6 Simple Rules Every Writer Needs to Know

tips-for-writerHello writers, this is Adair Heitmann writing to you today. Spring is in the air, it’s a time to refresh, renew, let out the old and bring in the new. We’ve spoken about building your author’s platform in this blog before. I’m going to continue that thread with six basic rules for amazing content marketing.

Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain readers, customers, followers. Traditionally advertising has used content to disseminate information about a brand, and build a brand’s reputation. As a writer that’s still true, you need to develop your brand. It’s also important to build relationships in the digital community. No matter what online platform you use — Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, Instagram, the following guidelines apply to them all.

1.) Be consistent
Choose how often you can realistically post, tweet, or publish. Then do so. For some of us it’s once a month, for others, it’s once a day. Find the rhythm that fits into your schedule.

2.) Be useful
Remember the 80/20 ratio of success. 80% of your posts should be interesting useful content. Making it easily shareable is part of the magic and fun of social media networking. 20% of your content includes call to actions, such as registering for a workshop or buying your newest book.

3.) Be authentic
When we are true to ourselves and others, we build trust. Even vulnerable content can resonate with people.

4.) Tie into your reader’s emotions
Easier said than done, yet it’s achievable. If you are feeling something, it’s more than likely your readers are too. When we can give voice to the whispers, we deepen our relationships.

5.) Be where your audience is
If you’re like me, you don’t have time, resources, or inclination to create and share content equally across every social media network. Pick and choose based on where your audience is.

6. Tell, don’t sell
Nobody wants to be sold something every time they hear from you. They do want to follow you or learn more about you and hear how you view the world, if you give them a good story. Use storytelling to create content that people actually connect with. Find ways to create vignettes in your communications.

As the winter ground breaks open with new buds of springtime growth, let your writer self show fresh colors to your online community.

Until next time, keep on writing.

 

Writers: 3 Ways LinkedIn Helps You Work Smarter

keyboard_linkedinHello writers, this is Adair Heitmann sharing information on how using LinkedIn can expand your writing platform. We’ve all heard of LinkedIn right? LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in professional occupations. I call it the virtual water cooler of traditional corporate days. When I worked at Xerox Learning Systems, I’d meet and network with colleagues around the water cooler. The conversations were always professional, upbeat, and a good way to be visible while moving up the corporate ladder.

Nowadays, with telecommuting, or everyone bringing their own plastic bottles of designer spring water to the office, the water cooler set of connections has dried up. Meeting people and exchanging  ideas is now done online. Follow these three steps and see how your writing world expands. Let us know here how you make out.

  1. Join LinkedIn, fill in your professional profile, add a good PR head shot.
  2. Share your blog on LinkedIn: Most blogging sites have a “Share” feature. Go to >Settings on your blog site, then >Share and check the box next to LinkedIn. Fill in the prompts. Your next blog post will automatically publish to your LinkedIn profile.
  3. Join LinkedIn Groups. You don’t have to spend much of time on this. I’m a member of 18 writing groups on LinkedIn. Currently my groups range from A to almost Z. From “Authors & Writers” to “Writers International.” Do I discuss topics with members everyday? Absolutely not, I don’t have time. However, occasionally I’ll comment on a topic. Do I post my blogs to my LinkedIn profile? Absolutely yes. Be open to new opportunities on LinkedIn. I was recently asked to be a guest blogger for an eMagazine on eMarketing. Did it come through a writing group? No, it came through a LinkedIn Group I’m in on social media marketing. They noticed my online presence.

Just as you would dress for success at your day job, remember to dress for success in every communication on LinkedIn. It really is the current water cooler of connections.

Until next time, keep on writing!

A Writer’s Website: Part Three

Hello to all you writer’s out there. This is Adair Heitmann continuing my series about creating your own website. If you missed the earlier blogs you can scroll down to June and July for a recap.

In A Writer’s Website: Part One you learned about:
1. Researching other websites
2. Starting your own folder of new website ideas
3. Getting your domain name
4. Having a good PR headshot taken

What I’d like to emphasize today is that creating a one-page writer’s website is better than none at all. If you have never had a website this may be the best way to start. It can be as simple as your writer’s bio and contact information. If you want to showcase more read on.

In A Writer’s Website: Part Two you learned about:
1. Themes, choosing a design style appropriate for your market
2. Taking time to create the right content for your website
3. Tabs navigation
4. The big picture . . . communicating clearly, describing exactly what you are selling

Today I’ll talk about social media. Social media can include professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, or social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.

In the current literary marketplace readers want to connect with authors more than ever and agents want to know you have a following before they commit to your book. A free way for an author to build relationships with future readers is through being active in social media. It can help build your writer’s platform by promoting yourself and your writing. If you are thinking about including social media on your website, get started on it now. There is nothing worse than going to a writer’s website, clicking on a blog and seeing that they haven’t published one since 2009. Test the waters now, get your feet wet. Try social media on for size. Then on the homepage of your website only include the one(s) that you are confident you can realistically keep up with.

I’ll briefly illuminate the key players here:
1. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site. It’s easy to get started, fill in your profile, and connect to people who you know. I think LinkedIn is the perfect site for introverts because you can publish something then walk away, it does not have to be interactive, and your platform works for you while you are sleeping.

2. Facebook is a more casual, you can post photographs, and it is more interactive.  You can set your privacy level and establish your own professional involvement. It’s a great way for writers to find out about contests and to connect with other writers.

3. Twitter is all about words! In fact it is all about 140 characters. It’s quick, easy, and you do not need to be on it 24 hours a day. Consider what your writer’s brand is, and highlight that or speak from your niche.

4. Blogs are a good way to test the social media waters. You can start your own or contribute to an existing one.

When you are ready use the widget icon and add social media links to the homepage of your new writer’s website. Readers, future readers, and agents want to see that you are fluent in social media.

Until next time, keep on writing.

Published in: on August 24, 2011 at 4:09 pm  Comments (2)  
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