Tag Archives: Twitter

21 Steps to Twitter Love, by J. J. Brown

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Elizabeth and JJ at Word Sharks Conference

From Karen…

Back in June, I met with long-time online friends in Newark, DE, for the first-ever Word Sharks Conference. In attendance – J.J. Brown, Elizabeth Cottrell, Pamela Wight, Jessica Pettengill Messinger, and Barbara Forte Abate.

Since then, we have stayed in touch sharing blogs we like, having book discussions, and sharing other resources and insights.

Out of one of those conversations came some fantastic insight into Twitter by J.J. Brown. She shared her philosophy and advice on how she uses Twitter. I thought it was so good, I called “dibs” on sharing it in a blog.

Welcome, J.J.!

* * *

Article by J. J. Brown

I love twitter because it is a free and open conversation that’s so fast-moving. Twitter is quite famous for NOT being a place to sell books or much of anything else. So, I don’t have advice about how to use twitter to sell books.

Being active on twitter is a wonderful way to meet writers and readers, and exchange thoughts on the writing process and story ideas, as well as inspiration. And once in a while I get a tweet asking to review a book of mine, or to be interviewed on a blog, or submit a post for a website, or a story to an anthology, which is fun.

I can’t count the many interesting people I’ve met and shared views with on twitter, and sometimes later in-person as friends (none of whom were creepy).

21 rules I apply loosely, depending on how much time I have are:

How to tweet:

  • Be interesting and super brief; don’t repeat identical tweets.
  • Talk about yourself and the books you’ve written, but not ALL of the time, just sometimes.
  • Post provocative things about writing, about your books, and the news – things people react to.
  • Share other writers, artists, and thinkers works, at a good ratio. Tweeting 5 of others’ things then 1 of yours works well.
  • Use a photo in your original tweet so more people will see it. This magnifies your reach because more people look at pictures than words, even on twitter.
  • Tweet quotes from famous authors or artists who inspire you, just to share the joy.
  • After you tweet something original or important, stay on a few minutes to respond to any replies.
  • Retweet things others post that you think need a broader audience because they’re great, funny, or important.
  • Say something insightful about any link you share on twitter, don’t just hit the Tweet button though it’s tempting.

How to interact:

  • When someone tweets your work or retweets you, thank them via direct message (which is private) or tweet (which is public).
  • When people react to you, tweet back like a conversation. It hurts to be ignored there like in any conversation.
  • Never argue on twitter. Yes, sometimes a person will be mean to you. Ignore them. Praise, or add a new thought, or brood away silently.
  • Use #amwriting (for insights, personal progress) #amreading (for reviews) and other hashtags to enter writer’s conversations, then respond when people join your thought stream.
  • Follow people who follow, retweet, or comment to you, IF you’re interested in their twitter feed.
  • Don’t follow people who offer to buy twitter followers or increase your reach. That is kind of spammy messy stuff I don’t get into at all.
  • Seduce people you’re most interested in on twitter, tastefully, by retweeting and commenting on their tweets.
  • Think of the new contacts as friends and connections, not followers or fans.

How not to drown in the twitter stream:

  • Don’t look at your live stream, it’s a jungle in a thunderstorm.
  • Make lists of groups like writers, editors, publishers, artists to organize your new friends.
  • Do look at your lists’ tweets, your favorite people’s tweets, and any hashtags trending on that day that stimulate you.
  • Keep an eye on the clock. I limit my twitter socializing to about 30 minutes on a free day, 10 minutes on a busy one.

I hope this is helpful. I started on twitter about three years ago, when I started publishing books. At first, I was baffled. Now I love it. But I keep it to short doses. And only log on when I’m in a pretty good mood.

***

JJ BROWNJennifer J. Brown, PhD, is an editor at EverydayHealth.com by day, and writer of books and short stories by night. She completed a PhD in genetics and worked as a research scientist for 20 years before turning to writing. In her fiction writing, she is obsessed with exploring death and the meaning of dreams. Published author of seven books as J.J. Brown, she was born in the Catskill Mountains of New York and lives in New York City.

Find out more about J.J. Brown’s book news at her author website.

Death and the Dream. Short storiesDeathandDreamCover

Vector A Modern Love Story. Novel9780983821137

The Doctor’s Dreams. Novella

Stream and Shale. Coloring bookStreamandShaleFrontCoverFinal

J.J.’s Facebook author page

Twitter 

 

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Filed under Blogging, Branding & Platform, Guest Writers & Bloggers, Social Networking

Avoiding blog burn-out

burnEven if you love blogging, there will come a day when you are near burn-out. Or maybe you have already crashed and burned.

Try to notice the signs of an imminent burn out. Intervention time!

I see it in myself. I sometimes agonize over what to write for my next blog.

***

Same ole, same ole

Are you blogging only about writing? Or editing? Or social networking woes?

Try something different!

Do a blog of inspirational quotes (make your own with
background and script at Quozio).A-poet-can-survive

Post inspirational artwork.

Take pictures and then post your photos.

Invite guest bloggers.

Tell a funny story about your childhood.

Genre rut

You write sci fi so you follow sci fi blogs exclusively. No, nada, niet!

Go look for poetry, women’s lit, romance, horror, or western blogs! Yes, western!

Try something different, pilgrim.john_wayne

SSDD

“Same shit, different day.”

Have you been following the same blogs for months and months?

A good way to find new blogs is to connect with other commenters on the great blogs you follow or via guest writers on these blogs.

Go outside writing

If you are following a poo-pile of writing blogs, go look for blogs that are non-writing.

Try art blogs or yoga blogs or hiking blogs.

How about photography or watercolor or pottery?

What about cooking or dance?

Or better yet, take a class in art, yoga, photography, cooking, or dance.

danceAsk a question

On your Facebook page, ask a question like, “What do you do when you have writer’s block?” or “What one thing must I remember for a book signing?” or “What do you do when you have no idea for your next blog?”

You will probably get enough comments to create your next blog post (save the FB comments!).

Fun, fun, fun

Stop worrying about your blog and go out and have some fun!

See Susannah Friis’s blog post about having Fun Fun Fun.

Take a vacationst thomas

I’m not talking to Maui or St. Thomas (though those would be nice).

I’m talking a vacation from blogging. Just decide to take a month off and then stick to it.

Have you ever experienced blog burn out? What do you do to avoid burn out or get over burn out?

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Filed under Blogging, Social Networking

Trading favors and your integrity

chain linksDang if I wasn’t chatting online with Lara Schiffbauer (of Motivation for Creation fame) about being uninspired (me), when another LinkedIn endorsement from a stranger popped up in my inbox.

LinkedIn

My LinkedIn profile (what I wrote) is all true. And many people are endorsing me for skills that I have.

But I wonder why strangers endorse me. I have never met these people, have never edited or proofread them, have never seen them comment on my blog, am not connected with them on FB or Twitter. Do they expect a return endorsement?

Stranger Danger!

Why endorse someone who is a stranger, a person you know nothing about? Why endorse a person for editing if you have never seen the fruits of their editing labors? I just don’t get it (and don’t do it either).

Selling out, trading favors

If Jane Doe endorses a book (trading an I’ll promote your book if you promote my book), I look at that book and other books she’s endorsed. If she endorsed a stone-cold-loser book, then I can’t trust her any more. Or if she is endorsing five books a day, I wonder.

See also The line in the social media sand – that’s your integrity, with guest Therese Pope of Zenful Communications.

Facebook Fan Pages70s-platform-shoes

People trade likes – you like my page, I’ll like yours. All good.

But after I like your page, you’d better give me something of substance. Post after post of quotes from your Amazon reviews or how your book is doing in the ratings (mememememe), and I’m strapping on my boogie shoes. I’ve been a little lax on my FB page lately – need to put on my boogie shoes!

See also Is your fan page a little flat?

tweetTwitter

I find myself spending less and less time here, because it seems that many people are, 1) promoting only themselves, 2) tweeting quotes from their book reviews over and over, 3) boring me to tears.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I, 1) post my blog links, many of which are guests, 2) tweet vocabulary, 3) re-tweet what I find helpful or inspiring.

What are you tweeting?

See also Twitter-quette – it’s my turn.

Liar-liar-pants-on-fire promotions fire

Do you want to be known as sincere, believable, someone with integrity?

Or do you want to be for sale, cheap?

***

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. ~Albert Einstein

A pure hand needs no glove to cover it. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Who lies for you will lie against you. ~Bosnian Proverb

A lie has speed, but truth has endurance. ~Edgar J. Mohn

All quotes from Quote Garden.

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Filed under Social Networking

Guest blog for Lindsay McLoughlin, Dear Loved One

sorrowI am a guest on Lindsay McLoughlin’s blog with one of my favorite epistles on writing and blogging, Dear Loved One. You may have read it before – I have featured it on my own blog – but if not, click here.

Lindsay was a guest on my blog recently with Upsetting the Apple Cart.

Great articles on Lindsay’s blog include Round the guest blogging world in 80 days (about her campaign to reach out to people around the world), The devil’s in the detail, Does this blog look and read okay? (origins of the word “Okay”), and as a guest on Copywrite Matters blog with Twitter isn’t quiet.

Lindsay McLoughlin (2)Lindsay McLoughlin is a mum to three brilliant little girls who are full of life and fun; wife to a wonderfully kind and supportive man with the patience of a saint; proofreader/editor/copywriter for all things marketing related; landlady to rowers visiting Henley Royal Regatta.

Connect with Lindsay on her website, on her blog, on Twitter, and on LinkedIn. To guest blog with Lindsay, click here.

6 Comments

Filed under My Guest Posts

Were you always picked last in gym class? My three cents on self-promotion.

This blog was originally posted in September, 2011, and was recently discovered by friend and writer, Heather L. Reid. So I thought I would resurrect it.

Heather has a book launch next year, Pretty Dark Nothings, and she has a way cool website.

I edited the Two Cents blog and made it Three Cents. Because, well, I’m a better writer now, and I have more sense.

Recommending books

I make it a habit to recommend only books I’ve read and loved – when I think they are brilliant or if I liked them. I have a small posse of followers who trust me when I say a book is a “must read” or a “good read.” To maintain integrity and honesty, I can’t make myself retweet a book promotion or post it to my FB when I haven’t read the book. I will recommend the writer’s blogs and blog posts.

Writers promoting

Just to be clear, friends, I’m all for writers promoting other writers – that’s how the word gets out. But I am not jiggy with the writers who bang-bang-bang their own drum over and over. Like a woodpecker at 4:30 a.m. on a sleep-in Saturday.

The Rule of Three  

My writer-pal Shawn MacKenzie and I had a conversation on appropriate give-and-take (the conversation was last year, but it still holds). Shawn and I promote each other because 1) we appreciate it, 2) we say Thank You, and 3) we pay it forward – not only to each other but to writers who have earned our respect.

Like you? I don’t even know you  

Reminds me of the old joke, “Tissue? I hardly know you!” While I have relaxed my stance on liking Fan Pages, I do not like begging “please please please like my page” missives. I may be friends with over 500 people, but if I never hear from you, ever, and then you write me to promote your page or book, I think, “What have you done for me lately?”

Read my review

If I’m not interested in your book, why should I read another review? If I am looking for a new book, I’m most apt to look for the genres I prefer or ask trusted friends what they have read and enjoyed. And honestly, with all the fall-out over book reviews lately, I am even more likely to disregard most reviews.

11,986 other books  

“My book just went from 12,429 to 11,987 on _________ [fill in review site here]!” Since your book is 11,987 then I have 11,986 other books to read before I get to yours. When it gets to the top hundred, then I might be interested.

Free give-away of my book

I’ve seen a pile of these give-aways, and I check them out. Who doesn’t like a free book? Please make it easy for us. I still remember one give-away – all I had to do was 1) like her page, 2) make a comment on her page, 3) follow her on Twitter, 4) mention the give-away on Twitter, 5) and sign up for her newsletter … oh, is that all?

Friend mills  

“Please like me so I can get 250 fans.” So, you don’t care who likes you or if they have read your book, you just need 250 fans. I’ve seen this carried as far as “I have a bet with a friend to see who can get the most fans.” If you win the bet, I get what? A new crock pot would be nice – I lost mine in the flood.

The whining why  

I saw a guy post his book and ask for tweets. Then he actually came back and said (to an online group) “Why aren’t you tweeting my book?” Um, because you are a nincompoop?

Blogging about me

News flash – you may not be the center of the universe.

I’ve seen thousands of blogs that are not blogs at all – they are self-promoting, self-marketing me-mes. Give me tips I can use, give me suggestions that are helpful, give me inspiration I’d want to share with other writers.

Sneaking it in  

Like a smelly silent one in an elevator. I have observed writers that no matter where they post a comment, they have to sneak in a little tid-bit about their book (with a link of course). Unless it relates directly to the blog post, knock it off.

Facebook THANK YOU!!!!!

You connect with someone on some form of social networking. So, you friend them on Facebook. Next thing ya know there is this big-ass post on your FB page announcing your new friendship and a link to their book. Ick. If you haven’t noticed, I delete these posts. And oft, unfriend.

Unsolicited email lists

Don’t add a stranger to your email list. Several writers have done this to me because I made the mistake of corresponding with them. Seconds later, I get a pile of auto-emails, “Read my book!” “Like my fan page!” A personal reply would be much better.

What irks you in the social networking scene? What uncomfortable situations have you personally experienced in social networking? What social media behavior pisses you off?

“When science discovers the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they are not it.” ~Bernard Baily

“A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Opening photo by C. Christine Roberts (my d-in-law). Additional photo by hardstyle_1993 via Photobucket. Quotes from Quote Garden.

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Karen’s Blog Survey Results

I asked you to participate in a blog survey a few weeks ago, Karen’s blog feedback survey and name a Sock Monkey! 

You had to make a comment on the blog to be entered in a random drawing. The winner of The Hunger Games boxed trilogy is Tonia Marie Harris!

Tonia Marie was a guest on my blog during Romance Week with In a Heartbeat. Tonia Marie is a mother, writer, poet, and blogger who “procrastinates in her spare time.” Tonia is working on a YA ghost story and exploring self-publishing vs. the traditional market. See Tonia Marie’s wonderful blog, PassionFind. You can see Tonia Marie on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Blog survey results

Overall, I think I’m doing okay. The very positive feedback was mostly in the 70+ percentile, the positive feedback often took me to 100%.

Questions and responses

FYI, I have rounded the percentages to the closest whole number.

Do you enjoy the theme weeks like Fright Week, December Holidays Week, Romance Week, North Dakota Week? 73% liked, 18 % said okay. One person said stop. One person commented, “Haven’t read all but what I did I liked.”

Do you enjoy the posts from creative professionals like musicians, artists, book cover designers, and photographers? 67% said yes and would like to see more, 25% said they were okay, one person said not so much.

Are you enjoying the Editor Spotlight series and would you like to see more? 67% said yes, 33% said they were okay. Comments included, “I think it is a correct balance right now … more? No,” and “Not too often, but they’ve all been excellent.”

Do you enjoy the bulk of my guest bloggers? 50% yes, I like the guest bloggers and have found these posts helpful in connecting with awesome new people, 50% yeah, guest bloggers are okay. One comment, “I like a balance with more from you than guests.” (I had been thinking that I was maybe having too many guest bloggers. I’m going to remedy that and write more myself.)

Have you found value in the blogs on writing, inspiration, writer’s block, and general publishing stuff? Split 50/50 under responses, yes, very helpful and yes, usually helpful, I learn a thing or two.

Do you find value in the blogs about social networking like FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn? 33% said very helpful, 42% said I sometimes learn a thing or two, and 25% said yeah, okay, but the market is already too flooded with social networking. (I have had my say – for now – on social networking, so won’t bug you too much with those any time soon!)

Do you find value in the blogs about word origins, language, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary? 75% said yes, 25% said somewhat. I had two additional comments – “I love to learn more about language” and the other “LOVE THIS!!!”

Do you find my blog easy to navigate and leave comments? 83% responded, yes very easy, mostly easy got 17%. One additional comment was “Google+ button doesn’t let me add a comment (I use Chrome).”

Sock Monkey names  

Jo-Jo

Scary Possessed Ape J

Bobby

Curious Abraham

Mr. Marbles

Somkey

Rupert

Bippy Muffin

Woolis Lamb

Lorenzo St. Simian

I am partial to Lorenzo St. Simian!

Blogs you like

Question #10 asked you to share other blogs you liked. I thought if a subscriber likes it, then I should share the love. The quoted material is from your comments.

Ordinary Courage by Dr. Brené Brown. “She sticks to her theme and always provides food for thought.”  http://www.ordinarycourage.com

August McLauglin – health, fitness, eating disorders and nutrition http://www.augustmclaughlin.com and blog  http://augustmclaughlin.wordpress.com. “post variety, life topics.”

“Barbara Swafford has a blog that she has named “Blogging Without a Blog.” She usually writes once a week on a topic and asks a specific question related to her post, as you do. I follow it because it is very user friendly. She receives a lot of comments from readers who answer her questions.” http://bloggingwithoutablog.com

Joanne Gaskill’s blog. “Because it contains parenting tips, shares a bit of her life, and her journalism career.” http://www.bloggymoms.com and http://www.bloggymoms.com/profiles/blog/list

Descent Into Slushland, Brian Taylor. http://descentintoslushland.wordpress.com. “He’s a new writer on the scene-fresh, honest, and fun material.”

http://www.37days.com. “Patti Digh has been a friend & an inspiration for over 5 years now, and she lays the bread crumb trail!”

Indies Unlimited. Celebrating independent authors. “So many contributors with information, humour and support.” http://www.indiesunlimited.com

Kana Tyler’s, Kana’s Chronicles. “Witty, touching, fun, and very informative re both writing and just living in the Big Bad World.” http://kanatyler.com

So, there ya have it

For those who participated in the survey and made comments – Thank you so much! If you didn’t do the survey, feel free to comment now.

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