How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

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hat1 How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

Sound the alarms! Alert the press! You have a new article on your blog and it is not to be missed!

If you are an author and you are on Facebook, you have likely seen those posts that say, “I just got my book. Please buy it! Here is the link.” What about those that ask, “Please visit my web page and let me know what you think!” (Which means, “Compliments please! No criticisms.”)

Or we see the status updates that say, “I have a new article here, I hope you will read it.” What about, “I just did a podcast interview. It is only 47 minutes long and I know you won’t want to miss it.”

How do you know I won’t want to miss it? I think. I am sorry, but that is exactly what I am going to do.”

Everyone is busy!

We all want to support each other, but that doesn’t mean you have to sell in your posts. Instead you can write effective Facebook status updates that will build a relationship by helping others. Selling books and trying to build that platform all the publishers and agents want us to have is a hard job. But each of us are also trying to figure out how to juggle it all, right?

Sadly, we just don’t have time to write reviews, vote, comment, and promote the hundreds of the members web sites, books, events, interviews and more–even when we believe in what they are doing.

We want to be able to help others

We do want to point the people we serve in the right direction, however, and that means referring those we serve to other people we trust; to a good book we think could be life-changing; to a web site we know where they will be encouraged.

We want to tell the people we serve that we have just the place or just the resource that will help them through this specific place they are in, and we can take comfort in knowing they won’t get lost in the shuffle.

But why would I refer those I serve to other people, not my own books?

What about my own book? you may ask! Well, does it meet their needs? It may. . . but they may be looking for something in addition to it. For example, my organization, Rest Ministries serves people who live with chronic illness. But I also receive emails from people with chronic illness or chronic pain who are going through a rough divorce, have kids with behavioral issues, have a parent with Alzheimer’s Disease. I know they need more than what I can offer them. And I love to be able to narrow down the thousands of books on Amazon to one or two that I know will meet their needs because I know the author personally!

Try to avoid asking for favors if the other person has nothing to benefit from it

gift How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase SharingWhen you are posting status updates in an author’s group, it can be tempting to think, “Well, we are here to support each other, so I need people to go vote for my web site for this contest, because then I will rank higher and sell tons of books and I will eventually return the favor when I have more time.”

We all love a party and with that party comes gifts and favors, right? But do your best to resist the urge to ask for a flat-out favor more than twice a year in your writers group. Like “vote for me to win this category!”

When you start typing out a status update about your latest article you just wrote, the web site updates you slaved over all weekend, or a radio show you are going to be on in thirty minutes, stop and ask yourself, “What is in it for them?” Then write your message with what would interest you if you were them. People constantly are saying they want to have the best Facebook status message, or the funniest Facebook status, but in the end, I see authors who are rushed and they just slap up a generic message with little emotion, except for pleading and desperation.

“Pleeeease come to my site and vote today! I really want to win this bad! You will be making a difference in my life!” I sense desperation and I just click away, because, honestly, there will be a few people a day that ask me to do this, and then someone will question why I did it for one person and not for another. Now, I do vote. When someone is a friend or a peer who I know well and respect their work a great deal, it is worth it to me to see their outreach grow. I have also been the recipient of some awards because people took time to help me and I am very grateful. But, I really don’t have a lot of time online, and I want to invest it into people who understand what to write (and not write!) as their Facebook status messages. Pleading for votes for a different contest every couple of weeks won’t get my attention.

Make your Facebook status update stand out with specifics

What is the message you have and who is it important for? It only takes a few extra minutes for authors to write effective Facebook status updates that will increase sharing of their posts, as well as build relationships with peers online.

For example, if you are talking about parenting styles and how we have to learn both our personality style and that of our child to most effectively make wise parenting decisions, you may be tempted to write, “I will be on the radio today talking about parenting styles. I’d love it if you’d take a break and listen in!” Don’t.

Because what most of us think is, “That’s nice for her. But I don’t have time to finish my own work, much less listen to hers. Oh, well. I am sure she will do fine.”

Instead, tell us who would most benefit from this program. For example:

“If you serve people who are struggling with their kids who won’t get dressed in the morning, kiddos who won’t eat their lunch, and children who won’t go to bed at night, they will gains some new parenting tools they may not have ever heard of before! In my podcast interview today, parents will quickly understand how personality styles can impact how well a child listens to his or her mom and dad. If they miss it, it will be archived later.”

See how that sounds more interesting? Will everyone now tune in? No. Will it not apply to some people? Of course. But will other authors think, “Oh, that describes some of the people I serve. This could be a handy resource for them”? Sure. And you have made it easy for them to click “share” and edit it just a bit so it sounds appealing for their audience.

Would that have shared your message that said, “I will be on the radio today talking about parenting styles. I’d love it if you’d take a break and listen in!”? It’s unlikely.

Make it easy for people to help you

mouse How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase SharingBy simply telling your colleagues what is in it for them, you will save them time, they will recognize you as a certain type of expert, and you are giving them quality descriptions they can easily pass along. For example, future posts could say, “If you serve people who are frustrated parents then you will be interested in . . .” or “If you outreach to teens who are dealing with depression, you should know about my . . .”  These are examples of effective Facebook status updates that will increase sharing online.

You will be reaffirming your expertise in your niche

This is also a great way to not just self-promote but narrow down the different areas of your expertise and make sure those who have callings that overlap with your own to know about it. If you cannot come up with who may specifically be interested in your article, perhaps you should go back and rewrite it for a better niche market (which will improve your Google rankings too!)

Whenever you write, “People who ___ would be interested in this because ___” you are telling people what you do and who you serve. If you are a parenting expert, for example, you will never run out of material! Beside parenting, you can go into issues with adult children, adoption and foster children, children with special needs, children with chronically ill parents, and the list goes on. An article on conflict resolution can be rewritten and adapted dozens of times for all sorts of scenarios, and each of these can be made into a status update that describes, “If you are a parent who ___ .”

Say thanks

As we participate in writers groups, it can become easy for us to get so focused on our own marketing steps, we forget to say thank you. As a writer, you know how easily time can get sucked away when you are sitting on the computer, especially if you are able to access the internet. When colleagues take time away from their own work, to support you, say thank you.

Tell them how much you appreciate it. Go to his or her website and see what you could do to help out. Can you comment on a few blog posts, let them know you visited and found it hard to maneuver around their shop, tell them you loved the clip art they chose, introduce them to someone on LinkedIn.

Little things mean a lot and they will remember that you took the time to offer some encouragement back to them.

lisa copen small How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing
Lisa is the woman behind the screen who enjoys sharing marketing tips that she has learned along the way as an author, speaker, and director of a nonprofit organization. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis nearly two decades and is a wife and mom.

 How Authors Can Write Effective Facebook Status Updates That Will Increase Sharing

Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for Authors

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seo tips for authors Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for AuthorsWhat’s SEO? If you have to ask, that’s okay. It stands for “Search Engine optimization” and it basically means that you try to find all the ways to make your web page friendly and desired by the search engines so that people can easily find you.

There are many, many ways people will try to tell you they have all the answers to get your page up to #1 or #2 in Google. Some of these materials you will pay for will help your search engine ranking increase (but don’t count on #1!)

However, a lot of the skills can be learned with a few technical changes to your web site. And guess what… some of it’s free!

High Search Engine Ranking has a list of free tools to help you get started.

 Free Web Ranking SEO Resources for Authors

How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?

newspaper-titles-so-important

newspaper titles so important How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?When I was the editor of a magazine, I received a wide range of articles with titles that were very undescriptive, depressing, and even unsettling. It is expected that every editor will change titles of material and one of the keys to becoming a welcomed writer at any magazine is to send in submissions with titles that could actually be used.

In fact, as the editor of a magazine, in my guidelines are described them of our needs as “Look at the cover of Good Housekeeping and study the titles. Then write articles that reflect these topics in addition to adding on the terms chronic illness and Christian faith. This will help you understand the type of articles we are looking for.”

I recently tried to explain to a couple of writers who contribute to one of my websites that I was occasionally updating titles of the content. This was for a few different reasons:

1. The title is the most descriptive part of the message and if it is not appealing or interesting people will not click on it, and therefore it never even have the opportunity to be read.

2. Many of the titles of articles people were submitting were the same or very similar. For example, if 3 people send you articles with titles like, “Getting Through The Baby Blues”; “Dealing With The Baby Blues” and “Coping With The Baby Blues” –even if all of the articles are different in conquering the challenge of baby blues– will your readers know this? No. They will think you are just reposting the same content and updating the title (as many publishers do read books that they re-release with new titles)

3. On the Internet everything comes down to best describing your content so that it can be found by those who are searching for it. Rather than having a title that says “Waiting to Adopt” one should have the title of the blog posts be “Getting Past The Discouraging Moments Of Waiting to Adopt from China.” This is of course, assuming that the blog post is actually about getting past the discouraging moments while waiting to adopt from China.

I recently read in an article, “5 Tips for Writing Effective Web Content” by a nonprofit organization, “Titles are the very first things people read in their email subject line, RSS reader and Twitter or Facebook feed. You could argue that this is the single most important part of any content you produce because without a great title people won’t click (and the all mighty click is what you’re after, right?).”

And Copy Blogger writes in “How to Write Magnetic Headlines”

“On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.” They have an excellent 11-part series that gives some specific guidance that will increase your ability to write better headlines in just hours.

I have also found that by focusing on a quality title I am forced to be more specific in my writing and that it sometimes takes me in a new direction and creates a topic that I had not previously planned on writing about. There are times when I have a title and I start writing the article and soon it turns into three or four different articles.

Some publishing houses now go to the extent to buy Google Ad words. They create 2 to 5 different ads and have the title of each ad be a possible title of one book that they are going to publish. In just a few hours or perhaps a couple of weeks, a publisher can do inexpensive research and find out which title is the best possible one to use on the book.

I was taught as a speaker many years ago from Florence Littauer at CLASS that the best way to find not only what is trending but also how to write great headlines is to pause at the grocery store checkout line and examine those “magazines” that we are often too embarrassed to buy even if we find the headline enticing. There is a reason that everything from the National Enquirer to People magazine sell each week even when the content itself is poorly written or even false. It’s those titles!

I would love to hear your comments about how you have improved your writing of titles for blog posts, or perhaps how you chose the title of your book.

 How Important Are Titles in Our Content Online?

National e-Book Conference In Portland, OR, March 6-9, 2008

Portland, OR (PRWEB) January 8, 2008 — Grab your umbrella and favorite electronic reading device (a laptop or PDA will do) and head to the great Pacific Northwest for the 8th annual EPIC conference, “It’s Not Easy Being E,” in Portland, Oregon, March 6-9, 2008, at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Inn. This national conference addresses the emerging electronic publishing industry, and attracts publishers, writers and readers of this new medium.

Headlining the conference is luncheon keynote speaker is Michael Powell, owner of Powell’s Books, which lays claim to being the largest independent bookstore in the world. Powell’s is a noted retailer of e-books, as well as new and hard-to-find used books. The Portland conference will feature e-publisher panel discussions and workshops pertaining to publishing and promoting electronic books, new technologies, and genre and publisher-specific topics. There will be an EPPIE book awards ceremony, honoring excellence in electronic publishing, and opportunities for social and professional networking.

Fees for the three-day conference are $155 for EPIC members and $185 for non-members. A single day rate of $75 is also available. Registration will be open through February 10, 2008.

EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection, is a professional organization for published and contracted e-book and print authors. Established in 1997, EPIC was one of the first advocates of electronic publishing, and has been a strong voice for the industry ever since. Its members write and publish in all literary and non-fiction genres.

For more information on the conference and how to register go to the EPIC website, www.epicauthors.com.

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For more Book Marketing Tips SIGN Up to receive our RSS feed and you’ll be entered to win a copy of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books National e Book Conference In Portland, OR, March 6 9, 2008 by John Kremer.

Lisa and Joel Copen have a variety of experience in founding a nonprofit that receieves over 80,000 visitors per month, music and sound editing, web design, and book marketing and publishing. They look forward to your ideas to make the series of ebooks on book promotion a practical tool to help you sell more books!

 National e Book Conference In Portland, OR, March 6 9, 2008

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