How Writers Can Improve their SEO without Pricey Experts

How Writers Can Improve Their SEO without Pricey ExpertsGoogle and Facebook are similar in one way; they frequently tweak their algorithms. It’s only Google that changes its algorithm for SEO.

And while Facebook announces its algorithm revisions without assigning names to the changed algorithms, Google does assign monikers to its changes.

In August 2012, Google introduced its mighty Pirate update, followed by one of the most famous updates in September 2014, Panda. You could practically hear SEO experts wail across the internet as they anguished over what the changes would mean for them and their clients’ websites.

[Read more…]

How to Market Your Books Like a Pro

Market Like a Pro by Frances CaballoDo you worry that you’ll either never have the time or the inclination to become the social media expert you aspire to be to successfully market your books?

Do you feel as though you’re so behind that you’ll never catch up?

Are you hoping privately that social media will just go away so you’ll never have to learn it?

Or do you believe that it’s useless to learn social media since it’s always changing, and you’ll always be behind?

Well, guess what? Social media isn’t going away. Yes, it will continue to evolve, but it’s here to stay. And that’s awesome because social media levels the marketing playing field between traditionally published authors and independently published authors.

Even though you’ll need to keep up with some of the changes over time, that’s no reason to despair. After all, all the changes won’t apply to your book marketing efforts.

[Read more…]

7 Reasons Why Twitter is Awesome for Writers

7 Reasons Why Twitter is Awesome for Writers by Frances CaballoEveryone familiar with me here on this blog already knows that Twitter is my absolute favorite social media network.

If I had to choose between Facebook and Twitter, Twitter easily would win the competition.

There’s a reason I’m a Twitter fangirl (woman). Twitter, more than any other social media network, has been extremely good to me.

How? Let me explain.

Shortly after joining Twitter, I discovered a Facebook expert from Malaysia who almost rivaled Mari Smith.

Well, no one can rival Mari’s success as the Facebook Queen but this person almost did. In fact, Mari would comment on her blog posts as well as tens of other ardent fans.

[Read more…]

AuthorRise Expands Features for Authors

AuthorRise Expands Features for Authors by Frances CaballoThere’s now one application that combines marketing tools, analytics and growth strategies and it’s from AuthorRise.

I first wrote about AuthorRise on Joel Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer. Since then, AuthorRise has revamped its website and offerings. Here’s the new version of the online app for writers.

AuthorRise Features

Let’s first take a look at this app’s features:

  • Analytics – AuthorRise provides analytics that will reveal which tweets trigger engagement among your readers and other followers. You can send your tweets from any Platform, even Twitter, and AuthorRise will still track their performance. Caveat: The only problem with this feature is that you will still need to check your Twitter Timeline to determine exactly which tweet did this. You could also simply refer to your Twitter analytics at

[Read more…]

Social Media for Authors Podcast: Twitter Tips You’re Going to Love

Social Media for Authors Podcast: Episode 18  Twitter tips you'll loveYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, Episode 18, written and copyrighted by Frances Caballo.

[smart_track_player url=”″ color=”d8570b” title=”Twitter Tips You’ll Love” artist=”Frances Caballo” ]

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about Twitter, hasn’t it? Well, since twitter is my favorite social media network and since the survey you filled out said you were highly interested in learning more about Twitter, I’m sharing some awesome Twitter tips today.

As usual, this week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome suggestions and, of course, I have your tip of the week.

Let’s start with your weekly tip.

Today were going to talk about Twubs. That’s right, Twubs. It seems that all the Twitter apps have these cute names like Twuffer, Pluggio, and Twitterific.

Once you can get past the name, you’re going to like this application.

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Answers to Authors’ Most Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for Authors by Frances CaballoWhen I teach at conferences or when I’m speaking with colleagues, I’m frequently asked certain questions about social media. So I thought it would be helpful if I answered on my blog today some of the most frequently asked questions I hear.


Which social media network should I start with?

That’s an excellent question. My response is typically a question: who is your audience? What are the ages of people in your that audience?

In other words, for whom are you writing?

Some authors will respond that their books are important to everyone and that anyone and everyone could read them.

But that’s not the case. Some readers love historical fiction, and others would rather read biographies.

You may be writing young adult, new adult, or middle-grade books. For those genres, you have very specific audiences.

Here’s another answer. I think every author should use Twitter. In my experience, Twitter opens doors and can help fuel sales.

[Read more…]

Authors: Are Your Mobile Ready?

2-16-15 Are You Mobile Ready?

I am teaching at the San Francisco Writers Conference today so I have a guest post for you from  Nick Rojas.

So, are you mobile ready?

As the world wide web becomes more mobile, developing a content strategy for marketing efforts should match.

Over a billion people are using mobile data for internet-related activitiesClick To Tweet including blogging, emailing and social media networking.

This trend towards mobile usage can be utilized in many different ways, but it’s important to understand how differently today’s consumers use their mobile devices compared to a desktop computer.

Understanding these dissimilarities can help authors to employ better campaigns and marketing strategies. [Read more…]

Friday Roundup: Resources for Indie Authors

10-24-14 Resources for Indie Authors

Every Friday I compile a list of online resources for Indie authors to help newly published writers market their books on the social web. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection.

Better Shares, More Engagement: The 4:1 Sharing System for ‪Social Media Content, Buffer Blog: When I went rock climbing for the first time, I had no idea what I was doing. My friends and I were complete newbies about ropes and rappelling and every other bit of jargon and technique that goes with climbing. We saw others doing it spectacularly well. We were thrilled at the thought of reaching the top of the climbing wall; we had no idea how to get there. I’d imagine that a social media marketing plan could feel the same way.

The Only Way to Build a Brand on Social Media is Through Trust by Ted Rubin: Whether you’re building your personal brand, your business brand or both, one thing remains true: You need content to help you build trust and followers.

Finding Your Purpose and Voice on Pinterest by Kim Vij:Why are you on Pinterest?  Can your readers and/or customers easily identify the purpose of your pinterest boards? Your Pinterest Boards should feel like a store front window for your brand. Does yours?  With over 1.5 Million on Pinterest followers at The Educators’ Spin On It we’re continually trying to ensure that we’re bringing to our amazing followers the content that encouraged them to click FOLLOW.  Here are a few steps to get you started.

3 Fatal Social-Media Traps (And How To Avoid Them) from Forbes: Social media is a sink hole. Sound familiar? A company can pour all its available manpower and time, yet still barely make a dent in its brand recognition, brand value and sales. There is a natural tendency here to make three critical mistakes. Almost every business makes them at one time or another. By examining them, we’ll also see what you can do better and how to avoid the traps…

The Complete A to Z Guide To Personal Branding [Infographic] from Lifehack: If you’re creating a personal brand it can be an exciting process with many benefits if you know what you’re doing. But as with most things, if done incorrectly, you may not only see no result at all, but also negative consequences. Lack of attention or traction to your personal brand can be fixed, but be careful not to gain a bad reputation. Remember, word-of-mouth travels fast, especially online.


Frances Candid Shot 12-5-13About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by Clicking Here. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

photo credit: mezone via photopin cc

34 Blogging Topics Just for Writers

Feeling overwhelmed by social media? Does your brain freeze when you consider all the options?

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Isn’t that what it all boils down to? Knowing where to post, what to post, and how to post?

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9-8-14 newest

As I was traveling to Atlanta recently, a writer about to publish her first book sat next to me on the shuttle to the airport. Naturally, she started talking to me about her new website and blog.

What should I blog about, she asked?

It’s a common question. When we publish our first book, we think we’ve said everything we can on the topic. Then we learn that we need an author website and blog. So we wonder, should I write about my cancer, my trip to the Bahamas or my garden?

It depends. If you wrote a gardening book, it would make sense to write about your garden. If you wrote a memoir about surviving cancer, then you might want to write about cancer treatments.

To help new and veteran bloggers who are Indie marketers, I created this list of potential blog topics for you.

Blogging Topics for Nonfiction Writers

  1. If you wrote a book about how to become a better leader/entrepreneur/business owner, write a series of blog posts that outline the success of a variety of well-known business leaders from Steve Jobs to Richard Branson. Analyze their success, trying to find common threads.
  1. Contact successful business people – even in your community – and ask them if you can interview them about steps that led to their success.
  1. Is your book about surviving cancer or living with diabetes or another chronic condition? Keep up with advances in treatment and profile people who are living well despite their diagnoses.
  1. Regardless of your niche – be it grammar or engineering – continue your education in your field, keeping up with the latest advancements. Then write about changes in your niche so that your readership can keep up with the latest trends as well. Include interviews and analyses. Write a post that lists other blogs writing about a new development or write a glossary of terms that your readers need to be familiar with.

Do all that you can to continue your learning curve so that you can simultaneously help your readers with their continued education on your niche.

Blogging Topics for Fiction Writers

If you write fiction, you will have fun exploring potential topics. Write about:

  1. The character you killed. Explain why you removed him/her from the story.
  2. The genesis of the story. How did you come up with your idea for your novel, novella or short story?
  3. How you determined your characters’ names.
  4. Your protagonist’s favorite meal, food, or flowers.
  5. Your first public reading. Were you nervous? Was it well attended?
  6. An alternative ending for the story that you considered. Ask for feedback from your readers.
  7. An obstacle you encountered while writing the book or story How did you overcome it? How did the obstacle affect the story itself?
  8. The parents of your characters if they didn’t figure in the story.
  9. An illness one of the characters suffered from. Why did you assign that condition to that character?
  10. A scene that you removed from the story. Explain why you deleted it.
  11. Why you chose a particular socio-economic class for your characters?
  12. Your writing process. What time of day do you write and what’s your routine?
  13. How old you were when you first began to write and what that felt like.
  14. Your favorite authors and why you love their books.
  15. Which author you would most like to emulate.
  16. Who has been your major supporter as a writer?
  17. How your love of reading grew into a love of writing.
  18. Other genres you dabble in, such as poetry. Don’t hesitate to publish some of your poems as part of a blog post.
  19. If you wrote a political novel and you have traveled to the country or area where your story takes place, share some of your photographs you took and write about your visit there. What did you learn during your trip and how did you apply that knowledge to your story?
  20. Write about your publishing process. Did you look for an agent? Did you create your cover? Was the self-publishing process arduous or did you have help? Do you have suggestions for your readers who might also be writers wanting to publishing someday?

Blogging Topics for Poets

Here are some ideas for poets who blog.

  1. Which poet or poets influenced you the most in your writing and why?
  2. Discuss your imagery. Help your readers (like me) to understand references that might otherwise be obscure.
  3. Are you participating in a Slam? Use a Camcorder to videotape it and use the video as your post.
  4. Host a contest by giving your readers a challenge. Give them four words to use in a poem and ask them to submit their entries. Judge their poems and award prizes.
  5.  Describe your experience at a poetry reading. In fact, you might also want to create a podcast of it and include it on your blog so your readers can hear your voice.
  6. Did Billy Collins recently visit your town? Write about your experience hearing him in person. What was he like? How did the crowd respond to him?
  7.  Write about your writing process. Do you write every morning? What’s your routine like?
  8. If you meditate, write about how mindfulness enhances your poetry.
  9. Write about the story behind the poem.
  10. If you also write short stories or novels, explain how poetry enhances your prose.

Finally, query your readers. Use Survey Monkey to find out what they want to read on your blog and then tailor your posts to their preferences.

I hope you will continue this list of blog topics for writers in the comments below.

New to blogging? Check out Blogging Just for Writers Blogging Just for Writers by Frances Caballo





Authors: Not Sure What to Tweet? Try These 44 Tweets Today by Frances Caballo, Author

About the Author: Frances 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 She’s written several books including The Author’s Guide to Goodreads, Avoid Social Media Time Suck, and Twitter Just for Writers, which is available for free here. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writer conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Ask Frances to prepare a social media audit for you.


Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web


4 Sure-Fire Steps to Being Authentic on Social Media

4-7-14 eyeToday I’m going to tackle an issue I’ve never discussed on my blog: being authentic on social media. This issue has weighed on me in recent months.

As we all rush to social media to build our marketing platforms, spread the news about our books and, hopefully, sell books, are we proceeding in a direction that reflects us as authentically as possible or do we sometimes sacrifice authenticity to promulgate our messages and sell more books?

Discussions on social media occur at lightning speed. Today, a viral video spreads quicker than a winter flu virus. News about an earthquake breaks on Twitter before traditional media has a chance to report it. Would the Arab Spring – the revolutionary wave of protests that began on December 18, 2010 in Egypt – have happened without Twitter?

As social media tools become widespread – Facebook now has well over 1 billion users – they are increasingly being used to support revolutions, propose marriage, announce a pregnancy, share feelings about the death of a relative, express pride about promotions, and notify friends of an out-of-state move. Platforms such as Facebook are especially useful at helping former neighbors, high school pals or college classmates reunite, even if it’s a virtual connection.

Can you imagine life without social media?

Writers, Authenticity and Social Media

As writers, we use social media to announce the publication of new books and new blog posts as well as book readings, signings and workshops we plan. How well do we balance news about ourselves with news about other writers and even our readers?

Do we adhere to the 80/20 rule (80% of the time we promote others; 20% of the time we can promote ourselves and our books)? Should we be adhering instead to a 90/10 rule (90% of the time, we promote others; 10% of the time we promote ourselves and our books)? Guy Kawasaki thinks it’s time to start talking less, and he may be right.

As we plan our Facebook status updates, tweets, shares and posts, are we taking time to listen to what our readers say or our blog subscribers think? Do we survey our blog readers for their input? Or do we spend so much time “talking” on social media and on our blogs that we forget to stop and just listen?

In some ways, social media can fuel our own narcissism. There are times when we disseminate too many messages about ourselves and not enough messages about our colleagues, Tweeps, competitors, editors, and friends. Right? I know that I’m guilty of this. In an effort to sell more books, do we oversell ourselves?

How Authentic Are You on Social Media?

What is authenticity in social media and is it achievable? It can be difficult to define authenticity. The dictionary defines it as “the quality of being authentic.” Authentic is defined as being “of undisputed origin; genuine.”

I like that definition. So, are we always genuine when we post information on social media?

For example, let’s say that I do not read erotica or romance novels even though I believe they are worthwhile genres. Would it be inauthentic of me to follow erotica and romance novel writers? Would it be disingenuous of me to retweet writers of those genres, or would it be open-minded of me to do so?

I think some would say that I’m being open-minded by following writers of genres I haven’t yet read. Others might disagree. This is what I think: It would be inauthentic of me to not include genre authors precisely because I believe that genre fiction serves an important role in our reading culture.

Let’s say that a friend doesn’t like genre fiction, doesn’t support it, and refuses to follow authors of genre. If his feelings are that strong, then it would be inauthentic of him to follow genre authors just for the goal of increasing a fan or follower count.

And that’s the other piece of authenticity in social media. How many of us consciously decide which users on Twitter best match our interests? Do we blindly follow anyone because we’re trying to reach the holy grail of 40,000 followers? Or, are we more precise in who we follow?

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Danish Lord Polonius said to his son, “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Are we true to ourselves? If our answer is yes, then it must also be true that we are being authentic in our approach to social media for how we can be true to ourselves without being authentic in every way we interact with others.

4 Sure-Fire Steps to Being Authentic

  1. Only say on social media what you would tell someone if she were sitting next to you.
  2. Review your posting schedule and determine if you are following the 80/20 rule. Is it time to adjust your posts to the 90/10 rule?
  3. Make a commitment to listen more to what others are saying.
  4. Review your process for following Twitter users.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

Photo Credit: PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE via photopin cc

Avoid Social Media Time SuckAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. 

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web