Are Facebook Author Pages now Worthless and Not Worth Doing?

Once upon a time, Facebook pages were good. I had one on a controversial topic that got a lot of attention and followers, and I had a Facebook author page that got a bit of attention because I followed other author-pages as my page, and got some interaction by looking at my author-page’s feed and interacting.

Then Facebook decided to monetize their pages. If you weren’t willing to turn every post into a Facebook ad, they showed your post to fewer and fewer of the people who had liked the page in the first place. My Facebook author page became more like talking to myself.

Another bad change: there was no longer a news feed specific to my author page, consisting of posts from pages I had liked as my page. This was my main strategy to grow all my Facebook pages! I’d like a bunch of pages related to my page— in the case of the author page, other author pages— and look at the feed, share stuff, hope some of my posts would get shared in return.

OK, I know that some internet bullies were starting Facebook pages to do their bullying with, making it harder to deal with them since if their page was disciplined for abuse, they would usually not lose their account— that fate seems to be reserved for Christian and/or conservative page owners who don’t bully but do express ideas  that Facebook doesn’t care for.

I have searched and searched for tricks to make my Facebook author page’s posts more visible, but I have concluded it is more work than it is worth at this point.

What are alternatives? I have my personal Facebook account, but I use that for contact with family and one of my Facebook ‘friends’ interfered with a discussion I was having with my sister-in-law about her actually notifying me about when the family Thanksgiving dinner was taking place and if I was invited instead of putting it as a message I wouldn’t see. ‘Friend’ accused my of having a ‘pity party’ whatever that means. I guess I’m not allowed to like being excluded from things because family members take my Asperger Syndrome ways as signs I don’t want to be included.

I’ve thought of started a new Facebook account to take the place of my page. I don’t know if that would be a good idea. My family might not respond if the new page is for family, and I have a lot of friends on my current account.

Then there is the idea of using my Twitter account to replace my Facebook author page. I syndicate my page posts to Twitter and use Buffer to promote the posts as well, and it works. But I don’t like the amount of hate and bullying there is on Twitter. Plus, I know people who have had their accounts suspended for expressing conservative or Christian thoughts, or for being retweeted by the President.

Since I want to build up this blog to help sales of my current and future books, I’m looking for new and better strategies, now that Facebook has ruined the Facebook author pages for the sake of more money.

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Promoting your blog’s posts with #Buffer

I started on Twitter as a way to get my blog posts before more readers, so I could build my platform. I built up a list of followers and people I followed, with emphasis on writers. I do a lot of retweets of other people’s stuff, and I weed out the people I follow who don’t follow back, or who are mistakes for other reasons.

But if I only post my blog post links to Twitter when I make the post— WordPress makes that automatic— most of my Twitter followers miss it because they can’t be on Twitter ALL the time. I’ve read it is recommended to Tweet your blog posts 3 times in the week you make it. Plus, I like to retweet my older blog posts that might be of interest.

That would mean going online to Twitter several times a day, which would be a major time sink. So, Buffer. Buffer is a service that lets you schedule a bunch of Tweets for preselected times of day. You write out the Tweet and the link to your blog post, add hash tags, and soon you can have a bunch of Tweets scheduled to go.

This is a big help— whenever I tweet a bunch of posts like that, my blog gets more action, according to the site stats.

NOTE: You don’t have to write out your blog post’s official title every time you Tweet it, whether you tweet it through WordPress when you post, directly on Twitter, or through Buffer. Suppose you wrote a post on how to create a villain. “How to create a villain” might be your official post title. But when you tweet you might use different wording for each time you Tweet: “Building Better Villains”, “Does Your Book Need a Lord Voldemort?” and so on.

Vary your hashtags as well. Check on Twitter to see if your proposed hashtag is in much use. Since the purpose of using hashtags is to find new readers who are NOT your followers but who have clicked on a hashtag to see what others are saying, you want to have popular hashtags. Sometimes your post will fit in with a current trending hashtag: use it! In fact, every time you go to Buffer, have another window open to Twitter to check hashtags. It really helps.

 


I am @nissalovescats on Twitter (and GAB) and I welcome new followers. I usually follow back all accounts that are related to books, reading or writers, just not accounts that are there to sell me services I don’t want. Or bitcoin call girls.

Define your blog niche to find more readers

I’m often working on improving my blog and my blog’s traffic. One resource I use is a site called ProBlogger. Today they had a post with the title How to Approach Influencers in Your Niche. OK, the problem with that was I wasn’t sure about the ‘niche’ thing. So I searched their site for a post on ‘niche.’ I found 15 Questions to Ask to Help Identify Your Blogging Niche or Focus.

This post contains a podcast on the topic. There is also another page which lists the 15 questions, called What Should I Blog About?.  Going through the questions I become more aware that I am a multi-topic blogger. There is a focus on writing and blogging, a focus on the genres of SF, fantasy and zombie fiction, a focus on politics, one on Asperger’s Syndrome, and also there is the faith thing.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I won’t ever be the top writing blog, or the top blogging blog, or the top zombie blog, or the top faith-based blog. But maybe I can be a good solid blog for people interested in several of these topics.

One thing I have noticed is that my faith-related posts sometimes get a lot of traffic. My all-time most popular post is the one about The Lutheran Rosary. Every day I get one or more visitors reading that post. Yesterday, when I posted on Churches in Chains, I got 42 page views. Normally I get 14. So I think I’m going to keep up with my Sunday posts on faith topics.

I also use Twitter to get my blog posts out in to the world. I use Buffer in order to post to Twitter several times a day without being on the Internet all day long. I’ve read it is recommended to post each blog post three times— the original posting time, later that same day, and then the next day. Of course I also go on Twitter to retweet other people’s posts and interact. I hope that will bring my blog traffic up.

If you are a blogger, what is your blog’s niche? Please tell us in a comment!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, what topics on this blog do you like the best?

On Twitter? If you leave a link to your Twitter page, I will follow you. (Though if you post naked pictures or other stuff I don’t care for, I may not stay a follower for long.)

 

Celebrating: fewer Twitter followers

Celebrating fewer Twitter followers? In an age when all the experts say that writers (and others) need more more more Twitter followers? When people send you private messages on Twitter claiming they can sell you more followers?

At first I collected followers— I followed everyone who followed me, I followed everyone Twitter suggested I follow, I followed the people that my Twitter friends followed…. and then I had a Twitter feed dominated by people who tweeted what seemed like ads for their books or blogs, sometimes tweeting such things every 30 seconds for nearly an hour.

What I got was a Twitter feed that seemed like a bunch of people shouting and never noticing that no one else was listening. No interactivity— and I doubted anyone would buy my book or even read my blog post if no one ever interacted with my Twitter posts.

So I stepped back and learned some lessons from a Twitter savvy friend, author Declan Finn. He did a lot of actual interacting on Twitter, having conversations there, informing all his writing friends on Facebook about a useful Twitter hashtag that was trending, making lists of followers….

Declan Finn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeclanFinnBooks

The first thing I did was start unfollowing Twitter followers who spammed Twitter with what looked like ads, or who retweeted things I found appalling for one reason or another. Not out of spite, but because it was clear that we just didn’t have any interests in common that would foster actual interaction between us.

Then I started following the Twitter Golden Rule— for every one thing I tweeted/retweeted that was about ME, I retweeted 9 things about others. Particularly others who had interacted with me, or others that had some things in common with me. Since I’m a poet, I retweet a lot of haiku and other short poems posted on Twitter.

I also made a private Twitter list of friends I interact with regularly on Twitter. If you aren’t familiar with Twitter lists— you list some Twitter accounts that have something in common. For example, you could have one for people who Tweet about your favorite baseball team, or for writers of Christian science fiction and fantasy, or political accounts…. When you click on the list, you see JUST the recent Tweets of those on that list— so you can easily find worthy things to retweet, which will make the people you retweet feel more friendly toward you.

How to Create a Twitter List: http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Twitter-List

I am by no means a Twitter expert— I’ll bet that there will be people who read this post who know loads of things about how to use Twitter more effectively. Whether you are a Twitter maven with good advice or a newbie with nothing but questions, I’d really cherish a comment from you. Particularly if you’d give the URL of your Twitter account so I can follow you.

Me, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nissalovescats  If you visit my Twitter profile you will see a cute picture of a kitten in a boot.

This is a post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. Which was yesterday. 😦

 

11 Tips for writers entering the Twitterverse

twitterTwitter. A lot of my writer friends have tried it and feel it’s a waste of time. But others are regular users of Twitter and seem to feel it’s worthwhile. If you haven’t tried Twitter, are new to it, or haven’t managed to make it work for you, here are some tips. My own Twitter, by the way, is @nissalovescats

  1. Add your reading/writing friends to the people you follow on Twitter. Suggest that they follow you back. If you are an Aspie, perhaps you don’t have real-world friends. So go on Facebook if you are not there already and join a couple of groups, especially those for writers. Try to find specialized groups that relate to what you write. There are a number of Aspie/autism writers groups. I’ve listed a few on a page on this blog.
  2. Take a minute to compose a short profile for yourself on Twitter. It should mention that you are a writer or poet, and perhaps mention a thing or two that is part of your author brand. Mine mentions my ‘poet, Aspie & cat person’ tag.
  3. Put up a profile picture that is a picture of YOU. Your face— even if unattractive like mine— helps your followers see you as a person. Post it.
  4. Put up a cover picture to help your Twitter profile look complete. I used one of my best kitten photos— one of a kitten in a boot— because ‘cat person’ is part of my author tag. And since it’s a photo I took with a kitten I own, it’s a unique image to me. Well, others may have downloaded it but they probably don’t use it on their Twitter profile.
  5. Think about some things that are a part of your author brand. For example, I am a poet, a person who likes zombie fiction, a Catholic, a person with same-sex attraction, a cat person, a Star Trek fan…. What you do is you look for Twitter accounts that relate to the topics that touch your author brand, and follow them and retweet some of their stuff.
  6. Learn to use hashtags. You need to know some broad hashtags— #amwriting, #books #Catholic — and some very specific and narrow hashtags. Like #haiku, #micropoetry and #catsforTrump
  7. Click on hashtags that you use to see what other people are saying about your topics. Click ‘like’ on some things you like.  Retweet a few things. Some of the people you have liked and/or retweeted will become your followers.
  8. You will get notifications when people follow YOU. Most of the time it’s a good idea to follow back. Other people you shouldn’t. Such as accounts that have never tweeted but have a thousand followers, accounts selling ‘author services’ or Twitter followers, and accounts that aren’t compatible with your author brand. For example, Evangelical fiction authors won’t want to follow an erotica ‘writer.’ And I, as a conservative, never follow anyone with ‘social justice warrior’ in their profile. Or any progressive account, unless they are poets. Particularly sijo or haiku poets.
  9. Don’t have a service tweet for you. Someone I know used a service to tweet science fiction related things, and it ended up tweeting pictures of naked teenage girls under his name. And he’s an Evangelical Christian author.
  10. Do use free Twitter services that are helpful. Buffer allows you to compose Tweets that can be tweeted at a time you pick. So if you are at work during peak Twitter hours, you can still have Tweets going out then. I have another service that tweets a thanks-for-following to batches of my new followers. I used to have one that would help me unfollow accounts that don’t follow me back. I do unfollow some of those, unless they are the Pope.
  11. Try to get together with Twitter followers you can relate to. Don’t go after teen Twitter users just because they are teens and you write YA. Some teen Twitter accounts are rather appalling— teens who won’t read, have contempt for the 1%, and think that the words ‘but I’m an atheist’ are a logical argument to practically everything. Though they normally spell it ‘athiest’. YA authors, you need to connect with teens who read and think and don’t believe every stupid thing some atheist, progressive or social justice warrior has told them.
  12. Limit your twitter time. Set a timer and do a ‘Twitterdoro’— timed Twitter session— and when the timer goes off, go do something else.

Questions:
Do you use Twitter? Do you have any tips and tricks of your own that might help me (and others) get better at it?

Note: if learning to use Twitter better is something you are interested in, please say so in a comment. I have some friends who are good with Twitter that I could ask to do a guest post.