UR Turn: Do You Use Pinterest as Part of Your Author Platform?

Pinterest is a quick way to share images and connect with like-minded people

UR Turn, Help me finish ths post by sharing...So far we’ve talked about Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn as possible social media platforms for authors. What about Pinterest?

Of the four of them, I’ve done the least amount of work with Pinterest. Maybe that’s because I’m a guy and most Pinterest users are females.

Nevertheless, I do have the beginnings of a Pinterest presence, and it’s growing little by little. I pin my blog graphics and have a board for book covers. Other boards have sayings and offer encouragement. My favorite board has a growing number of church signs, from the humorous to the profound.

Are you on Pinterest? Follow me on Pinterest and I’ll follow you.

My page is www.pinterest.com/peterdehaan. Please share your Pinterest page in the comment section below.

Save

Save

Your Turn: Do You Use LinkedIn as Part of Your Author Platform?

LinkedIn is the Social Media Platform for Professional Networking

UR Turn, Help me finish ths post by sharing...We’ve talked about Twitter and Facebook as social media hangouts that many authors use to connect with fans and engage followers. Another social media platform to consider is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the social media platform to make professional connections, for networking, and to find work.

Are you on LinkedIn? I’m there. Visit Peter DeHaan on LinkedIn.

If you’re on LinkedIn, what do you use it for?

If you’re not on LinkedIn, what made you decide not to?

Please share your thoughts below, and if you have a LinkedIn account, be sure to include a link.

Save

Save

Your Turn: What Do You Like (or Not Like) About Facebook?

Being the world’s largest social media platform doesn’t necessarily make Facebook better

UR Turn, Help me finish ths post by sharing...Last month I mentioned that Twitter is my preferred social media platform and the one I use the most. Though I’ve been on Facebook longer, I don’t find it as useful. In fact I find Facebook frustrating.

Aside from frequent changes that affect how things work is the reality that only a fraction of the people who like my page ever see the things I post. I suppose Facebook does this to motivate me to pay them to “boost” my post. Instead they’re motivating me to connect with people elsewhere.

Making the most out of Facebook is on my to-do list, but right now it’s far down that list. Maybe someday I’ll get to it—or maybe not.

Even so, I’d be honored if you’d like or follow my author page on Facebook.

Your Turn: In the comment section below link to your Facebook page or share your experience with Facebook.

Save

Save

Your Turn: What Do You Like (or Not Like) About Twitter?

The social media site Twitter is becoming the go-to platform for many

UR Turn, Help me finish ths post by sharing...I’m on several social media sites, but the one that I use the most and am the least confused by is Twitter. I’ve grown a following, tweet and retweet regularly, and engage a bit with my followers.

Twitter is the one social media site where I’m enjoying some traction. Once a day I spend time to schedule most of my tweets for the next day, but I also tweet some things on the fly. And on most days I invest a few minutes to interact with followers and find more interesting people to follow.

I view Twitter a lot like broadcasting. Though only a fraction of my potential audience will see what I tweet, the possibility exists for anyone of them to read my tweets if they’re looking at the right time (quite unlike Facebook). I think that’s why I’m growing fond of Twitter.

If you follow me on Twitter, I will follow you back.

Your Turn: In the comment section below link to your Twitter account or leave your Twitter handle.

What do you like or not like about Twitter?

Save

Save

Your Turn: What’s Your Favorite Social Media Platform?

Social media is a great way to connect with others and share content

UR Turn, Help me finish ths post by sharing...Last month we started a new feature here on Byline where we end each month giving you a chance to share with our community. We started with an opportunity to post a link to your website or blog. And if you missed that, it’s not too late to add yours to the list.

This month please share your favorite social media platform and link to your page or profile. I’m also curious what you like about it.

Remember, each time you share a link you let others know about your online presence and increase the odds of a search engine, such as Google, recommending you in their search results.

So in the comments section below, please link to your page on your favorite social media site. Why do you like that platform?

Save

Save

Your Turn: Tell Us About Your Website

Tell us about your website or blog and link to it

UR Turn, Help me finish ths post by sharing...As a new feature of this blog, Byline, we will end each month with a chance for you to complete the post by sharing about yourself, your writing, or your writing journey. I’ll give the topic and you provide the response. Best of all, it should be fast and easy to do.

This month’s theme: Your Website

In the comment section put a link to your blog or website. That’s it.

If you want to write more, share its name (if it has one) and a brief description or tag line.

Think of this as a non-spammy way to let others know about your website or blog. Plus each link to your site will give you a boost with the search engines.

Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

Save

Save

Save

Three Reasons to Comment on Blog Posts – and One Reason Not To

Three Reasons to Comment on Blog Posts – and One Reason Not ToThere are several blogs I follow; I read them whenever I can. Sometimes I just read, and other times I read and comment. Only a small percent of blog readers take time to comment. The reasons are many: too busy, a lack of confidence, not knowing what to say, fear, and so forth. There are, however, some reasons why we should comment. Here are three:

1) To Interact With Others: The biggest reason to comment is to connect with other likeminded readers. Some do more than just comment on the post, they also comment on other comments. Just remember to keep things positive and civil. Don’t say something online you wouldn’t say in person to your closest friends.

2) To Connect With the Author: As we read blogs, we get to know the author, but the author doesn’t know us at all, though most want to. Adding relevant comments, with appropriate self-disclosure allows the author (and other readers) to get to know us. And don’t we all want to be known?

3) A Link to Our Site: Though it’s secondary, most commenting programs allow us to include a link to our website when we comment. This is good for search engine optimization (SEO), and it provides a means for others to learn more about us if they wish.

4) Not to Promote Our Book: Commenting on blogs is not the place to promote ourselves or our books. Comments are for dialogue not marketing. Avoid the temptation.

What reasons would you add to the list? If you don’t normally comment, why not try it today? I’d love to connect with you. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Save

Save

Save

Save

What’s More Important, Your Book or Your Platform?

Most writers, myself included, would prefer just to write. We don’t want to pitch, sell, or market our book or ourselves. Some may not even want to blog, develop a social media following, or build a platform. Yet, the reality is writers need a platform, a vantage from which to gain a following and move books.

Sadly, in most cases, platform is more important than writing. Really.

A person with a great platform and a not so great book is in a better position than a person with an excellent book and a small platform. Really.

If a writer’s best work still needs more work before publication, help is available. Editors, collaborators, and even ghostwriters can come in and rescue a needy manuscript. If that author has the means to promote and move books, a publisher will go to the trouble and expense to shore up their weak writing.

However, a well-written book by an author with no platform will seldom receive much attention from a publisher. Even if the writing is great, they will still be reluctant to publish it; the risk of losing money is too high if the author doesn’t have the means to move books.

Though it pains me to say it, if you want a book deal from a traditional publisher, focus on platform first, and then worry about writing. Really.

WordPress Primer: Seven Tips to Get Started Right and Minimize Confusion

On this blog, I recently posted a series on getting started using WordPress for your blog or website. In case you missed some of them, here are the seven posts:

  1. Using WordPress For Your Blog: Two Options to Consider
  2. Getting Started with WordPress
  3. What’s the Difference Between a WordPress Page and Post?
  4. What’s a WordPress Theme?
  5. What’s a Widget and Why Do I Want Them on My WordPress Blog?
  6. What’s the Difference Between a Category and a Tag on Your WordPress Blog?
  7. Essential WordPress Plugins

Setting up a blog is just the first step; the next one is coming up with great content and presenting it in the best way possible. So, on my blog Byline, were I discuss writing, I just completed a series on blogging, where I shared ideas on how to best use a blog once it’s set up.

Happy blogging!

Be Alert to What Others Say About Us Online

One day I blogged about a book I really enjoyed. To my complete shock, the author commented on my post. She thanked me profusely for my kind words, added to the discussion, and then mentioned her upcoming book. I was smitten.

More recently, on my main blog, Spiritually Speaking, I posted a review of a book that highly influenced me. This time the author emailed me to thank me for my kind words. I was shocked he took the time to do so. Then he asked if I’d post a review on Amazon. Even though there were already hundreds, I was happy to do so. As a bonus, I reviewed the book on Goodreads, too.

Neither author knew I existed before I posted about their book. So how did they find my comments? Though I don’t know for sure, I suspect they used Google Alerts.

Google Alerts is a free service that emails users whenever a particular phrase appears online. I recommend all authors setup a Google Alert for their name and book titles. Google will then send an email alert whenever someone uses one of those phrases online.

Then, when it’s appropriate, we can respond to comments about us or our books. The important thing is to be respectful. Thank them; be kind. The goal is to form a positive impression with them and others reading our response.

Of course not everything written about us or our books is positive. Resist the urge to respond to negativity; it will never go well. We must not attempt to defend ourselves. (Let others do that.) Although hurtful, we need to develop a thick skin and learn to ignore the barbs of others. To help deal with online criticism, remember the adage, “The only thing worse than bad publicity is no publicity.”

But don’t focus on the negative. The goal is to add to the online discussion about us and our books, garnering followers and fans.

It only takes a couple minutes to setup a Google Alert. Do it today.