Friday, February 17, 2012

Thoughts on Social Networking--The Beginning

I have a website; it's been with me almost as long as my first book. I learned .html and Paint Shop Pro 8, and I created it from scratch. I update it from scratch, too, which probably explains why I don't update it more often than I do. I know people visit it--not in the thousands or even hundreds. "Scores" over several months is probably close. My point is that it's not a viable avenue for communicating with readers.

My blog--this blog--on the other hand is something I am determined to post to weekly. So far it hasn't proven a viable avenue for communicating with anyone, but I'm determined to keep plugging away. A friend, another writer who is weighing the advantages and disadvantages of starting a blog, said he'd read that it takes an average of six months to establish a blog following. I'm going to give it at least that long--I'm into my third month, but I think I have some interesting and even valuable information to pass along to others--probably a limited number of others--but others none the less. But once a week posting to this blog takes a good work day; it's an investment in time, and I want it to be a success.

I understand I have to bring people here; they aren't going to visit if they don't know about this site. That requires reciprocating interest in others' efforts to gain a following. I'm attempting to do that by participating in writing groups on Linkedin and tweeting on Twitter. I also have a business page on Facebook, but haven't done much with it yet.

Speaking of an investment in time, those Linkedin groups are one. Part of the problem is my not knowing how to "manage" the system. Nightly, I end up re-reading the same comments I read the night before. There is a way to advance to recent posts on the Linkedin groups, and that helps some, but I think the real key to success is to narrow the discussions I follow. My interest these days deals more with self-publishing than "writing," but writing groups appear to be more popular. That's not to say I'm not interested in writing. I'm a writer, but I don't want to critique other's work nor am I compelled to ask for another's advice regarding my craft.

The other connection I need to make online is with readers. That is my ultimate goal--to get my books into the hands of readers. Trying to elicit interest in one's books via an online writing forum is like trying to sell books at a "book fair." A writer's primary interest is his own book.

In a nutshell, I haven't mastered "social networking, but I certainly haven't written it off. I'll keep you posted."

Another thing about my blog is its appearance. I like this template with the books on the shelves. Appropriate, yes, but it's not really mine. I'd like the blog to look more like my website...or maybe I could put "my" books on the shelves. Good idea, huh? I need to pull out Blogging for Dummies and figure out how best to go about that.

Thanks for visiting,


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