Category Archives: platform

Rock Your Facebook Social Media Tabs

 

My generation liked  matchy-matchy.  If we were styling brown shoes, we had a brown belt and purse. We would never  *gasp* wear brown boots and carry a black purse. The  wild colors and un-matching accessories of today can be hard on my 80’s sensibilities.

Today’s young women look fashionable and amazing – but I just can’t do it.  Pink pants and a lime green shirt?  Uffda.  Wait, this must be how my mom felt when I wore white sandals after September 1st.

cool tools 008

Anyhoo, today’s Cool Tool helped me transform my Facebook Author Page to be all matchy-matchy.  Remember the criteria for my Cool Tools?  They have to be free and easy enough for this old lady blogger to figger out.

image See the new coordinating look on my social media tabs?  They all sport the same vintage typewriter.  It started out by finding Joie de vie blog.  She introduced me to Woobox.  Yes, this little place on the internet  wooed my heart by promising to make my Facebook page all matchy-matchy. 

 

Facebook TwitterFacebook PhotosFacebook Pinterest

Using Microsoft Word I typed up my titles using Courier New, the  most old-fashioned script, font size 99.  Yep, I lugged my vintage typewriter outside and posed it on table in the Redneck Grill, my backyard fire pit area made of weathered gray wood. This is the  same gray wood you see all around my social places.

I stood on a lawn chair, because I am too short for aerial view, and shot from different angles to see what I preferred.  When the photos were  scaled down to create the tabs the letters were too small to read, so I cropped them in Windows Live Photo Gallery, a free download from Microsoft. Yes, I blogged about that Cool Tool, too.

I used photographs for my custom tabs, but use your creativity to show your personality and interests. You could create images in Quozio, Ribbet, or  Recite This.

Then, I clicked over to Woobox.

 

image

FREE!  Is that not music to your ears?  Start at  Woobox and scroll to the bottom to find this green starting place.

image

You want to find Static Tabs at the top of the next screen.

 

image

Click Create a New Tab  on the top right side of the screen.

image

It drops down and Woobox offers you these choices.

image

I clicked on Pinterest and this dialogue box that popped up.  Click to enlarge if you’re old and infirmed like me and can’t read those little letters.

image

Click on change to bring you to your  photos.  Choose the one you want from your own files and save.

image

Ta Da!  A customized Facebook Fan Page everybody is sure to love, especially those from the 80’s!

If you update your tabs, please leave a link in the comment section to add to the inspiration!  I’d love to see what others create.

Platform Building Ideas Presented on Pinterest

I was surprised to discover most writers are introverts.

Because I’m obnoxious an extrovert, I assumed all writers were. Surprise!  When I first started attending writers meetings  years ago, I met many quiet, well-behaved people.  I actually think writers are  so busy talking to their imaginary characters and creating scenes in their minds, they can forget to interact with the real characters around them.

When introverted writers are told they need a social media platform and a marketing plan for their books, they panic.  Wait, even extroverts panic, because we only daydream about writing our books.  We never daydream about selling them.

But, today’s market demands writers are more than great writers, they must be savvy marketers.

cool tools 008

Today’s Cool Tool is something I created  for writers. I wanted to inspire writers and remove some of the panic they feel when they hear the word platform. To many, it feels more like walking the plank than promoting their brilliance captured in print.

Introverts fear approaching someone and introducing themselves, and are even more uncomfortable when faced with having to  introduce themselves AND promote their book.

Imagine a bricklayer at work.  Brick by brick, they build a wall higher and higher and higher.  That’s how you build a platform – one brick of knowledge at a time.  You don’t have to do it all at once, focus on one aspect of social media, conquer it, then move onto the next area. Last spring I added a Facebook Author Page (fan page) and began utilizing that.

Then I moved onto PinterestIt’s so addicting, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pinterest Support Groups start popping up around the country.  I recently read that people are clicking to Pinterest  before Google, so if that’s where people are, that’s where writers need to be. 

This Pinterest board was created to help writers begin the brick by brick process of building their author platform.

 

image

The bricks in this case are the pins on the board I named  Book Launch and Author Platform. I visited websites from some of the great thinkers in the industry and pinned them.  There are even some craft ideas sprinkled in for staging an author event.  I’ll decorating our annual writers conference,  Northwest Christian Writers Renewal with some of these projects. (Click on the graphic to take you to my Pinterest board.)

 

image   image   image

   image   image   image

These are a few of the individual pins to show the variety.  (click on any link to bring you to their web site.) The articles introduce you to the information, and to the people in the industry.  This board will constantly be growing and changing as I discover new skills I need to learn. It’s like in high school and I’m doing your homework for you, but this isn’t cheating. Smile  I love helping other writers.

If you are on Pinterest already, you can follow the board.  If you aren’t on Pinterest,  save it to your favorites. 

Grow your confidence and your platform by choosing and implementing one area of social media. C’mon, pick up one  brick from this Pinterest board.  When it’s solidly in place, pick up another one.  Before you know it, you’ll be standing on a sturdy Author Platform.

 

Previous blog posts about Pinterest:

Two bricks in my social media platform…

image      image     

 

Are ya’ PINNED yet?

 

In my mother’s teen years, if you got “pinned” you received a pin from your boyfriend and were going steady.  It might be from his frat house, one of his clubs, or a pin from his letterman’s jacket. The pin proved YOU were the one he chose above all the other girls and he was willing to publically display his commitment.

In “The Telephone Hour” in Bye Bye Birdie they sing about the teenage ritual of getting pinned.

Have you heard about Hugo and Kim?
Did they really get pinned?
Did she kiss him and cry?
Did he pin the pin on?
Or was he too shy?
Well, I heard they got pinned
Yeah! Yeah!
I was hopin’ they would!
Oho!
Now they’re livin’ at last,
Goin’ steady for good!

cool tools 008

Pinterest is the same thing, only different. It’s a Cool Tool that can improve your blogging.

Today getting pinned still means you were chosen – picked out of a crowd.  Someone liked your idea and displayed it in their inspirational corner of cyberspace – Pinterest.

If you’re not a crafty, kitcheny person, you might think it’s a waste of time. Think again. There’s an explosion of talent, ideas and inspiration useful to everyone.

I know, I know, one more thing to learn.  One more thing to take time away from everything else you don’t have time for. 

image

One more thing to drive traffic to your blog.

In case you can’t read that little number, in the short time that I’ve limped along learning how to pin, 638 people have clicked to my blog from Pinterest.

I blogged for years before I added social media to my writing life.  My blog grew slowly. Followers were added one at a time by visiting blogs, leaving comments and creating relationships.  Some of these women became true friends and I’ve even met them in person. It’s been such a blessing! This is the best foundation for a blog, good internet relationships.

However, when you are trying to build a platform as a writer, you need to increase your audience.

I created a Facebook author page in February and started Pinterest in the spring. Prior to this,  I had been using my personal Facebook page to promote blog posts, so the stats aren’t just from this year.

The impact social media can have on your blog traffic can’t be denied.

 

You can create a board for the various topics areas you write about. When you pin from your blog, the title of the blog is in bold print and you can add a one-liner to entice the browsers to learn more. When people click on the image, it will lead them to your post.

If people like your visuals, they will pin them into their own Pinterest boards.  You get pinned and sometimes repinned. Being on Pinterest will also inspire you to have great visuals in your blog posts, visuals  worthy of being pinned.

.

(Each icon is hyperlinked to a blog post.)

image        image        image

MARRIAGE

 

image         image          image

PARENTING

 

image           image          image

INSPIRATION

          image           image      image

WRITING   INSPIRATION

image     image    image

COOL TOOLS FORBLOGGING

There’s a lot of great bloggers out there, but having Pinterest-worthy visuals could give you an advantage in driving traffic your way.

Are ya’ PINNED yet?

WHWButton#2

How to Make It Easy for Pinners to Visit Your Blog

Last week my guest blogger, Kim Vandel, introduced the Pin It Bookmarklet. It was awesome to learn a new Cool Tool by reading my own blog!  Gentle Readers, today she has a tip in using Pinterest to gain readers, not just pinners. 

imageKim Vandel is a writer and voracious reader from the Seattle suburbs, and she’s the Public Relations Coordinator for Northwest Christian Writers Association. She recently became a finalist in the 2013 Cascades Writing Contest in the Unpublished Young Adult fiction category. You can find her at kimvandel.com.

cool tools 008

Most writers want more readers, but the question is how to draw those readers to our blog or website. There are so many blogs out there that it can be hard to get noticed.

One of the reasons I joined Pinterest was the chance to connect with my target audience. Pinterest boards are a simple but effective way to share my point of view with potential readers. What do I mean by point of view? I’m talking about how I see the world. My interests. The things that grab my attention. The things that make me laugh. People who connect with my point of view are more likely to be interested in what I have to say and check out my blog.

I created a board for my blog when I joined Pinterest, but it wasn’t exactly a success. In other words, I didn’t have any referrals from Pinterest. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Discouraging, yes, but I soldiered on. I’m an observer and thinker, and sometimes it takes a while for my ideas to make their way to the surface.

I was getting plenty of likes and repins of my quotes, but I didn’t like the fact that Quozio and Pinstamatic were getting the credit. I want people to find me and my blog, not a quote-making website, so I decided to try another tactic. Instead of posting a quote straight to Pinterest, I downloaded it to my computer and then uploaded it to my board. A better option, but all the pin said was that I uploaded the quote.

Then I found my new best friend, the Pin It Bookmarklet. I could pin from pretty much anywhere, so why not my blog? Instead of uploading those quotes to Pinterest, I started adding them to the Media Library on my blog and used my handy-dandy bookmarklet to pin them to my Inspirational Quotes board. Since I started pinning quotes from my blog, I’ve gotten more referrals from Pinterest than anywhere else—Google, WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter.

So my Cool Tool for today is really more of a Cool Tip: How to make it easy for "pinners" to visit your blog.

First you’ll need last week’s Cool Tool, the Pin It Bookmarklet. Then check out Mindy’s blog on turning a quote into a masterpiece if you missed it. Use a site like Recite This that will let you download your quote masterpiece to your computer. (It should automatically go to the "Downloads" folder.)

For WordPress users, you’ll find the Media Library on the sidebar menu of your dashboard.

media 1 (3)

You’ll see two options when your cursor hovers over "Media." Click on "Add New."

media 2 (2)

This will take you to the "Upload Media" page. Click on the "Choose File" button and select the quote you saved in your Downloads folder (Step 1). The name of your file will show up next to the "Choose File" button when you’re done.

media 3

Now click on "Upload" (Step 2).

The next screen will be your Media Library. Three options will appear when your cursor hovers over the title of your quote. Select the "View" option.

media 4

It will take you to a page with your quote.

media 5

Now click on your bookmarklet icon.

pin it 3 (2)

Choose the picture of the quote.

media 6 (3)

The "Create a Pin" window will pop up. Select which board you want to pin your quote to and edit the description if necessary.

media 7 (2)

Here’s the quote on my Pinterest board. It even encourages a visit to my blog!

media 8 (3)

I want to make it as easy as possible for potential readers to find me, and with my blog only a click away, there’s a much better chance they’ll check it out.

Social media can be overwhelming at times. (Or if you’re like me, it’s overwhelming on a daily basis.) Part of social media is figuring out where and how you make the best connection with your readers. It’s a lot of experimenting to find what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s doing a lot of little things that slowly add up to something bigger. Hopefully you now have one more little thing to help you attract readers.

I’d love to hear how this Cool Tip works for you or what Cool Tip you’ve come up with!

Keeping Face on Your Facebook Page

 

cool tools 008

 

In the olden days, a snake oil salesmen  would stand on a homemade wooden platform in the town center, gather a crowd,  and pitch his product. If the product worked, the townspeople would let the guy hang around. If it didn’t work, he took his platform, his product, the people’s money, and ran to the next town.

Today, writers and entrepreneurs still stand on a platform, gather a crowd and pitch their product. But, the platform isn’t made of wood, it’s built of the material of today’s universe, social media.

A Facebook Page is a good place to start to draw traffic to your website/blog and eventually to your product. But posts get lost in the algorithm of Facebook, and NO I am not paying Facebook to show my post to all the people who already LIKED me and obviously wanted to read every single word I write…..or at least every other word.

Have you ever clicked on the Boost Post button? 

 

image

This is what you get. It will be great when you have something ready for market, like a published a book or a new Etsy store, but for everyday platform building, Facebook  provides a free Cool Tool to draw consistent traffic to your page, the ability to schedule posts. We all know Facebook is addicting,  give people consistent content worth the addiction.

My goal is to post at least twice daily on my Facebook Author Page. On days I  blog, the posts usually relate to the content theme. On days I don’t blog,  I provide information or encouragement for other writers.

Like all my Cool Tools, scheduling posts is free and easy to use. Yes, I know  Facebook started this a year ago, but at my age, it’s hard to see the Bandwagon, let alone jump on it right away.

image

Once you drop your text in the box, a little clock pops up.  See the bunny nose?

Yes, I used Snipping Tool, how could you tell?  Oh, because you read my tutorial and now the online scissors all the time?

image

Working from left to right, you use the drop down boxes to set day and time, then click Schedule.

image

Done.

image

You can view your Activity Log in case you forgot what you scheduled or wanted to make sure you did it correctly.

Advantages to scheduling Facebook posts:

  • Can post up to 6 months ahead of time.
  • Facebook uses your current time zone, so you don’t have to remember that elementary school lesson.
  • You have a consistent FB presence even if your life is inconsistent.
  • Increases organization and intention in your writing/business life.
  • You can sleep in instead of being on Facebook early in the morning.

Of course, keeping with the whole scheduling idea, tomorrow on my imageAuthor Page,  I’m posting two great articles about Facebook by smart people.

Feel free to drop by and imageand read more about building your platform using Facebook.

Just don’t try to sell any of my LIKERS any snake oil, OK?

do yOu liKe mE?

‘member passing grade school notes?

you’d rip off a corner of your notebook paper
and print out what your heart longed to know.

you’d fold it over and over until it was nearly invisible and
have your best friend deliver it because you were nervous.I don't know smile

what if they checked NO?

what if you faced rejection?

the butterflies were worse
if you had just finished your  five cent carton of milk
during snack time.

some things never change.

I just hafta’ know how you feel.

do you like me 2

‘cuz I got a new
Author Facebook page
and I wanted to ask if you liked me enough
to be my friend?

it’s a place I’ll be hanging after school,
yes, after school because I homeschool.

my status updates will be to
inspire,
educate,
and  introduce  
friends who love to read,
friends who love to write,
and friends that love both.

as I wait for your answer
my butterflies are worse because I just finished
two cups of coffee at snack time.

some things haven’t changed
and some things have.

instead of passing that note back when Teacher isn’t looking,
click on my pic above

and then click image with your trusty mouse finger.

see ya’ at recess, BFF.

(sometimes I do this at recess, too)

image