whiHow do you feel about social media?
WE WRITERS CAN BE A QUIET, PRIVATE TRIBE. But we also have voices, stories, and ideas we long to share. And thanks to technology, today we don’t need to wait for agents, editors, or publishers to give us the nod! Instead, we can explore various social media platforms, looking for those that allow us to offer our thoughts and experiences to readers most likely to appreciate what we have to say.
While we may be cautious about stepping into the teeming river of social media, if we’re smart in our approach, the interwebs present myriad opportunities for us to publish, build an audience for our work, and even—gasp!—get paid!
Tip #1: Blog: Yes, blogging is still a thing. Your blog is your own personal spot on the internet. There, you can write what you want, when you want, as often as you want. Be consistent enough, and you could develop an appreciative readership.
Wonder what you’d write about? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Write about incidents from your life. We humans are very interested in how other humans conduct their lives.
- Free-write to prompts and share what you create. You’ll find, like, an actual TON of prompts if you just search “writing prompts”!
- Post a daily inspirational message to uplift yourself and your readers.
- Share a brief excerpt from something relevant you’ve read elsewhere (with links and proper attribution, of course), and then let your readers know your thoughts on the topic and why you find it important.
- Post recipes you’ve successfully completed—with pictures, please! (If you like this idea, you might enjoy reading the cooking memoir JULIE AND JULIA by Julie Powell, who food-blogged her way to a book and film deal! )
Tip #2: Guest blog: You might not know this, but Google rewards those who regularly publish content with improved rankings. But even the most prolific blogger gets dry at some point. And that’s exactly the point at which they might be thrilled to have you write a guest post for them.
You’ll most likely want to make this offer to a blogger whose work you read regularly and with whom you have had some positive contact. For instance, perhaps you comment on their posts every few weeks or otherwise let them know you appreciate their content. If you’re engaged by what a blogger writes about, chances are good you have some thoughts that you could develop into a thousand-word guest post. Ask them if they’re interested, and if they are, write a draft for their approval.
Guest blogging is good for you and good for your blogging host! You get exposure and they get a break! And … drum roll, please … some writers actually make a fair portion of their living by writing guest blog posts! Check out “How to Write a Guest Blog” on Lifewire for further insights and suggestions.
Tip #3: Join the conversation: Writers and non-writers alike talk about all sorts of things on social media. Join the conversation! Find Facebook or LinkedIn groups focused on topics you’re passionate about and offer your thoughts to folks who share your interest. Also, since writers are readers, they love to discuss books. Engage in literary conversations by writing book reviews. Amazon and Goodreads are two great places to start!
Tip #4: Instagram for writers: Instagram may be the hottest platform of the moment. And while it seems the perfect spot for social media influencers and producers of visual content, like photographers, writers can get some traction on Instagram, too!
Instagram lets your followers know what and where you’re writing. These three articles will get you started on using this social medium to boost your sharing power:
- Instagram for Writers : How to Get the Most Out of It
- The Writer’s Guide to Instagram
- Jane Friedman’s 10 Instagram Tips for Writers
Tip #5: Submit your work on Medium … and maybe get paid! If you don’t know about Medium, I’m about to make you very happy (I hope!). Medium is a platform for writers. And readers. Here’s their mission statement:
Medium is not like any other platform on the internet. Our sole purpose is to help you find compelling ideas, knowledge, and perspectives. We don’t serve ads—we serve you, the curious reader who loves to learn new things. Medium is home to thousands of independent voices [um, that means “independent writers,” which, by definition, could include you!], and we combine humans and technology to find the best reading for you—and filter out the rest.
Interested in writing for Medium? Start here.
May the virtual road rise up to meet you, writer: Whichever of these ideas piques your interest, go explore. The internet is a whirling hub filled with gazillions of words that have to be composed by writers and which will be read every day by readers hungry for insights and opinions and a new take on our shaky old paradigm. Go forth and share your voice with the cyberworld!
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Photo credt: Mike Eisenman, via Creative Commons