You won’t have to follow my blog long before you figure out that I am technologically-challenged. As an aspiring writer, I read lots of advice. It seems to say that I need to be savvy when it comes to social media. Technology does not come naturally for me and, since there are no five-year-olds in my household to instruct me, I continue to muddle along. Perhaps you find yourself in the same boat.
Twitter is my current challenge. I set up my Twitter account last August. I wanted on Twitter to build my blog following and my “platform.” Of course, that hasn’t worked out too well because I was afraid to Tweet. In fact, I sent out my first Tweet about 12 hours ago, and I have my first follower! So far, so good. I might give it another go tomorrow.
“They” say I need to use hashtags to attract people who are interested in the things in which I’m interested. I’m of the generation that still calls the hashtag symbol “the pound key.” Actually, I still think of it as the symbol for number. It only became “the pound key” with the advent of push-button phone. Now I’m really showing my age!
“They” say I need to engage with people. Not my comfort zone! I just want to sit at my computer and write books, but that’s not the way the world of writing books works now.
“They” say I need to set aside time each day to work on Twitter until I get comfortable with it. Great! I have to add one more thing to my daily schedule! My stress level rises just thinking about it.
“They” say I need to post new Tweets throughout the day — and Tweet other people’s articles. This sounds like a full-time job to me — and you know from my latest blog that I have limited energy.
“They” say I need to hire a social media strategist, but I can’t afford to do that right now.
“They” have no idea how taxing all this social media stuff is for me!
On the bright side, I am getting more comfortable with my blog. My current plan/goal is to blog on Mondays and Fridays. I have 23 followers, and you can’t imagine how thankful I am for each and every one. Other bloggers might laugh at my follower count, but it truly amazes me that even 23 people are interested in what I have to say about my writing journey.
I am addicted to Pinterest. I got on Pinterest for the same reasons I created a Twitter account. I have five Pinterest boards related to my writing including The Writer’s Life, Novel in Progress- The Spanish Coin, Janet’s Writing Blog, Blue Ridge Mountains, and Great Smoky Mountains; however, I find myself spending more time looking for recipes than for writing pins. I’m still learning how to use Pinterest to my best benefit as a writer. I invite you to follow me or my boards you find of interest at http://www.pinterest.com/janet5049.
I reluctantly got on Facebook after feeling like I was missing out on some local happenings, but I soon took the plunge and set up a second Facebook page for Janet Morrison, Writer. When I was feverishly visiting independent bookstores and libraries to publicize after the release of my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, it was easy to post pictures and write posts on Facebook about those endeavors. I must admit, though, that I have neglected the Janet Morrison, Writer Facebook page since that flurry of activity. Putting more effort into that page is on my to-do list.
It seems to me that LinkedIn is more beneficial to someone who is either looking for a job or seeking to network with others in their field in order to move up the corporate ladder. It just does not appeal to me as a way to further my writing. Maybe I’ll see it differently later in my journey.
Google+ and Instagram
During my recent illness flare, I was invited to join Google+. I was told last week that Instagram is easier than Facebook. Looking into both of these platforms is on my ever-growing to-do list.
My conclusions after trying to educate myself about social media are as follows:
1. I can’t possibly use all social media platforms;
2. I don’t need to use all social media platforms;
3. There are social media platforms out there that I haven’t heard of;
4. There will always be new social media platforms introduced for me to consider, so I will forever be playing catch up;
5. I should find the social media platforms that I’m comfortable with and that best meet my needs and concentrate my efforts there; and
6. After accomplishing #5 (that’s “number 5”) I can get back to my writing — which was the point in all this to begin with!
4 thoughts on “Sorting out social media”
Hi Janet. I know exactly how you feel. SM takes so much time -away from writing but it is a necessary evil. I found you because I recently did an interview with David. I saw your picture and I clicked on it. Twitter is a nightmare and I left it alone for a long time. Eventually I got followers because all of my posts go there. Then I found the best thing to do is do a search on categories I liked that were appropriate for the subject Ii write about -which is prisons – and I am also writing a book so I follow authors and book sites. I also write music ( David played one of my piano pieces at the end of our interview. ) If you follow someone on twitter they usually follow back but I make sure to try to Retweet something of theirs and later look to see if they said anything about it and tweet back a thank you. I’m with you on the hash tags. I’m not really very good at that. Slowly I’ve gotten up to about 550 followers. A lot of people but followers to look good to get started. I do occasionallyfind good articles.
Facebook. Personal pages can get trite – but then you can create a”page you manage” . That one matters. Use that as an author platform. I use that to post my blog posts, so there is a lot of my book info there. Good articles I find about my subject matter I post there. You can get followers by spending $5 a day to promote your page even one day or “boost” a single post for $5 day. It really works. I send msgs of thanks to anyone and invite them back. There are a lot of groups – author groups too you can join and you can post your posts on many them.
I send my posts to Pinterest and sometimes someone comes to my blog but the hard part with them is people repin things but I don’t know how much they read them. Same with Google plus.
The absolute best place to use is Stumble Upon. My blog hits went way way up and increasing, and no I don’t spend time following people there.. I just post my things. A year and a half later they are still stumbling. Sometimes I get no stumbles but usually it’s up to 50-60 times but I’ve also have 500 toto 6000. Sometimes it just catches on. remember, this referrals aren’t WP bloggers. So you rarely get likes or comments from them – but if you are writing you want to get the word out not chat with everyone.
What I’m doing now is developing an email list. I write my first newsletter and put David’s interview in it. I want to lecture on the prison industry and want to do more online media shows. Most books are sold online. I just signed up for Mailchimp but I haven’t used it yet.
I hope this helps. I use fb and twitter. The rest I post to but don’t spend time at. That alone takes too much time.
Take care !
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Where are your buttons for people to post this to their sm? And widgets for links and your book and archives and such?
Oops -found them!
Thank you so much for your detailed reply to my blog post. Sounds like you’re way ahead of me, yet still learning your way around social media. You’ve given me some good information that I’ll follow up on. I hadn’t even heard of Stumble Upon! I’ll definitely look into that.
I didn’t get my social media buttons on my blog site until about 24 hours ago. I had a time getting that set up. Like I said, I am really challenged when it comes to technology. I never got the one for Facebook on there. I haven’t been able to figure out how to get the button to take someone to my Janet Morrison, Writer FB page instead of to my personal FB page. I tried repeatedly last night but never got that figured out.
I sent out four Tweets today! All of them were thing I picked up on other writer’s sites. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try to Tweet something that’s original with me. Thank you for the recommendation to search for things pertinent to my area of writing interest — historical fiction. I’ll give that a go tomorrow, too.
I listened to most of your interview about prisons on David’s site, but haven’t gotten back to finish it. I love your passion on the subject. There is so much wrong with the justice system in the US. I’ll definitely listen till the end to hear your piano piece. (Adding that to tomorrow’s to-do list.)
Funny you should mention that you’ve started writing your first newsletter. I have that very task on my to-do list. It just keeps getting moved from one day to the next as other things eat up my time. I haven’t signed up for Mailchimp yet, but that seems to be the way to go based on what I’ve read.
I am glad you reached out to me. I think we have a lot in common as we go down this writing road. You have helped me more than you know this evening. I hope I’ll be able to help you, too, after I catch up!
Take care, and let’s keep in touch!