Writing Tips #16 The Secrets of Social Media – Everything A Writer Should Know

secrets of social media for writers

I read recently (I forget where – and I have already scalded myself for not saving the link) that every aspiring writer should have an electronic platform namely, a social media presence.

What that media presence is, and how effective it is has until recently seemed to me, to be knowledge only for the elite and all powerful superb loggers, and not something I was that bothered about until I read about the importance of having an electronic platform. So I set about doing some research on how to boost traffic and network better.

I am guessing that most aspiring authors, myself included, started a blog to do one or more of the following:

a) Network, meet other aspiring writers and build contacts and if your lucky friendships

b) If and when you are brave enough to post work, build some kind of appreciative base of friends, acquaintances, people (fans?!) who don’t think your utterly useless (like my own brain does).

c) Learn from, and share your own learning on the writing process (this one is important to me)

d) Write more

e) Procrastinate writing blogs instead of stories, and claim it’s writing (I do this, it counts in my head and somehow gets me closer to finishing my novel)

If we are honest, B – is probably the one lots of us secretly hope for? I do, not ashamed to admit it. I am  a writer, and although I write because my brain gives me no other option (characters scream at me if I don’t). I dream of one day  selling thousands of books. This means having people that God forbid, actually read my work! But what better place to do that, or at least start that conversation than on social media.

But how do you actually build a follower base? Well, I can’t claim to have an extraordinarily large base yet, but it is growing, and there are a few things in particular I have done that have helped. So I thought I would share the nuggets I have found with you so far.

Here is an infographic that gives you some ‘headline grabbing’ (see what I did there!) stats on blogging

blogging infograph

Twitter

Thanks to Norah Colvin for introducing me to some writing Hash Tags on Twitter.

I saw a 400% increase in twitter followers in 10-11 days using these hashtags so if you want traffic use them!

Click #MondayBlogs to links to their twitter account. If you post on Mondays tweet your post with the hashtag #MondayBlogs. If you tweet and retweet others, trust me when I tell you you will get a ton of followers – take a phone charger to work your phone battery will die! Posts must have been posted on a Monday.

#SundayBlogShare Same thing – Links to the account but use the hashtag on a Sunday and tweet and RT others, you can tweet anything you like from your blog though.

#ArchiveDay not quite sure who created this one, but same thing – tweet any post from your archives on a Saturday, tweet and RT others.

#wwwblogs This ones for ladies (sorry guys) same principles – but on a Wednesday

I read an interesting post the other day on Twitter Tips there are 50 things to do, or not to do on twitter, some basic but others actually quite interesting.

The other point to note is that when someone follows me now, I respond thanking them and pointing them in the direction of my website. This has helped a lot, and I have connected with lots more writers, and even started to make friends with fellow writers.

Pinterest

I’ve written about the benefits of Pinterest before here. Mandy Wallace who I have also talked about before here has mastered Pinterest for writers. She now has thousands of re-pins and refers from Pinterest to her website everyday. Mandy has written an excellent tutorial about how you can get your posts to go viral like hers here.

Mandy discusses things like, the size and importance of the size of photos you put on your blog posts, the importance of having the right headlines and having good images, and ensuring you post them to Pinterest.

I have also read recently that to get featured on Pinterest there are a few key things you can do – like ordering your boards to reflect who you are, titling your boards something relevant to the content and similarly having a reflective picture of the content. I had never been that bothered about being featured on Pinterest, I just used it for inspiration and completely selfishly just pinning things I thought were interesting or useful. Despite that, I was actually featured for a few days – my writing board – which you can find here. Although quite why I was featured, still remains a mystery, but I have to say if you are interested in increasing traffic it is a really good way to do it, my followers on there exploded over night. But I do think with most of these ‘being featured’ like on freshly pressed, it’s mostly a matter of luck.

I haven’t seen much luck with Pinterest in terms of referrals or viral posts, so I am still looking for more hints and tips to share.

Facebook

This is an obvious one. I haven’t ever posted my articles to Facebook before, partly because I blog under a pseudonym and had previously wanted to remain anonymous. I posted my interview with James Howell on the 13th, and I got 44 refers just from that one post on Facebook. I don’t know what everyone else finds when you post your blogs to Facebook? But I would be interested to know what you find on traffic from facebook?

Google Plus

Google-Plus-Logo

Google plus is completely new to me. It wasn’t until I spoke to my friend who works in marketing that I really understood what it was. It’s a new platform that is similar to Facebook. But it is quickly becoming THE platform in social media. The biggest reason for it’s success is what it can offer you. Your google plus account directly affects your visibility on google. The better more prolific your google plus account is, the more searchable and visible you are on google searches… ideal for any writer. I have only just signed up for an account so I am not sure theres much I can offer by way of intelligence other than to suggest its a ruddy good idea for networking. There are dozens of communities and groups on google plus dedicated to writers, so it is already proving to boost networking.

Headlines

In Mandy’s post there are some links to a post about headline grabbing titles which I have now added to the Free Resources Page, alongside Jon Morrow’s website where you can download his headline hacks article, which is fantastic. It’s a complete tutorial all about how to create the perfect headline to grab readers attention. I have to say, it is very interesting how many more clicks an refers they suggest you can get just by changing the title of your posts. I’ve noticed a small increase, but as yet, nothing major.

Interviews and Guest Posts

It’s fairly common knowledge that guest posts and Interviews give your blog credibility. They show an ability to network, and sharing of expertise knowledge. I was skeptical as to whether and actually, why, interviews and guest posts had such an impact. But after posting the interview with Howell, I got the most hits in one day I had ever received – so it obviously works. I guess the importance here is to choose your guests wisely and your interviews more wisely in order to keep your credibility and boost your networks.

Timing is Everything

Now, if you’re anything like me, then you post when you post, and you tweet when you tweet. I have a full time job, and child, so I don’t have the luxury of much free time to do any of the things I am suggesting. But timing is another really important aspect of social media. There are key times in the day for each social media platform. It’s not something I had thought about until I found the infographic below. But I guess it makes sense. If you want to post at the ideal time for the social media site of your choice, use the below timings for your benefit.

social media timing

 Imagery

Imagery is essential for any writer, so why should it be any different for blog posts, they are of course ‘writing’. Images for writers though can be hard to find, particularly free ones that you can manipulate to your hearts content, in the knowledge you aren’t breaking any copyright laws. Creative Commons is excellent for this. Just go to the explore section and choose where you want to search. I use it ALL the time. I am drawing together a list of image databases which I will put in the free resources section once it is complete.

That’s it for now, but I will be sure to share any other intelligence I glean 🙂

5 comments

  1. This is an interesting article, Sacha, full of lots of information to keep me going for a while. Thanks for linking back to my blog. Interesting though, that WordPress didn’t automatically let me know, which I thought was meant to happen.
    I wasn’t aware, or have forgotten, that posts for #Mondayblogs had to be posted on Monday. I thought they could be posted at any time, even old posts, as long as they weren’t pushing sales. I try to promote most of my favourite bloggers on Mondays, as many as I can. I rarely post on Mondays.
    The infographic of statistics is interesting. While the recommendation is to post every day, as a reader I prefer it when bloggers post once or twice a week at the most. There are too many bloggers that I like to follow that to read a post every day would be just too time consuming. If they post every day, I rarely read everything they post, and sometimes stop reading altogether. But I’m just one reader and maybe others are happy to read more, or maybe there are different readers who read on different days. I usually blog twice a week myself. To do more that than would take me away from my other work and would give me less time to read and comment on others’ blogs. For me the whole purpose is to communicate. If someone comments on my blog, I like to comment on theirs. I have begun keeping a record of comments made and comments received so that I can prioritize my reading and commenting.
    I was also interested in the recommended length as I think closer to the 1000 word mark suits me as a reader better. i don’t like reading posts that seem to have a lot of fluff rather than good content. I sometimes ‘skip’ through, or don’t complete reading, longer posts. I try to be mindful of that myself when I am writing. Everyone’s time is limited. But these are just my perspectives as one reader and writer.
    As for all the other social media, I haven’t quite figured them out. I am learning slowly. Most of my conversations are conducted on blogs, mine or others’. Some good conversations can get going on Twitter, but the time differences can be a bit prohibitive. Which brings me back to the best times for posting. The recommended times probably need to be reinterpreted by me in the Antipodes.
    As I said, there is a lot in this post for me to come back to again and learn more.
    Thank you for sharing so generously. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Norah, I love how detailed your comments are. I am glad you liked the post. 🙂 That means a lot. I have actually just assumed that the Monday blogs are for ones blogged on Monday, but I think that is probably right. Although to be fair, I completely agree with you, I love to promote bloggers I like, the only thing I have seen that the MondayBlogs hashtag organisers get annoyed about, are authors promoting their own books. I completely agree about only posting once or twice a week. I don’t like it when I get posts more often than that in my inbox makes it too full! and I have unfollowed people over it too. I confess to posting more than that – but only because I do the ‘writespirations’ which are just picture inspirations not actual posts, so they are kind of take them or leave them. I agree though, I tend to try an comment on peoples posts who comment on mine, and also on those who I really enjoy but there are so many that its really hard to keep up and keep my own blog updated! I think the times relate to when is best overall. i.e. if it was 6-8pm then it would be 6-8pm everywhere, so 6-8 in oz but obviously that would be oz people tweeting at that time, so I guess it depends who your target audience is. Anyway, really glad you enjoyed the post makes my day when people feel like that 😀 x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad I made your day! 🙂
        Back to the #Mondayblogs: I think the post can be published whenever, the hashtag is just to be used on Mondays. However since my Monday finishes before Monday for a lot of others around the world, I’ll often look on Tuesdays and RT then! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Really interesting and useful post, thanks 🙂 Glad you’ve discovered the hashtags – Monday Blogs made my blogs take off! @prnancarrow did a good post a while back about attention grabbing headlines – looking at your titles you might have either read it or don’t need it, but if not I’ll look it out for you (remind me in a tweet if I forget!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Terry, thanks so much for the compliment. The Hash Tags are awesome 🙂 Monday is crazy now my phone battery dies by 11am!! Have to take a charger to work. I will have a look at @prnancarrow then. I have read someone’s work, can’t remember who Jon possibly but anyway they wrote 52 headline hacks which I reckon had a similar basis and I’ve been trying to follow a similar format ever since. Thanks so much for the offer I shall certainly take you up on it 🙂 you have SO many followers – how long did it take to get them? Was it an explosion over night? Or time?

      Like

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