In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
I recently attended a wonderful week at Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop and a topic that caught my attention was creating an online presence as a writer/illustrator. Now, I have a different experience as a book blogger but I thought I’d share a few blogging/online presence secrets since numerous new writing friends were asking… I was inspired so actually wrote up this post:
Online Social Presence Scare the Heck Out of You?
Naah, doesn’t need to…
I’ve spent 2.5 years establishing my social presence as a “KidLit plus more” blogger and developed routines and tricks that allow me to not be burned out plus make the technology work for me vs. take all of my independent time… ready? Here they are:
1. Figure out who you are online: Decide initially about your presence, author/illustrator? Blogger? Name of blog? Catchphrase? I decided on “The Styling Librarian” with my catchphrase “I believe books are the best accessory.” – This has been a mainstay of my blog. I don’t feel like it pigeonholes me into any particular blog post.
2. Set up only a few things at first: claim your Twitter name (you can always change it later) and Facebook page. Watch YouTube videos on how to do these things if it is intimidating.
3. Make friends with online tools where one action can go to many things: (Multitask efficiently)
Hootsuite: I use this to post articles, blog posts and more to my personal Facebook, various Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn… I love prearranging posts to share over a few weeks vs. all at once. I also use it to keep up with special Twitter posts by specific categories like #nerdybookclub #kidlit #tlchat #pypchat and more. I like that they can be organized and collected by a specific category vs. reading the Twitter stream.
Instagram: I use this to connect photos I’ve taken to personal Facebook and Twitter
Diigo: I archive all my favorite articles and keep track of good articles from Twitter here.
Twitter: When I “star” something, I actually am archiving to Diigo as well.
Pinterest: When I “pin” something, I also choose to share it to Twitter with a click of a box!
Goodreads: I can connect my book reviews to post to both Twitter and Facebook.
WordPress (my blogging platform): when I create a post, it is sent to: Facebook page, Twitter, email followers, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.
4. Create a blog if you want consistent communication. Decide $$/free?/pay a designer? I’ve never judged those that use free platforms vs. paid, although I do pay for this WordPress site.
5. Try at least one new technology tool a month. Make friends with it. Familiarize before moving on to the next best thing. Drop it if useless.
6. Twitter tips– it is well worth your time, each individual has a special experience – pre-set up articles to be sent there using Hootsuite. Learn who is similar to you, follow them, and retweet them. Find out which # are popular for your topic- #kidlit #yalit #titletalk…
7. Cross promote and support others– no it isn’t monopolizing/being sneaky to support others. The blogging world is supportive and appreciative. The biggest honor I’ve seen is when I meet a new blogger who lists my blog in “people to follow/blogs I watch”
8. Pace yourself. I allow 15 minutes AT MOST on Twitter. Facebook is my friend, I’m on there more for personal use but also because I follow websites and people I love and can open sites and share through Hootsuite. Experts have already blogged about their favorite resources. I personally have blogged about how to use Hootsuite, Instagram, Diigo, SMORE, and other platforms that are my favorite tools.
9. Be patient with yourself. Set only a few goals at a time for example here are a few of mine:
Blogging– 1x/week is good; 1x/month is ok although you might lose some readers…
I personally prewrite most of my blog posts around 4 weeks out. Some are the weekly posts but I prefer to have numerous prewritten posts, keeps me calm personally.
I have four consistent posts a week that I enjoy creating. I used to have six but have dropped them based on my interests, priorities, and energy.
1. Life Update/Hong Kong Update/Adventures – Sundays
2. IMWAYR – It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?
3. Whatever Wednesday – I share whatever has inspired me recently on Wednesday, almost never connects to books unless it is a book trailer.
4. Pull up a chair, it’s a Saturday book share – I focus in on a special book I know I want to feature.
5. Extra posts either monthly or when inspiration strikes
-Booklists by genre
-Booklists by IB profile/attitude words
-Non-fiction book feature
10. Do not look at numbers to judge success, create for yourself, and give it at least a year. Check the top of my blog page on the right, how many blog followers are there now? I forget to check…
11. Fake it ‘til you make it, have the confidence to make it fun.
12. Find out what you can be most successful at, blogging? Twitter?
If you’re not strong at one platform (Twitter) figure out how to make it successful. I personally didn’t have time for it. I use Hootsuite and Instagram to maintain presence and then visit it once a day for 15 minutes and go to people I admire to retweet and chat with… Then at least once a week I read Hootsuite # topics to see what I’ve missed recently.
**Some ask me how much time I spend blogging. I always answer, “I don’t know”. If I track my time, it would probably bother me. I love prewriting blog posts and usually have around 8-10 blog posts ready to go for the next month, or 4 months if I’ve written a blog review for a book that will be released four months after I’ve read it.
So… those are my 12 thoughts after questions and various discussions about blogging, finding the time to blog, and balancing writing as well as a full time job and reading! 🙂 Some of these thoughts were likely created originally by other bloggers I admire and am inspired by… but as I do as a teacher librarian, I reflected and internalized the ones I knew that worked for me. So I hope you can reflect and take away one secret tip.
Want to see more of my technology posts? Consider visiting:
Top 10 Technology Sharing Sites
Special Instagram Post
Appreciated Technology Resources
Diigo Resource Introduction
If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.