Category Archives: Grow Your Author Platform

5 Ways To Digitize Your Writing Conference Experience | Web Design Relief

There was a time when workshops and seminars for writers were limited to what was discussed and reviewed in hotel conference rooms or classrooms. So if you weren’t an attendee, you’d have to wait weeks or even months to pick up the few crumbs of information available when summaries of the conferences finally showed up in newsletters. In these digital days, however, writing conferences are increasingly connected, both to the attendees and to writers in the outside world. At Web Design Relief, we know that information now flies faster than a caffeine-charged PowerPoint presentation!

Here Are 5 Ways You Can Digitize—And Maximize—Your Writing Conference Experience

Check Your Writing Conference Connection

Retrieving relevant information quickly is vital to getting the most out of a writing workshop. Whether you prefer a tablet, laptop, or a phone with Internet capabilities, always have some way to connect with the hotel Wi-Fi so you can get the information you need, when you need it. If you haven’t heard of the author the speaker is referencing, in addition to jotting down the name, do a quick Internet search!

Write Well But Download Better

Some writers prefer taking notes by hand, which is known to improve memory retention. But unless you’ve studied shorthand (does anyone use shorthand anymore?), you’ll never accurately record all the details about the presenter’s latest graph or catch those statistics on the fly.

Before the workshop, ask about digital downloads of slides or whether attendees will have access to an audio or video recording of the workshop after the fact. Knowing that you can easily retrieve any details you might miss will allow you to rest your cramped hand or, alternatively, to pay more attention during the seminar.

Pack Your E-reader

After three or more days at a writing conference, your mind is going to be on overload. You’ll likely forget to purchase at least one book by that author whose name you can’t remember now.

But if you have your e-reader with you at the conference, you can download that writer’s book instantly and start reading it on the plane ride home.

Network On The Spot

If you’re working the conference right, you’ll be meeting a lot of new writers and exchanging author business cards. Use your tablet, phone, or laptop to connect with them on social media before you lose their names amid the confusion of new acquaintances. You’ll increase your network, and they’ll be reminded to follow you back.

You may even want to bring bookmarks or postcards with QR codes featuring your writing, book blurbs, or great reviews that you can share with conference attendees or place on the S.W.A.G. tables.

Use The Conference Hashtag

Are there two simultaneous workshops you want to go to, but you left your Hogwarts Time-Turner at home? Consider following the sessions you’ll have to miss via the hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You’ll get quick updates on concurrent workshops (or those you just can’t make). If you can’t attend the conference at all, following the hashtag will keep you somewhat informed of events in real time.

All this digital connecting can help authors get the most out of their conference experience, but the real work starts when you get home. Be sure to go through all your notes, follow up on action items, and start connecting with your new writer friends. Sleep will just have to wait!

 

Question: What was the best writing tip, marketing advice, or networking connection that you got out of your most recent writing conference?

5 Things Writers Don’t Know About Instagram—But Should | Web Design Relief

 Since its launch in 2010, Instagram’s popularity has been growing by leaps and bounds. Today, Instagram is one of the most commonly used social media platforms in the world, with a reported 500 million daily active users! And while other social media platforms have peaked and are trying to reinvent themselves, the social media experts at Web Design Relief have noted that Instagram is still a force to be reckoned with.

As you glance through the latest posts and most popular hashtags on Instagram, you may think you know everything there is to know about this social media juggernaut. But do you?

5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Instagram

Instagram is owned by Facebook.

In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for a cool $1 billion. And it seems like it was a smart investment! Even with big competitors like Snapchat, Tumblr, and Twitter, Instagram  remains the most popular platform among 18-50 year olds.

Your Instagram feed is skewed toward what you like.

When Instagram first arrived on the scene, its feed was totally chronological. Now, similar to your Facebook feed, what you see first is determined by an algorithm. So at the top of your feed you’ll see the people and pages whose posts you like the most. The same is true for what you’ll see in the Explore section. So if you frequently like posts from authors or book bloggers, you’ll begin to see similar posts showing up in the Explore tab showing new content from other Instagram accounts you might find interesting.

You can Instagram Live with a friend.

Live video is at the forefront of social media right now! Going live in real time to your audience may be daunting for some writers, so you might want to consider trying Instagram Live with a friend beside you to discuss your work and facilitate a conversation that your viewers/readers will find enjoyable and enlightening.

Privacy and security are top priorities.

Since the great Facebook debacle of 2018, many social media networks are retooling their security measures. Instagram, being a Facebook company, is putting improved security measures in place to protect you and maintain your privacy. These upgraded safety features include two-factor authentication and the ability to disarm third party apps from utilizing your info account.

Hashtags are your best friend.

While almost everyone is using hashtags on Twitter, people still seem confused about how to use effective and appropriate hashtags on Instagram. But unlike Twitter, where you want to limit yourself to one or two hashtags per tweet—on Instagram, the more the merrier! A good rule of thumb is an average of seven hashtags per Instagram post. Using hashtags on Instagram puts your content in front of viewers who aren’t already your followers and expands your reach. Hashtags also help Instagram’s algorithm determine the focus of your posted photo or video, so your content can appear in the Explore tab of other Instagram users searching for accounts just like yours! It’s an effortless way to get your posts in front of more potential new readers and fans.

 

QUESTION: Which of these Instagram features was news to you?

The 6 Personality Types Of Your Followers (And How To Engage Them) | Web Design Relief

The better an author knows his or her own social media followers, the easier it will be to connect with them on a deeper level. However, no matter how organically you’ve grown your social media following, your audience will be made up of many different personality types. At Web Design Relief, we know that effectively engaging the different personalities of your followers can result in stronger bonds and more successful author marketing and promotion efforts.

6 Common Social Media Personality Archetypes

The Social Media Lurker

Though the word “lurker” has a sinister undertone, most social media lurkers are simply shy, introverted, or just reluctant to share the details of their daily life with the online world. They tend to follow or friend only those people they know well, or writers whose interests align strongly with their own.

How to connect: Social media teems with silent observers. They read lots of posts but rarely post themselves. Intrigue these quiet listeners by sharing high-quality content that provides generous takeaway benefits.

The Social Media Activist

Passionate about a cause (or several), the activist strives to harness the power of social media to inspire others to take up the flag. You’ve watched them run marathons, share news articles, and encourage those who share their sensibilities.

How to connect: Engage activists by acknowledging their passion and inspiration. And if you happen to support the same causes, don’t be shy about cheering them on.

The Social Media Earth Mother

Nurturing, warm, and conscientious, the earth mother (or father) always chooses a Facebook “heart” over a “thumbs-up” icon. These followers love to post inspirational quotations, pictures of pets, and videos of gamboling lambs. And they’re also the first to connect with someone in need and commiserate with people who are facing challenges.

How to connect: Attract the attention of this audience by responding in kind: Be generous with hearts, winks, and smiley-face emoticons, and share your own inspiring images.

The Social Media Oversharer

Posting an occasional meal, selfie, or video of a child’s trumpet performance is a perfectly acceptable use of social media. But when you can fill out a follower’s weekly food diary, recognize every outfit, and remember the date of his or her son’s next recital—you’ve definitely stumbled upon an oversharer.

How to connect: Oversharers adore being part of a larger community. As long as they don’t dominate your news feed, charm these followers by being generous with likes, positive comments, and judicious shares.

The Social Media Comic

Everyone loves to laugh, and the social media comic knows it. This fan is the one who always has the wittiest comeback, usually attached to a hilarious meme or the perfect gif. As the life of the social media party, he or she often has a large and organically grown social media following.

How to connect: Engage your funny followers by being an active member of their fan clubs: Join the laughter, share your own memes, and comment freely on posts to interact with their followers—who definitely share your sense of humor and possibly your admiration for authors and books.

The Social Media Spammer

Some social media followers have their own interests in mind. They post nothing but promotional content, spam you with private messages, and constantly work the hard sell.

Don’t connect! These are not the kind of followers any author wants to interact with. If they become too persistent, consider blocking or unfollowing them.

Unfortunately, not all of your social media followers are going to be good-hearted and kind. Combative, mean-spirited, and verbally abusive followers (AKA trolls) are all too common. If you find yourself under attack, don’t feed the trolls by gifting them with the attention they crave. A level head is the best way to combat negativity so you can go back to enjoying your social media experience.

 

Question: How would you define your own personal social media personality type?

Quote Me On That: The 6 Qualities Of Super-Shareable Quotes For Social Media | Web Design Relief

Scroll through the newsfeed on any social media platform and it won’t be long before you spot some inspirational, famous, and/or hilarious quotes. Quotable sayings and their associated hashtags tend to get a lot of attention in terms of likes, retweets, engagement, and shares. One example: On Instagram, #quotes has over 55 million posts! So… Continue Reading

13 Dos and 1 Big Don’t For Growing Your Poetry Social Media Following | Web Design Relief

After years of languishing, many poets probably thought they’d never see this day come: Poetry is popular again! The social media experts at Web Design Relief are tracking a new generation of poets—dubbed “Instapoets” due to their success on Instagram—and these social media-savvy bards are commanding audiences in the hundreds of thousands while enjoying drool-worthy… Continue Reading

Are People Visiting Your Website And Clicking Like You Want? | Web Design Relief

You just launched your brand-new author website and you’re posting on your blog frequently. Now the question is: How can you know for sure that people are visiting your website—and how can you get more to do so? At Web Design Relief, our designers know all the online tools that will track whether people are… Continue Reading


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