grown and evolved, now offering monetization that was only in the works back then. In the interest of keeping tabs on developments, we set up a free account and receive a daily list of curated content based on the categories we selected. We watched Medium become a robust network of smart writers and experts on every imaginable subject.”

How To Strategically Build A Brand Experience By Guest by Charli Mills and from Rachel Thompson: “Before I rode off into the sunset to pursue literary art in 2012, I used to ride for an outfit, herding their brand. As the person in charge of the marketing communications department for a growing natural food enterprise, I multi-tasked in key areas. My team’s most important responsibility was to manage the organization’s brand experience. Like authors with multiple books, we owned multiple brands. We depended upon a customer base to interact with those brands to give them full expression.”

Quote of the Week

Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.


I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

 

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How I Accumulated 40,000 Twitter Followers

How I reached 40,000 followers on Twitter
I remember when I joined Twitter seven years ago. Within the first day, I had four followers, and I recall running out of my office and into the kitchen so I could tell my husband that four people were following me. “Me!” I said.

I was stoked.

I didn’t know back then that to gain followers you had to follow people, so I did nothing, aside from posting a few tweets every day.

Don’t Be a Twit

Then I did the worst thing possible. (I made other mistakes in those days but, hey, I was still learning.) I signed up for an application called TrueTwit. Basically, the application “verifies” that someone who follows you isn’t a bot or a spammer by making new followers type a captcha. If they don’t type the captcha, you can’t follow them back, assuming they’re worth following.

If someone locks down their account, preventing people from following, it’s their fault for being overly cautious. The result? Their account doesn’t grow. They are virtually turning their back to Twitter’s social experience and the opportunity to socialize with their readers and meet new readers as well as meet new colleagues.

When I used the application, I obviously didn’t know better. After a year or two, I might have had 100 followers. Then I read a radical suggestion. Someone recommended that anyone who used an app like TrueTwit should dump it immediately and start following 50 people a day.

I immediately dumped TrueTwit and started following my target demographic, authors.

By the end of the year, I gained about 5,000 followers, and my account grew from there to its present state of 40,000 followers.

So my first bit of advice is don’t use TrueTwit or any application that’s similar to it and if you want to have followers, you need to follow people. Actively start to follow 50 people a day. Starting now.

Unfollow Inactive Twitter Accounts

Not everyone you follow will follow you back. So after giving people a week or so to follow you back, you’ll need to unfollow them. Just say adios to them.

To unfollow these Twitter users, you’ll need to use an application such as Tweepi or ManageFlitter. I’ve used both apps, and I look them both. ManageFlitter also keeps track of inactive accounts (I believe Tweepi does too but I no longer use it) – those people who followed you but then stopped tweeting. I unfollow those accounts as well because I don’t want to tweet to inactive accounts.

ManageFlitter has quite a few awesome features. For example, it identifies bots and spam accounts, I profiled all of its features in a how-to post some time back. The instructions and screenshots haven’t changed, so I recommend that you visit it here.

[Read more…]