Treat for my writing buddy T-Rex who is always supporting me in my writing, so here’s some hopefully helpful thoughts on getting online.
Blogging and staying active on social media to promote your brand is time-consuming and overwhelming when you have a million and one other things to do, but if you want to make it in this world, you have to market yourself. I’m going to breakdown some tips for organising and connecting your apps to make things that bit easier.
Let’s start with a blog and website.
I strongly recommend a full-package hosting platform for your website. They make design and management so much more easy. Platforms like WordPress are designed for blogs as well as full websites, but there are others out there.
I can’t rave enough about WordPress, so here are some of the many things I love about WordPress.
- Easy and versatile editing for your posts and pages. You can choose preset layouts or add your own widgets like an image gallery, quotes, files… the list goes on.
- You can use your own images (copyright depending) or use the built-in Pexels.com search with automatic attribution. It’s important to attribute artists especially when they’re offering great images for free.
- Connectivity to various apps. If you’re reading this post in its full form as opposed to WordPress Reader, you’ll see my Instagram and Goodreads to the right or below. Plus, you can automatically publish new posts to Twitter and Facebook (if you create a page). There’s also Mailchimp connection. You can even link to your Google photos for easy image upload.
- See your stats and traffic and where they’re coming from to help with marketing.
- Lots of themes to choose from on the free version, and even more on the paid versions.
- You can personalise your site address even with the free version if you don’t mind the wordpress.com at the end. Or you can upgrade and have your own domain. Plans start at around $50 per year, but I recommend Premium around $100 per year.
- Add hashtags and categories to help people find your latest posts and pages on WordPress and Facebook.
- Built-in scheduling to time your posts just right for your readers.
- Readers and bloggers can use the WordPress app for easy viewing and quick posting or editing on the go.
Whether you like social media or not, it’s essential to get your name out there in this busy modern age. I’m still very much growing a following, but the moment I became active on social media, my blog traffic tripled. Here are my favourite aspects of the platforms I use.
You can’t share links on Instagram, but you can use something like linktree which I’ll talk about in a moment.
- The filters make basic quality photos from your mobile look more professional and creative.
- It’s quick and easy to scroll through and all about the images. Long text is generally not used, and if it is, it’s very hidden behind a “see more” option.
- Most people I follow publish daily, but not more than two or three posts like many on Twitter.
- I can follow people and hashtags and find new writers or bookworms to follow for a great community.
- There’s also a group chat option.
- You can go live and get great conversations going.
- Unlike Instagram, you can post links (like from your blog) with an automatic snippet from the page.
- Groups are more versatile than Instagram and work a bit like a private page for people to post to and respond to similar to a forum.
- It feels like it has more information, which I don’t always have the brain capacity for, but when I do, I find it entertaining to keep up with my favourite writers and musicians.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Twitter. I tried but didn’t get on with it. But it’s good for quick posts and limited word count. Plus, you can share links on there.
- I recommend keeping multiple blog posts in the same document/s based on time spans or themes. I keep my writing ranting posts separate from my reading ranting posts. Each one has two months’ of posts.
- Using Google Docs or OneNotes is great because you can work on your computer or your phone. Then you can copy into your desired app when it’s ready.
- Scheduling posts is another great way to keep your social media more organised and balance your life and social media. Set aside time each week to write and prepare your posts, then sit back and watch the magical world of digital media do its thing. As I mentioned, WordPress has this option for blog posts. Facebook has a business management app for free with scheduling. Or, you can use Planoly to publish on Instagram. There’s a setting on Instagram to automatically post to Facebook so you don’t have to post twice.
- Keep lists of hashtags in a handy document such as your blog document or a OneNotes page for quick copying to whatever your posting.
- Keep all your links in one place. I use Link Tree for a one-stop-shop for social media and any new links I want to share, which I can use on Instagram since they don’t allow links in the posts. Just add the link in your link tree and tell readers to go to your bio link.
It all sounds like a lot, but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually much easier than you think. With blog posts sending to Facebook, and Planoly sending to both Instagram and Facebook, you really only need to focus on these for scheduled posting.
I’m sure I’ve missed something, but that’s the gist of it all.