Tag Archives: twitter guide

How to score a regular blog gig

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There are some things that are just kismet. Soon-to-be-published writer meets commissioning editor at exactly the right time. Pitches the perfect blog storm and suddenly you’re queen of the blogosphere with a regular gig on a major website. ‘Hello’ to merrily extending your brand and ‘Come on in’ to keeping your all-important book in the cyber-sphere.

Witness new author Hattie Holden Edmonds and her great HuffPost blog charting her very own self-publishing journey. As it happens!

This week Hattie’s kindly reporting on our first session together a kind of ‘twitter-anti-aversion therapy’ for her (you can read some more on that here). But exactly how she scored that perfect blog gig is really the stuff of legend because she really was in the right place at the right time. If there is a moral to this happy tale – or at the very least something to learn from this, it’s network, network, network.

Whether you start out on twitter and work your way up or maybe you’ve got a friend with a friend who knows someone who walks the dog of Jonny Geller etc… Use your contacts, ask your friends and put aside your ordinarily rather British reserve. Americans don’t suffer false modesty and neither should you. To build your brand will require work, knocking on doors and sometimes being a little cheeky by calling in favours.

Hattie is taking the world by storm, one perfectly formed blog shower at a time. But she’s also putting in the miles by going round local bookshops and charming the socks of them. Tear yourself away from your computer…even from the demands of the next book because if you’ve self-published that’s only the beginning. Your next big challenge is getting out and about and meeting the right people who actually want to, and can help you and your book.

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Content marketing – an editor’s view

 

content marketing

I’ve had the great fortune to be editor of three popular websites over the last seven years. The websites have all been aimed at women in the main, but as we all know – women don’t just want to read about one thing. We read about every topic under the sun, from politics to parenting and hedgerows to hair loss.

It’s always been clear to me that commissioning regular guest posts and features is the best way to get the best content for our users. Sadly budgets are not what they were, so much of that commissioning was done on either a shoestring budget – or with no payment whatsoever. The later of which is what many web owners would class as content marketing. Which is a win-win when it’s done the right way.

Content marketing is the use of rich, quality content to attract customers to your product/site.

From an author’s point of view – this might translate to any of the following actions:

Tweeting or posting via any social media channel valuable links to great articles/products or images

Writing guest posts for community and/or bigger/relevant blog-sites

Inviting other writers to write guest posts on your blog

In my day job, I get a steady stream of offers of ‘quality free articles for your site’. On the face of it that sounds like a no-brainer – what could be better than free brilliant content to drive ever more traffic to your site? But, in fact many of the offers come with caveats, most of which involve hidden or visible links to commercial organizations. Often the email requests state that they have in-house writers who will write about any subject of our choice. Desperate for links, many companies are hiring poverty-stricken writers to churn out anything they can hide a link in. Well, they can keep emailing because the last thing we would do to our valuable user-base is inflict this kind of pernicious marketing on them. My view, and that of many editors is – if you want to do the hard-sell on your product to our users – pay for it like everyone else.

But, if you are an author – you have a big advantage. Your ‘product’ is a book. And, hopefully one that at least some of our users would naturally be interested in (do check first though that the topic would appeal). If you do feel it’s a relevant book then have a good think about an angle we might be interested in publishing for you.

In my next post I’ll give some tips on how to pitch your guest post. Until then it’s a good idea to spend some time searching the web for sites that would appeal to your potential readers. But do be realistic – it’s a big world (wide web) out there and you won’t have time to create bespoke pitches for everyone. Better to start with two or three perfect fits than waste hours pitching wrongly to all and sundry.

A twitter guide for writers (part 2)

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So you have a blog. You’ve not only joined twitter (see part one of my guide on how to hate Twitter a little less) how to  you’ve linked your blog and you’ve already followed a mixture of brilliant first time authors/established writers/publishing professionals and…Stephen Fry.

You’re at the party. So, it’s time to make your move.

What to tweet:

By now you should be following enough people that your timeline (a constantly updating list of their tweets) is rolling along at a chug chug pace. What next? People often talk about the 80-20 rule in terms of how much to tout your book about (20% of the tweets). It’s a good rule but it doesn’t mean the other 80% you’re tweeting needs to be utter drivel.

Watch how others interact

if you are following publishers, editors, book bloggers or literary journalists watch and learn. When in doubt, spend the first week or so just watching how they interact and reading the articles they link to.

The real Info behind twitter

There is a wealth of quite brilliant information in amongst the nonsense being recommended via this social network if you know where to find it (see #hashtags below). There are experts on every aspect of books-  whether it’s writing, getting published, ebook aficionados and digital media mavens so reading their links and tweeting your thoughts back as well as RTing (retweeting it to your followers) the original tweet. This kind of interaction will have you on the path to engagement before you can say LMAO. Honest.

Find your groove

You don’t need to have a huge following on twitter to make a success of it. Even if you only get a handful of people interested in your book or visiting your blog. It’s a start. If your book is good enough those few people will tell their friends. And they will tell theirs – and hey presto – you’re making social media work for you.

Once you’ve got the hang of engaging with people in the writing or publishing field you can then extend your focus. If your book is about time travel or football or chocolate find people who love those things.

Understanding hashtags

Hashtags are searchable tags for your tweets. Put the right one on and you will be found, forget to hashtag your best tweet ever and it may  never be read by anyone other than you *tumble weed time*. For example if you’re tweeting about your brand new book cover finally coming through you might want to hashtag #publishing #bookjacket #artwork or if you’re going down that route #selfpublishing  or #ebook. This way you’ll be found by anyone else looking at those hashtags – think of the many aspiring authors and published writers all tweeting around the world about these very topics. How to connect? Search a hashtag and hashtag your tweets.

Bon Voyage!

That’s it for now, make sure you have emergency supplies (chocolate & wine & Netflix) and may you have a successful journey.

If you have any questions or feedback please do leave a comment – and remember these really are the basics – I’m not pretending to be an expert, but honestly, it’s not #rocketscience