Category Archives: Social Networking For Writers

Introduction to Medium: Can It Help Promote Your Writing? | Web Design Relief

At Web Design Relief, we’re always on the lookout for new, online ways that writers can build their reputations and gain more fans. One online platform that’s been steadily gaining interest is called Medium.

Writers Ask: What Is Medium?

Launched in 2012, Medium is an online blogging platform developed by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. Instead of setting up your own blog with a self-hosted domain and building your fan base from the ground up, you can use Medium’s platform and have access to its existing audience. With its minimalistic interface, Medium’s ease of use has made it appealing to journalists, writers, and readers.

Here’s How Medium Can Help Writers Build Their Audience

Generate buzz for your book

It’s a well-known fact that social media is a writer’s most powerful marketing tool. The ability to generate an audience of readers without spending a dime is a great perk for budget-conscious authors. Blog posts on Medium leading up to the release of your book (and afterward) are a fantastic way to motivate readers to support your work.

Get discovered

Just like most other popular social media platforms, Medium uses tags to curate posts for readers—but you’re limited to five. If you write blog posts packed with the SEO essentials, it’s very possible your posts will float to the top. When this happens, Medium users will see your writing featured in the tags you’ve selected. And since Medium values quality over quantity, you’ll be poised to gain new followers, get recommends, and possibly attract new readers and fans.

Some popular writing tags on Medium are: Writing, Creative Writing, Fiction, Poetry, and Writing Tips.

Share your work

Medium is a good place to share new work or test excerpts of longer works. Just keep in mind that any prose or poetry you post will be considered previously published in the eyes of literary journal editors. Whether you post something that’s already been published or a piece you’ve written specifically for your Medium blog, sharing your writing is a great way to bring in new readers and satisfy your current fans.

Posting excerpts or passages from your book via blogging has become very popular in the publishing industry, and is a smart way to generate interest and boost sales of your work.

Blog from your smartphone

If you’re someone who regularly uses your phone to tweet and post to Facebook, Medium is a fantastic blogging option for you. One of the most important features Medium offers is its ease of use, whether you’re using your laptop or the handy smartphone application. The smartphone interface is clear and simple—and very similar to the online application. And with the mobile application, adding photos and videos to your blogs is a breeze!

Another reason why Medium is gaining in popularity: You don’t have to restrict yourself to typical blogging styles and methods. Your writing can be fragmented and erratic, or more form-specific and traditional. So if you want to experiment with a new writing style or genre—Medium is the best place to try something new!

 

Question: Do you use Medium? What is your favorite blogging platform?

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Your Author Website Vs. Your Social Media Profiles | Web Design Relief

It’s a question many writers ask: how to best use the time spent supporting an online presence. Should you focus on your author website, or spend your precious free time posting on social media? Web Design Relief has the answers you need.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have their unique advantages and limitations, and are all essential tools in a writer’s online marketing toolkit.

But an author website can do every bit as much for your online presence—and maybe even more—as a strong social media platform.

Social Media Vs. Author Website: Comparing The Benefits

Author Website

  • Community Building

One of the greatest advantages of an author website lies in its ability to build and maintain a dedicated fan base. While social media platforms might help you find an audience, an author website allows you to build and support your fan base more effectively using mailing lists and blog posts.

  • SEO Potential

Content is the engine that drives your online presence, and there’s no better way to power that engine than with the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) potential of an author website. With the right keywords, you can boost your website’s rank so that it comes up higher in search results. Engaging graphics, informative blog posts, and well-placed social sharing icons will help expand your reach and find new readers.

Social Media

  • Established Infrastructure

One of the obvious advantages of social media platforms is that each has its own established user base. Purchasing ads and engaging with your existing followers can quickly translate to greater exposure for your writing.

  • Access to Like-minded People

Social media platforms feature groups and fan bases that savvy social media marketers can use to their advantage. Check out upcoming events and existing groups to find individuals who will be interested in you and your writing.

What Does It All Mean?

If social media platforms and author websites each contribute essential functions to an overall social media marketing strategy, which should you use?

The answer is both. Like peanut butter and jelly, social media and an author website complement each other in all the right ways. An author website will act as the hub of your online presence, and social media will offer you the perfect means of outreach and distribution.

 

Question: What’s your preferred social media platform for marketing yourself as a writer?

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How To Integrate Social Media Into Your Blog (And Vice Versa) | Web Design Relief

Ideally, your author website should be a one-stop shop for all things concerning YOU. If people visit your author website to read your blog and become interested enough to keep following your writing career, they should be able to do so easily. But the more clicks or steps it takes to connect with you on social media, the less likely your visitor is to follow through.

By not integrating social media into your blog, you run the risk of losing potential fans within a few mouse clicks. Here are a few tools to help you integrate social networks into your author website’s blog.

Social Share Buttons

Use social share buttons along the top or sides of your blog and make your content shareable via the social media outlets you prefer. These buttons are quick and easy to use—something visitors to your site will appreciate. And you’ll appreciate the increased visibility!

Check out this special cheat sheet to add social share buttons to your blog.

Integrating Facebook and Twitter

Jetpack, which was developed by the makers of WordPress, is chock-full of useful tools. One of its features is “Publicize,” which will auto-share the title of your post with a link to the content on multiple social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.

In addition to automatically posting content to your social media profiles, you can use Jetpack to add Facebook and Twitter widgets to your site’s sidebar. They’re easy to set up and, most importantly, eye-catching enough to draw visitors seamlessly from your site to your profiles. With these widgets, your blog’s readers can Like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter—all without leaving your site. Read more about how to get visitors to stay on your site.

Note: Jetpack is specifically for author websites built on WordPress. If you’d like to add this functionality to your site manually—or if you don’t use WordPress to power your website—you can try any of the social plug-ins Facebook has to offer, as well as the official Twitter widget.

Integrating Goodreads

Goodreads is an especially helpful social media platform for bloggers with books to promote. If you’d like people to add your book to their Goodreads bookshelves, use the Add to My Books widget from the official Goodreads API. Simply punch in your book’s ID or ISBN number, paste the automatically generated code where you want the widget to appear on your site, and you’re in business!

Want to share the awesome reviews your book has been getting on Goodreads? You can add their Reviews widget to your site as well! Not only will it help show off the good things people have been saying about your book—it just might encourage other readers to chime in with reviews of their own.

TIP: Add these widgets to each of your book pages, as well as the sidebar of your blog. That way, potential readers don’t have to go out of their way to find them.

Integrating Google Plus

Like most social networks, Google+ provides easy-to-use widgets that anyone can add to his or her author website with a little bit of code. G+ badges are a great way to encourage people to add you to their circles, allowing them to connect with you on G+ down the line.

Integrating Instagram

Showcase your Instagram photos on your blog by clicking on the three dots on the bottom right corner of your Instagram photo to retrieve the embed code. Instagram photos can add pizzazz to blog posts and increase your Instagram following as well!

When you integrate your social networks into your blog, you make it easier for readers to stay in touch and plugged into your writing career. That way, you can keep them coming back for more! But remember that social media technology is ever-evolving. The plug-ins and widgets you installed last year may be obsolete today, so test your website’s integration tools regularly. And don’t feel pressured to jump on the latest social media bandwagon without doing some solid research.

 

Question: In what ways have YOU integrated social media into your blog?

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8 Signs Your Social Media Needs Professional Help | Web Design Relief

In this online-oriented, social media-savvy world, you can be sure literary editors and agents will check out your social media activity. And instead of wandering the library stacks, your next fan may be just a post, tweet, or click away! So how are you coping with the seemingly 24/7 demands of effective social media management?… Continue Reading

Smart Ways To Automate Your Social Media While You’re On Vacation | Web Design Relief

  Your bags are packed, the house is locked up, and your travel itinerary is ready to go. There’s just one problem: Your phone won’t stop beeping from Facebook and Twitter notifications. It’s a reminder that no matter how far you travel, the pressures of social media can follow you anywhere you go. That is,… Continue Reading

5 Dangers Of Sharing Your Creative Writing Using Social Media | Web Design Relief

Sharing your writing on social media may seem like a great idea, especially when you’re getting lots of Likes and retweets to lift your spirits. But wait—the experts here at Web Design Relief want to warn you about a few possible dangers of posting your creative writing on social networking websites. The Dangers Of Sharing Your… Continue Reading

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