Archive for the ‘Web 2.0 Tools’ Category
If you’re a writer wanting to build your author platform, you need to be on LinkedIn.
When asked which is my favorite social networking site I can’t choose. Facebook offers photo albums, videos viewable in the news feed, and connections to old friends and family. Twitter gives me short bursts of information from many different directions. LinkedIn links me to the business community. YouTube provides videos on just about anything you want to learn. If I had to make a choice, I’d say LinkedIn just because it supplies me with something very important – traffic to my website.
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Because writers like to write a lot of us have blogs, but just because a writer knows how to write doesn’t mean they know how to blog. I’ve visited more than one blog maintained by a writer that did not capture my interest and probably didn’t rank high in search engine results.
Key 1: Keywords and phrases To have a successful blog it needs to be found among the millions of others out there being crawled by search engines like Yahoo and Google. So the first key to unlocking the success of your blog is keywords. These are words and phases you use especially in your title and first paragraph, as well as throughout the post, that let search engines know what your blog entry is about. To figure out which words and phrases are key, use a keyword look up tool, like the one Google offers for its AdWords. Yes, this goes against what we learned as writers – to try to vary our words and phrases, and not repeat any one of them too many times. But writing for online is not like writing for print.
This panel about using new media (Facebook, Twitter, blogging, podcasting, websites, etc.) to expand the writing platform took place at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, June 2011. Moderator: Marla Miller of Marketing the Muse. Panelist: Justine Musk of Tribal Writer, Philippa Burgess of Creative Convergence, and Jeremy Lee James of Write Click Hosting.
I’ve been so busy lately producing videos that I haven’t had a chance to write a blog post, and blogging is something I have to do to build my author platform. Having video about you, and your books is another good way of building your author platform. Book trailers and author pitch videos are popping up all over the web, so I thought I’d blog about how authors can make videos to help them market their writing.
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If you’re looking for a literary agent or want to get published, you should have a Facebook page for either yourself or your proposed book. This is an essential part of building your author platform. It’s like when you’re trying to sell a product you have to establish the brand. Which soda would you buy, a Dr. Pepper or a Mr. Teddy? You’d go for the more familiar brand. In the same way, literary agents and publishers look for an author people already know, like and trust.
In “Building Your Author Platform” book marketing coach Dana Lynn Smith said, “To sell books in today’s marketplace, you need to be connected.” One of the connections she recommends is online communities such as Facebook, which is a popular choice. Facebook is now used by one in every 13 people on earth, with over 250 million of them logging in every day.
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At the September meeting of awcsb.org Amber Sims Hinterplattner, Michael Kramer, and Cindy Faith Swain spoke about how to enhance your business through effective online communications.
Whether you’ve published books or write a column, interacting with your fans is important and will keep them interested. Twitter is just one integral part of marketing strategies for authors. Those 140 characters can be used to hook your readers and spur them to want more. Here are some tips for using Twitter to sell your writing.
- Choose a good Username and Account Name, they’re different, wisely. You can use your own name or the name of your book or column for the Account Name. Your Username should be catchy and short. The shorter the Username the easier it is for your tweeps to RT and @ you—remember, they only have 140 characters.
- Your bio can only be 160 characters but search engine robots consistently check Twitter bios, so make the most out of those characters because it can help your readers find you, and not just on Twitter, but on the Web as well.
- Don’t forget your web address because it adds credibility. When I go to a Twitter profile without a bio or a web address, I usually won’t follow the user.
- Pimp up your profile with a customized background image. You could just go to the Design tab under Settings and upload the cover of your book, but that might not be exactly the feel you’re looking for. Browse the templates at twitterbacks.com and see if you find something you can tweak with Photoshop to create your own design with a bit of information to boot.
- A tweet a day brings the tweeps (followers) your way. Of course you’ll tweet about what you’ve written yourself, but don’t stop there. If you find something you like on the Web, tweet about it. If somebody you follow offers a cool post, retweet (RT) it.
- If you want a message to be forwarded, it’s ideal to keep it under120 characters so your followers can easily add RT @YourHandle in front of the tweet. The more your post is retweeted, the more readers will see it.
- Your tweets are more likely to be found by search engines if you select your first 42 characters carefully, write keyword-rich tweets, and use # tags. Search tags on sites like tweetag.com, and watch the right-hand column on Twitter to find Trends, which are the topics a lot of people are tweeting about at the time.
- Make a list of keywords describing what you tweet about or the people you want to attract as tweeps. Then use these keywords when you sign up for Twitter directories like Twellow, WeFollow, and Twitfind.
- Visitors to your website are great potential followers so integrate Twitter into your website with badges and widgets. A Twitter feed on your site gives your visitors fresh content on a regular basis and search engines like that, and so do readers.
- Many tools like Tweetdeck can help you manage your tweets. For instance, if you want to tweet about an article with a really long web address, you can use a URL shortener. I like Bit.ly because it tracks click-throughs. I also use Hootsuite to schedule tweets so I can post them all at once but have them appear on my profile throughout several days.
Oh, and don’t forget to have a Facebook fan page for you and your book as well.