At the recent SCBWI Southern Breeze conference, I spoke to a group of writers about social media. We spent a great deal of time discussing blogs, and I mentioned that one way to increase traffic is to participate in a blog party.

Untitled design (11)

 

If all of this sounds like a foreign language to you, don’t worry. This is going to be a test case where I walk you through it. Here’s what we’re going to do:

Next Wednesday, October 28,  is going to be WRITER WEDNESDAY on my blog. This post will be focused on the craft of writing. It might be a piece of advice I’ve received, tips, a book on writing I’d recommend, etc.

Next, you’ll take a blog post that YOU’VE written, (it can be an old one, or write something new) and link it to mine. At the bottom of my post will be a form for you to fill out with your blog information etc. It will link YOUR post on writing inside of MY blog with the hopes that we will all tweet and share and increase our combined traffic. Note: At the bottom of YOUR post, please link back to my website. That way people can find their way back and look at the other blogs participating.

You will link your POST, not your website. Illustrators can participate too. Think of all the things you wish writers knew about illustrators and your process, etc.

That’s it! You don’t have to buy or download anything, you just need to show up here on Wednesday with a blog post ready to link. If you have any questions, let me know.  If this goes well, you may be inspired to host your own themed blog party. Do it, we’ll all come over. 🙂

My last piece of advice at the conference was to “Be Fearless”. Come on and give it a try!

wpsignature

#SocialMedia for Writers

socialmedia

 

I had the opportunity to teach a social media class at the SCBWI Southern Breeze Wik15 Conference this past weekend. The number one rule of social media is to BE USEFUL, so I’ve uploaded the entire social media powerpoint presentation here. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.

To see the notes, click HERE.

wpsignature

#SocialMedia for Writers

I found a nifty social media tool today for Twitter – Spruce! It’s very simple and easy to use, and FREE. You write what you want to say, choose a photo from their library or upload your own, then share the image via twitter. It automatically makes it the perfect size, so there’s nothing to think about. You don’t even have to download anything; you can tweet straight from the website!

social-media-tools-writers

Tweets with images get retweeted 150% more often and it doesn’t get any easier than Spruce. This is very similar to another product I love – wordswag.

If you’re a writer, you need to be engaging with people on Twitter. What you don’t need to do is waste a lot of time worrying about creating images. Spruce could be your answer!

wpsignature

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

#SocialMedia for Writers Social Media Tools

Blogging consistently can be difficult. Some days you’re really feeling it –

typing

 

Other days, not so much –

frustrated_typing

But everyone knows that good blogging means you MUST POST SOMETHING. Welcome to Giphy.

Giphy allows you to find an animated gif that perfectly expresses what you want to say, without the headache of actually writing.

Excited?

 

excited

 

There’s a gif for that. Bored?

bored

 

Giphy has you covered!

And with your blogging out of the way, you’ll have more time for what you really need to do, finish your novel!

cat_sleeping

Or sleeping, whichever.

wpsignature

#SocialMedia for Writers Social Media Tools

Social Media Tool (3)

I’m not sure if today’s social media tool actually qualifies since it’s whole purpose is to keep me off social media sites.

I spend a LOT of time on the computer posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, checking my emails, reading my favorite blogs, etc. In my normal day work-life, it’s no big deal. In fact, my normal day work-life often requires that I do all of those things daily. But when it comes time to sit and write, the last thing I need to do is check my twitter feed, so I exercise my self-control and ignore it all.

Just kidding, I have no self-control. What I do have is a program called Anti-Social.

Anti-Social is the amazing app that makes it easy for you to target and block any distracting website so you can be more productive.

Only $15.00, Anti-Social allows you to put in a set amount of time, then it will block your attempts to log-on to any social sites for the allotted time. You can also add any distracting websites that vie for your attention to be blocked. Unlike the program Freedom which blocks all internet access, Anti-Social let’s you pick and choose. I use both on occasion, but because I often require the internet when writing, Anti-Social is perfect.

Anti-Social won’t allow you to visit your banned sites until the time is over, but there is a work-around. If you simply MUST get back online, you can turn off your computer and reboot.

Anti-Social is $15.00 and Freedom is $10.00 but you can buy them both as a bundle for $20.00!

Self-control is cheaper, but a whole lot harder. Now I’m going to write so I’ll see you all in 180 minutes!

wpsignature

#SocialMedia for Writers Social Media Tools

Evernote-Logo

Evernote has been around for awhile, and I confess that even though I downloaded it a couple of years ago, it’s only now that I’ve decided to use it. Why? Because I can’t keep all of the crazy aspects of my life organized in my head anymore.

What does Evernote do? It allows you to record and save notes, photos, business cards, basically anything that you want to write or upload, then stores them for accessibility from your desktop, phone, Ipad, etc. Say you’re at a coffee shop and you see a flyer listing concerts in the park. Hey, your favorite band is playing in two weeks. You can take a picture of the flyer, save it to Evernote, then later SEARCH your files for the bands name. It searches images for words and text!

I’m a huge believer in TO DO lists. With Evernote, I can make a list on my laptop, then access it from my phone, tablet, desktop, etc. It has something to do with the mysterious “cloud”, but if it works who am I to wonder why?

Another great feature is the website clipper extension. Instead of bookmarking a website, I can “clip” relevant sections of the page and post it into my notes. So if I’m making notes on landscaping my backyard and find a website that tells what plants grow in particular areas, I can CLIP the section that pertains to me and put it in the landscape file.

Seriously people, the future is now! The best thing about Evernote is there’s a free version. Give it a try and see what you think!

wpsignature

 

 

 

 

#SocialMedia for Writers Social Media Tools

#socialmediatools

When you blog, tweet, and post on Facebook on a routine basis, it comes down to one thing – CONTENT. ContentGems is a social media tool that makes it easy for you. The free account allows you to pick one interest – I chose publishing, and two keywords that should be in the post, I chose books and authors. You also get to choose one keyword that must be in the post and I chose Middle Grade.

ContentGems monitors hundreds of blogs and RSS feeds and compiles a list for you based on your keywords.

I signed up for a free account, entered my keywords and found content within about 5 minutes.

The Best Books We Read in March

James Patterson on Writing for Kids

Review: Aoleon Martian Girl

There are paid plans that allow you to find other keywords, but I found plenty of content for free. If you find yourself constantly looking for something to share, ContentGems may be just what you’re looking for!

wpsignature

#SocialMedia for Writers Social Media Tools

WordSwag

Have you downloaded WordSwag on your phone yet?

This is a wonderful app that’s simple to use and creates great graphics in seconds! You can choose from their images, or use one of your own, and the text styles are fun and fresh. Add a quote, bible verse, whatever, and seconds later you’ve got an attention-grabbing graphic.

IMG_1654

Once done, you can email, text, or share it to Twitter, Instagram, and the usual places.

IMG_1655

It’s not free, but at $3.99, totally worth it. Give it a try and see for yourself!

wpsignature

#SocialMedia for Writers Social Media Tools

hootsuite

 

Hootsuite just may be my favorite social media tool EVAH. Basically, it allows you to monitor all of your social media accounts, and streams, in one place. I’m not a SUPER media consultant like the dude I met at SMMW14 who monitored over 127 twitter accounts, but I do have several and it’s a drag having to log-in and out of every account.

Through Hootsuite, you can manage Twitter, Facebook (personal, pages, groups, events) Linkedin, Google+ pages, WordPress blogs and more. I especially like how I can see my twitter feed, mentions, specific keywords, etc. as well as FB comments, all in one interface. For my business accounts, I can schedule posts all at one time, then choose a specific time for them to post, or let Hootsuite decide what’s best. It packs a huge punch, but is relatively easy to use.

It even has some creepy/cool features like searching a keyword and a question mark. So if I want to know if anyone is tweeting questions about middle grade books, I put in “MG Books ?” and it shows me tweets like this “Looking to blog about MG Books? Apply to join us at the Mixed Up Files!” Cool, huh! You can even refine your search by location, so you can find people within 25 miles of your current locale, AND search through your feed by Klout score to find influencers. I told you it was creepy/cool.

If you have a team of people working on your social media, you can add them as well, and either give them full access, or let them create posts that you can okay later. If you have more than one social media account, you have got to give Hootsuite a try. It’s hootSWEET!

wpsignature

 

 

#SocialMedia for Writers Social Media Tools

I lied, I don’t ACTUALLY have a social media tool for you today. I have something better! I am going to send you to one of my favorite sites for getting information about what’s happening in the social media realm – Razor Social. I heard the founder, Ian Cleary, speak at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego last spring, and he was fabulous.

I could link to a variety of awesome blog posts on their site, but since I spent a good part of the day yesterday trying to figure out why my COMMENTS were closed, I thought one called “7 Amazingly Simple Ways to Get More Blog Comments” might be helpful.

As a bonus, I’ll give you EIGHT. Be sure the “Allow Comments” tab on your WP post is checked. 🙂

wpsignature

 

#SocialMedia for Writers Social Media Tools