How To Use Facebook As An Author In Five Simple Steps.

0427ed2ce6a2b95ad5ff5344b30c39a7Hello once again, Readers!!! How goes it! We are still working on the cover for Embracing the Flames. It has to be perfect! I have also surpassed 50K in From the Embers, so I’d say I am making progress. Woot!

But I digress.

This post is about something I have been experimenting with lately. Building up a Facebook audience. I am a strong believer that not every social media site is for everyone. You have to find what works, and I like Facebook.

But the important question is, does Facebook help you as an author trying to market? YES! If you learn to use Facebook effectively, it really can help you reach a wider audience.

How do I know?

Like most, when I was thrown into the world of being published and needing to market, I found myself sitting in front of my computer lost and confused. But with some effort and research, I have managed to figure some things out. One of which, is how to use Facebook as an author. Through reading, watching, and then actually doing, I can attest that these simple steps work.

It’s really easy. All you need it a little bit of time, devotion, and a leap of faith.

Here are my five steps to success:

  1. Use pictures to connect with your audience. These can be found anywhere. Using pictures is a quick way to connect without having to write anything. It’s pleasing to the eye and it also gives the audience something to share on their page, thus helping you branch out virally.
  2. Ask questions. Be concerned about your audience. Get to know them. They are helping you out just by liking your page, so return the favor by being interested and talking to them. Ask a simple question like: What are you reading? This is an effective way to engage and meet your audience.
  3. Hold giveaways. Everyone loves free stuff. If you are an author, this is a great way to not only get people talking, but to expand your audience and get reviews and such in return. It will also pull in new likes if you target the giveaway to that.
  4. Support other pages and authors. Branching out is easy if you believe in karma. Give and thee shall receive. Whenever you like a page, Facebook has integrated this handy “if you like this, then you may like this” option. Use that to keep finding similar pages that suit your interest and then promote their stuff as well.
  5. Share freebies and other things that spark you. Chances are, your readers will be just as interested, thus keeping them wanting to be a part of your page.

I know, they aren’t super complicated. But that’s the beauty of Facebook. It’s really not that complicated. You just have to decide and then stick to it. Try to post at least once a day. Take around 10 minutes to read through the news feed and comment on others stuff and then promote your stuff.

Hope this helps! If not, do not fret! There are other sites that offer tons of advice. One of my favorites is Author Media. They have tons of posts on how to build your platform.

Any who, now to leave you with a question: What social site has helped you?

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Echelon out, Peeps ♥

How To Juggle…Literar-ally…In Five Easy Steps.

404586_303785663062640_671061421_nHello once again, Readers!!! How are you this lovely morning? I am freaking fantastic! I just received the first mock-up for the Embracing the Flames cover! I can’t wait to see the finished product!!! I also found out that the possibility of print is not too far off! It’s in the works!!! *squeal*

But I digress.

With the new year, more opportunities and ideas have flourished. Book three, From the Embers, is almost 50k in! I’m thinking another month or so and I will be ready to start edits! Conventions are being looked at, marketing is being attacked full-force, and another project (the one from NaNo) will be completed!

Wooh!

That’s a lot, right? Sometimes it almost feels impossible or unattainable. But I have a problem with going after the unattainable.

GET TO THE POINT!

Okay! One of the hardest parts of being a writer (I have discovered) is not being patient (because I have mastered that), but finding balance. I have to balance my home life, squeeze in time for writing, and find time to market. That’s barely touching the scope of daily responsibilities and unprepared-for incidents that occur. It’s not an easy task, but it is doable. And I am here to give you the steps you need to help you along!

  1. Find a caffeinated beverage and STICK with it! Yes *raises hand* I am a Red Bull addict, but only because it gives me wings! How else am I supposed to multi-task?
  2. Speaking of multi-tasking, learn to do just that. Plan your days around things you can do simultaneously that will eliminate time misuse. As a fulltime author, it is not just about locking yourself away and writing non-stop. Unless you have a huge marketing team backing you, you have to be sociable and branch out. Meet new people, extend yourself, help others, ect.
  3. Form a routine. For instance, my mornings are spent researching, marketing, answering emails, and eating a granola bar (with a Red Bull). If I can, I squeeze in a blog post too. Mid-afternoons (nap time for my daughter) is where I shut everything off and zone into writing. Roughly two hours worth. Then I have to grab my son from school. I clean, prepare dinner, and try to fit in exercise around this time (late-afternoon). Then I usually finish up my writing and social media stuff and call it a night. It’s not the best, but it keeps me on point and not feeling scattered.
  4. Take a break if you become overwhelmed. Nothing is more thwarting than feeling tired and bummed out. That is your body’s way of telling you to take a break.
  5. Write! No matter what, you must find time to do this. You must devote yourself to it if you want it to happen.

Point is, balance is something you work for, just like everything else. You have to find it. You have to apply it, even when the unexpected happens. Some of you know this and have probably mastered it, and some of you may be like me, searching through piles of laundry, trying to find it. Don’t give up. Some days will be easy and others will be hard. Isn’t that what balance is all about?

Now to leave you with a question: How do you deal with stress and writing?

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Echelon out, Peeps ♥

Social Media & Marketing Part Two-Twitter

Hello once again Readers!!! I bet you can’t guess what today’s blog is about….oh wait, yeah, the title does give it away. So let’s begin!

To my left is a photo I took not too long ago. Fireworks almost always signifies a finale or a celebration. Today we are dabbling with both. This will be the final and most helpful blog concerning Twitter, and we will all celebrate with giddiness because we will now know how to flippin’ use Twitter! A two-for-one deal!

I digress.

As always, I start by searching the vast web and reading over an insane amount of information until my brain hurts and my red bull is empty. And after a quick pouting session from the lack of my beloved beverage, a blog is born.

I know, shut up and get to the good stuff. Here we go!

I think I can safely say that I finally have this all figured out. Hang on, let me check…yep. My eyes are blood-shot from a long day in front of the computer-I know what I’m saying. Thusly, I am going to share with you, step-by-step, how to not only create, but use your Twitter account.

  1. YOUR PROFILE PICTURE: Make sure your profile picture is an actual, respectable picture. Treat it like you would your professional author photo. Or better yet, if you have an author photo, use it. We want to see who we are following, not an eggshell or an avatar.
  2. YOUR PITCH: Use your short, 160 characters worth of a bio, to the fullest. It is your marketing tool and it will be the first thing a potential follower will read about you. You have to sell yourself. As an example I will share mine:
  3. SHARING IS CARING: Make sure you share your blogs via Twitter, especially if they are about writing. Twitter is a community of people looking for other people with similar interest, same as WordPress. Writers love to hear other writers POV’s. It will also draw people to you.
  4. HASHTAGGING: This topic was so confusing for me, and now that I understand it, I really don’t know why it was confusing. Again I believe it’s from my stubbornness to succumb to trends. But I have. And I’ve learned. Hash tagging is the same concept as adding tag words to your blog before (or after if you forgot) you publish. I work best when given examples so here are mine. Say you want to tweet your blog link that talks about  writing:                                                                                                                                         “Just finished another excellent #blog. I tackle #writing and other topics. Check it out! #author#writer#magician.” See how many tags I fit in? These are keywords that people could potentially search and it will link back to your beautiful tweet. Using the hashtag symbol has proven to be more resourceful than not.
  5. IT’S OKAY TO BE A FOLLOWER: Follow people! Again, same as WordPress, the more you branch out there and comment and share, the more you will most likely gain a new follower. Your goal is to build relationships with people. Find those who are in your genre and follow them, learn from them, and hope that they follow you back. It’s always a game of give and take.

Sounds easy, right? That’s because it is! So what are you waiting for? Get your butt out there and sell yourself! And just because I am so happy to have come to an end with this whole Twitter epidemic, I’ve decided to share a bonus tip! Yay!

6. CREATE A UNIQUE TAG TO YOUR STORY THAT YOU ADD TO THE END OF EVERY TWEET SO WHEN YOUR BOOK BECOMES THE NEXT BIG THING, READERS WILL HAVE SOMETHING TO HASH ABOUT TO SHOW THEIR SUPPORT! Example: #littleflames. That will be my unique tag that I will use from now on. Why? Well, I guess you will have to read to find out muhahaha. (When it’s finally published that is.)

So what do you think? Is this helpful? Are you feeling confident? If so, share your @ address below so others can find and follow you.

That being said, Echelon out ♥

How To Gain Traffic To Your Blog

Hello once again Readers!!! Welcome back! And to my newest subscribers, welcome, and thank you for subscribing!!

So, as promised, I’ve spent most of my morning digging around the internet and on Author Media for tips on blogging. I’m down to the last few sips of my red bull.

*frowning*

But on a good note, it’s been such a wonderful week of free knowledge here on my blog.

Now let us begin. The first blog I stumbled upon was 50 Things to Blog About for those of us who commonly get writer’s block. I must admit, there are days when I’m like, uhhhhhh, staring at the computer screen with a blank face. It could be because I have yet to devour my red bull, or it could be because I have that evil, infamous Writer’s Block. (Click on the link to read my blog on how to defeat this illustrious beast). I digress, so the above mentioned blog with 50 ideas is magnificent for overcoming those sort of days.

But that’s really not what I was looking for on my quest for knowledge on how to gain blog traffic. I wanted something meatier, thus I have found: How To Build A Community. This blog has great ideas such as being honest with your readers and inviting them to share their thoughts. For me, this was a no brainer which in turn means-more digging.

*another frown*

Ah ha! I have found it! 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic! Finally, a blog that teaches me something that I haven’t already learned on my own. There are some great tips and even example pictures (my fav-o-rite) to go along with the tips. You can’t go wrong in reading this if you are looking to build your audience…like moi.

Some of my favorite tips are:

  • #10-guest blogging. I have yet to guest blog or have a guest on my blog, but I am open to it and have even been trying to figure out how to get started. This blog explains in detail how to get started, so look out bloggers!
  • #16-use your email signature to promote. It’s a great (and free) way to silently spread the word.
  • #22-A bonus tip! Be consistent. I love this tip because it applies to not only blogging, but writing as well. Practice makes perfect and working hard will eventually pay off.

So what do you think? Did this help you? It helped me! *happy dance* My only hope is that I can apply what I’ve learned, and plant the seeds of my thoughts amongst you all in hopes that they will one day sprout heartily, leaving me with a lovely audience that I can interact with. :)

Now to leave you with a question: As a fellow blogger, what tips do you have to offer for gaining traffic? If you’re not a blogger, what brings you back as a reader and what bores you?

‘Til next time (Most likely Monday)…Echelon out ♥

Marketing Ideas for Authors

Hello once again Readers!!! Now before I get to the good stuff-tips on marketing-I wanted to let you in on a little secret about myself. You see, I have this little problem…I get hooked on something and become obsessed with it until it bores me. This usually lasts about two to three weeks. And right now, I’m hooked on learning as much as I can about how to market myself as an author. This of course will benefit you as a reader because I will share everything I learn, thus cutting back on the time you will have to spend on research. Yay!

So today I stuck to reading about basic marketing strategies. Yesterday it was learning how to use Twitter to your advantage. Again I’m using Author Media for my research because they have so many versatile blogs that appeal to striving authors. So let us begin.

First thing’s first, the blog that will change your life-89 Book Marketing Ideas That Will Change Your Life. Like that, eh? I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot with this particular blog because there are tons of great ideas and they are all broken down into categories. I’m a sucker for organization. I digress. A few of my favorite points are:

  • Create a book trailer-I have been meaning to do this! It’s a great way to show your audience what’s inside your mind.
  • Create a fan page for your main character-It would give the reader something to look forward to when the story is over. I myself love to look for ways to continue my connection with a character that I fell in love with.
  • Ask different newspapers and radio stations in your area to interview you-I guess branching out and rolling up your sleeves is the best way to make yourself known. Personally, I’d have to get over my shyness in order to do this.
  • Find places to give book readings. Coffee shops, bookstores,videos online, libraries. Use your imagination!
  • Donate! It’s called Karma!

The list goes on and on, 89 times to be exact. There are a lot of helpful ideas and some that I need to read up on because I am not that good at understanding technology. I will be bookmarking all of these for when my book is finally published. For now though, I will continue to edit my second novel and play around with my social media sites.

Tomorrow I will be blogging about blogging tips and how to gain traffic to your blog so be sure to check back in. Since I’m still new to the scene, I have a lot to learn. 

And I leave you with a question: If you are published, what way of marketing have you found the most successful? If you are a reader, what appeals to you? What catches your attention and makes you purchase a book?

Until tomorrow, Echelon out ♥

Social Media & Marketing Part One-Twitter

Hello once again Readers!!! It’s going to be a long, but resourceful blog today, so let us begin. I have just realized that I am not as socially savvy as I thought I was…

Wait…so you mean you’re awkward?

Yes-yes I am. When it comes to social media that is. Sure I have a Facebook, a blog, and a Twitter, but am I using them properly and to my advantage? And, are there other social sites I could be using?

It always happens this way for me. I wake up and smack my forehead. Duh! I need to get with it. But how exactly do you do that? Well, my lovely readers, the slow and painful way-a.k.a-research. But lucky for you, I am going to break down what I’ve found into five easy links for your viewing and learning pleasure. Don’t say I never gave you anything. *Wink*

Okay, so here we go. First off, I stumbled on a site called, Author Media. If you haven’t discovered this site by now, please click on that link. Their site is FULL of helpful information on marketing and social networking for new and aspiring authors. And let’s face it, for indie authors, most of the marketing falls in your lap, so take all the help you can get!

But what really caught my attention, (which is extremely hard to do considering I skim through most everything I read), was all the Twitter tips. Yes. I am admitting to you right now, that I don’t really know how to use Twitter. I mean, I barely understand the concept of hashtags. I’ve spent the last few years brazenly refusing to fall into another social media’s trap, but now that I am to be published, it’s time for me to grow up and get over myself. It’s a resourceful way of connecting with not only other authors, but agents and publishers too! Check out these articles that I have thoroughly read and feel are useful to mastering the famous blue bird.

How to Get Started on Twitter-for those of you who don’t have one yet. This is a very quick and easy set-up tutorial. I highly recommend you open another tab and get started!

How to Create a Twitter List-I didn’t even know this was possible! This solves a majority of the reason why I never liked Twitter. Creating a list will cut back all the tweets that you don’t particularly care about reading, and will categorize them for those of you who are OCD like me. Plus, this blog even has easy, step-by-step instructions with pictures! Hang on-logging into Twitter as I type so I can update as I finish this blog. Gosh I love multitasking!

What to say on Twitter to gain an audience-This blog is especially helpful for moi. As I said in the opening, I tend to be socially awkward. This blog will remind you that no one cares if you are standing in line at Starbucks. What matters is, are you interesting? Can you make their day a little less boring?

If I haven’t convinced you yet that Twitter is important to an author, read this! 5 Reasons Novelists Should Flock to Twitter. It’s very convincing.

And last, but certainly not least, Finding the best time to Tweet. I actually laughed when I read this. I can’t believe I am so behind in the ways of social networking. It’s almost embarrassing! (Which embarrassed is my middle name in case you didn’t know). It goes right alongside of my awkward title.

So, if you are still reading this, I hope that you have gained at least a smidgen of insight in the ways of Twitter. I am only in the beginning stages so I will continue to update you on what I find as well as share what else I learn in the ways of marketing.

Now to leave you with a question: What did you have for lunch? Haha, just kidding. Seriously, the question is, what do you know about Twitter that can make my life easier? Please, please share your knowledge below for all of us to read!

Echelon out ♥