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Why A Writer’s Online Presence Is Important

POSTED BY prbythebook ON July 6, 2016

Why A Writer’s Online Presence Is Important

One of my friends recently published his first novel and with it I saw a significant uptick in his Tweets. When I asked him about this all of a sudden change, I got a bit of gruff and a significant eye roll.

At the behest of his publisher and PR team, my friend started doing multiple posts a day on Twitter and even went as far to hire another humor writer to fill in for when he couldn’t be funny 24/7. This was also supplemented with a brand spanking new Instagram and mass follow sessions. (I don’t know what I’m doing, is this kid actually a guru or just some rich millennial with too much time on his hands?)

While I understood his eye rolling, I do know why it’s important, and why his team considered it an essential that he build an online presence.

For growing, expanding and becoming essential, the internet is the answer for writers. And while it doesn’t come easy, hard work in the right direction is a cure all for your dreams of making it big and getting more press for your latest publication.

Developing Your Brand

There’s a lot of things people like to talk about, write about, get involved in, and having a lot to say is great, but in the beginning, be niche. Developing your personal style online may be the hardest part, but it’s worth the trouble to focus your website to what you excel at.

For writer’s building their brand, it’s vital to create a list of things you are, and a list of things you aren’t, going to be online. The more specific this is, the better; what you want to narrow down to is exactly what you want to be known for.

Narrowing can go all the way to your social media outlets as well; it’s perfectly fine to cherry pick around when you’re just getting started. Twitter or Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest—just make sure whatever you choose you do well. Purpose is the best way to build your brand, so go with it!

Provide Perks for Readers

Newsletters are a great way to engage your readers regularly, but if you’re not the kind to give weekly updates on what’s going on, you can also engage them in different ways, especially if you’re a frequent writer.

Exclusive content for your readers is the way for writers to get people engaged and to build up their email list (the most vital of all online presence) and you do that by being memorable. Whether it’s because you’ve taken the time to answer earnest posts sent in your direction or a detailed how-to for getting an editor to look at your manuscript

To go the extra mile, post a clip of your latest work for publication, like the first chapter of your next novel available on pdf for download (make sure you’re thinking about your international readers as well by providing global access through a VPN), because E.L. James is proof that when you get online readers, you can go big.  

Engagement

Publishing a book is a pretty passive statement.

Don’t get me wrong; I know the hard work that goes into it, but that doesn’t alter the fact that you can publish and then never engage anyone beyond that point. For authors these days, that’s not a great option because being a member of the online community means you can engage with your readers beyond your book and cultivate your core readership (writers can take a page out of Libba Bray’s book on what a successful writer doing this looks like).   

Things to remember when you’re trying to build your audience:

  • Comment. By going onto other blogs, either created by readers, fellow authors, or review sites, you’re cultivating your presence as someone who is always on the lookout for an opportunity to connect, and readers love this. And an extra tip: if you seek out smaller blogs than you, you can help them grow as well, which will build great relationships.  
  • Be a guest. An excellent way to bring more readers into your realm is by seeking out blogs that allow guest posts. Go out on a limb for someone else’s audience and do more than comment, provide them with your insight and true value.   
  • Know your limits. That big brand you’re building? It’s only as good as it is authentic. If you know you can’t blog every day, don’t. It’s better to be a weekly blogger with something worth reading and interacting with than someone who posts every day but doesn’t have anything to say. Be your best self because the only thing harder than getting readers is keeping them.

Be Relevant

The internet is a big place—a big place for ideas.

You don’t have to come up with inspiration all on your own, the people who are successful at the business started exactly where you are, and you can learn a thing or two from them.

For useful tips on how to keep your content and website relevant, look at where your idols are guest posting, whether or not they have a newsletter, what new social media apps they’re getting behind because all high traffic blogs have one thing in common: they’ve got the hits to bring the readers.

Ask yourself these questions next time you’re looking for new ways to market or freshen up your strategy:

  • How are they promoting themselves?
  • Are they using hashtags?
  • Are they keeping to specific post times? When is it?
  • How are they using SEO best practices?

Communication is the key in a writer’s online presence, and the tools of the technology age are primed for making your venues of communication as clear and successful as possible—so get writing, and then get tweeting! Remember, strategists say it takes 10 percent content and 90 percent marketing to get off the ground—so take it to heart.

About the Author: Caroline is a fanatical reader and technology guru, constantly in search for the best free e-book, the latest in e-reader technology and the ultimate guide on how to gracefully get out of weekend plans so she can remain at home in bed with a good read. Hit her up with great comments and she’ll keep the updates on all things tech and reader worthy coming! You can follow her on Twitter @CultureCovC.

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