At the end of 2014, it is only ‘fitting and proper,’ as the Georgians say, to look in our rear view mirrors and see what the universe has brought to us. The first thing that comes to mind is my year with social media. With a tad of hesitation, I created a blog through Word Press and finally signed up with Twitter. My publishing company had been trying to get me to take the social media plunge, but I had cold feet. Now, that I have dived in, there is no turning back.
I created my first blog post in January of this year. I did not have a lot of direction and now that I look back, I have gone from two-paragraph posts to lengthy narratives. I did my homework by reading others’ blogs and consulting the experts. Many continually promote their books, but there are so many other things to share. People like every day occurrences and each blog post is an opportunity to share our fresh writing skills as we engage and entertain others.
Once I have found something to write for a blog post, the other big challenge has been editing. Sometimes, I can edit a piece five or six times and still that illusive error may be sitting right there. Usually a word has been omitted or an extra word has been added. The ideal situation would be to have an extra set of eyes as used by professional proofreading services. That perfectly written piece has normally passed through at least two sets of eyes.
If my followers like my writing style, then they might purchase some of my books. Finding topics of interest can be a challenge but I try to keep it simple. I have blogged using a variety of techniques such as: book promotions; book reviews and analogies; interviews of other authors; narratives; poems; a music review; a movie review and a short story, to name a few.
Years ago, authors posted parts of their books in newspapers and they were called serials. Audiences anxiously waited for the next publication to see how the story would unfold. I wrote a short story which was entirely too long for one post. I decided to use the old technique and posted it in three parts as they did in days of old.
My fan base is growing and I keep trying new things. Writing for a blog keeps my fingers moving and it keeps my eyes open as I look for new topics. It allows me to share my views on situations. I understand that some people actually make good money as they blog for big companies. I have not ventured into that area but I imagine that it is like being a ghost writer.
And then there is Twitter. I signed up for Twitter in 2014, and it has been most rewarding. I have found author and artist friends both here in the States and overseas. My Twitter friends who are writers are in places like Washington D.C., Florida, Baltimore, Atlanta and Ohio to name a few. I have also picked up a number of author friends in the UK and one very special one in the Netherlands. We all support each other by reading and reviewing each other’s works. We normally post the reviews on websites such as Amazon, Amazon.uk, Goodreads and Barnes and Noble. Amazon and Goodreads allow authors to create free author pages, which I have done.
Frances Caballo is a guru on social media and her books have guided me as I learned to blog and Tweet. With Twitter, I used to post four or five Tweets in one sitting and Caballo let me know that I was missing the point. The goal is to try to have some input throughout the day. Those tweets should be spread out over the hours to catch different people when they are online. And it is important to connect with the international followers while they are online taking those time zones into consideration!
When tweeting, sometimes, I join in on conversations that resonate with me. Or, if time permits, I read others’ blog posts and leave comments. We all want to know that someone out there is listening. When I do not have the words to express what I am feeling, I often tweet famous quotes. I let the greats speak for me and be my voice.
And lastly, there is my personal website. After, listening to a webinar, we were advised to create as many pages or tabs as possible. I am still developing tabs and subsets as I go along and I try to update the book excerpts on a weekly basis. I usually write at least one poem per month to add to the Poetry tab. It can all be quite time-consuming, but no pain, no gain. Take a peek at your convenience. http://lynnmdixon.com/
Social media has been a revolutionary tool for me. I am so happy to know that there are others out there who think like me!
Lynn December 31, 2014