Paula Writes

Paula Puddephatt – Author

Tumblr for Writers: Social Media and Your Author Platform — May 28, 2018

Tumblr for Writers: Social Media and Your Author Platform

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December 2018 update: New Tumblr account for Paula Writes

I’ve been focusing more than usual upon Tumblr of late, so thought that I would build upon the information given in my Social Media for Writers post.

But, before we get into Tumblr for writers…

Google Plus

Thank you for the positive feedback and interest, that my recent post about Google Plus received. I am fully invested in this network right now, becoming more active, and improving the quality of my content. I have created more Collections, and am adding to some of my key Collections, as and when, instead of just letting them sit there.

January 2019 update: See my post from October 2018, about the planned closure of Google Plus.

Now, back on topic…

Tumblr: Is it a social media site, or a blogging platform?

Honestly, the answer is both. Tumblr is Tumblr, pretty much. Part of getting it, lies in using it. But it does fall somewhere between being a social media platform, and a blog hosting site. Understanding this is important, because it affects how Tumblr works, and how we should approach using the site, if we would like to make it part of our author platform.

Hashtags are effective on Tumblr, for increasing your reach.

As I mentioned in my Social Media for Writers post, I personally use 2 to 4 hashtags per post. The general ones that I recommend for writers are: #writing, #amwriting, #prose, #poetry, and #lit.

I use queues.

It’s kind of scheduling, except that you don’t have to specifically choose the times for each individual post to be sent. Tumblr takes care of this.

You need to set the systems in place, and let Tumblr know how many posts per day you would like to share, and between which hours. Tumblr will then space them out, and distribute them, within your specified time frame.

When you want to queue a new post, simply use the “drop down” menu, on the button that you would click on to post in real time, and select “Queue”, instead of “Post”.

If you can manage to do so, having between 10 and 30 posts sent daily will help your Tumblr following to grow. Simply decrease the frequency, during periods when you’re unable to maintain this level of activity.

Reblogs – which is what shares are known as on Tumblr – can be included in your queues.

The maximum number of posts that can be held in a queue, at any one time, is 300.

So, content: what to post on Tumblr.

Poetry, and inspirational and writing quotes, tend to be popular, and I focus primarily on these, personally. Links are less so. Don’t expect much traffic to your blog, from links shared on Tumblr. Some of this comes back to the fact that many people are actually using Tumblr as a blogging platform, in its own right. In that way, it might come across as equivalent to going on to a WordPress blog, and telling people to check out your site on Wix or Blogger instead. That said, you occasionally can encourage Tumblr followers to visit external links, and I currently do post links to this blog, on my Tumblr page.

Research Tumblr SEO.

This is a new area to me, and I certainly intend to learn more. A major advantage to the fact that many people are using Tumblr for blogging purposes, is that they then become interested in SEO. In truth, SEO for Tumblr blogs is never likely to compare with SEO for sites on WordPress, or even Blogger. However, there are always strategies for improving SEO rankings, and this applies to Tumblr. Google “Tumblr SEO”, and you’ll find some excellent resources, to build upon what I’ve merely mentioned, in this post.

I hope that this advice will be useful, if you’re hoping to use Tumblr, as part of your author platform. It’s a fun site, and very visual. If you enjoy Tumblr, it’s a great place to connect with other writers.

You’re welcome to follow me on Tumblr, or any of my other social media sites.

If you’ve benefited from this post, or/and know others who could, please consider sharing it, on any of your own social media platforms. I deeply appreciate your support, and sharing my posts, in this way, really helps me out.

Also, I have a posts about Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for writers, which might be of interest.

Google Plus for Writers: Social Media and Your Author Platform — May 9, 2018

Google Plus for Writers: Social Media and Your Author Platform

paula-writer

Please note that Google Plus is closing down on 2 April 2019, meaning that this blog post is irrelevant and outdated.

 

I’ve already written a post about building your social media platform online. In this general social media post, I do touch upon the subject of Google Plus.  But my intention was always to write another post, focused on this platform, if only because I’ve found it difficult myself, to find much information on the subject.

People tend to dismiss Google Plus, but I have always believed it to be an underrated platform, and worth making use of.

Lately, however, I have had to question my own position. Being honest, it really does seem that posts on the site are reaching almost no-one.

However, for some time, I haven’t made efforts to actually check in.

I hadn’t been posting to my Collections at all. Also, I hardly use Buffer nowadays. The posts that I used to send fairly regularly, through this scheduler, were going, by default to Google Plus, along with Twitter, and my Facebook author page. I did discuss more about my current position, with my various social media accounts, in a recent post.

So, I don’t have a definite verdict, as to whether or not Google Plus is still worth using, as a writer.

For my own part, I’m hoping to experiment: become consistent on the platform again, and keep my content varied. Time will tell.

For now, I would suggest that it probably isn’t worth investing huge amounts of time into Google Plus, if you don’t already.

But I do feel that it’s worth paying attention to, not least because there’s some evidence that being active on Google’s own social media platform may have SEO benefits. As for Google Plus sending traffic to my blog – it has happened, but nothing significant. That said, I have heard of others who have gained a much more impressive amount of blog traffic through the site – and I believe that it can work particularly well in conjunction with You Tube.

For me, a major attraction of Google Plus has always been that most people do ignore it.

Yes, that’s the down side, in that there aren’t as many people to reach with our posts. But paradoxically, it’s also a positive aspect – at least, potentially – because it isn’t as crowded, “noisy” and competitive as more popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Even much of what actually is posted on Google Plus, tends to be spam. Anyone with decent content can definitely stand out, in a positive way.

Hashtags can be effective on Google Plus, so definitely make use of these.

Since not as many people post on each hashtag, your post can actually “hang around” for much longer. Use generalised tags, rather than some of the specific ones that work on other sites. For example, #MotivationalMonday might work for you on Instagram and Twitter, but probably won’t on Google Plus. Think in terms of “does what it says on the tin”. #Writing or #inspiration would be fine. As far as I can tell, #amwriting is a great hashtag for writers, on any platform where hashtags are a “thing”, so feel free to try that one.

My number one piece of advice is to make use of Collections.

They’re similar, in many respects, to boards on Pinterest. In common with Pinterest, others on the platform have the option of following one or more of your Collections, without necessarily needing to follow your account, as a whole. This can have definite advantages, because people are often more willing to follow along with you, if they don’t have to see all of your posts. It can make it easier to cultivate followings in multiple niches, using the same main account. Collections will be featured to other users, which is their major advantage.

Another tip is to browse other people’s Collections, and join any that are of interest. You can sometimes gain followers by doing so.

You might also want to explore Communities, which are basically the Google Plus equivalent of Facebook groups.

I lack experience with these, so won’t attempt to offer specific advice. The challenge, in general, would be discovering active ones.

The final point that’s worth mentioning, even though most people are aware of this, is that anyone with a Google account automatically has a Google Plus account.

If you’re on You Tube or Blogger, then you’re good to go. If the account is there already, why not try posting? If enough of us do, maybe we can make it into an active platform again.

And, of course, you’re welcome to follow me on Google Plus, or any of my other social media sites.

Also, I have posts about using Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram, as part of your author platform.

09/10/2018 update: I was sad to learn that Google Plus is apparently closing next year, as a consumer website.

Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and All Things Social Media — May 4, 2018

Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and All Things Social Media

flickr-insta-fb-twitterinstagram-paula-puddephatt

I’ve written about various social media related topics, most of which relate specifically to the role that social media networks can play in building your author platform online.

The problem with these type of posts is that they soon become out of date, and will never be entirely evergreen, by their very nature. Social media is constantly moving and evolving. Because of this, I’ve been feeling that an update might be beneficial. I’ll mainly discuss changes regarding my personal approach to social media, in this particular post.

Firstly, Flickr – not a site I’ve previously discussed, on this blog.

I used to be extremely active on Flickr, but haven’t been able to access my original account for some time. Last year, I did set up a new account, but didn’t do much with it. I’ve recently added more images, and hope to post more consistently on the site, in the future – but time will tell. And I also now have a Pinterest board, exclusively for my Flickr images.

I have joined the various groups I set up originally, although I no longer have admin status on those groups.

Or, more accurately, I have the status, but not on the account I’m actually able to access. I did also set up a new group, called Colourful Chaos, but haven’t done much with it as yet, and not sure whether I will or not. Many of my original groups are actually still active, which is encouraging.

Now, moving on from Flickr: Instagram.

I actually adjusted the part about Instagram, in my Social Media for Writers post, to reflect that I am now using this platform. Somehow, I don’t feel comfortable with tweaking posts in this way, however – even though I have heard many bloggers advise doing so. To me, it would become endless, as many things do alter, over time. I prefer to say what I say, and then update the information via future posts. I just find that less confusing.

Anyway, Instagram…

Yes, it’s true. I’m finally using Instagram, and loving it.

My main problem has always been the practical side, and particularly the issue of Instagram cropping photos.

Anything taken on a DSLR or creative compact ideally needs to be resized, but right now, I’m working around these factors, in my own way – which is kind of what I do. My quotes, poems and other text images – such as, the one above – are actually created on the Paint package on my laptop, and any borders or colour filters are, in general, added later, on Google Photos, which I use on my Hudl 2. So, basically, the practical issues always made Instagram stressful for me, but I’m working around them right now, because the positive aspects make it worth the extra effort.  The community is amazing.

Hashtags are where it’s at on Instagram, and I’m in the process of discovering the best ones to use.

You can use up to 30 per post and, having watched many You Tube videos, and read blog posts, on the subject, I have to say that there’s no clear answer, as to how many you should be ideally use. I’ve heard 5 to 7. I’ve also frequently heard that not to use all 30 is to miss out. And I’ve heard pretty much everything in between. So, I’m experimenting, and learning as I go.

And, as with Pinterest, I’m not using any scheduling whatsoever for Instagram.

I post in real time, and that’s it, pretty much. I find consistency difficult, to be honest – but I also kind of like it, in some respects.

Now, on the subject of scheduling – having reread my post on how I schedule for social media, and the part 2 of this, I realised that I don’t schedule quite as much as I used to.

Buffer has made some changes, and I find it more difficult to use. I only occasionally use Buffer and Social Oomph nowadays.

I use Twittimer daily, and almost all of my Tweets now go through this app. It works for me.

Now that I hardly use Buffer, I post less frequently on Google Plus – which, honestly, really does seem dead, of late. And less on Facebook. More thoughts to come about Facebook.

In my social media scheduling post, I mentioned the Tumblr queues.

I still use the Tumblr queueing system, but am constantly varying the frequency settings on there, for different reasons.

So, Facebook.

I’m not currently treating it as a priority. I update my pages, as and when, either in real time, or by scheduling a post or two, via Facebook’s native scheduler. My group, Writing Forever, needs more time and energy than I’m currently prepared or able to give it. Music Forever, similar – but I’m lucky enough to have a few members who post, and that keeps it going, at a low level.

Twitter remains my main social network, and I love the community on there.

That said, I’ve been feeling that I need to vary posts more, and take things to the next level somehow. I did say, in my Twitter for Writers post, that I only use 2 hashtags on my posts now. In fact, I’ve recently experimented with using 3-4 on some posts, having noticed a trend towards using slightly more tags. I’ll probably return to 2 per post though, as it’s what I’m generally more comfortable with.

I’m not updating my 80s/90s Music Twitter page much at all. As with many other aspects of my social media, this is something that I’ve not made a priority.

In my Social Media for Writers post, when I listed the sites that didn’t use, and couldn’t advise on, I mentioned Reddit.

I don’t use Reddit, but I do have an account, and there’s a possibility that I will explore this site, in the future – but no immediate plans to do so.

So that’s my “all over the place” summary of where I’m at right now, in terms of my social media. See also: Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups and Twitter: Going Into 2018 and Facebook Changes, Pinterest and All Things Social Media. And I’ve also written a post, giving my opinions about secret Facebook groups.

July 2018 update: Please refer to my more recent posts, regarding Instagram and Pinterest.

Follow me on social media.

Author Bloggers: Should Fiction Writers Be Blogging? — March 7, 2018

Author Bloggers: Should Fiction Writers Be Blogging?

paula-writer

Should fiction writers blog – or focus purely upon the creation of fiction?

Of course, I’m asking this in the form of a blog post, which in itself, does suggest that I believe in author blogs. Well, yes, I do, but I also recognise many of their associated problems.

So, why should authors blog?

It’s probably one of the best forms of online content marketing, for a start – and content marketing verges upon essential nowadays, for almost all authors.

If you’re a self-published, or independent, author, it’s basically vital, and increasingly, it’s a part of the job for most traditionally published authors, too. Blogging is great for SEO, and gives you something of value to share on social media. Of course, there are other forms of content marketing, which can be equally effective. One of the best is making You Tube videos, and you can definitely build a significant audience this way, whether or not you also choose to have a blog. It’s very much a personal choice, and what you feel comfortable with.

The most obvious reason to blog is that it’s writing.

If you love to write, there’s a strong chance that you’ll enjoy blogging. That’s logical and self-explanatory, right?

Blogging is a chance to explore and share our feelings and opinions, and the process of doing so helps us to develop as writers.

Our posts will also, hopefully, help our readers. It allows us to share our experience and knowledge – and, in a different form, the same passion that drives us to write our fiction. It’s one more way to reach out with our message.

Heard of the KLT factor?

Blogging enables potential readers of our fiction to know, like and trust us, and this is essential for building our author brands. Ultimately, this is what is going to encourage people to buy and read our books.

Now, let’s look at why authors possibly shouldn’t blog.

Basically, blogging can become a major distraction.

The work involved in maintaining an active blog is unavoidably time-consuming. And it’s possible to become obsessed with blogging, to the point where it takes over, and our novels, and other writing projects, are seriously neglected. And yes, I speak from experience.

None of this necessarily means that we can’t blog as writers, but finding the right balance is necessary.

When considering frequency of publication, it’s important to keep in mind that author bloggers are not in the same position as business or lifestyle bloggers. We may not be able to publish on the same sort of schedule as they do – and we probably don’t actually need to.

If blogging simply doesn’t appeal to you, that’s probably an indication that you shouldn’t do it.

As I mentioned before, there are other forms of content marketing, so don’t feel that you have to blog, if you really don’t want to. Your heart won’t be in it anyway, and that will come through, in your writing. It’s also likely that you will abandon your blog, if you’re lacking passion for it, from the start. It’s possible that you actually would enjoy blogging, if you had a specific direction, however – so it might be worth reading on, because I’m going to discuss what you should write about, on an author blog.

Right, so what should an author blog be about?

A point to consider here is, of course, audience requirements.

Who are you, primarily, blogging for: other writers, your novel’s (or novels’) target audience, or both? Of course, there can be some overlap here, but the question remains an important one, and may have an impact upon the direction of your blog.

The classic author blog approach would be to write about writing craft.

This is one of the main areas that I myself do tend to focus upon.

Book reviews are also popular, and would appeal to other writers, but also potentially, readers, who aren’t necessarily writers themselves.

In terms of attracting organic search traffic, book reviews are often successful.

Some authors share samples from their novels.

Others include posts that discuss their characters, or aspects of their works in progress. The possibilities are endless, if you want to get creative.

Because I’ve written poetry, as well as fiction, I’ve included posts about the relevance of modern poetry, the inclusion of fictional elements in poems, and alternative approaches to writing character poems.

I’ve also experimented with various poetry websites and blogs. These can complement our main blogs, if they all link back there. Tumblr does work well for sharing poetry and writing quotes, and might be worth considering, as it falls somewhere between a social media and blogging platform.

Some author bloggers concentrate upon subject areas that they deal with in their fiction, rather than writing about writing, as such.

Personally, I do this, but tend to bring everything back to writing. For example, I have a post, in which I talk about my approach to mental health, in my fiction. Also, I write modern historical fiction, and have a post about that, and another that lists 10 awesome things about the 1980s, the era in which my WIP is set. Interestingly, in my first post on my current blog, about moving to WordPress, I discuss my plans for the blog – and I was by no means restricting myself to writing about writing, at that stage.

Blogging about blogging is an interesting one.

That’s actually what this post is, as is my evergreen content post. Blog posts about blogging will always be popular. Of course, you can always venture into related topics, such as SEO.

And then there’s social media.

Social media is huge for writers, and most author blogs will at least touch upon the subject, in some of their posts. I have my main post about Social Media for Writers, and more specific ones, about using Twitter, Tumblr, and Google Plus, as writers.  Then also, a few other posts that deal with aspects of social media.

For some reason, my post about secret Facebook groups has ended up being (at the time of writing) my most popular post (based upon page views alone) – and that one only came into existence following a negative personal experience that I had, with one particular group.  That led me to take an interest in the subject more generally, and raise the question as to whether these groups should be allowed to exist at all, or whether they should at least be more closely monitored by Facebook.

On the subject of social media, certain platforms work particularly well for bloggers – notably, Pinterest.

If your main social media channel is Twitter, as it is for myself, then you can definitely gain blog visitors, if you aren’t afraid to regularly share links to your posts. On Facebook, blogging groups, such as Bloggers Buzz or The Blogging Breakthrough Community, are probably your best bet – or a more general writing group may be of interest. Google Plus tends to be low maintenance, and will send you at least some traffic. I get very few blog visitors through Tumblr, but find it worthwhile, in other ways, as previously mentioned.

If you’re thinking of becoming an author blogger, I would say to go for it.  It can be rewarding, and I’m always interested to discover more quality author blogs.

My post, discussing the pros and cons of planning your blog posts in advance, may be of interest.

The excellent Standout Books also have a post about author blogs, which comes highly recommended.

Find me on social media.

Check out some of my personal favourite writing blogs.

Twitter for Writers: Social Media and Your Author Platform — February 9, 2018

Twitter for Writers: Social Media and Your Author Platform

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I recently wrote a post about social media for writers – and, following on from this, I’m now focusing on advice specific to Twitter.

It’s the social media site, with which I’ve personally had the most success. It’s also, in my opinion, one of the best for writers. I hesitate to say the best, because everyone is different, and what works for each of us is going to vary. That said, if you asked me which one social media site you should really be on, as a writer, I would say Twitter, for sure.

So, let’s start at the beginning: Name.

Use your real name, or the pen name that you write under, unless there’s a particular reason not to do so.

Your profile picture should be a photograph of yourself – unless, again, there is a definite reason not to use your own image.

Use a logo, if appropriate – but no profile pictures featuring your pet dog or guinea pig, however cute said pet might be. If you want to feature your books, incorporate these images into your cover photo, whilst still allowing potential readers to see you, as the face of your author brand.

It’s usually advisable to use the same profile picture, for your various social media accounts.

It makes it so much easier for people to find you, if you look the same on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and so on. It’s generally recommended to use consistent cover pictures as well, although this can be difficult in practice, because different dimensions are required for each site. It’s certainly the ideal, but I must admit that my own cover images are currently not consistent, across the board.

Ensure that your profile information is complete, and that you include the URL of your website or blog, if you have one.

If you don’t yet have your own site, maybe link to your Facebook “fan” page, You Tube profile, or whichever site or profile seems most appropriate.

Consistency is very much key with Twitter.

This is the case with social media in general, but particularly so, when it comes to Twitter. You should definitely make use of scheduling and, if you can’t afford to pay for this, don’t worry. I’ve never paid to schedule my social media posts. There are so many free options and, for more information about schedulers, with an emphasis upon free alternatives, I recommend reading my post about how I schedule for social media. There’s also a follow-up post, in which I expand upon the information given in part one.

Post as frequently as 10 + times daily, for optimum results.

Yes, seriously. As long as you’re spacing your Tweets out, using some sort of scheduling system, it won’t be too much. Twitter moves fast, and you have to be posting regularly, if you want many people to see your content. You can recycle posts, much more so than on other networks, such as Facebook.

Post varied, quality content, such as writing and inspirational quotes, poetry, and links to blog posts and videos.

These links can be your own or other people’s, and should ideally be a mixture of both. If you include someone else’s link, you might want to tag the person, using their Twitter handle. Twitter is much more visual than many people realise. Aim to include images with the majority of Tweets, as this will increase the number of “likes” and Retweets that you receive.

Use hashtags.

They make a significant difference to your reach, and you will definitely be missing out, if you’re not including them. Don’t overdo it, however. 1 to 3 tags are the general recommendation. 4 is borderline. More than 4, and many people will view your post as “spam”. Over time, you will get to know which hashtags work best for you but, for anything writing related, you can’t really go wrong with #amwriting or/and #writerslife.

Another quick point about hashtags: Don’t just add them to your own posts, but “visit” them, too.

It’s a great way to find people in your niche, and make valuable connections.

Pin a Tweet to the top of your profile – a post that you particularly want people to see, when they land on your profile page.

It’s well worth the effort to do so.

Although scheduling can take care of most of your posting, it’s important to check into Twitter regularly – ideally once or more daily, most days.

When you do go on, make sure that you engage with others, and Retweet a selection of quality content, from the people you follow, or ones whose posts you find via hashtags, as previously mentioned.

So, those are the basics, in a nutshell. You’re welcome to follow me on Twitter, or any of my other networks.

I would also really appreciate it if you would share this, or/and any of my other posts, on social media. It makes a difference, and means a lot to me. Thank you for your support.

I also have posts about using Google Plus, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest, as part of your author platform.

Social Media for Writers: Building Your Author Platform — February 1, 2018

Social Media for Writers: Building Your Author Platform

paula-writerAs writers, we should be building our online platforms.

 

In days gone by, there was no internet, let alone social media, and writers still managed to get their work out there. However, it was much more difficult to do so. Not to use social media nowadays, as a writer, would put you at a serious disadvantage.

 

The question is, where do you start?

 

There are so many social media networks now. Do you need to be on them all? I would say, definitely not. In fact, there are so many alternatives that it’s hard to imagine anyone, who wasn’t a celebrity, with a huge following already, being successful on every platform. And someone in that position would, almost certainly, have dedicated teams to manage their various social media channels. Hardly comparable to the position that most of us are in, when we’re just starting out.

 

Most of us will find our personal favourites, by trial and error.

 

The networks that you actually enjoy are probably, on the whole, the ones to go with. There are, however, some that do tend to be more useful for connecting with other writers, or people from particular target audiences, so it’s worth keeping those factors in mind. I’m still in the early stages, when it comes to building my own platform, but am definitely starting to discover which platforms work for me.

 

 

Although, in this post, I’m primarily discussing social media, I should mention that it’s important to have a home base.

 

By this, I mean a website or blog – an online space, to direct your online traffic to, other than social media. And, no – an Amazon sales page alone isn’t sufficient.  Aim to include as much evergreen content as possible, on your website or blog.

 

 

Personally, my primary channel is Twitter.

 

It’s definitely one of the best for writers, especially from the point of view of connecting with other writers. Post regular, quality content: a combination of links, writing and inspirational quotes, videos, and so on. Ideally, post a mixture of your own content, and that of others, in your niche, or related areas.

 

Definitely, make use of scheduling, as consistency is key with Twitter, but do also ensure that you make time to engage with others on the platform.

 

Checking in daily, or at least most days, will help, although it doesn’t matter, if you can’t always keep this up, as long as you remain active, via scheduled posts – and make the effort to engage, when you do go on.

 

And use hashtags. 1 to 3 per post is the general recommendation.

 

I currently stick with 2. 4 is borderline, but more than that, and your posts will tend to be regarded as “spammy”. But don’t miss out by omitting them altogether, as they help significantly with reach. I recommend using #amwriting or/and #writerslife, on most writing related posts. Others that I regularly use are: #writing, #writingforever, #writetip, and #poetry.

 

Then, of course, there’s Facebook.

 

With even more forthcoming changes, that will impact upon the, already limited, reach of our Facebook pages, many people feel that it’s no longer a viable channel. I personally believe that it’s advisable for writers to have Facebook pages, but not to rely upon them as a primary traffic source. That is, unless you’re in a position to run paid ads.

 

Facebook groups, on the other hand, are a different matter, and probably the way forward, for writers who want to remain active on the site.

 

They are certainly time-consuming but, as long as you love using Facebook, can provide that ideal space, in which to build a community. If you don’t fancy starting up your own group, it might be a good idea to join a few existing ones, and participate in those. My own group, Writing Forever, at the time of writing, is comparatively new, and welcomes new members.

 

Tumblr, a very visual site, has a strong writing community.

 

Poetry, and writing and inspirational quotes, are popular. Tumblr drives very little traffic to my blog, but I find the site inspiring and enjoyable to use, and have received positive feedback on my posts.

 

Hashtags are effective on here, but not exactly the same ones as on other sites, such as Twitter.

 

Try #writing, #lit, #prose, and #poetry. I don’t know whether this is true or not, but I’ve heard that only the first 5 tags register on Tumblr’s search facilities. Beyond that, they only function to search within your own Tumblr page. I tend to use 2-4 tags on Tumblr. I do also find the queueing system – mentioned in my social media scheduling post – invaluable.

 

Google Plus – now, this is an interesting one.

 

In general, people tend to dismiss it, but actually, I really like it, and think that it’s worth taking just a little time to investigate this network. If nothing else, because it’s part of Google, and being active on here does appear to help somewhat with SEO.

 

If you have a Google account – which anyone who has a You Tube channel, or Blogger site, does – you automatically have a Google Plus page.

 

It doesn’t take much effort to update it, now and again.

 

Hashtags do work on Google Plus, but this platform tends towards descriptive, “does what it says on the tin” tags.

 

Many popular Twitter tags don’t work at all. #Writing, #fiction and #poetry will get you further than #MotivationalMonday. Sometimes I do end up using Twitter hashtags, simply because I send a percentage of posts via Buffer to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, simultaneously. However, when I post specifically on Google Plus, I opt for more generalised tags.

 

My main advice for using Google Plus successfully is to set up Collections, on topics of interest.

 

These are similar, in a sense, to Pinterest boards – and I’ll talk about Pinterest, in a moment. Collections are shown to other Google Plus users, and you can potentially end up with additional subscribers to individual Collections, who may not even follow your account, as a whole. They’re probably one of the best ways to get your posts seen on the site, and so easy to set up.

 

Communities may also help, but these are equivalent to Facebook groups, and potentially more time-consuming.

I don’t really have enough experience to comment upon their benefits or otherwise, but they may be worth exploring.

09/10/2018 update: I was sad to learn that Google Plus is apparently closing next year, as a consumer website.

 

I more or less ignored Pinterest for years, but lately, I’ve become obsessed.

 

I’m building my Pinterest boards, and learning more about the platform via various blog posts and You Tube videos. And yes, You Tube is awesome, and coming next on my list.

 

As for Pinterest – well, I’m exploring it, and loving it, but am very much in the early stages.

 

It’s more of a visual search engine, rather than a conventional social media site, and I’ve heard amazing things about Pinterest, for driving website traffic. That said, I’m not using any sort of scheduling, Boardboaster or Tailwind, and haven’t got into group boards either, so can’t advise on any of that.  August 2018 update: I still pin manually, but should point out that Boardboaster has recently closed down. I do now have some experience with group boards. My Pinterest post elaborates.

 

July 2018 update: See my recent post about using Pinterest, as part of your author platform.

 

You Tube, as I mentioned, is awesome.

 

I watch many You Tube videos. I comment on a decent number. What I don’t do is to make them myself. Well, I did upload a couple, towards the end of 2017. Short clips of our pet cockatiels. But honestly, if you’re confident enough to make writing videos on You Tube, go for it. You Tube also, in common with Pinterest, has the bonus of being a powerful search engine. It’s a great platform for writers – probably one of the best. It’s also an excellent resource for research.

 

So, how about Instagram?

 

Or Linked In, Snapchat, Reddit, Stumble Upon – and all the others I’ve missed? Basically, yes – you can use any of them, as a writer. I simply can’t advise on them, because I lack experience on the platforms.  That said, I’m becoming more active on Instagram right now.  Oh, and I’m also on Flickr – although not on my original account, which I’ve unfortunately been unable to access, in recent years.

July 2018 update: See my recent Instagram for Writers post, as I do now regularly use Instagram, as part of my author platform.

 

There are so many options out there. Hopefully, you will find at least one or two that work for you.  Also, do take a look at my post about how to build your author brand. And there is now a new Social Media for Writers 2019 post, which may be of interest.

 

Keep believing.

 

Find me on social media.

 

 

Facebook Changes, Pinterest, and All Things Social Media — January 19, 2018

Facebook Changes, Pinterest, and All Things Social Media

facebook-changes

This is an update to one of my posts from December 2017, in which I discussed some of my thoughts about Facebook pages and groups, going into 2018.

It turns out that I was being too optimistic about the possibility of organic growth on Facebook, certainly in relation to business/fan pages. The forthcoming changes to the newsfeed could effectively mean that most of us will soon reach none of the people who have “liked” or/and followed our pages: literally, none. To be honest, at times, it isn’t far off that already, for many of us.

I set up my groups, Writing Forever and Music Forever, towards the end of last year, and groups are definitely the way forward on Facebook, as far as I understand it.

Other than posts from friends and family, and paid ads, it could be the only way in which to reach our audiences, in the future.

In terms of scheduling, about which I have already written a post, and a part 2, it may become almost pointless to use schedulers such as Buffer, for Facebook posts.

I currently use a combination of Buffer, Facebook’s native scheduler, and some real time posting, and would consider using Facebook’s own schedulers entirely, if that would increase my chances of people actually seeing my posts. I’m not sure that it will, from what I’m hearing. For now, my posts that are going via Buffer to Twitter and Google Plus anyway, might as well continue to go to Facebook, as I get very little reach on the posts – but still, something.

It is also unclear whether, in the future, posts will be seen by our friends, when shared via our fan pages.

At the moment, sharing to our Timelines can help somewhat. I’m hoping that this will continue to be the case.

Whilst I feel disillusioned about yet more changes to the Facebook algorithm, which don’t appear to be ones for the better, I will always seek positive solutions.

I hope to focus upon building a community via my groups, although I do tend to be inconsistent on social media, due to having multiple projects, and struggling with health and personal problems. I’m also completely neglecting my novel. I need to find the right balance: an ongoing challenge.

Lately, I’ve been exploring Pinterest, and this could well become one of my main social media channels.

Twitter will probably always be my favourite, the one that I return to, but I’m definitely feeling inspired by Pinterest, and continue to enjoy Tumblr and Google Plus, as and when.

September 2018 update: I’ve made significant progress with Pinterest, since writing this post.  See my Pinterest for Writers post.

Going back to the subject of Facebook – if you do “like” any or all of my pages, please consider adjusting your settings to “See First”.

It’s an option, listed on the drop-down “Following/Notifications” menu, at the top of the page. You’re significantly more likely to be shown my subsequent posts, and I would really appreciate the support. It makes a difference.

Find me on social media – via this post, which includes links to my various profiles and pages. I’ve updated this, to include links to my Facebook groups, and my Pinterest profile.

For quick reference, my Facebook pages are: Paula Puddephatt – Author, Vibrant Darkness – Poems by Paula, and 80s/90s Music.

Keep believing.

Facebook Groups, Facebook Pages, and Twitter: Going Into 2018 — December 12, 2017

Facebook Groups, Facebook Pages, and Twitter: Going Into 2018

paula-writer

Like many of us, I’ve seen the best and worst side of Facebook.

From personal experience, the best place to start, for a writer, when trying to grow an audience from scratch (or close), is definitely Twitter.

Facebook is much more challenging, and it’s beyond discouraging when you are posting your consistent, hopefully quality, content, and Facebook is showing some of these posts to about two people.

Literally. You can throw a “one hundred percent conversion rate” party, when a post is shown to three people, and you actually manage to get three “likes”. I know, I know – “pay to play” – but that doesn’t work for those of us who are starting out, and don’t have an advertising budget. There are strategies that help with organic growth on Facebook, but I’m not in a position to give much specific advice about these right now, because I’m honestly not there yet.

However, I’m not giving up, and I do believe that organic growth on Facebook is possible.

It takes time and effort, like everything else in life. I sometimes think it’s ironic, that I’ve watched so many You Tube videos, and read so many blog posts, about all things social media related, and yet, I don’t see to get anywhere fast. But hey, do I need to get anywhere fast? If it takes me longer, so be it. This is a journey, and I can appreciate it.

At the start of 2017, I had Vibrant Darkness, my poetry page, which I had more or less abandoned.

Other than that, only my profile page. This year, I started to update Vibrant Darkness, and also set up my author page, and 80s/90s Music page. The retro music angle, incidentally, does tie in with my writing somewhat, as well as covering an area of interest, since I write modern historical fiction, set primarily in the 1980s. And very recently, I ventured into setting up Facebook groups, Writing Forever and Music Forever, to help build more of a community, which is a major difference between Facebook pages and groups. I’m in the early stages, but hopeful.

This time last year, my approach to social media was completely random and chaotic.

I only had a few hundred followers on Twitter: now my main social media channel, where I’m currently working towards 3k, my next milestone – but, more importantly, enjoying the community, and trying to give back something of value, to the amazing people I’ve been able to connect with on there. I’m still random and chaotic, but perhaps a little less so – a work in very slow progress, just like my novel. And, yes – I have now officially updated this blog in December: consistently inconsistent, right?

January 2018 update: I’ve written another post, covering Facebook pages and groups, and Pinterest, in which I touch upon the latest changes, announced by Facebook.

Believe in yourself and your dreams.

Find me on social media.

How I Schedule Social Media Posts For Free – Part 2 — November 19, 2017

How I Schedule Social Media Posts For Free – Part 2

paula-writes-an-image

I shared a post recently about how I schedule my social media posts.

If you haven’t read that, I would suggest that you do so, before reading this.

As I mentioned before, I primarily use Twittimer for scheduling Tweets – and also regularly use Buffer for posts that I decide to send simultaneously to Twitter, Google Plus, and my Facebook author page.

I’m trying to schedule more posts to my Facebook pages via their native scheduling system – but am not currently consistent, in how often I actually go on to Facebook. I try to keep up with regularly posting on my various Facebook pages, and I also want to ensure that my author page on there offers more than simply duplicating a percentage of my Twitter posts. That’s the aim, anyway.

I mentioned that I had signed up for Social Oomph, and used it a few times, but wasn’t yet particularly familiar with it.

Since then, I have discovered a little more, by trial and error. I wasn’t using it much, because I couldn’t see much advantage, over Twittimer and Buffer – especially given that it doesn’t allow posts to be saved and reposted, even for a limited time, unless you upgrade to the paid service.

However, I did experiment with using Social Oomph, exclusively for my poetry graphic posts, partly because I could do with all the scheduling help I can get, should I decide to have a week or more away from social media, over Christmas and New Year – but that’s a whole story, in itself.

Anyway, I expected it to stop me from scheduling, once I reached the standard ten posts, but it didn’t – and I don’t know what the limit is, because I have apparently not reached it, as yet. I have scheduled poetry and writing advice graphics for the rest of the year, and so far, it is working out well. It isn’t as efficient to physically use as Twittimer and Buffer because, with the Social Oomph free package, you do have to add save the text part of the post initially, and then go back into it, via the edit function, to add any images.

Because I’m now using multiple schedulers on a regular basis, I’m attempting to be more organised – always a challenge for me – and am developing systems, so that I avoid posting more than one update at identical times.

I am also, increasingly, sticking with a “this scheduler for this type of post” system. Hopefully, I can manage not to become completely confused and overwhelmed…!

Sending love to all of my friends and social media followers. You’re awesome. And for my long-suffering Twitter followers – a heartfelt thank you, and I am aware of my tendencies, such as over-Retweeting in batches, and maybe still over-posting in general, on occasions. It’s a journey, like everything else in life, and we’re all learning constantly. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, and inspired me to keep going.

Believe in yourself and your dreams.

Find me on social media.

Find Me on Social Media — November 5, 2017
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