I’ve been using Snapchat almost since it came out. The app lets you take selfies or pictures of the world around you and send them to another user for a predetermined period of time, say seven seconds, after which the photos will disappear. Of course, you can screenshot the photo if you want to save it—just know that the other user gets a notification when you do that! So if you screenshot too many photos, you may come across as a bit of a creep. Also, instead of sending your photo to just a few people, you can post it to “My Story,” which is basically a news feed with visual status updates.
The cool thing about My Story is that anyone who’s following you can see it, even if you don’t add them back. So if you want fans, readers, and followers to gain some insight into your life without having them send you pictures of their own, the My Story feature is a great way to do that.
Now, people can respond to your story with chat messages, but that’s it, as far as I know. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!
Anyway, I started trying to incorporate more of my writing life in my snaps when I started writing and editing full-time. It was important to me that everyone see what I was doing, encourage me, and hold me accountable. Since then, my use of Snapchat has definitely evolved, but I still love using it.
Snapchat is another excellent way for writers to enhance their author platform and build connections with fans. It gives them a peek into your life and makes you feel, in a sense, more “real.” I love using Snapchat, and if you haven’t tried it, I recommend downloading the app and giving it a shot. Who knows? You might even fall in love with it.
If you want to add me on Snapchat, here’s my user ID and all that below. Also, if you use Snapchat, leave a comment with your username!
How do you feel about Snapchat? What writers do you follow there?
Are you using Snapchat as part of your author platform? @brianawrites thinks you should try it! (Click to tweet)
I love social media. I had a gig as a digital marketing analyst for a year, but even before that, I was head-over-heels for websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. But each of those platforms has fallen somewhat out of favor, replaced by what was once a social media underdog. It’s a little app you might have heard of, and it’s my current obsession—Instagram.
Founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010, the mobile-only app boasts an impressive 300+ million users as of December 2014. It’s one of the most successful social media sites to date, and for very good reason. Instagram is more easily accessible than a lot of other sites. It allows anyone to post their photos and share what inspires them. Above all, it makes social interaction as easy as double-tapping a photo to let the poster know you “like” it. What’s not to love?
I’ve been on Instagram for several years now, but I only recently began using it as part of my author platform. After taking Helene’s Instagram for Success course, I wanted to get serious about enhancing my Instagram profile. I honed in on my niche, focused on making my images as high-quality as possible, and worked to develop a rapport with my followers.
To give you an idea of how you can use Instagram as part of your author platform, I’m going to show you some of my most-liked pictures.
It’s #nanowrimo day 6! How’s that word count looking? I’m at 10K and trying to get to 14K before the day is out! #nanowrimo2015 A photo posted by Briana Mae Morgan (@brianammorgan) on
IT’S REAL. I feel so proud and lovestruck and legitimate and UGH. YES! #BloodAndWater #indiebooksbeseen #selfie A photo posted by Briana Mae Morgan (@brianammorgan) on
All of these pictures have something in common: they say something about my personal brand. As a writer, it doesn’t surprise me that my most popular pictures are related to books, writing, and publication. That’s not to say my miscellaneous and personal posts don’t do well, but the posts related to the writing industry are definitely more successful in terms of engagement and conversion.
Instagram, like every other social media network, can be a huge asset to your writing career. Post regularly, engage with followers, and leave comments on other people’s pictures. Whatever you do, be wary of becoming addicted—social media time suck is very, very real. You don’t want to lose any precious writing or editing time!
How do you feel about Instagram? Who are some authors worth following there?
I saw that the hashtag #FP was making the rounds in the writing community, and I wanted to know what the fuss was about. After checking out the Friday Phrases Twitter account, I got my answer:
On Fridays, we Tweet & RT 140-character stories, poems, story prompts, chain stories & other microfiction gems! Join in w/the #FP hashtag! (Not for book promo.)
I dove in right away with a microfiction tweet. Seconds later, my tweet was favorited and retweeted a few times, even by Friday Phrases! I favorited and retweeted some snippets from others, too, and made some great connections.
The best part of this event? Any and all writers are welcome to participate in the fun, regardless of location or genre. All you have to do is compose your tweet, add the #FP hashtag, and fire away!
Each week, there is a different theme for the event, but you don’t necessarily have to follow that theme. You can tweet as many times as you like, but try to space them out so you’re not spamming everyone.
Participating in Friday Phrases is a great way to flex your writing muscles, have fun, and engage with other members of the writing community. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it.
Check out what’s going on with the hashtag now, and feel free to jump in when you feel inspired.
What do you think about Friday Phrases? What other twitter chats or hashtags have you participated in?
Looking for something to do this Friday? @brianawrites and @FridayPhrases have you covered. (Click to tweet)
This might be news to some of you who don’t follow me on social media, but I just started posting my novel to Wattpad. It’s called BLOOD AND WATER, and it’s about a 17 year-old named Jay Harris who is living in the midst of a deadly pandemic. It’s the first time I’ve posted a work-in-progress to Wattpad. When I started, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but now, I adore it.
Let me tell you why you should post your novel to Wattpad: whether it’s finished or not, it’s a great way to get free feedback on your writing. Wattpad is an active community filled with tons of people who love engaging with writers. If you’re worried about receiving criticism, you can relax – the majority of comments made on the site are overwhelmingly positive. Speaking from personal experience, it’s tough to run into someone who’s outright rude or disrespectful.
Another great thing about posting your novel on Wattpad is that it motivates you to keep writing. When readers are asking for your next update, you feel compelled to write it. If I fall behind schedule with updates, I feel like I’m letting my readers down. That feeling motivates me to keep going and to post as soon as possible. Also, there’s something addictive about getting feedback for each chapter. The potential for engagement keeps me posting chapters, too.
“But Briana,” you say, “I can’t post my first draft on the Internet!” Well, why not? If it’s because the prose isn’t perfect, don’t worry about it. Like I said before, the Wattpad community is incredibly positive. Moreover, putting up your first draft gives readers a peek into the writing process. A lot of people believe the prose is polished right when it flows out. When you post your rough draft, you’re showing everyone how much work it takes to turn the coal into a diamond. You’re letting them in on a secret. They’ll love you more for it.
“Okay, but what if somebody steals what I’ve written?” I understand this concern because it’s one I also struggled with when I started posting; however, the reality is that stealing is highly unlikely. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s hardly ever done. The same philosophy that applies to publishing applies to Wattpad, too – most people would rather come up with their own ideas than steal someone else’s and risk confrontation.
As you can see, I’ve learned a lot from posting on Wattpad. Sometimes I doubt my decision, but on the whole, I’m happy with it. If you’re considering posting your novel to Wattpad, go ahead and take the plunge. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Feel free to follow me on Wattpad – I almost always follow back! 🙂
What do you think about Wattpad? What’s keeping you from posting your novel online? Leave your thoughts and answers in the comments below.
Have you thought about posting your novel on @Wattpad? @brianawrites has a few reasons you should. (Click to tweet)
The @Wattpad community is amazing. Read why @brianawrites thinks you should get involved. (Click to tweet)
Photo Credit: Rosaura Ochoa on Flickr
It’s no secret that Twitter is my favorite social media platform. I spend more time there than I do anywhere else online. I’ve met so many cool people and made so many friends on Twitter. I don’t know what I’d do without it.
Twitter is fantastic for writers. It allows you to meet all kinds of readers and writers and editors and agents. It’s a great source of inspiration, encouragement, and advice. I’ve learned so much from Twitter. If you don’t have an account, you should sign up right away.
For those of you who have a Twitter account but haven’t figured out how to network just yet, don’t despair. It’s easier to make friends on Twitter than you think. Keep reading for some tips for joining the online cocktail party.
- Don’t be afraid to make the first move. For a long time, I didn’t interact with anyone on Twitter because I was afraid of annoying them. Most of the time, if you reply to someone’s tweets, they’ll be flattered, not annoyed. You should only reply if you plan to say something relevant or add something to the conversation, though. Don’t try to use their tweets to draw attention to yourself.
- Participate in chats. Author Ava Jae wrote an excellent post about why writers should participate in Twitter chats. They’re an excellent way to meet people who share similar interests.
- Retweet posts you think are worth sharing. It’s a great way to support other members of the writing community. Who knows? They might retweet you, too!
- Follow people. This tip might seem like a no-brainer, but you can’t engage and interact with people if you’re not following anyone! Search for writers, editors, agents, and accounts that fit your interests. If you connect with them, they might follow you back, too. (You should follow me!)
- Focus on giving more than receiving. If you want to make friends on Twitter, don’t make it all about you. Be kind, support others, and help people out however you can. A little goes a long way.
Making friends on Twitter is easier than you think. You shouldn’t be afraid to approach other users, strike up a conversation, and make connections. Sign up for Twitter if you haven’t already and get to making friends! What are you waiting for?
What tips do you have for making friends on Twitter? Leave your answers and thoughts in the comments below.
Need some friends to help you get by? Writer @brianawrites has some tips for connecting on Twitter. (Click to tweet)
More often than not, it happens like this: I’m puttering around Twitter, following new people and minding my own business, when I get a notification that someone’s sent me a direct message. I check my inbox. Sure enough, there’s a message from someone I recently followed. I click through to read the message. Here’s what I see:
“Love #mystery and #drama? Check out my thrill-a-minute #breakout #novel AT THE EDGE OF THE END OF THE WORLD!!! You won’t be sorry! #newreads #bestseller”
Disgusted, I click out of the message, unfollow the user, and make a mental note never to support them or their work.
“What did they do wrong?” you ask.
They tried to sell their book.
Okay, I know. Writers want to sell books. So why do I have a problem with the ones who try to do that? For one thing, it’s annoying. It’s pushy and presumptuous. I don’t know most of the users that do this, and it’s frustrating for a stranger to ask a favor of you. Also, these messages are so generic. I don’t feel special. Honestly, I feel like you’re wasting my time.
You want to sell books? Don’t try to sell them. If you want to market something, sell me on your personality. Make people like you. Do nice things. Engage. Get to know people and interest in your work will generate automatically. It makes a huge difference, I promise you. If I don’t know you, I don’t care about your book. It’s your job to make me care about you first.
If nothing else, it’ll stop me from unfollowing you.
What do you think about self-promotion? Where do authors go wrong on social media?
Twitter is one of the greatest under-utilized resources for writers at the moment. It’s a great way to promote your work, communicate with other writers, find some writing advice, and have a fantastic time. I only recently started spending some serious time on Twitter, and I could kick myself for not using it sooner.
So why should you set up a Twitter account?
Well, this social media platform is a spectacular way to get your name out there and build up a following. You can promote your work, support other writers who want to promote their work, and link to content that you think other people might find interesting. I promote my blog posts and freelance work through Twitter and it’s gotten me a lot more exposure than I would’ve gotten otherwise.
Twitter is also a great place to get in touch with other writers. I’ve met so many wonderful people on Twitter, most of them writers. They support my work and I support theirs. We talk about all things writing and non-writing. If you’re not currently involved with groups of other writers, Twitter is the best way to meet like-minded individuals. Whenever I interact with other writers on the site, I feel as though there is a sense of community.
Another good reason to use Twitter? Writing advice. Seriously. There are so many amazing tips that get passed around for free. All you have to do is type “writing tips” or “writing advice” into the search bar and millions of helpful Tweets will pop up. The internet is truly a glorious place.
If you don’t have a Twitter account, you need to sign up. If you already have one, you should be using it more. And you should definitely be following other writers (*ahem* ME). Tell me you followed me over from this blog and I will most likely follow you back.
What do you think of Twitter? How does it help you as a writer?