#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.)

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.