#FixThatBlog – Can Bloggers Do Without Twitter/Facebook?

If you are conservative or moderate in your opinions, or if you have friends who are, you will probably already know that both Twitter and Facebook are wildly hostile ground for conservatives and everyone who is less than progressive/liberal. You can get your page taken down from Facebook for quoting the wrong Bible verse! And I’ve heard of someone who got their Twitter account taken down for having been retweeted by Donald Trump— even though I haven’t heard of them threatening Pres. Trump’s Twitter account— Twitter knows good free advertising for their service when it sees it.

I have had a lot of friends get suspended or banned at Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes they get sick of the whole game and migrate to newer social media like Gab or MeWe. But the problem is that alternative social media are small ponds. If you are trying to get attention for your blog posts or your books, they are not where the eyeballs are. The eyeballs are still over at TwitFace, sadly.

The key to using Facebook and Twitter is to remember that those social media are run by blind progressives who take it as dogma that all Republicans are members of the (Democrat-only) KKK organization— even, presumably, Herman Cain and Ben Carson. Therefore anything you post that isn’t progressive propaganda is suspect.

But a key to using any social media is that bland/generic posts vanish, only things that are a little rough or even shocking get attention. You want your post to go viral, you have to do something to get attention. And if you do something to get attention and are not progressive, you can get banned.

So what should your strategy be? If you don’t currently have a world-famous blog, I’d suggest you go ahead and use Twitter and Facebook, and post what you like (unless you like death threats and pictures of private parts.) Do (civilized) things to get attention. If your account is banned or suspended, you might think of just starting a different account, especially on Twitter.

You might also think of having a targeted Twitter or Facebook account. I did this when I had a separate blog for Keto diet posts, and a Twitter account to go with it. On that Twitter account, I followed only diet-related accounts, and posted only on that topic. Since my political opinions were not a part of that Twitter account, I didn’t post anything political there no matter the temptation.

If political opinion is a main topic of your blog, of course, you won’t use the apolitical-account approach. You will seek accounts that share your opinions, mostly, plus a few high-profile opposition to retweet along with the comment ‘can you believe THIS!’ or similar.

Minor or new social media, especially those that cater to freedom of speech advocates, have their uses, but they won’t replace the Big Boys. If you get banned/suspended from the Big Boys a lot, you may need to cultivate those alternative accounts to stay in touch with some of your True Fans. My Gab and MeWe accounts seemed kind of dead when I was using them a lot, but I realized I had far fewer friends/followers in those places. If I worked those accounts I would probably have a livelier time on those social media. But as I’ve not even been suspended once from Twitter and Facebook, I must admit I haven’t considered it a priority.

If I did have a problem with repeated suspensions or banning at TwitFace, rather than abandoning those sites altogether I would have a bland, non-controversial account that mainly served to share my blog posts and retweet/share the stuff of selected other people, and put a lot more effort into my MeWe account. (In fact, I think I need to start working on my MeWe account right now, at least in the sense of visiting it each time I blog and sharing my blog posts there. I get lazy because my blog posts can be shared to TwitFace as part of the WordPress. com posting experience.)

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FTB: Syndicating Your Blog to Facebook or Twitter

#FixThatBlog

If your blog lacks readers in spite of the fact you are regularly posting, one thing you can do is syndicate your blog to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. That means, share each post to Facebook and Twitter as it is made. This gets more traffic to your blog posts. Your blog gets read, and you might gain a few regular readers.

WordPress makes it easy to syndicate to both. It’s right there when you are writing the post! And you can add hashtags and such to make your post onto Twitter and Facebook better and more likely to be read, discovered or shared.

Blogger takes more work— you have to either manually share in both places, or you have to use something like Buffer to do the work.

To share on Twitter, you need a Twitter account, and you need to build up some followers. NEVER buy followers. They won’t do you any good anyway. The best way is to adopt the rule of ‘following back.’ When someone follows you, unless they are clearly ladies in the prostitution industry or other bad apples, follow back. If any of them start posting crap to your feed, you can always unfollow.

Then, check out hashtags related to your blog’s niche or your books’ genre. Follow some of the people who post using the hashtag. Most of the people you follow will follow back, unless they are the Pope or something.

On Twitter, don’t just share your blog post. Retweet other people’s good stuff. And just say stuff. Especially if you can be amusing or witty or weird. Don’t abuse your twitter feed by posting links to your books, one after another, every minute for an hour. If you have to post multiple book links, use a service like Buffer to space them out. And post other stuff too!

On Facebook you have a decision to make. Do you post your content to your personal account? Your author page or author fan group? Some other group? I personally don’t post to my personal page any more. My blood relatives— the ones who still speak to me— are my Facebook friends. I syndicate to my author page (find it in the sidebar) and sometimes to a group of mine. If I post on a man-woman marriage related topic, I post it to my marriage page.

Some authors have more than one Facebook account, so they can freely use one of their accounts as an author page. But Buffer now no longer syndicates to personal pages, so you may need a FB author page or author fan group in order to use Buffer.

On Facebook, you also need to get a following. For a Facebook author page, that means getting people to ‘like’ your page. On Facebook, you don’t always know when someone has ‘liked’ your author page, and you can’t necessarily ‘like’ their page back if they ‘liked’ you with their personal account. And you want everyone, even fellow authors, to ‘like’ you with their personal account so that your page’s postings will show up in their feed.

Like Twitter, you want to share items from other people. You should have ‘liked’ as many author pages as you can— there is a list of Facebook author pages on this blog to get you started— and if an author shares a bit of news or an amusing observation, consider sharing it. Also share amusing memes if they are on topic. And anything related to your niche/genre. Since cats are my thing, I shared it when the famous Grumpy Cat died.

When I look at my stats, I often find I get some of my blog’s visitors through Facebook or Twitter. I think this syndication is worth doing. and so I mean to continue. Even a very few extra visitors add up over time.

Do you syndicate your blog posts to Twitter or Facebook? Has it worked for you? Let me know your experiences! 

Nissa Annakindt’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/nissalovescats

Nissa Annakindt’s Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/

 

Doing Facebook Author Pages in 2019

I started my Facebook author page many years ago, and when I started, Facebook pages were far easier to do. Facebook wasn’t so selective about showing my page updates to those people who had ‘liked’ my page. These days, every time I post something, Facebook asks me if I want to ‘boost the post’ by turning it in to a Facebook ad. Which is why they show my posts to so few of the page fans.

Also, when I started, you could ‘like’ other, relevant pages as your page, and see a feed of just those pages. So I liked a lot of FB author pages and some genre-related pages and I had an easy time finding stuff to share on my page.

Now it’s different. No feed for the page. So no point, really, in ‘liking’ things as my page. I have to ‘like’ things related to my author page with my personal account and hope things just show up in my feed when I want to share things on my author page.

Some authors have come to the conclusion that a Facebook page is no longer worth the effort. They make ‘fan groups’ under Facebook groups instead. Which is good if you can pull it off. I would be embarrassed to start a ‘fan group’ at this point, though I do have two FB groups I’ve started that I tend to regularly.

If you blog using WordPress (instead of Blogger) you can syndicate your blog posts direct to your Facebook author page (as well as to Twitter.) This may not seem like much, but it’s ever so much more convenient than doing it manually! Your blog posts, syndicated to your author page, may seem to have minimal effect, but at least you are posting SOMETHING there.

Another thing I have found that works is posting an amusing meme or graphic on my author page. FB is willing to show that to a few people, and some of them ‘like’ it, and so my author page gets a little more ‘life’ out of it.

I also like to help author pages out by sharing some of their postings. I’ve started a list on this blog of FB author pages. The pages currently there are from members of the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/366357776755069/.   But the page is open to writers of every genre except porn/erotica. (If you want to add your FB author page, put a note to that effect in a comment and give me the link. You are expected to ‘like’ my author page and/or two other pages from the list to ‘pay’ for your own listing.)

I am still on the learning curve myself as far as Facebook author pages are concerned, and so I’m hoping to write other posts on the topic as I learn more. My FB author page is: Nissa Annakindt, poet, Aspie and cat person:  https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/  I hope some of you will consider ‘liking’ it and viewing my posts there.

Authors: What Do Your Readers Owe You?

What do your readers owe you? What do your potential readers owe you? I mean, you put a lot of work into your writing. Isn’t a laborer worthy of his hire?

Actually, though, the question in the title of this blog post is a trick question. Your readers don’t owe you anything. They don’t have to buy a copy of your next book. They don’t have to write a review. They don’t have to tweet about your book or do any action at all to help you sell more books or become better known.

This comes up as a topic today because I recently read of a dim-witted writer who had a Facebook fan group. According to the title of his fan group, he is a ‘best-selling’ writer in a misbegotten hybrid genre, ‘erotic romance.’ (Misbegotten because erotica and romance fiction are not compatible genres.) He claims he’s going to have a ‘purge’ like in the movie of the members of that group that won’t buy the books or write the reviews. I don’t know whether this ‘author’ intends to actually kill the erring group members or just kick them out of the group. In either case, he is not only ignorant and an ass, but he misunderstands the purpose of having a Facebook fan group.

Writers who know a little about book marketing know that the average person has little to no interest in a random writer’s book promo. That’s why writers groups on Facebook who allow self-promotion soon end up as an endless list of unread ‘free’ advertising for self-published books.  So the clever writers use things like email newsletters that you have to sign up for in order to make contact with potential readers.

When a person signs up for your email newsletter, they are giving you permission to send them a newsletter. They don’t owe you anything because they signed up. In fact, they are doing you a favor. That’s why many writers offer a free ebook on a useful topic to people who sign up for their list.

An email list is the best and most recommended way for writers to connect with readers and potential readers. But Facebook ‘fan groups’ and author pages are similar in some ways. People have to sign up for the group or ‘like’ the page. In that way, they give their permission for the author to send them content through Facebook. Giving that permission is granting the author a favor! When you do an author a favor, you do not ‘owe’ him a review or a book purchase. You are giving that author a chance to win you over as a reader.

An actual email newsletter is a more effective way to keep in contact with your readers. But some authors turn to Facebook groups or author pages, perhaps because they are too shy to start a newsletter just yet. In all three cases, an author (or would-be author) must remember who is doing the favor for whom here. If you make demands through your newsletter or Facebook presence, you are just making yourself look like a clueless self-published author who can’t write well enough to sell books or garner good reviews. Do you really think that’s good for your writing career?

I have a (much neglected) author newsletter that I really must get to soon. I also have an author Facebook page. Like all Facebook pages, FB has really messed it up in order to sell more advertising. Every time I post FB invites me to spend $30 advertising the post so some of the people who have ‘liked’ my page can actually see it. I have mostly given up on that page, except that I do syndicate my blog posts on that page. If you would like, view my author page at:  https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/   If you should happen to ‘like’ my page, I thank you for the enormous favor you have done me! I really appreciate it, especially now that my recent health issues have made my internet presence more difficult to keep up with.

I don’t have a Facebook ‘fan group,’ which some authors are using instead of an author page. My writing-friend Declan Finn has a group called ‘Finn’s Firebrands,’ and if you are thinking of starting a ‘fan group’ for yourself, you might well check out that group to learn from Declan how to do it. Declan Finn is a fine writer of thrillers, vampire romance, and cop fiction, and when he comes out with a new ebook, I generally buy it. Finn’s Firebrands: https://www.facebook.com/groups/apiusman/

The most important message I have for authors is this: don’t get arrogant and think your readers or potential readers owe you something. If someone actually is willing to give your book (or blog) a chance, that’s a gift from that person to you. Remember to be grateful!

At this point I would like to thank all the kind people who have given this blog a chance. Even if, as it turns out, you don’t like what I write and intend to warn people about the badness of this blog, you have done me a kindness by giving it a chance. That is a gift, and I cherish it.

Getting Followers on Gab

Gab is a Twitter-like social media outlet which has taken a firm stand for free speech. A great home for people like me, who have seen friends suspended or banned from Twitter or Facebook, largely for expressing Christian and/or conservative opinion.

I first got on Gab when some of my friends in the Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance (CFLA, a FB group which has migrated to MeWe) recommended Gab as a social medium. But when I first got to Gab it was dull. It took me a while to realize it was because while I had hundreds of friends/followers on Twitter and Facebook, I had about 25 in those early months on Gab— and some of those are now inactive on Gab.

How do you go about getting followers on Gab? First, POST. Post to your own followers, but also post a few things in popular Topics, where other people can see them.

What are Topics? They are classifications for public posts— posts that the whole Gab community can see. Members can create their own topics, and most of those topics fizzle out. Some topics are dumb, or rude, or even hostile to different groups of people, from Jewish people to Trump supporters. Since Gab is popular with actual conservatives and also with some non-liberal extremists, liberals/progressives try to band together with topics, while others post in the topics of News and Politics and find support for their opinions.

Since I’m not on Gab for the politics, I started my own topic called Books and Authors. I’m hoping to encourage a more literary form of discussion on Gab. I’ve posted about some of the books by my author friends from the CLFA, and a few other people post there as well. I get a little response, and I hope to post at least 1 thing to the topic every day to keep the topic alive and encourage others.

Another way to meet people on Gab is to join one or more Gab groups. You have to be a paid member of Gab to start a group, so I can’t start one of my own— too low-income to be a paid Gab member. But I have found one or two groups of interest.

Once you are regularly posting on Gab, you see people you might like, or share opinions or interests with. They may start following you, in which case you can follow back unless they are hookers or nasties or something. But don’t be shy! If you keep seeing certain people when reading or posting on topics, follow them! They may follow you back.

Since Gab is a free speech medium, and since it has public topics to which anyone can post, you may see opinions you don’t care for. Anti-semitism, for example. On Twitter they claim to be censoring for things like that. But the term ‘kill the Jews’ was trending on Twitter some time ago, so Twitter is full of not-nice people too. It’s just that on Gab, because of the open topics, you can see such people, while on Twitter you have to search for and then follow them to see their posts.

I don’t like anti-semitism, so I put an Israeli flag into the middle of my username on Twitter, and on Gab and MeWe as well. If I really was sensitive about seeing things like that, I would  not look at the topics, and would instead confine my Gab activity to some safe Catholic and Christian groups, and maybe the cat picture group, and to my Gab friends. But personally I feel that just because a person has some wrong opinions it doesn’t mean I don’t think they should enjoy freedom of speech, and I don’t think ostracizing the ‘Nazis’ will make them fit into society better.

I think that Gab has a lot of potential for authors who want social media presence without having to become the kind of progressive zombie that modern society seems to approve. You won’t get your account suspended for posting the wrong Bible verse, at least. And Gab members call themselves the Gab family— we like each other, even if we don’t always care for one another’s opinions.

 

Social Media: Using Emojis on Gab

Gab is a smaller social medium— like MeWe— that is in competition with Twitter and Facebook. It is more free-speech oriented, and I never hear of my friends being banned or suspended on Gab (or MeWe) like they so often are on Twitter or Facebook.

But when Gab was recently taken down and a lot of Gab-users temporarily migrated to MeWe, we figured out what it was that Gab is missing: Emoji! MeWe is really great for emoji— in fact, you can ‘like’ (or unlike) someone’s post on MeWe with any one of a wide variety of emoji. You can use a smiling cat face 😺 to ‘like’ someone’s cat picture, for example.

I wish Gab had that, too. People on Gab, like those on Twitter, sometimes are too intense about what they are posting. I think they could use a smiley face😀, a red heart❤️, or a kitty-face 🐱 once in a while. But I found a work-around and am now using emojis all over Gab!

The first thing you need is to go to the web site Emojipedia and add it to your bookmarks bar. Then, when you are on Gab, have one tab open to Gab and another to Emojipedia. Cut and Paste an emoji you like into your comments or posts on Gab.

The reason emojis took off on social media is that they were a way of showing emotions— like tone-of-voice when you are talking in person. People are very likely to misunderstand what you say on social media— so early on people learned to add a smiley face to make it clear they weren’t trying to be mean or critical of other people.

If you a writer or blogger, and that’s why you are on Gab, to promote your blog or book, positive emojis are essential! You don’t want to have people thinking you are trying to be mean or rude. Sometimes just adding a nice red heart emoji will make it clear that your comment was meant to be encouraging.

What about negative emoji? What if someone praises a left-wing politician you just can’t stand, or claims that Pope John Paul 2 was the Antichrist, and you want to post a thumbs-down or a frowny-face or a poo emoji?

Don’t do it! You don’t want to get a rep as the rude guy who is always fighting online. The best rule— especially for writers/bloggers— is to praise what is good on social media and ignore the rest. Like the song says, accentuate the positive!

  • My social media strategy for Gab is to post Bible verses (in English ✝️ and Esperanto 💚), cat pictures, and stuff in the I Support Israel 🇮🇱groups. I avoid the politics section. I am seeking more followers/people-to-follow on Gab in various groups.

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Are you on Gab? Follow me there, I follow back, usually.

Gab: https://gab.ai/nissalovescats

And also:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nissalovescats

How to use Free Speech social media like Gab

Freedom of speech. A lot of people don’t really believe in it any more. They want their social media cleared of ‘hate speech’— which often includes conservative speech, and quoting Bible verses about homosexuality. But social media can’t afford to have a human evaluator (censor) read through every potential post before it gets actually posted. And so many criminals like the synagogue shooter have Twitter accounts, and for some reason in spite of Twitter’s anti-hate policy he got to stay there— where some of my conservative friends got suspended or banned.
If you have heard media reports about the social media Gab, you have probably been lied to. Gab is not a racist/antisemite haven— I’ve SEEN sites that are racist/antisemite havens when I was researching extremists for a writing project. Gab is a FREE SPEECH oriented social media. I got on it when some conservative-libertarian writer friends of mine recommended it. On Gab I have seen antisemites, but I have also seen Jewish people and pro-Israel people. I have seen ‘racialists’ [actual racists who admit they are racist] and liberals and members of the US Republican party— the party that freed the Black slaves. I’ve seen smutty naked posts and devout Christian clean posts. That’s what FREE SPEECH is about— people are free to speak their OWN minds, not just reflect what other people think is right.
NOW: I am sure there are some of you who presume that I am racist, antisemitic or ‘ALT-RIGHT’ myself. I don’t like to hear racialist speech because I have Ottawa Indian ancestry and I wouldn’t be pure enough for that type. As a Christian, I don’t care for antisemitic remarks because my personal Lord and Savior is a Jewish dude! As for ALT-RIGHT, the few people I know who use that as a self-description don’t mean it the way the media does. I’d need way more information before I personally would demonize the ALT-RIGHT. And as for the real bad guys like Neo-Nazis— will taking away their FREE SPEECH make them into nicer people? Are they better off only speaking their mind in secret, hidden Nazi forums? Or will they become better people if they are free to interact with the rest of us? I despise most of what such people say, but as the saying goes, I will defend to my death their FREE SPEECH rights to say it.

Muting and Blocking

How do you use a FREE SPEECH social media like Gab? The first thing is to learn how to mute or block other users. Gab makes it easy. I routinely block people who mostly post photos of private parts. I don’t necessarily bother to block all Neo-Nazis. If they are in the Gab topics or groups I use, I may well correct the things they say! On a Christian Gab topic, an antisemite blamed ‘the Jews’ for the martyrdom of the Apostles. I pointed out that Jesus and his Apostles WERE Jewish people, and that early martyrs got persecuted by the Romans as well as local Jewish authorities. Gab went down temporarily not long after I posted that so I don’t know if he responded. If he persistently annoyed me, I would have blocked.
I know that a lot of us are scared of the consequences of free speech. We get told in the media daily that wrongspeech causes ‘hate crimes.’ But they aren’t too worried when left-wing media personalities literally call for the assassination of the current US president! It’s only wrongspeech that won’t vote for them that worries them. The fact is that unless there is FREE SPEECH, none of us is safe. Facebook and Twitter, social media which are known for taking down alleged hate, takes down a lot of innocent conservative and Christian posts, but if you are conservative and someone on Facebook tells you essentially to eat sh-t and die, and steals your profile picture to do it, Facebook won’t do dick about it. I have a conservative FB page about man-woman marriage, and I’ve been told I’m crazy, a liar, a fraud, and that my (now dead) disabled kitten was ugly— with a lot of dirty words mixed in to the insults. I really think the only reason that page hasn’t been taken down yet is that I admit I have same-sex attraction (‘gay’ or ‘ex-gay’ identity) and though I also admit I’m chaste, I might still be a protected ‘minority’ and that protects me from FB persecution.
The lesson of the Gab takedown is that we need to defend FREE SPEECH, and we need to protect those social media that don’t ban alleged ‘haters’ and that really allow free speech. If you want a social media presence, as writers and bloggers need to survive these days, you need multiple social media. Any social media could arbitrarily ban you, any social media that advocates for FREE SPEECH can be taken down overnight. You need a backup, and, yeah, that means more social media work. But we can’t afford to put all our social media eggs in one basket.
Currently, Gab is still transitioning to a new hosting provider after widespread attacks on that social media. Twitter, however, is not under immediate threat in spite of the fact that the synagogue shooter had a Twitter account. The Gab service does still have a Twitter account, so you can follow that account to be updated as to when Gab gets up again. It’s also an opportunity to get Gab’s point of view unfiltered by the biases of the news media.
I recommend that once Gab gets back up, you prayerfully consider starting an account there, just to show your belief in FREE SPEECH. If you do believe in it. You don’t have to actively use Gab a lot. Just try it. Get to know the reality of it. It does not have the wide user base of the censorship media like Facebook and Twitter, but it does have a band of very loyal users. Once Gab is back up, I plan to research an article on how to use Gab more effectively.
Check it to see if Gab has gone back up yet. And when it is, feel free to ‘friend’ me there. I ‘friend’ back most accounts without naked stuff or swastikas.
 
There is a group on MeWe for stranded Gab users: https://mewe.com/group/5bd5abc24b3f5711bb37a60b