At times, I feel like I’m struggling with this blog and my other forms of social media. I shout to the cosmos the great truths (as far as I know them) and get nothing back but ego-killing silence. The small voice inside of me whimpers, “Is anyone listening?”
I’m not the only writer that experiences this void of interaction. After all, almost every advice book and speaker out there says “build a platform” and “market through social media.” So in a near panic, we hopeful authors generate a scatter-shot of blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts in hopes that someone finds us interesting enough to follow.
Advice from Books
I spent this week examining my efforts. I’ve read a few different books about how to use blogging and other social media and most of their advice says, “Focus on your niche.” Great but not particularly helpful if you are a fiction writer who likes to wander around different genres. So I write about writing. However, my thriller audience does not care about this topic.
One book stands out as being particularly helpful though. The Extroverted Writer by Amanda Luedeke covers a number of social media suggestions. The book is thin and does not go into detail about designs or how to set up sites. However, it offers strong suggestions on what to consider when setting up your social media plans.
Looking to the Experts For Help
I particularly was drawn to the comments she made in the section about blogging. She states that writers should find and focus on their specific audience. Everyone talks about “write what you know,” but, like most people, I know a multitude of concepts that are completely unrelated to my fiction writing. The advice is fine if you are selling nonfiction books on gardening or finances. However, I’m not. I’m a fiction writer with a plague-based thrillers and ghost-filled urban fantasies. So do I write about publishing, poisons, or poltergeists?
Ms. Luedeke covers that. Her advice boils down to “know your fiction audience and write to them.” Yes, writers buy books but that group is not where my fan base is. In the case of multiple genres, she recommends writing to the audience you want to sell your next book too. This advice is wonderful and obvious, once someone said it aloud. Thank you, Amanda Luedeke!
So define your audience and then let that define what you discuss in blogs and other social media.
In adtion, if you are struggling with establishing your platform, check out The Extroverted Writer to help you formulate a plan. Other recommendations include Social Media Design for Dummies as a guide for a consistent look across your platform, and Blogging for Writers by Robin Houghton. It goes into deep detail on setting up blog/websites for those of us computer-crabby types.
As always, keep writing!