Certain social media platforms continue to be the bane of my existence. My February 21 blog post was 5 things I learned about Social Media this weekend. I continue to learn things. Some are more useful than others. Here are 11 things I’ve learned about social media since that earlier blog post.
The first word in my blog post title is the most important word, as far as Google is concerned. (“11” probably isn’t the best choice, although I’ve read that it’s better than using “10.”)
I need to use long-tail keywords in my blog post title, within the post, and also in subheadings. (I had to Google “long-tail keywords.”)
Long-tail keywords are a targeted search phrase of three or more words. An example is “How to write a” or “How to get to.” These are the type of things that will bring your post up on page one of a Google search. Most people don’t move on to page two. (Since I’m still learning the craft of writing, I can’t very well title a blog post, “How to Write. . .” anything.)
For $9.99 per month I can pay Alexa.com (an Amazon company) to tell me how people are finding my website and blog. That’s not in my budget. (I think I’ll just keep relying on WordPress analytics.)
The “block” feature on Twitter comes in handy when creepy-sounding people follow me. (I think I’ve blocked three people so far.)
One of those social media intricacies is “avatar.” Why can’t we just call our ideal reader an ideal reader? There is too much terminology springing from social media. (Yes, I am officially too old to be using this stuff!)
With a free account, Commun.it will send out automatic weekly “Thanks for following me” Tweets; however, those Tweets include a flashy advertisement for Commun.it. That was embarrassing! This seemed to continue even after I went into the website and deactivated this feature which I admit I should have be aware of when I signed up. In order to prevent the ads, you have to upgrade to a business account, which is pricey for someone in my situation. I’m still trying to determine how to best manage social media.
Quora.com isn’t working out for me so far. Since I majored in political science in college, the site automatically sends me government questions. Since it has been 40 years since I was in a political science class and since my interests lie more in the realm of the craft of writing today, I wish they’d send me questions (and answers) about writing.
A few of my pins on my “Novel in Progress: The Spanish Coin” board on Pinterest have been repinned by others, which is encouraging. (I hope they remember me when my novel gets published!)
I read that the best times to Tweet are Monday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Reading this on a Thursday night was not as helpful as it would have been on Monday morning. (It seems like this recommendation would depend on where in the world you live, but what do I know?)
(And this is a constant) The more time I have to spend learning the intricacies of social media, the less time I have to read good books and work on my writing. (Actually, I learned this before February 21, but it deserves to be repeated.)
Until my next blog post
I hope you have a good book to read. (I just finished reading The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, by Jennifer Ryan, and I highly recommend it!)
If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.
If you like my blog, please share it on social media by using the icons below. I would appreciate it.
A blogging tip I read last year was that a blog post titled “11 Things. . .” will attract more readers than one whose title starts with “10 Things. . .” so that’s what I’ve started doing. I’ve been writing about 11 things I’ve learned about a different subject each month.
I worked on my list of 11 things I’ve learned about writing a couple of months ago. I easily came up with nine things. I forgot to look at that list again until last night. My sister asked me what my blog post was going to be about. When I told her it was supposed to be 11 things I’ve learned about writing but I only had nine things on my list, she said, “I guess you have two more things to learn about writing!” We laughed, and I knew I had to work her quick comeback into the post.
Funny as her response was, I realized that I don’t have two more things to learn about writing. I have 2,000 or 2,000,000 more things to learn about the craft! There will always be something to learn about writing.
11 things I’ve learned about writing
Mine will never be good enough.
Since it is unlikely that my writing will ever measure up to that of the great writers, I should compare my writing today to my writing of yesterday and always look for improvement.
If I wait until my novel manuscript is perfect, it will never be published.
If no one ever reads my southern historical novel manuscript whose working title is The Spanish Coin, I must remember that my efforts were not wasted because I had a blast doing the research and the writing!
There are many rules a novice fiction writer must follow, but established authors don’t have to always abide by those rules.
Have your second novel well underway before you start trying to get your first one published.
To be a good writer, you must be an avid reader of good writing.
There is always room for improvement, so eventually you have to stop editing your work, submit it, and move on to the next project.
Books about the craft of writing don’t all agree on the fine points of writing, so at some point you must rely on your gut and what feels right to you.
Some days words come easier than on other days.
Writing is hard work.
Until my next blog post
Until my next blog post, I hope you have a good book to read. If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.
Everyday is an adjective. (Spell-check wants me to change “everyday” to two words. Don’t trust spell-check.)
Every day is a noun.
Spell-check cannot be trusted when it comes to possessive tense. It thinks every “s” should be preceded by an apostrophe. (Pet peeve alert!)
Anytime is an adverb that means “at any time.” Anytime is sometimes a subordinating conjunction. When used as the latter, it generally means “every time that.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives 1926 as the year the word “anytime” came into general use. It is not found in The Oxford Dictionary.
Any time must be two words when used in an adverbial phrase, such as “at any time” because “at” must be followed by a noun or a noun phrase. (Okay. I admit it. I’m lost!) Bottom line: When in doubt, use “any time.”
When you have placed an apostrophe after a noun that ends in an “s” for more than 50 years, it is difficult to adopt the new practice of adding an apostrophe and an “s” in such cases.
The Chicago Manual of Style is an excellent 1,000-plus-page grammar guide. It will confirm that you know how to write while simultaneously confounding you and teaching you that you haven’t mastered grammar after all.
After being taught that “President” is always capitalized when naming the president of the United States of America, I learned the hard way while editing my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, for Arcadia Publishing in 2014 that The Chicago Manual of Style demands a lower case “p.” I had to swallow my pride and write “president Andrew Jackson” and president Franklin D. Roosevelt” in my postcard book. The new lower case rule will never look correct to me!
The older I get, the less confident I am about spelling.
I’ve learned more about punctuation by studying the craft of writing in my middle age than I learned in school.
As demonstrated by The Chicago Manual of Style, there are way too many grammar and punctuation rules for the English language! I have, no doubt, broken a dozen of those rules in this list of 11 items.
Until my next blog post, I hope you have a good book to read. (***Shameless book promotion alert!*** Have you read The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina? Ask for it at your favorite bookstore, or order it from Amazon.) If you are a writer, I wish you productive writing time.
Facebook: Janet Morrison, Writer
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/janet5049 (I have boards on writing, blogging, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains, music I like, quilting, knitting, needlepoint, crocheting, politics, health, hearing loss, Southernisms, books, authors, Scotland, faith, penmanship, dogs, Maxine-isms, genealogy, the Carolina Panthers, and lots of recipes. I invite you to follow my boards that interest you.)
On July 22, 2016 I blogged “10 Things I’ve Learned about Twitter.” Since then, I’ve learned 11 more things.
Twitter should come with an owner’s manual or a teenager to teach those of us in our 60s how to use it.
I’d still rather be working on my southern historical novel than writing Tweets.
Twitter continues to be maddening and takes more of my time than I want to give it.
Some days it seems like Twitter is really just a contest to see who can accumulate the most followers.
I grow weary of trying to improve my follower : follow ratio.
There are some things I’d like to Tweet about but I have to be conscious of my author brand.
The older I get, the more I believe I must show my authentic self if I’m going to project my true brand. (Yes, #7 conflicts with #6.)
It’s amazing how many followers from Australia I can pick up by Tweeting in the middle of the night in the USA.
I recently read that you have to manually cut and paste another person’s Tweet in order to retweet it – as well as adding “RT” and the original Tweet author’s username. Who knew? I thought that’s what the “ReTweet” button was for. Hence, the importance of #1 above.
I’d been on Twitter for months when I learned that you need a “header image” as well as a profile picture. How are you supposed to know that since. . . well, please refer to #1 above.
Any link you paste into the Tweet box is automatically shortened to 19 characters. I would have known this months ago if. . . well, please refer to #1 above.
Thank you for taking time to read my blog. If you like it, please share it by clicking on the social media buttons below. I invite you to follow me on social media by clicking on the icons to the right.
Until my next blog post in a few days, I hope you have a good book to read. If you are a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.