IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: https://tinyurl.com/AtoZ22 (sign-ups are closed)
Showing posts with label Social Networking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Networking. Show all posts

Friday, March 24, 2017

Why We Love Comment Signatures (And You Should, Too!)

Those who participate in a blog hop are looking to connect with others. A link in your signature makes that faster and easier. It helps the blogger connect with you by making it easier to find your blog. This strategy increases social relationships with other A to Z bloggers. In addition to your (hopefully hyperlinked) name, consider adding a few words to identify yourself. (The hashtag #insixwords is a good source of inspiration.) Here’s my example:

J -- Co-host for the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference and Speculative Fiction Writer http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com

Based just on the signature, you now know five facts about me.
  • You know I go by the name J.
  • You know who I am in relation to you. (We are both in the challenge.)
  • You know something I enjoy doing — interviewing debut authors. (If you know one, this would spark a conversation.)
  • You know what I do for a living. This too might spark a conversation.
  • You know how to reach me because you have a link to my blog.


Now I’m not just another commenter. I’m the writer who interviews debut authors and volunteers for the blogging challenge we’re both into.

Signature mindmap for @JLENNIDORNER
Brains like lists. It’s natural for memories to form based on information gathered about a person. “Someone left a comment,” isn’t as memorable as, “someone with a common interest left a comment,” or, “someone with a unique job left a comment.”

Your comment (when it’s meaningful, adds to the conversation, is thought provoking, or is funny) is your first opportunity to be memorable. Your signature is the second.

A to Z bloggers have come to expect a hyperlink signature in comments. There are at least four instructional posts on the blog:
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2012/02/how-to-make-hyperlink-signature-guest.html
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2013/01/blogging-basics-hyperlink-signature.html
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2014/03/get-more-visits-by-hyperlinking-your.html
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2016/03/a-to-z-tips-creating-signature-for.html

The purpose of the challenge is not only to promote your blog, but also to increase your social network. Someone who leaves a link in their signature is someone who is ready to communicate and engage. It’s easier to find someone who left an engaging comment or thought provoking question if the person dropped a breadcrumb trail. There isn’t always time to do a websearch for people. A hyperlinked signature is a calling card or business card in the blogging world. A hyperlinked signature is an invitation to form a relationship. This is why it’s a good way to concluded your comment.

What about comment boxes with a separate area for links?
Comment Sample image
In this case, leaving your link there instead of in the comment itself is acceptable.

Cultivate relationships online by including a signature with brief details about yourself and a link to you following your meaningful, valuable comment.

Plant the seed of social networking growth by including your hyperlinked signature.



by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer
Please visit the blog of @JLenniDorner Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer @JLenniDornerFollow @JLenniDorner on Twitter please WhatAreThey on Facebook pages

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

If the List Doesn't Exist...#atozchallenge


         What?!!   No list?!!

          Judging by the Theme Reveal test run it seems a good many of you had no problem working without a list.   After all, it's nothing like walking a high wire without a net.  No list ain't gonna kill ya!  And, by golly, the Theme Reveal proved that!

            I can't say for sure because I didn't count, but by all estimations it appears that well over 200 bloggers participated in the Theme Reveal event as of my writing of this post on Tuesday afternoon where I am in Pacific Daylight Time.  And that count is just estimated from the comments on this blog.  There were also theme reveal links left on other social media outlets.  I'm not sure how this all measures up to the over 500 links that typically appeared on the Linky sign ups from previous years, but one good thing is that everybody who did leave a link left a link to a blog that was actually participating.  So in my view that's not too bad.   I'd call the Theme Reveal a success and an good indicator that those participating in A to Z 2017 will catch on just fine.

           However if there is still trepidation with any of you about participating in the upcoming A to Z Blogging Challenge without a list, never fear for I am here with some consolation and a few hopefully helpful suggestions.

There Is A List If You Look For It

         Actually there are many lists available to you if you aren't on the social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook.   Those platforms will provide all the links most of us can handle in a day's time, but some of you just don't like to be on any sites like that and I can't say that I blame you for feeling that way.  However, there are many other ways to find A to Z Challenge participants.

          You can find a lot of A to Z participants by going to some of the blogs of other participants you already know and going through their comment sections and visiting the blogs of those who commented.  This is a way to meet other bloggers with similar interests even if you aren't doing A to Z.  A well frequented comment section can keep a person busy for a good while.  You might not always find A to Z participants, but you might make some other new blogger friends.
       
         Use a search engine to search terms like Blogging from A to Z 2017 or #atozchallenge.  This can be work, but it can also yield interesting results.  After all search engines like Google provide the biggest lists around. You might have to weed through all sorts of results, but if you're a search engine (Google) fanatic like I've become you might enjoy this method

         Look for other bloggers who have set up their own lists.  The blog community site Blog Chatter has a list of bloggers who are participating.  Other bloggers might have compiled similar lists on sidebars or on special pages--keep your eyes open for these (if you have one on your own blog you can leave a comment below with your link).   I've started one on my own site and intend to continue adding more blog links as I blog through April.  My link list can be found at Tossing It Out. I doubt whether I'll be able to keep it loaded with every participating blogger, but this is my experiment.  Maybe you'll want to try compiling your own list.

         Use a blog reader app such as Feedly.  This is something I've never gotten the hang of using, but I know many of you probably already use this method.  I sometimes used to use the reader Blogger had on its site and found it to be helpful when I remembered to use it.  Maybe some of you more adept at using readers can offer some more help in the comments.

Sometimes Work Is Involved!

       Even with the Linky List we sometimes had to weed through blogs we didn't want to read or that weren't participating or had fallen behind.  Successful blogging does sometimes require doing some of your own work.   Not all of you have that much time to spend on blogging so I understand the desire for shortcuts.  The fact remains that effective blogging requires effort.

       If you've ever wondered why you don't get many comments or it doesn't seem like you get many blog visitors, it's mainly because you aren't promoting your blog enough and not visiting other bloggers like you need to in order to get reciprocated visits to your own site.  I learned this early on in blogging.  In fact that's why A to Z began and that's how I made it grow.

       As Alex J Cavanaugh stated in an earlier post on the A to Z Blog, when I started the very first A to Z Challenge in 2010 there was no Linky List.  I created a sidebar list using some of the methods I've outlined above.  This required work on my part, but it was worthwhile.  Just look where we are now.  You think Blogging from A to Z in April is too difficult?   Well, it can be.  But if you do it right, do it with a method to your madness, use practical approaches, and pay attention to what is going on, then you'll find that it might be easier than you thought and it can be actually fun.

      After all, I called A to Z a Challenge for good reason.  My Challenge to myself was a way that I learned a great deal about blogging and networking.  I extended that Challenge to others and they came and they too conquered that Challenge.  You can do it too.

      If you're still concerned about not having that Linky list to lean on, then think again.  The lists are there and if you don't like the lists you see then create your own.  This is called customization.  You decide what kind of list will suit your needs and then make your list out of the lists that exist.  They exist everywhere if you look for them and you don't have to look that hard.

       This year's A to Z will work and it will work well.  You might have to do it your way just the way I did it my way that very first year, but this is all a learning process.  Blogging starts with expressing yourself.  If you want to share what you've expressed then you will have to do some networking.  A to Z is about networking.  That's how it started and that's how it still is.

         Are you ready to network?   Fine--follow the advice I've laid out in this post.  And if none of this makes much sense to you and you'd still like to Blog from A to Z in April?  That's fine too.  Just blog like you always blog, but pay closer attention to what's going on with others and with the action on your own blog.  This is all a learning process.  But it's also fun.  Don't worry. Don't stress.  Just blog.



         

       

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Little Group Love

If you're like me, January flew by so quick that it seems that Christmas was just yesterday. And now here comes Valentine's Day. As a romance author, this can be a big week. Like last year, I spend a few hours on the 14th peddling my books at an author event. There will be twenty other authors involved so it will be a great networking opportunity also.

As a writer, every networking opportunity is one not to be missed. And what greater one than A to Z Blogging Challenge. There are some bloggers who would like to be involved but find posting every day to be too much of ... a challenge. But some still find a way to be part of the whole, crazy-fun event if they're part of a group blog.

A perfect example of a group blog participating in the challenge is IWSG blog. The seven administrators of the blog take turns and none are over-burdened by how many posts they have to do. The group decided together on a theme, easily done, and that will help the creativity factor of the blogging challenge. And by the way, you should visit the blog today for a special guest, Literary Agent Alex Slater.

Untethered Realms is another group blog participating this year. They have twelve contributors. I don't know their theme this year but with all that creative talent behind their posts, you can bet it will be really cool.

Another great way to network is to work as a helper to one of the busy folks working behind the scenes to make sure the list is up-to-date. If you'd like to help me, just say so in the comments or visit my blog at Susan Says and leave a comment there. Lots of virtual kisses and love coming your way if you do.

Are you part of a group blog? Any group blogs you're especially fond of? Are you interested in being one of my firebugs? Did you think I meant something different with that title 'Group Love.'

Friday, June 20, 2014

How to Blog Better by the Day

Having fallen behind on blogging activities myself, coupled with several social media hiatuses, I know what technology burnout looks like and I understand that overwhelming anxiety of feeling like you'll never get up to speed...at least not as soon as you hoped. The solution to this recurring issue is designating each day of the week for one specific blogging activity or other online task. It is an effective way to get a handle on your internet presence so that it doesn't drive you bonkers. 

A fun way to get in the habit of sticking to an online routine that goes day by day is naming days of the week in a manner that coincides with the task -- Wordless Wednesdays style -- and then listing this schedule on your calendar, in a notebook or some other place where you'll have them handy:
  • Return-Commenting Monday
  • Blog Promotion Tuesday
  • Visiting/Reading Wednesday
  • Email Inbox cleaning Thursday
  • Blogging Friday
  • Social Media Saturday
  • Blog Planning Sunday

Using the above sample schedule, I've been able to complete more tasks with this method than when I try to squeeze several important online activities into one single day. My experiences with doing this has led me to realized that the days on our blogging calendars are not set in stone. Sometimes I miss a day (or two) and end up playing catch-up by either doubling up on the task of the day or moving the next scheduled tasks to a later day. Sometimes I even skip a day (or more) depending on how well my week is going. In any case, naming one day each for a different blogging activity makes it easier for me to not worry about having to be everywhere, all of the time.

Do YOU control the internet or does it control YOU?

A-to-Z Challenge Co-Hostess Nicole Ayers writes about movies and the people that make them, at The Madlab Post. She also tweets @MadlabPost.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Do You leverage #Socialmedia for #blogging? 20 #atozchallenge Tips


 Today, one of #TeamDamyanti , Vidya Sury , tells you how to spread your blog far and wide via social media.
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A blog hop is all about interaction, making friends and getting to know new bloggers. The #AtoZChallenge is a readymade opportunity to connect, interact, and take your blogging motivation to new highs.

So you've signed up for the A to Z Challenge (do it now if you haven't), and perhaps even the  A to Z Theme Reveal Blogfest where you join a huge group of AtoZers to post your theme reveal post. You're also busy outlining your posts and scheduling them for April, so you can be free to party.
Yes, it is a month-long blogging party that will change your life forever!
So, besides visiting other bloggers, how can you amplify your blogging presence?
Use social media!
Social media is a great way to attract new readers and engage with your existing ones. As bloggers we cannot afford to ignore social media.

If you’re still wondering why you should use social media…it helps you

·      invite collaboration opportunities
·     get a book written (yes!)
·      create community
·      make new friends
·      get gigs 
and so much more!

How to get started?

1. Clean up your sidebars

2. Place your "follow/subscribe" buttons prominently so your visitors can find them easily and follow or subscribe to your awesome blog updates. 

3. Display Social Media Connect buttons for the networks you frequent. The most common are: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and of course, email. You can get combinations of the set. Don't forget to customize the buttons with your own profile links.
4. Add Social Mediasharing buttons - so your visitors can share your posts on their social network of choice.
5. Have a Facebookfan page? Add the widget in your sidebar so you can build your audience right from your blog. All your visitor has to do is hit "Like."

6.
Create readymade tweets so your readers can copy and tweet. Like this:
#atozchallenge tip: Visit AZ bloggers before Challenge begins, follow their blogs-build your network! www.a-to-zchallenge.com @AprilA2Z
Try clicktotweet so your readers can directly click to tweet.
7. Use a dashboard like Hootsuite to manage and schedule your social media posts. Install the Hootsuite “hootlet” for your browser to tweet/schedule a tweet for any page you are on. If you follow the blogger, don’t forget to tag them when you tweet. The Hootsuite dashboard lets you see your tweet stream, sent tweets, mentions and scheduled posts.
8. If you use Feedburner, use the “socialize” feature to autoshare your own post on social media as soon you publish.
9.  Use the #atozchallenge tag across all media to make them easily discoverable. Tag +April Hosteam on G+ (run by Pam), tag @AprilA2Z on Twitter (run by Nicole) and Blogging from A to Z April Challenge (run by Heather) on FB to get RTs and Shares of your posts.
10. Big on images? Add a Pin it button so your readers can share your gorgeous images on Pinterest.
11. Use LinkedIn? Import your RSS feed to your LinkedIn profile using the blog link application on LinkedIn to show off your posts on your profile.
12. Go to your Twitter settings - and set it up to share automatically to your Facebook profile.
14. Spend some time every day acknowledging shares and engaging in social media. Thank people publicly, give them a shoutout!
15. And while you are at it, give your "About Me" page the once-over! Now is a good time to tweak that, too!
16. Don’t forget to TELL your readers to share your posts! For more tips: See this post by M J Joachim's Aztech, C. Lee McKenzie.

17. The A to Z Challenge is not just about you. Consider using Twitterfeed to auto-tweet your favorite blogs’ posts and you'll have a bunch of RTers for your own posts soon!

18. If you have a twitter account, consider joining Triberr.com. This will ensure a lot of bloggers RT your posts.

19. Use Roundteam.co to automatically RT tweets on the #atozchallenge tag, or from bloggers you like.

20. Finally, check that all your links work.

To summarize, sidebar must-haves:
  • Subscribe / Follow button
  • Social media connect buttons
  • G+ button for your blog (different from the add to circles)
  • Facebook Fan page Like Widget
  • AtoZChallenge badge

Go forth and connect! Questions, problems? Ask away in the comments and Vidya will do her best to solve them for you!
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Have you signed up for the #AtoZChallenge Theme Reveal Blogfest?  Do it now!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Hyper Blog Like a Pro!

The best way to increase your chances for having a great Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge experience is by actively working specific areas of this blogathon to meet goals you have (whether formal or informal) for your blog in April. Even among bloggers who do not have solid long or short-term goals for blogging through the 26 letters of the alphabet; chances are that when you sign-up, you do so with a set of expectations or hopes for what you want to get out of your participation in the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge.

On Monday, Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out filled us in on the secret to this challenge – it’s about the letters, but it’s also about the numbers. 

"Hyper Blogging" is what he calls it; a kind of blogging on steroids that is necessary action for participants who aim to see any real significant increase in your number of subscribers, fans, friends, followers, visitors and comments – or whatever area you are seeking a boost in for your blog. As founder and ruler-of-them-all when it comes to the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge, Arlee has a great point when he emphasizes that you have to put in the work to see results.

I’ve participated in this challenge long enough to understand how its mere size can be enough to overwhelm even the most seasoned bloggers. Since we cannot be everywhere all of the time, while trying to visit nearly two thousand blogs in 26 days, it’s beneficial to use those A-to-Z goals, expectations and/or hopes as a foundation for your plan of attack on this April blogathon. Focus on activities that lead toward what you want and do less of the online stuff that doesn’t move in that same direction. Here are some ways that you can get your numbers up during the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge without returning to your blog empty-handed by the time May rolls around.

The Key to Playing the Numbers Game

Locate the objective that most matches what you want out of the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge and then focus on doing the activities listed for those particular goals during April. You don’t have to ignore all of the other activities altogether; just make sure to pay close attention to the actions that directly serve you, your blogging interests and your reasons for participating in the challenge.

Want more comments on your blog? Do these activities:
  • End your blog post with a question
  • Leave a comment on every blog that you visit. 
  • Blog about a controversial topic (Tread lightly here when swimming in controversial waters, and choose topics at your own risk.)
  • Reply to comments on your own blog.
  • Write a blog post comparing something such as baby names, products, people, services, situations, songs, movies, etc.
  • Reciprocate comments by visiting and commenting on the blogs of those who left a comment on your blog.
Want more people to visit your blog? Do these activities:
  • Visit additional blogs on Sundays when we have the day off from blogging in the A-to-Z Challenge, and then leave comments on these blogs.
  • Use the #atozchallenge hashtag on Twitter when mentioning your blog posts that are related to the challenge.
  • Add your blog URL below every comment you leave on other blogs. You do not need to know HTML to do this. Writing out the URL address (www.yourblog.com) will suffice.
  • Become a minion for one of the Co-Hosts. (It’s a lot of work in addition to what you already have in store as a challenge participant, but being a minion also comes with various perks such as having your blog featured on in A-to-Z Blog posts as well as on the blogs of Co-Hosts.)
  • Make your blog posts shareable by adding a “Share this” button or related social media links to your A-to-Z Challenge posts, allowing readers to share them on their blogs or among their social networks.
  • Link to other blogs that are participating in the challenge and/or feature another blogger in one of your blog posts. He or she will likely announce the news – either on his or her own blog or in their respective online social circles.
  • Swap guest posts with another blogger who is participating in the challenge. (For example, you can write a guest post for letter L or N on another blog and that blogger can give you a guest post for Letter M or O. This can be an effective way to increase readership outside of your own circle of visitors.)

Want more subscribers/followers/fans, etc. of your blog? Do these activities:
  • Place subscribe buttons and/or forms in your sidebar above the fold (near the top of the sidebar, positioned high enough that visitors do not have to scroll down the page to find it).
  • Add your social media handle (FB, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google + or whatever your pimping) to your signature at the end of your blog post or in your comments when visiting other blogs. (Don’t go crazy here, or else people will be quick to consider you a self-serving spammer. Pick a social profile...or two but I really wouldn’t recommend listing more than two...that is most important to you and use that one and that only. Notice I did not mention your blog URL. That’s because if you’re interested in followers, then it isn’t necessary for your blog URL to be listed in your comments because your blog address should already be prominently featured somewhere on your social media profile and easy for your social network to access. Duh!)
  • Make hybrid content for your blog posts, that can double as content for your social media websites and/or vice versa. (Meaning....If you are active on Instagram, write a blog post about one of the photos that you posted there, add the proper tags such as #Instagram, etc. and then share the blog post URL on FB or other social networks that you belong to. Grab a quotable section from one of your blog posts such as a short blurb that could stand on its own and Tweet it or Pin it or Tumblr it, all while making sure to add/embed a permalink back to your original blog post.)

Happy Blogging!

What are the reasons why YOU participate in the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge?

Do YOU get the results that you hope for when it’s all said and done?

Nicole Ayers at The Madlab Post

Friday, April 12, 2013

Kick-off Time Is Coming -- #atozchallenge

A to Z Logo 2011

         What!  A to Z has already started hasn't it?

          Sure, but now the second half is going to be starting soon.  Some bloggers have been getting weary, worn-down.  A few have even given up (don't give up!).  We're almost down by 100 from the original 1969 that we had when the Linky list closed.  Some are gone because we had to clean them off the list for one reason or another.  But some others just gave up.  Don't let yourself become one of the quitters, especially if you've already gotten this far.

         Next week starts the kick-off for the second half.  Time to get your second wind.  Revitalize.  Stoke the creative furnace for the down-hill ride to the end of the alphabet.  You can do it!

        And don't forget the social media networking.  I've been seeing a lot of you making rounds and making new friends and encouraging regular friends.  Don't slack off.  Now's when we all need more encouragement with comments.  And when you can, be sure to follow the bloggers you really like and want to stay in contact with.  We all like more followers don't we?   Follow others, or subscribe to their blogs, and you may be adding to your own following.

        Now, the second half is coming.  Let's get ready for the kick-off and finish the Challenge bigger than we started.


Here are some blogs that I hope you'll visit, comment on, and then follow:

Nouveau Scarecrow

And Then...a bit of this, that, and the other

A Day in the Life of Patootie

The Written Word of Yvonne Lewis -- She lost all her followers on her previous blog and would like them to come back.

STFU for a Better Relationship

Nebraska Family Times

Lea's Enchanted Cloth

A Writer's Musings


      Keep posting, keep visiting, keep joining, and keep commenting.

      Have a great kick-off in the second half of the Challenge!




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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hashtag the Heck out of Us!


Now that we're just getting into the swing of things, let's make the most of the A to Z Challenge by keeping in mind that it stretches beyond your blog. We’re social, with a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to make it easier for you to find likeminded participants and keep up with what’s trending – including the latest news from the challenge Co-Hosts. That is why it’s important to tag the challenge by using the official #atozchallenge hashtag when referencing the challenge in your social media updates – especially Twitter. Adding the A to Z Challenge hashtag to your tweets can help all of us cut through the clutter when searching for blogs to visit or staying up to date on discussions related to our daily alphabet party.

If you’re still wondering “how the heck do I use a hashtag?” or “why the heck would I use a hashtag?” the time for guessing games are over. Here are simple ways to Hashtag the heck out of the A to Z Challenge.
Hashtag your correspondence with us
When you send a tweet to us by writing @AprilA2Z, also make sure to add an #atozchallenge hashtag to the tweet. Unless it’s a really pertinent matter, you probably would do better just replacing the @AprilA2Z text with the #atozchallenge hashtag, altogether!

Hashtag your comments
Everyone and their momma is leaving comments that are one variation of “Hey, I’m stopping by from the A to Z Challenge!” or another – as if we really need to know (and we really don’t…or at least, I’ll speak for myself by letting you know today that I don’t need the reminder that you’re doing the challenge, ok?!) this bit of information. We get it. We read the memo. It’s been signed, sealed and delivered. Now here’s a thought…
If you really…I mean, really need to inform the blog that you’re visiting about your A to Z Challenge status, just put the #atozchallenge hashtag at the end of your comment. It takes up much less space and is less likely to leave a blogger wondering why he or she wasted time trying to read a comment that was nothing more than an announcement along the lines of “me too! Yay!” when it could have just as easily been summed up with a simple hashtag.
Hashtag your questions
Most, if not all, of the questions that people ask A to Z Challenge administrators can be useful to other participants who have similar concerns. Using the #atozchallenge hashtag can help your fellow participants get answers to something that they may have been wondering. At the very least, it also puts other bloggers on alert about matters that they are curious to know. Adding a hashtag can help simplify the question-and-answer sessions for @AprilA2Z on Twitter as well as other social media websites. It is easier for some participants to create a list or do a search for topics that are of interest to them if the hashtag is utilized more often, because it cuts down on the workload of having to find profiles and topics that might have come up in conversation about the challenge.
Hashtag your photos
Add hashtags to the photos that are included in your blog posts related to the challenge. This can be done by adding text directly in the image, using photo editing software or online photo apps such as Pic Monkey. If you don’t want to interfere with your visual masterpiece that you snapped in preparation for winning visitors over with your photographic images, you can also add hashtags to the “caption” section when editing the photo before publishing the blog post. The official A to Z Challenge hashtag can also be used to promote your blog posts on Facebook and Instagram.
So tell us…
How are you Hashtagging the Heck out of the A to Z Challenge?

-Nicole
@MadlabPost
2013 Blogging from #atozchallenge Co-Host
See you at the movies!
 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Social Media Tricks from A to Z from C.Lee McKenzie: An Post A-to-Z Road Trip Special

       C. Lee McKenzie can usually be found at her blog The Write Game, but today she's here visiting us at Blogging from A to Z.   She's also celebrating the release of her latest book Alligators Overhead, which you can find out more about by clicking on the links at the bottom of this post.  


If you're a writer, you want others to know who you are and what you're writing. You want to find other writers to connect with and readers who will buy your books. Today the publisher's budgets allow for very little support unless you're a bestselling author, so getting the word out is pretty much your job. Of course, if you're self-published it's 100% your job. 
 Social Media to the rescue. 
      And, in my opinion,  one of the quickest and most painless of these media is Twitter. 
     I thought it might be helpful for those A to Zers on this  Road Trip to have a few Twitter Do's and Don'ts--kind of road signs to read along the way--so here's my A to Z Twitter  Tips.

A. Ask for help. Do you need feedback on your WIP or do you want to know what readers think of your published work? Ask. Tweeters are eager to jump in with comments.

B. Be nice. Be kind. Snarky works for some, but like my grandmother always said, "You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar."

C. Converse with your readers and other writers. Get to know them. Let them know you. That generates interest in your work.

D. Discover stuff: quotes, facts, other writers with the same or similar issues.

E. Events are out there on Twitter. Find out about them. Post some of your own. Maybe you're doing a giveaway or hosting a launch on facebook. Make sure your Twitter followers know about those.

F. Find a job. Writing doesn't always pay the electric bill, right? Here's a link that takes you to JOBSEARCH

G. Grammar check. There's always a prescriptive grammarian hanging out on Twitter. You just have to nudge them and they'll give you the "correct" answer. *Raises hand and admits to a touch of the prescriptive grammarian in her.*

H. Help others. When you're in a Twitter conversation you often find that a writer could use a "hug" or encouragement. Maybe just a, "I've been there and understand" will be enough.

I. Issue book updates or where you are in your current WIP. That creates a bit of buzz and interest.


J. Joke a bit and have fun. This is a great way to take that break from the scene that's not working. It's a great way to connect with others in the same situation. Who knows, you might pick up just the prompt you need to return to that scene and finish it. 

K. Keep in touch. I might be away from home and on my iphone, but I can pop into Twitter, say hi, share where I am and what I'm doing. My main blog might be quiet, but my "microblog" isn't.

L. Look for agents or new publishing houses, accepting submission. Link up with an agent and start a dialog. Who knows, they might like your style enough to check your blog out. It's happened. And I personally know of one contract signed because the agent loved the writer's blog style so much.

M. Motivate others and you'll motivate yourself. In 140 characters it's easy to say something encouraging.

N. Never be all about "ME."  Care about the people you follow and who follow you.

O. Open longer exchanges. I often DM a friend and say, "Check email" or "Call me" when I want to discuss something in more depth.

P. Practice writing short, specific and effective sentences. Be clever. It's good practice for writing anything.

Q. Quotes--share them. I love to find a great quote while I'm Tweeting. 

R. Report problems. When you see a blog post that's gone weird because of a code issue, alert the blogger on Twitter. I had someone do that for me, and I really appreciated it. I hate it when something's not right with my blog posts.


S. Search, using the search tool to find someone you'd like to follow. 

T. Tweet about conferences before you go to a conference. Establish a rapport with the presenters and those attending. This year I tweeted with an agent and knew she'd been out walking on the beach. When I met her at dinner, I had a way to introduce myself by asking her how she'd enjoyed her walk. Nice ice breaker.

W. Writing. Writing . Writing. Get help. Give help about this amazing talent you and the others on Twitter have. You never know what exchange might trigger an idea.

X. X-out people who don't follow back or interact with you. You want your Tweeter followers list current. Here's where you can find out who's following you and who's interacting with you .http://t.co/B1wMdPmg
Y. YOU. Be who you are. 

Z. Zippy Tweets pay off, so don't be mopey, just honest. "2day I'm not writing anything my dog couldn't chew up." 

Happy Tweeting. And  . . . ahem . . . RT if you found this helpful.
C. Lee McKenzie
Alligators Overhead AMAZON http://tinyurl.com/895whec
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