Once again, another aspect of writer-dom that everyone is told they should utilize in their writing belt: SOCIAL NETWORKING. Yes. ALL of the social media sites are fair game for your writerly perusing, but which ones and how to utilize them are up in the air. There are people who absolutely hate twitter, but use Facebook, and vice-versa. There are people who’ve never heard of G+, but know all about Wattpad and Tumblr. Then there some people who swear by Tumblr, but could care less about the rest. Well, I use all of these networks and more, and I would like to list them all for you today. Maybe you’ll discover some new networks to try out, or maybe you won’t. Either way, raise your pens in the air and cry HUZZAH as we head onward to the list.
I’ve only just started delving into the wonderful world that is Wattpad, and boy, I can’t believe I’ve survived so long without it. Not only does it have a load of wonderfully crafted, FREE books, paired alongside their equally wonderful writers, but there is also a HUGE readership. Looking for your readers? Look no further. Not everyone posts full-length works. Some post teaser chapters, which allow for a quick inside look at what readers will be purchasing before they purchase the book. It’s a great way to advertise your writing, meet great authors, and, quite possibly, meet your new favorite book. P.S. They added a crowd-funding feature for authors who wish to write professionally, but need the funds to do so. When you build a fanbase, maybe that’s another tool you can utilize for yourself. Try ‘er out. See ‘ow ya like ‘er.
One of the powerhouses in the social-networking world. While there are plenty of people who use it, there are also plenty of people who hate it. Namely, people who are a part of the FaceBook versus Twitter war, and yes. That’s a real thing, but I digress. Twitter is great for quick spurts of information, and it’s integrated into other forms of social networking. Blogs have twitter widgets, it can connect to FB, Wattpad has twitter integration, etc. The main problem? It’s full of writers. Plenty of writers, but it’s hard to connect to readers. With everyone having such a wide array of interests, reader hashtags are often useless, mainly due to the large amount of them being filled by desperate, often spammy writers (not all, but most). It’s also hard to make a connection, but, like I said before there are plenty of writers. And though most of them are trying to sell their own books, there are a few who are more dedicated to reading than anything else. Befriending them, reading each other’s books, SHARING and not SELLING can lead to a wonderful friendship and also a dedicated fan. Can’t beat that.
This is a very professional way of networking, and it’s often under-utilized, including by me. But, there are plenty of people looking for helpful and professional links on there. If you blog or happen to share very helpful links, you can bring in plenty of traffic to your page. If you have a scheduled and connected blog post, send it on over to LinkedIn. LinkedIn doesn’t need much maintenance to keep people coming back, so see what you can get. It’s worth a shot, and give the communities a try. If nothing else, you may learn a few things. Nothing wrong with that.
Once again, like Wattpad, there is a huge amount of readers to be found here. It’s a bit harder than Wattpad, from what I can tell, but it’s not impossible. May need to do a bit of legwork, but some of the greatest features of Goodreads are the ones less utilized. There is a connection for your blog. If you have a blog, then you want to connect it to your Goodreads page. You’d be surprised at how many clicks you’ll get. Also, you can add your twitter handle to your page, which will bring in even more people to your page. Things like these are the reasons you should have multiple accounts everywhere on the net. You can CONNECT yourself to everything and to every available person, no matter their preference.
Not necessarily a place for social networking, but it’s vital that you make an Amazon Author Page once you publish. You can connect your blog and twitter to it, so when you start gaining some readers, they can easily find you on the web from your books and author page. Just a little food for thought.
Not necessarily for those who work solely in fiction, but like Wattpad, there are so many wonderful fanfics with so many wonderful authors. If you write fanfiction, this is a great place to build a readership. There isn’t much in the way of integration, but you can post links very easily on your profile, so it’s not impossible to bring your readership to your fiction books.
- ARCHIVE OF OUR OWN/AO3
Again, this all for fanfic, but it can also be utilized for fanart and other fan made creations, but in this case, we’ll focus on the fanfic. The site is still in beta, and it can take a couple days before you’re allowed to even use the site, but it’s a wonderful place to post your fics. Great readers and writers are to be found there, and it allows you to share your stories on tumblr, twitter, and few other choice social networking sites. It makes the most out of your work. I may have to update this section as time goes on, but so far, I’m loving what they’re doing.
This is one of the most under-utilized piece of social media out there, but I could be biased. I absolutely love G+, and it is by far my favorite network out there. It mixes all the great parts of twitter with all of the connection that you can get from FaceBook. Granted, it has some glitches, and there is a much higher writer rate than there is readers, but you can find them. I mainly love it for the people there. You can also connect every account to your G+ account, and your posts will get preference when people search for key terms that your posts include. So, when people search “Lissy” or “Alyssa Hubbard,” in the google engine, I’m one of the first people to pop up. If I’m not the first, I will appear somewhere on the first page. It’s free advertisement, and it can’t get any better than that.
TONS OF WRITER-READERS. TONS, but. It takes work. You need to work for people to follow you on there. You need to provide valuable content that people will want to share, which will then make other people share it, and make other people share it. This is a place where sharing is vital to making it work. You may have to put in as much work as you would to your professional blog, but with the amount of content you’d put on twitter. Reblogging everything you see, doesn’t really make for a profile worth following, but there are plenty of integration tools. Tumblr is one of the big social network dogs, and most other blogs have it as an integration tool/widget. It’s worth having a presence on there.
In all honesty, I still haven’t been able to utilize Pinterest. I have gained a small amount of followers, but because most of my content is written, it’s much harder for me to find ways to use it for my benefit. It’s not impossible, but it takes some creativity. This is where repinning other people’s stuff can help. Find writers and readers with book covers on their boards, repin them. They’ll notice it, I promise. Make sure you have a link to your blog or website in your description so they can find you. You can also post pins on twitter and FB, which can bring some traffic to your pinterest.
Another big dog in social networking, but it’s not my favorite one to use. Thankfully, with the new addition of hashtags, it’s a great place to network, and there are actually a lot of readers to be found, if you know where to look. There are groups dedicated to reading, mainly because groups are necessary for people to add “interests,” and for favorite books. Also, goodreads has an app for FB. People can post their reviews of your books onto their walls. Free advertisement, once again. You can also put the app on your FB page and be able to share your own favorite books. It’s a great way to connect with readers. Readers like other readers.
It’s like pinterest, but I can actually use it properly. I KNOW that the hashtags actually work on this network, and there are plenty of people using it everyday. Main problem is that it is filled with spam bots. You may have to do a lot of clean up if you have a popular post. There are also ways of setting up IG to post to nearly all of the big dogs in social networking, which will lead to more flow toward your IG, and you can put your blog link into your profile as a clickable link. Perfect way to move some traffic that way.
- A BLOG
Finally, one of the most important aspects to any social networker’s toolbelt. You need to have a blog. You can decide what parts of your network are integrated onto it, you can share your posts on all of them, and you can make an entire page dedicated to EVERY. SINGLE. ACCOUNT. YOU. HAVE. It’s a perfect home base. Something that you can post on all of your sites, which will bring traffic there, and that will, in turn, funnel all of your traffic to other accounts. It’s a great way to connect.
Social networks are all about connecting, and the bigger presence you have online, the more people you’ll be connecting with on a regular basis. There are plenty of other sites that I’ve tried, utilized for a little while, but abandoned because, in the end, they just weren’t worth the legwork because not enough people used them. The key is reaching people that you wouldn’t have reached unless you had an account on there. You’ll have people who overlap, but there will always be people who only use one or the other. Give a few a go, and see what you come up with. Regardless, now it’s time for my regularly scheduled questionnaire.
What accounts do you use? How do you feel about social networking? Any of these that you would refuse to use? Which ones have you tried, but given up on? Do you use something that’s not on this list? Let me know, and comment below!
Thanks for reading!
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