Another blogger asked me an interesting question ”Which social media do I find to be the most valuable?” The answer to this requires a heavy load of text. Plus, I figured everyone could benefit from it!
I never talked to you about building an author platform and I think this is just the right time!
Here are the six main social media that I use:
If you’re reading this, you probably know a lot about WordPress. It’s a site which makes blogging easy. But really, you can use any blogging site to build your author platform – what matters is that you have a blog. And regularly update it, may it be once a week, or thrice a day! Just don’t do like I did: I left for months before coming back. Fortunately, my followers were still there and understanding! Allelujah!
A blog is useful in your marketing plan because: 1-It costs nothing.
2- People are actually interested in what you have to say.
3- It helps you connect with your readers. Let’s say you’re writing fantasy, like me, well, by adding the ”fantasy” tag to your blog posts, it will attract fantasy readers. If they enjoy spending time on your blog (please, try to make it appealing), they’ll follow you. The more followers, the more chances you have of selling books. But really, the basic point here is to connect with them, know what they like, and offer them incentives or a glance at what you write.
Also, it lets you know that you’re not alone on your writing journey, and this, I think, is worth the hassle of keeping a blog. Regularly, remember.
Oh, I almost forgot: blogging enables you to get in touch with other authors, just like you! You can discuss, share tips, and all the good stuff. You can even help each other out.
In my opinion, this is the best social media tool there is.
I’m not a huge fan of Twitter, but I’m learning to like it. It has its benefits. In less than 140 characters, you need to say something valuable. I use it primarily to let my followers know what I’m up to with my stories and novel, and entertain them. It can also be useful to link them to your blog posts because if they like what they see, you’ve got another blogger with you! At least, that’s what I do.
I try not to spam my followers with ads for my stories; I’m more the heart-felt type, so I’ll just pour my ideas out and ask for people’s opinions, and try to connect with them mostly.
Because seriously, who likes authors who keep sending automatic Tweets about their books in CAPITAL LETTERS? No fun.
Believe it or not, I’ve got more followers on Twitter than on WordPress. However, I’d say these two go hand-in-hand in terms of ”connecting with your readership”. 🙂 On one (the blog), you can post long messages and incentives while on the other (Twitter) you can directly jump into a conversation with them and let them know right on the spot how it’s going. It’s a pretty easy tool too.
Facebook? Not so much for me. I never liked it nor saw its purpose. It’s just voyeurism to me. Oh well… I try and try to get people over there, but it’s not working so well. It looks like it hates me! Haha.
Anyways, it could be a good tool for the right person. There are ads that you can buy, you can get a Facebook author page and post daily information about the coming of your book, and such. Plus, you get a look inside your potential readers’ heads through their comments. When they comment, that is.
I’ll still be trying to revive my author page, but if you can make it work for you, awesome!
It’s just not my first choice (it’s actually pretty low in the list…).
P.S.: For some authors I know, Facebook works really well to share the links to their books, etc. It’s not because it doesn’t work for me that it won’t work for you.
All I have to say is: try it out. If after a few months, it doesn’t work, there are two reasons: it may not be for you or you’re doing something wrong.
Ah, Pinterest. My mom’s Website. She’s always surfing on it, which is a good thing because it proves how much people love the site! And if people do… you have to go where they are.
Pinterest is like a cardboard where you can ”pin” images and images with text that you love and for others to find. This being said, it’s quite useful to us, authors. But how? Simple: you create boards, let’s say ”Fantasy”, then you look up the words ”Fantasy” or ”Writing fantasy”, then you pin the results you find interesting into the board you just created!
Okay, it doesn’t allow much interaction with your readers, BUT it gives them tips and shows them you’re human too. That you like the same things as they do. You can also download the little ”Pinterest Toolbar” (sorry I don’t know much about it…) in order to pin stuff you find on the Internet. You can even pin your own blog posts (which I’ll learn to do)! Isn’t that amazing?
I’ll be frank with you. The first time around, I didn’t get Pinterest. I let my account die… But now I figured it’s growing in popularity, and if I want readers, I have to go and meet with them where they are now. Plus, I’m starting to find useful tips around here. :O
It’s a good site to experiment with and find helpful writing tips.
I love Goodreads! It’s two things at once: one, you have a reviewing site and virtual bookshelves, which is fantastic; two, there’s a free program for authors where you get to upgrade your account to an author one – you can thus fill in your author bio, chat with readers (actual readers!), share excerpts of your writing for them to get a taste of what you do, plan giveaways, and other cool stuff I am still exploring!
Sincerely, if you’re an author and you’re not on Goodreads, go make an account! Now!
P.S.: You can make a basic account and post excerpts of your writing, explaining in your bio that you are working on the first or umpteenth draft; this’ll gain you exposure and make it easier for you to find readers (they’ll already be there as your friends on Goodreads) once you upgrade (it’s free, remember?) to an author account.
It’s really worth it!
I have to tell you the hard truth: invest in a Website. It’s worth it. It might not be millions, but the investment will prove that you’re not an amateur. Because yes, people judge others by how they look (most of the time). If you go with free Website builders such as Wix, fine. But know that people will be think, for the most part, that you don’t even believe in your books enough to give them the proper Website they need.
Money is terrible. I know. But trust me on this one, you’ll look much more professional with a Website available. When pitching to agents or book bloggers, be aware that they’ll take you more seriously with a professional Website.
Of course, you can do well with a free service too… but I think you can never do ”great”. And great is what you want to achieve, right?
P.S.: It doesn’t even have to cost a lot of money. I looked for hours for the cheapest way to get a good-looking Website that suited my fancies… I found GoDaddy for the domain name and BlueHost as a hosting server. My package included a WordPress Website builder. It’s awesome.
Oh, also: I am NOT affiliated with them. These are just what I use, for real.
In conclusion, when you’re starting to build your author platform, I recommend using a blog (it doesn’t matter which service), Twitter, Goodreads, and a Website. It would also be a good idea to experiment with Pinterest. Remember, you’re early in the development, so it doesn’t matter much if you mess up with a button or not.
If you have questions, please feel free to ask me in the comments below!
I hope this has been helpful. 🙂