11 Things I’ve Learned about Social Media since February 21, 2017

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.

  1. 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.”)
  2. 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.”)
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.)
  5. The “block” feature on Twitter comes in handy when creepy-sounding people follow me. (I think I’ve blocked three people so far.)
  6. 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!)
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!)
  10. 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?)
  11. (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!)

 

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, by Jennifer Ryan

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.

Janet

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5 things I learned about Social Media this weekend

If you follow my blog, bless you! If you follow my blog, you know that, among other things, I share my rocky journey into the world of social media. If you’re in the same boat, I hope you have found some information in my blog that was new and helpful to you.

Today’s post deviates from my plan to share a piece of my history writing. On Friday, I plan to post an article I wrote in 2007 about an 1897 head-on collision between two trains in Harrisburg, NC. Today I share my thoughts about five areas of social media that have come to my attention over the weekend.

Contact form on my blog

I was so proud on Friday that I’d figured out how to insert a comment form within the body of my blog. So far, that form has been a total flop. No one used it. If it was used, it didn’t work. I won’t try that again unless or until I learn how to benefit from it.

Quora

I mentioned Quora.com in my blog post on January 27, 2017, 3 Things to Try on Social Media in January , http://wp.me/pL80d-tt) and I’ve played around some with it some. Over the weekend, I found a 6-minute February 10, 2017 podcast offered for free on http://mschool.growtheverywhere.libsynpro.com/how-to-attract-9000-visitors-a-month-from-quora-ep-194 that/which gave several suggestions for those of us who are still trying to figure out how to best utilize Quora – or, more specifically, trying to determine if it is even a good tool for us or not. My problem is that I’m far removed from my college studies of political science to address most of the questions that come up in that area and I don’t feel qualified to answer questions about writing until I’ve gotten my first novel published. Bottom line:  I’m leaving my options open with Quora as I continue to find my niche.

Pinterest

On Saturday afternoon I finally got serious about trying to figure out where historical fiction fans hang out on social media. Finding https://www.statista.com/statistics/246183/share-of-us-internet-users-who-use-pinterest-by-age-group/ was helpful in a round-a-bout way since it presents the statistics for Pinterest users in 2016. Here’s the age breakdown:

36% 18-29 years old

34% 30-49 years old

28% 50-64 years old

16% 65 or older

I can’t afford full access to statista.com, but this bit of free information was helpful. These stats are not specific to fans of historical fiction, but I enjoy using Pinterest and it is beneficial to know what age people use it the most. It’s a piece of the puzzle.

I learned from Pinterest Analytics that I average having 13,440 views per month, but only 174 of them were engaged in my content. My most popular pin in the last 30 days was Chimney Tops Hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In fact, three of my most popular pins were from my Great Smoky Mountains board. I originally set up that board (and the Blue Ridge Mountains board) to help draw attention to my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. If this book sounds interesting to you, you can purchase in paperback or for Kindle on amazon.com.

I read another WordPress.com blogger’s post pertaining to historical fiction writers. https://kmguerin.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/social-media-for-historical-fiction-writers-part-4-facebook/https://kmguerin.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/social-media-for-historical-fiction-writers-part-4-facebook/ gave a good suggestion:  Find a trending topic or article related to the time period you are writing about and post it. I have a board on Pinterest, “Novel in Progress:  The Spanish Coin,” in which I pin photos and information pertinent to 1771 in the Waxhaws area in present-day Lancaster County, SC, as well as the Rocky River Presbyterian Church community in present-day Cabarrus County, NC (part of Mecklenburg County in 1771), and Salisbury, NC. These are the three geographic locations in my novel. I have 69 pins and 24 followers on that board as of February 20, 2017. I need to attract more people to that Pinterest board. I invite you to visit me on Pinterest by clicking on the Pinterest icon in my blog’s sidebar. Pin this blog post to one of your Pinterest boards by clicking on the Pinterest icon below.

Reading Medieval historical fiction author K.M. Guerin’s July 18, 2016 Time-Worn Pages blog post, https://kmguerin.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/social-media-for-historical-fiction-writers-part-4-facebook/http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-get-more-pinterest-followers/ tipped me off to the fact that I was giving my blog readers a way to pin my posts to their Pinterest boards or share a link to my blog posts to their Facebook pages, but I did not provide a way for them to connect with me on social media. The proverbial lightbulb finally came on, folks!  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  I am not technologically savvy. What I’ve learned, I’ve had to dig up myself. I suppose that’s the best way to learn something new, but it surely is tedious. I read the above link to socialmediaexaminer.com on February 18, 2017 and worked until I figured out how to add “Follow me on Social Media” buttons in my blog’s sidebar. You wouldn’t believe what a sense of accomplishment that gave me!

LinkedIn and Instagram

I also picked up some ideas from reading a February 29, 2016 blog post by Jessica Lawlor on The Write Site. (https://thewritelife.com/quick-social-media-tips-for-writers-part-2) You can follow Jessica Lawlor on Twitter @jesslaw.) My takeaways:  (1) Republish some of my blog posts on LinkedIn; and (2) Instagram is a platform where I can build my brand and community, and I should refer to the link to my website or blog as found in my profile (i.e., using the words “Link in profile” somewhere in my post) because LinkedIn only allows accounts to display one link. I haven’t given up on LinkedIn, and I haven’t tried Instagram.

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.

Janet

3 Things to Try on Social Media in January

As with my blog post three days ago, I’m trying something new today. My plan is to blog around the middle of each month about three things I want to try on social media that month. My plan looks good on paper. Time will tell.

Today I’ve selected new things to try on Twitter, my blog, and Quora.

Twitter

In her February 23, 2013 post, “Twitter Marketing 101: For Writers” on http://www.yourwriterplatform.com/twitter-marketing-for-writers/, Kimberley Grabas gives a number of tips for writers to use. (No, that’s not a typo. She posted these tips nearly four years ago. Since I just created a Twitter account in June of 2015, I’m still learning the basics.) The new tip I chose to institute this month was “add a header photo.”

Kimberley Grabas, offers helpful information about author platform building online. In the words of her official bio on her website:  “A Canadian writer and entrepreneur, Kimberley Grabas launched YourWriterPlatform.com in February 2013, where she helps a growing international community of thousands of rising “authorpreneurs” build their platforms, engage their fans and sell more books.” She can be followed on Twitter @writerplatform. Ms. Grabas recommends that you get creative with your header and to think of it as a billboard for your brand. I took this to heart on January 25, 2017, and started planning a photo I could design for my header. The operative words are, “started planning.”

Blogging

@KredBloggers Tweeted a link to “Four Tips to Boost Traffic (and Leads) With Compounding Blog Posts” by Lucy Jones on January 23, 2017, on www.marketingprofs.com. Lucy Jones is head of content at Strategic Internet Consulting, a full-service inbound marketing agency. Ms. Jones recommends that bloggers think of a post as an investment that will return compounding interest like a savings account. Such a blog post is one whose content is timeless or at least offers content that readers will still find useful for months or years to come. It will attract new followers the day it is originally posted and will still attract new followers when it is Tweeted about even at a later date.

I read Lucy Jones’ article about compounding blog posts three days ago and plan to put the idea into practice. Ms. Jones can be followed on Twitter: @LucyJones_SIC. (I can be followed @janetmorrisonbk.)

Quora.com

I created a profile on https://www.quora.com on January 24, 2017, after learning about it from Aaron Marsden’s “13 Vital Steps for Writing Blog Posts that Perform” on http://amarsden.com. He posted these steps on January 18, 2017, and the 12th step was “Answer questions on Quora.” The idea is to help someone, get my name out there, and lead people to my blog.

To quote Mr. Marsden, “Quora is a site where people ask questions and different users around the world respond with answers. Pretty simple.” I’d never heard of Quora, so I looked into it. I wrote my profile and filled out the education fill-in form. Now I wait for a history or writing question to come up that I feel qualified to answer.

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.

Janet

Have you tried any of the above things on social media and, if so, did you see good results?

11 More Things I’ve Learned about Twitter

Tweet!
Tweet! @JanetMorrisonbk.com

On July 22, 2016 I blogged “10 Things I’ve Learned about Twitter.” Since then, I’ve learned 11 more things.

  1. Twitter should come with an owner’s manual or a teenager to teach those of us in our 60s how to use it.
  2. I’d still rather be working on my southern historical novel than writing Tweets.
  3. Twitter continues to be maddening and takes more of my time than I want to give it.
  4. Some days it seems like Twitter is really just a contest to see who can accumulate the most followers.
  5. I grow weary of trying to improve my follower : follow ratio.
  6. There are some things I’d like to Tweet about but I have to be conscious of my author brand.
  7. 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.)
  8. It’s amazing how many followers from Australia I can pick up by Tweeting in the middle of the night in the USA.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

Janet

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10 Things I’ve Learned about Twitter

I’m new to Twitter this year. Call me old. Call me anti-social. I struggle with it. The following are 10 things I’ve learned about Twitter:

1. You not only are expected to send a tweet every day, you’re expected to send out tweets throughout the day.

2. It’s amazing how much you can say in 140 characters.

3. It’s amazing how much you can’t say in 140 characters.

4. Twitter for Dummies is too advanced for me.

5. As a hopeful would-be novelist, I’m told that I must have a presence and a following on Twitter.

6. As an introvert, I am pulled out of my comfort zone when I use Twitter.

7. All I wanted to do was write a book. At the age of 63, I didn’t bargain for Twitter.

8. By the time I get comfortable using Twitter, it will be obsolete.

9. Nothing I want to tweet about, such as #historicalfiction, is trending. I wonder why. LOL!

10. I might Tweet occasionally, but I refuse to let it or a SmartPhone dictate my life. If that means my novel, The Spanish Coin, will never be published… so be it.

I am willing to try to learn new things, but creating a presence on Twitter just might require more effort than I’m able to give it.

I have set up a Twitter account

I have set up a Twitter account since my last post; however, I have not tweeted yet and I have no tweeples. That’s all the Twitter jargon I know. I keep reading that every published writer must tweet. Being technologically-challenged is a drawback when you’re my age and attempting to launch a new career. Another drawback is that crazy rule that restricts a tweet to 140 characters. Whose idea was that? (Or maybe I have Twitter mixed up with texting.) I write novels and short stories, not Haiku! I might need some tweeting lessons from one of my great-nieces. I would tell you how to follow me on Twitter, but I don’t know how.

I was astonished today to realize that my last post was more than a month ago. Life is still interfering with my desire to write, read, and sew. It is my intention to get back into posting a blog at least once a week. In order to write a “writing blog,” I have to have something to write about. I cannot continue to report that I haven’t accomplished anything.

In preparation for today’s post, I stumbled upon a website with the URL http://www.urlm.co/janetmorrisonbooks.com and discovered that, according to that site, my website was ranked 7,272,262 in the US on January 29, 2014. I don’t know what to do with that information. As my Tennessee cousin would say, “I don’t have a bucket to put that in.” Why is the data so outdated for the World Wide Web? Since I cannot find out how many websites were in the US at that time, my ranking means little. The site also states that my website had an estimated value of $753.94 on that same date. I have no clue what that means. Could I sell it for $753.94? I don’t know how that value was established. Has my site appreciated in value in the last 19 months, or did it depreciate today when the stock market took a hit? Inquiring minds want to know!

Until I have buyers beating a path to my door, I think I’ll just keep it. I’ll also strive to make it worth your time to follow Janet’s Writing Blog.

Oh – and when I figure out how to tell you to follow me on Twitter, you’ll be the first to know.