A friend recently asked me if I make any money when I blog. The answer: Nope. Which means I’m probably doing it wrong.
Instead my goal is to create something of an online presence and establish some credibility among readers. Then when I finally get something out there you’ll be just as excited as I am to get it into your hands!
The world of writing is an evolving place. The internet allows us to interact with both strangers and people we haven’t seen in 20 years. From Twitter to Facebook to blogging to Instagram–it’s really cool to see what writers can do with it.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about using Twitter and Facebook specifically.
It takes some finesse to promote your work on Twitter. Nothing gets you off my list of people I’m following faster than nothing but shameless self-promotion.
I’m all for self-promotion. I firmly believe that if you don’t believe in your work then why the heck should I care? But give me something more to work with than scheduled tweets about your book I’ve never heard of.
Author Charlie Holmberg posts funny things that occur to her throughout the day. Like realizing one day that she wasn’t wearing mascara so she could rub her itchy eye like a man. Small, simple, funny. It wasn’t about her books, which in its own paradoxical way makes me take notice when she does talk about her books.
Author Tali Nay is another example of this. Her stuff is retweetable. It’s funny and I assume other writers can relate the way I do. I don’t hesitate to click the retweet button because she’s done the hard work of coming up with something clever.
Shannon Hale gets full blown hashtags and discussions going. She discusses relevant topics like: Why we limit what boys read and how to change that. I have boys and I write stories. This makes me question the things I may or may not be doing to encourage their love for reading.
The point is each of these writers has something to offer Twitter beyond just promoting their books. This winds up being a far more effective form of self-promotion than talking about what they want you to buy. Not that promoting their books is bad. It’s just such a small part of their Twitter presence. It’s refreshing and it makes me want to promote for them. Like in a blog post or something!
Obviously this allows me to reach my own circle of family and friends. Which is cool. My high school English teacher who haven’t seen in years can read my current work. Facebook allows me to share my blog posts with her and other people I care about.
And while Facebook is a much more personal medium than twitter, there’s still room to reach strangers and expand your circle of influence.
I’m currently following a release party on Facebook for a new book called Eerie by CM McCoy. I’ve been watching this process closely, curious how this writer who lives tucked away in Alaska will promote her book.
It’s been really fun! Her release party is full of giveaways and sneak peeks at her book. I haven’t read Eerie yet (it comes out Dec. 15th!), but I did preorder it which is an unusual thing for me. Clearly this party has been an effective way to draw me in.
Also, can we just acknowledge for a second how ingenious an online party is? Nobody can see you stalking the feed when you don’t feel like interacting. On the other hand you can take the time to form witty remarks so you come off sounding half-way intelligent. It’s a pretty clever set up in my opinion.
So no, I don’t get paid to blog. But I hope I’m creating a relevant online presence. And I hope it pays off indirectly when I finally release my work out into the world!