Category Archives: Social Networking For Writers

7 Biggest Mistakes Writers Make On Social Media | Web Design Relief

Whether you’re new to writing or a seasoned author, you should be developing a following on one or more social media platforms. Aspiring writers need to grow their audience and establish their online presence. Self-published authors can use social media to boost the promotion for their book launches. And nowadays even authors who’ve landed huge contracts with traditional publishers are expected to do social networking with gusto.

Yet the social media savants at Web Design Relief know that writers are not always skilled in the finer points of social networking. Here are examples of what NOT to do:

The Seven Worst Mistakes Writers Make On Social Media

Relentless Selling

Constantly screaming “Buy! Buy! Buy!” is NOT the most effective way to make a sale. The hard sell will make people tune out or unfriend you.

Social networking is all about making connections and cultivating relationships. Once rapport is established and maintained, your followers will be more likely to pay attention when you post news of your book launch.

The general rule of thumb is to minimize promotion to one out of every ten posts.

Posting Only Once In A Blue Moon

One of the most important rules of good social media management is to post regularly. If you disappear for an extended period of time, so will your followers, since less engagement means your posts will show up much less frequently in your followers’ news streams. And if anyone who visits your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., sees that the last time you posted was six months ago, they’ll assume you’ve abandoned the platform.

Try to post at least once daily. Don’t know what to post? Check out this cheat sheet.

Not Offering Value

To draw people to your social media account, you should offer them something they want. What you offer could be something concrete, such as a monthly giveaway, or something intangible, such as a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your books, your future writing plans, and even what makes you laugh, cry, and tick as a writer.


Avoiding Conversation

Here’s the bad news for introverts: Posting once a day and then fleeing to your writing garret won’t do it. You need to Like and Share posts/tweets, and perhaps even start actual conversations in the comments. Authentic interactions help develop relationships. The more connected your followers feel to you, the more likely they’ll do whatever you ask when the time comes for the big book launch.

Not Posting Images

Social media posts with images get a lot more engagement than those without. Liven up whatever you’re posting by making images of your own on a site like Canva, or by using stock pics or your own personal photos.

Forgetting To Use Hashtags

Hashtags help you reach a larger audience with a specific interest, and they’re particularly powerful on Twitter and Instagram. Adding a targeted hashtag can bring you to the attention of potential followers interested in, say, #freeBooks, #knitting, #financialtips, or #rescuedogs. While one or two hashtags are sufficient for Twitter, you can add as many as you want on Instagram.

One Caveat: With the changes made to Facebook’s algorithms, hashtags don’t help on Facebook and may even hurt—so don’t include hashtags in your Facebook posts.

Using Click Farm Tactics To Increase Followers

There are a lot of services out there that promise to increase your social media following by thousands in just a few months. But buyer beware—many of those followers may not be targeted to your particular interests, or they could just be bots. Publishers looking at social media followings focus on engagement and interaction rather than raw numbers. Organic growth is harder but more rewarding because a greater percentage of your followers will be interested in you and your work.

A social media following won’t happen overnight—but don’t be discouraged! Every platform focuses on a different audience, and it can take some time for you to effectively and efficiently find your followers. Growing a platform is a process. With time and effort, you’ll have a loyal following behind you.


Question: Share your expertise! What has worked for you to attract organic followers to your social media platforms?

Apps To Make Your Photos Pop On Social Media | Web Design Relief

If you want to pack your readings and book signing events and sell more books, you need to grow your audience on social media. At Web Design Relief, our social media experts know this requires cutting through the clutter of everyone else’s posts, tweets, and pins! The most effective way to stand out on every social media platform is to use visual media: creative graphics, eye-catching photos, and dazzling videos. And how do you turn your ordinary images into must-see media? It’s easier than you might think! Here are the best apps for making your photos pop on social media:

5 Apps That Will Make Your Images Stand Out On Social Media

Snapseed (iOS & Android)

The Snapseed app is a photo editing app that gives you a wide variety of controls to edit your images. This app is for the mobile photographer who wants something more than the filters offered by Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. While Snapseed does have easy-to-use filters for quick editing, they also have plenty of fine-tuning options such as: Spot Repair (which lets you remove or smooth out parts of an image); Selective (for editing and focusing on very specific parts of a photo); and Details (which helps increase the sharpness and structure of your image). Snapseed is perfect for writers on the go who want to dive into mobile photo editing.

VSCO (iOS & Android)

VSCO is currently one of the top fifteen most popular photography apps on Apple’s Top Free Photography Apps chart. This app offers a large variety of filters that allow you to edit quickly and emulate classic film stocks. While VSCO does have some extra editing capabilities, they’re not as comprehensive as Snapseed’s offerings.

Over (iOS)

Over is a fantastic app for adding unique text and image overlays to your photos! You simply pick the image you want to overlay text on, type out your message, and have fun playing with colors, fonts, spacing, and alignment. This app makes putting text over an image incredibly easy—just shoot, create, and post. Over gives you a great way to share your poetry or lines from your writing through visual mediums like Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook.

InShot (iOS & Android)

This app has both the versatility of Snapseed and the best features of Over. With InShot, you can crop your image, change your canvas size to fit a variety of social media standards, overlay stickers and text—even edit video! This is a great app for writers who want a one-stop shop for their image and video editing needs. While the photo-editing tools may not be as comprehensive as Snapseed or VSCO, they’ll do the trick for anyone who wants to make a few simple edits before posting online.

Glitche (iOS)

This app is a bit more avant garde and allows you to do some unusual things with your images. As its name implies, Glitche offers a variety of filters that simulate technological malfunctions. You can “glitchify” your image with a static haze, or use the VHS filter to make your videos and images look as if they had been created during the ’80s and ’90s. You can also try the blurring options, mirroring, pixelating, color inverting, and more. The app is great for editing a photo to look like it’s from a decade long gone or to make it seem as if something eerie is about to rise right out of the phone in your hand.


Question: Let us know which apps you’re most eager to try, and which apps you already love!

55 Social Media Hashtags For Book Authors (And How To Use Them) | Web Design Relief

Unless you’ve been living in a remote cave (or buried under a giant pile of writing research), you know hashtags serve a very valuable purpose on social media. Those clickable words or strings of words can help you follow ongoing conversations, sort posts according to interests, and expand the reach of your musings beyond your own friends and followers. Furthermore, tweets with hashtags get retweeted 55% more than tweets without them.

Boost your social media efforts and effectiveness by following—and using—this list of hashtags for writers from Web Design Relief:

Enjoy The Writer’s Journey

These “share the journey” hashtags bring the active writing community together by sharing the day-to-day trials and tribulations of the writing life.

  • #amwriting
  • #amediting
  • #writerslife
  • #WriterWednesday

Write The Words

Every writer needs a creative boost now and then. Follow these hashtag prompts to nudge yourself and others into getting the words onto the page.

  • #1K1H (1,000 words in one hour)
  • #WritingPrompt
  • #StoryStarter
  • #wordcount
  • #writingsprint
  • #NaNoWriMo (for the November marathon)

Pose A Question To A Pro

Need guidance from a professional? Pose a question or peruse the hashtag to pick up tips and tricks from the experts.

  • #AskEditor
  • #AskAgent
  • #AskAuthor

Gather Your Genre Group

No list of hashtags for writers is complete without a list of genre-related hashtags. Following these keywords can keep you up to date about what’s going on in the industry as well as connect you to fellow lovers of your genre.

  • #RomanceWriter
  • #Horror
  • #YA
  • #KidLit
  • #LitFic
  • #Crime
  • #Thriller
  • #Suspense
  • #DarkFantasy
  • #SciFiChat
  • #MGLit (middle grade literature)
  • #ShortReads
  • #flashfiction
  • #ChickLit
  • #WomensFiction
  • #HistFic
  • #RWA
  • #NINC
  • #SCBWI
  • #SFWA

Peruse Publication

Trying to get published can be bewildering. Follow one or more of these hashtags so you’ll be in the know.

  • #PubTip
  • #SelfPublishing
  • #SelfPub
  • #QueryTip
  • #Publishing
  • #GetPublished
  • #IndiePub

Seek A Slot

#MSWL is short for “Manuscript Wish List.” Editors and agents post the kinds of manuscripts they would most like to see cross their desks right now. For authors on the hunt for a new agent or a new house, #MSWL gives you a chance to strike while the iron is hot.

Augment Your Audience

Grow your tribe by sharing your writing with readers using the following hashtags:

  • #TeaserTuesday
  • #FridayReads
  • #MustRead
  • #LitChat
  • #SampleSunday
  • #novelines

Move The Merchandise

Hashtags are fabulous for book marketing, especially if you have a launch or a free or discounted book.

  • #freebook
  • #freebie
  • #freedownload
  • #BookGiveaway
  • #99c
  • #booklaunch
  • #BookBuzz
  • #NewBook

Harnessing Hashtags—The Right Way

Since hashtags are essentially keywords that help folks find what they’re looking for, it’s important to use them correctly. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Use hashtags specific to your message
  • Try to take advantage of the important keywords in your post’s text
  • Or, add hashtags at the end of the post
  • Don’t use too many hashtags, except on Instagram, where it doesn’t seem to matter

Check out these examples from @WritersRelief on Twitter:

  • “Want to use your #author website to build #book sales? Here’s how:”
  • “Here are some tips on #writing a cover letter for your #poetry, stories, or #essays.”
  • “#Writers: Think big! Retweet and find out how to use pay-to-play mass mailings to promote your #selfpublished book:”

Once you get the hang of including hashtags in your social media posts, you’ll find that it’s an effortless way to expand your reach. Keep in mind: With the exception of Instagram, you should keep the number of your hashtags down to one or two. A Tweet or Facebook post riddled with hashtags, or followed by a river of them, looks a lot like spam.


Question: What are your favorite hashtags, and on what social media platforms do you use them?

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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