We are always talking about blogging and social media as a way to build your author platform. However, there are times when all of the tips about blog ideas and crafting the perfect tweet miss the social part of social media. Just last week, we pointed out that having an audience is not nearly as good as having a community of people interacting with you and with each other. But how do you get that started?
You join the conversation.
When writing blog posts and tweets, it is easy to get stuck trying to come up with new ways to talk about your book and your passion. It’s time to get out of your own head for a moment and think about ways to talk to other people rather than about your book. Here’s how to do it:
1. Keep Track of Quirky Holidays
Last week, the world celebrated Earth Day, Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday, International Infertility Awareness Week, and Administrative Professionals Week, just to name just a few. Is your blog or book related to any of these topics? Could it be? Get creative and tie your interests into the international conversations going on every day! The tweet below is by a small press in San Francisco that publishes nonfiction books about innovations in business, work, and life. They tied their mission into the Earth Day celebration by linking to one of their books about how to be a socially (and environmentally) responsible business owner and using the #earthday hashtag.
2. Pay Attention to Trending Topics
Use social media to find the conversation you want to join. Twitter gives you a list of topics that are currently trending. Jump on the bandwagon and remind all the people who like that trending topic that you are worth following too. Hashtag #amwriting has been trending regularly, and is often used as a way for authors to meet and encourage each other. Join the conversation to get some great writing tips and to give people information about your own project!
Also, make your tweets “retweetable” so others are more likely to join your conversation! Social media expert Gerry Moran tweeted this infographic with some great tips on how to make sure you are furthering the conversation instead of bringing it to a screeching halt.
3. Find Influential Bloggers
The blogging community can be incredibly supportive of new bloggers, just as the indie author community can be incredibly supportive to new authors. However, it is important to identify the blogs that have already “made it,” because you can learn from them. Most importantly, though, you can benefit from their site traffic. This blogging guru has a fantastic post with an overview of 3 social media tools to help you decide whether the blog you’re following is influential or just interesting.
4. Create Content that Demands Action
Do you ask questions in your blogs? Do you write tweets that tell readers to visit your blog or retweet/favorite your post? Even better, do you respond when someone answers your question or engages with your tweets? Conversation, like building a community, is an active process.
What do you do to join the conversation?