I hear that all the time, and duly click to find out how thinking I’ll find a magic button that issues me with thousands of followers eager to be my friend, and also eager to buy my book! Not so, I’m afraid. There isn’t a short cut to social networking; it’s hard work and frustrating but also tremendous fun too.
I’ve made a list of some of the things that I’ve tried or am thinking of trying.
1. Forum Posting I’m a regular contributor to forums and have a “signature” so people can follow me back to my blog. Don’t just post updates of your blog, connect to people and make friends.
2. Twitter I use Twitter to connect with literally anyone. I don’t demand people follow me, or repeatedly Tweet links to my blog; I interact. I “retweet” others, wish others a good morning, offer advice, ask for advice. It’s a growing community and nobody wants to be bombarded with spam tweets all the time, so use it like forum – only it’s on a HUGE scale.
3. Building a Platform on Twitter Use the name that you wish to be known by in the outside world ie if you are Mary Smith use Mary Smith NOT Fluffy_Fairy. Follow people who interest you: other writers, agents, publishers… then see who they are following and who are following them. Do not “lock” your Tweets. But as always do take care and don’t show any personal details.
4. Facebook This is another good way of advertising yourself: create your own page (works like a blog)! Again, don’t be selfish. Use it wisely and not just to promote your book.
5. Blog Tours/Carnivals These are so much fun, and all you need to do is ask! If they say yes, write the blog post with care, include links to your blog and book, then send in your picture/book cover and away you go! There may be small conditions like a donation to the blog, or that you follow/subscript to their blog. You don’t have to, of course, like they don’t have to host you. Swings and roundabouts.
6. Email subscription You can invite everyone in your network to subscribe to your blog.
7. Tags/Labels This is a keyword associated to your article. It should describe the article to enable it to be found when being browsed. In short: a nickname for your article that will make it easier for people to find if browsing the Internet.
8. Trackback (or Pingback as it’s sometimes called). This sends a message from one server to another server letting it know you have posted a reference to their post. Blogger doesn’t support this, but uses this instead BACKLINK. I’ve only just started to use it, so can’t comment on its usefulness yet.
9. Business Cards brochures, flyers or whatever. This is an in invaluable way to advertise your blog. I use Vistaprint, and can’t fault them although they do keep sending annoying emails. I just have then sent them to junk mail.
10. RSS Feed This will let people subscribe to your blog, it means Really Simple Syndication, yeah, so simple I still haven’t a clue! Anyway, isn’t this the same as number 6?
11. Practise Good House Keeping on your blog that is. Keep it up-to-date, and post at least once a fortnight if not more. And always, always, reply to comments. It’s so annoying when I make the effort to visit a blog, read and reply, and then ignored by the blog owner. Grrrr
12. Articles Write an article about something you’ve seen in another blog. Add their link, and then tell them. You never know this may lead to some of their followers following you as well!
Some useful sites:
WordPress Trackback Tutorial
The Book Designer.com
We Blog Better.com
Quips and Tips for Successful Writers
Blog Traffic Exchange