As writers and bloggers, it’s imperative to stay in touch—to acquire followers, visitors, friends. Sure, there’s a sense of satisfaction in writing for oneself—the process, the completion—but [personally] I’d like to know that people are reviewing what I’m writing and posting. As such, social media is our best friend . . . most of the time. <he-he>
First and foremost, social media puts our stuff out there in the “real” world. Folks can read it, comment on it, like it. The one problem? There are so many platforms! I myself can barely keep up with the basics—the oldies but goodies—like Facebook and Twitter. I’m particularly fond of Facebook because not only do I have my personal page, I have an author page. I belong to several writing communities, which help me network and “advertise” my books (as well as encourage and back fellow writers and bloggers).
There’s an amazing amount of support out there. Other useful platforms include YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr. (We’re talking “free advertising” as opposed to paying someone to advertise and network for us.) Each one will have pros and cons; you determine which will work best for you and begin building that audience and driving traffic.
Brand yourself. Tell the social media world who you are, what makes you different, why they should read/follow you. Garner interest. Having a presence is really rather necessary in this day and age, and social media platforms can serve as great promotional tools. And the more of an audience (followers) you develop, the better you look to potential agents and publishers; they love numbers (but, then, so do we).
Part of the presence is your integrity. Ensure your work is typo-free and follows grammar and punctuation basics—depending on what you’re writing, of course (perhaps you’re into poetry or more eclectic stuff). Be sincere and non-critical, unless you’re a reviewer but, even then, you want to offer constructive criticism.
Give thought to your About page, your bio . . . you. Be honest. Be creative, funny, intriguing—whatever you believe reflects who you are and what you’re about. Do keep it short and sweet, though; you want to maintain (pique) interest, not lose it.
Be consistent, too. If you decide to engage several platforms, ensure the content is similar across the board: remember your brand, your identity. You want it to be uniform, to reflect who and what you are. And speaking of consistency, make sure you use those platforms regularly—remember “integrity”. Consistency = constancy. Ensure your audience can depend on you to be there regularly.
Something else to consider: how about streaming live? If it fits your purpose (and personality), go for it.
Final food for thought: your post/article or story/book may be completed. But that’s not “the end”. Well, it could be. You could simply leave it and hope people find it and read it. And maybe writing isn’t about sales for you (though, to be perfectly frank, I’d love to make some serious $$$ from my writing), but chances are you want to be read and recognized. So, being a blogger/author doesn’t stop there; it means being a promoter and networker, and collaborator too. We wear many hats . . . and that can prove challenging . . . but it can also be fun.