In my other life as a mom, I run a fairly popular niche blog for attachment parenting. Now I'm not the queen of social media, but I've learned a few things about building a successful blog, and as any writer will tell you having an audience before you have a product to sell is a good thing. Why? Because you've built a loyal base who is willing to go out and buy your book! So here's the deal. I want to expand this blog into a better, more focused one that readers know will offer specific insights or ideas rather than just me blathering on about writing a novel. So in exchange for your feedback on what I might choose as my focus, I will share some of my social media tips with you. Deal?
Now my other site, www.theconnectedmom.com, has about 15, 000 visitors a month, about 500 subscribed readers, 800 facebook fans, and over 1000 twitter followers. While this isn't the most amazing following in the world, it's pretty darn good for the 6 months I've been building the blog. I have some experience from social media from running my own business, which had a bigger following, but the difference is that my Connected Mom followers actively participate in the blog community I've created. This is key for building your personal brand. You can't just attract followers, you have to engage them.
1. Get organized. Create a dedicated photobucket account, gmail address and google calendar for your blog. It will help you keep everything together and keep track of important dates as well.
2. Get connected. If you don't have a twitter account, a facebook page or an RSS feed. You need them. Give your audience ways to connect with you, which leads to number
3. Get real. Don't auto follow everyone on twitter and set up autoposting from your blog to Facebook. Those are tools but they alone will not build an audience. Engage with your followers. Ask questions, respond to their posts, provide them with information that is truly useful. I think the biggest sin of twitter is paying to have something posted to you account every few hours. If you don't have the time or inclination to get on and get real, then get off. You won't build a following by offering an autofeed.
4. Get inspiring. Offer something truly valuable to your readers. It doesn't have to be profound. If you are really funny, a self-depricating blog on the publishing world might be your ticket. If you have expertise in a valuable area, write about that. Give real help to your readers and they'll be more loyal and more aware of you.
If any of that helped you, would you take a moment to give me some feedback on where I should take this blog? Obviously I will discuss my own projects but I'd like a more focused niche. So here are some ideas:
1. A book analysis blog where I dissect what makes a book work (or not). Think of it as a book review from a writer's perspective.
2. A how to market your book site. Tips on building your brand, promoting your book, etc.
3. A writer's resource for descriptions of common tasks, items, places, etc.
4. Got a better idea? Please share!