The Lazy Writer’s Social Media Cheat Sheet

You have a looming writing deadline…calls to return…groceries to buy…kids to tuck in…etc., etc., etc. But wait—don’t forget your social media updates—a vital part of your author platform! If you need some quick-fix ideas for your social media posts (including your Facebook author page), don’t panic! We’ve put together some “instant” post ideas just for writers. Put your own spin on these fill-in-the-blank ideas to really make these ideas yours!

Note: Social media posts have more impact when paired with compelling images—so feel free to add your own photos.

Especially For Writers: Instant Update Ideas For Your Social Media

Remember when we used to dress like this? Or was it just me?

Our favorite tradition for the upcoming holiday: ____. What are your plans?

Amazing recipe for ___. Pics attached! Try not to drool on the screen.

Am so grateful for ___ today.

Went to ___ last night. Loved it!

Anyone see [name of movie] yet? Should I get a ticket?

File this one under: What my [type of pet] did today.

Here’s a dose of cuteness from my house to yours.

Just got back from [museum/concert/reading/etc.]. So lucky to have been there!

I love the book cover for ____. What do you think?

Is there a day that could not be improved by the addition of [name of book/name of character]?

Am rereading ___ for the Xth time. What books do you regularly reread?

___ is the scariest villain in all of literature, if you ask me. What antagonist do you love to hate?

Wish I could disappear for a day into [title]. Anyone want to join?

Book recommendations wanted. What have you read recently that you liked?

Just finished reading ___. Now I have to ____.

I love this quote for booklovers.

This ___ is just what every booklover needs (hint hint!).

This is my dream bookshelf. [add an image]

I wish I could live here and read forever. [add an image]

Congrats to my favorite author, ___, for ____.

Finished X pages today! Time for ___.

The best thing about being a writer is ____.

I have a little free time tonight. Should I read or write? What do you think?

A cup of __ and an hour for writing. Does life get better?

Writing went ___ today.

Not in the mood for writing. Usually I ___. But it’s not working. Suggestions?

I love this writer gear. [add an image]

Want more ideas for your author marketing campaign? Check out our list of 40 blog post topic ideas for writers!

QUESTION: Which ones on this list are you most likely to use?

Post This, Not That: Social Media Edits That Make A Huge Difference

Want to know how to improve the response rate and reach of your Twitter tweets and your posts on your author Facebook page? Our social media experts are here to share key insights about how to write posts  and tweets that will engage readers, build fans, and boost your reputation as a writer!

Post This, Not That: Tips For Writing Effective, Share-Worthy Tweets and Facebook Posts

Original: What do you like to write with?

Edit: Which is better, pencil or pen?

Why It Works Better Now: We’ve used a simplified example here to make the point that asking “multiple choice” questions can generate a bigger response than asking open-ended questions. When people are multitasking by viewing Facebook on smartphone screens, they’re not focused enough—and may not have the time—to offer an answer that requires a lot of thought. Provide your fans and followers with a choice of answers so they can easily interact with you! Questions should be easy, direct, and able to be answered immediately.

That said, there’s no need to take this suggestion as a rigid rule; sometimes, you should ask open-ended questions to generate lively discussions—when the topic calls for it. But if it is possible to use “multiple choice” phrasing, consider that option.

 

Original: I love reading while on vacation. #reading #vacation

Edit: Enjoying the sunshine and reading a great book. Does life get any better?

Why It Works Better Now: Most people know that it’s dangerous to say you’re on vacation—so if you can help it, don’t. And if you must say you’re on vacation, follow these social media vacation safety tips.

Social Media Secret: Research suggests that while hashtags are wildly popular on Twitter, they don’t resonate as strongly on Facebook.

 

Original: Just got out of work. What a crummy day.

Edit: Just got out of work. So glad this day is over! Bubble bath, here I come.

Why It Works Better Now: Tweets and posts that embrace a positive attitude tend to resonate better with audiences than those that are negative. So if you want to post about your bad day, feel free. But try to do so with thoughts of silver linings. Learn more about Facebook etiquette.

 

Original: My new book is out! I’m so excited that I just made the bestseller list. Go me!

Edit: My new book just made the bestseller list. I could really use your help to spread the word. If my book [link below] sounds interesting to you or someone you know, will you share it? Thanks for celebrating with me!

Why It Works Better Now: Sure, our edit is a little on the long side, but where the original post sounds like bragging, the edit gets the same information across with more humility. Where the first post sounds like Facebook advertising and makes readers unsure of how to respond, the second offers a clear directive for what to do next.

Social Media Secret: There are conflicting philosophies about posting calls to action on Facebook. Some people claim that Facebook algorithms penalize posts that use phrases such as “please like this post.” But marketing experts continue to stress the importance of giving your audience a clear directive. Experiment to decide if the trade-off may be worth it to you.

 

Original: The news that came out about [author name here] last week is so crazy!

Edit: I’m so excited about [author’s name]’s new book coming out next week. I will be standing in line at the bookstore, for sure!

Why It Works Better Now: The first post is vague and outdated. On social media, five minutes is the equivalent of a century! The revised post is specific and offers a positive spin that anticipates exciting news (and for some readers, it might even be new information). People love sharing “new” news.

Want To Write Better Social Media Posts? Think Like A Writer

Writing is a two-step process: First, you generate ideas (without limitation or censure). Then you tap into the analytical, left side of your brain and make your edits. When you approach your social media with a writerly philosophy, you could see your engagement rates climb!

 

Question:  Do you use social media to promote your writer brand?

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Will This Latest Author Website Design Trend Work For You?

Remember when you clicked on a website and music instantly started playing? Or when badges, ribbons, and starburst effects ruled? As with any emerging field, web design trends have evolved. The complex designs of yore have given way to simple, minimalist designs. The reason: A rising percentage of users access the web on their smartphones, so smart website designs are more mobile-responsive and feature cleaner arrangements.

But simplicity doesn’t mean boring. Check out how to manipulate these four website design elements in order to pack more punch into your author web presence.

Minimalist Typography

Minimalism doesn’t mean defaulting to a basic font like Times New Roman or Calibri. There are thousands of fonts available, so choose one that matches your personality and writing style. Writers of horror novels might consider the font Chiller for the header, while authors of Colonial-era romances might try Baskerville Old Face.

Whatever you choose, keep in mind the following suggestions:

  • Make sure the font you choose is whip-clean and easy to read, especially if you’re using large amounts of text.
  • For landing pages of few words, err on the side of simplicity and use big, strong, boldface typography.
  • For large blocks of text, consider using a bold, popping font for headlines and a more neutral, legible font for the body text.
  • Consider using a font in a different color. Minimalist websites have fewer competing color design elements, making this a feasible choice.

Quiet Color Schemes

A well-designed website draws the viewer’s attention to the most important elements on the page. The color scheme isn’t necessarily one of them. Acid-yellow backgrounds or bold blocks of contrasting colors certainly have an impact, but on a smaller screen they can be distracting.

Quieter color schemes don’t yell at the viewer—yet they don’t have to be ho-hum, either. Basically, the “negative space” that’s the touchstone of minimalism draws attention to the elements you want the viewer to notice (like a distinct call to action). The latest trend of subdued, monochromatic color schemes can have a powerful effect, giving a sense of grandeur and luxury to any writer’s website.

Distinct Call To Action

As a writer, what do you want viewers to do when they land on your home page? Click through to a book excerpt? Sign up for your mailing list? For minimalist websites that work on smartphones as well as big screens, choosing a single, distinct call to action can make all the difference in meeting your goals.

But what should you do with that familiar navigation bar which offers a list of choices? Offering the viewer multiple choices goes against simplicity and can dilute the efficacy of your website. Fortunately, minimalism has developed a way around this conundrum, and it’s called the “hamburger icon.”

You may not know it, but you’ve seen the hamburger icon and have probably used it many times. A hamburger icon doesn’t actually look like a hamburger—it consists of three horizontal lines, one above the other.

Clicking on the hamburger icon brings a drop-down navigation menu. The three dots in a row are another example of this sort of icon, and Google Chrome uses three dots on top of one another. Savvy web surfers will recognize these icons and tap them to access multiple options.

Imagery Rules

Minimalism works because it provides distinct choices and vivid, emotional impressions. The best way to create a mood is through imagery that is uncluttered, high-definition, and full of “negative space.”

Some web design trends in imagery include:

  • Skyscapes, vast ocean imagery, and mountaintops, as well as sparsely furnished indoor spaces with plenty of wall space in neutral colors.
  • Oversized images that fill the webpage. These give the viewer a sense of stepping into a warm, familiar, or intriguing space.
  • “Hero” headers. One of 2016’s biggest web design trends, hero headers are large, evocative images at the top of the webpage. Users can scroll down for more text.

The simplicity of the minimalist design is deceiving. To achieve it, you have to know your brand inside and out and be able to pinpoint your website’s main goal. The process of choosing the right fonts, color design, imagery, and your main call-to-action may seem to leave little room for pizzazz, but a simpler website doesn’t mean a ho-hum one. It means choosing your main message and then delivering it like a bolt of lightning.

Question:  Is the main goal of your author website to 1) sell more books; 2) gain more newsletter subscribers; or 3) keep your current fans engaged?

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Web Design Relief’s Links Roundup, February 2017

Welcome to our February’s Links Roundup! This month features tips on starting a successful blog; smart ways to monetize your blog; the must-have digital media tools for 2017; and easy fixes for SEO problems on your author website. Whether you create your own author website or we create one for you, we want to give you… Continue Reading

How To Get All Your Best Info On The First Page Of Your Author Website

Your author website is the online destination for anyone interested in learning more about you and your writing. Typically, you have less than eight seconds to capture your visitors’ attention, so you want to feature as much of your best information as possible on your home page. While you may be tempted to immediately hit… Continue Reading

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